Topband: Poor conditions in 2018 so far for working VK6 to NA long path
vk6vz at arach.net.au
Thu Nov 15 20:46:50 EST 2018
G'day Dave (and all)
Your observation that the low sunspot numbers does not bring good conditions
to 160m definitely holds for VK6.
Mike VK6HD told me he had observed this over several sunspot cycles when I
first became active on 160m from VK6 in 1995.
Most of the best DX conditions I've experienced here has been a few years
before or after the sunspot peak. Without checking the log, I'd guess the
actual peak has been better than the minimum here.
This may have something to do with the fact that the most important paths
here are more easterly-westerly than north-south. When I lived in the UK, I
always remember working heaps of African and South American stations on the
low bands at the sunspot minimum - which were, of course, north-south paths.
...While I have only been QRV on TB
since 1987 (many of you have me beat by two decades or more), I have gone
through several sunspot cycles. The old adage that low sunspot numbers
bring good conditions to 160m does not necessarily seem to hold true.
... 73. . .Dave, W0FLS
From: Steve Ireland
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 7:32 PM
To: Topband reflector
Subject: Topband: Poor conditions in 2018 so far for working VK6 to NA long
With the exception of last Sunday I've been on 160m for east coast NA sunset
from 7/11/18 until 12/11/18 to try to give out some ‘long path’ contacts
Although there has been some spotlight propagation into Europe (today was
Southern Europe/North Africa and S01WS for a new country) the LP into North
America has seemed to be non-existent
2017 and 2016 were definitely better, with my recollection of LP openings
present on several mornings during this period.
My reference point is if I can hear or work Jeff VY2ZM, then I know there is
a chance of working into NA further south. Every morning I regularly check
Jeff's transmitting frequency - and during the aforementioned period I
haven't heard Jeff once!
Since Jeff started his station on PEI, we have worked on 160m many times -
and on SSB at least once - and usually I can hear him virtually daily at
this time of the year. This year is definitely the worse I can recall since
I first came on 160m from VK6 back in 1995.
I guess the take-away message is 2018 is a very bad year but east coastal NA
stations don't give up hope that a LP QSO is possible (but perhaps not this
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