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Author Topic: 10 and 15 meter bands  (Read 16624 times)
W9BVG
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Posts: 10




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« on: September 24, 2017, 09:10:06 PM »

I'm in Illinois (~40 mi. west of Chicago) and have not heard anybody on these bands when I've checked during the past couple of weeks. Suppose lower sunspot activity could be causing a decline in long distance communication (2013 was the last peak in the 11-yr. cycle, correct?), although 20 meters has been open fairly regularly. I don't, however, even hear local, groundwave activity. When I got my General license back in '59 I remember a lot of groundwave voice (AM then) activity on 10 meters in Maryland where I lived at the time....enjoyed lots of local (within a radius of maybe 30 or 40 miles) contacts. Since sunspot activity doesn't affect groundwave communications, where are the local 10 meter folks? Moved to another band....up, down?
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W8JX
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Posts: 12080




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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 05:11:54 AM »

VHF/UHF has long replaced most 10m local. There may be some daytime E's on occasion on those bands but they are going to be mostly dead next several years.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 05:23:45 AM »

And yet digital operators continue to work DX on these bands every day.  Get on FT8.  I find this terribly humorous, you guys complain that 10 and 15 are dead.  They are NOT!

Join the 21st century, and get on WSJT modes guys.  

I will be looking for you on the waterfall.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 05:27:51 AM by K0UA » Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 06:00:08 AM »

Here is one minutes worth of what I copied on 15 meters about a minute ago.  on the left is the time in UTC,  then the signal strength referenced to a 2.5khz channel, the time offset, then the audio frequency, the tilde indicates FT8 mode, the station that the station I heard is calling, and his report.  The station I actually heard is the last call sign.  In the example of the F6ECI station the JN05 is his grid square.  RRR and 73 mean just what you think they do.  Yep, 15 is dead.  hi hi.

125445  -7 -0.0 1977 ~  7Z1IS LU8FDA -08         
125515 -21  0.4  321 ~  CQ F6ECI JN05            ~France
125515 -15  0.6 1013 ~  ER1PB PU2TLW R-21       
125515 -14 -0.1 1233 ~  YO7LGI PU2NOE RRR       
125515   4  0.5 1977 ~  7Z1IS LU8FDA -08         
125545 -16  0.6 1013 ~  ER1PB PU2TLW R-21       
125545 -16 -0.1 1234 ~  YO7LGI PU2NOE 73         
125545  -3  0.1 1976 ~  7Z1IS LU8FDA -08         
125545 -19 -0.2 1310 ~  TF2MSN ZS6AI KG43
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W8JX
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Posts: 12080




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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 09:07:24 AM »

To me WSJT or other automated handshake contact is of no value. I want a warm body and a real conversation and not just a handshake and maybe a signal report too.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 09:45:36 AM »

To me WSJT or other automated handshake contact is of no value. I want a warm body and a real conversation and not just a handshake and maybe a signal report too.

Well then, I guess I won't be seeing you on the waterfall after all..  hmmm  more bandwidth for me.  73 James K0UA
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W9BVG
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 02:15:03 PM »

Well, I have been away from ham radio for a number of years, so I need to get up to speed on changes that have occurred. I'll do some reading about digital radio before I form an opinion. Sounds like I'd have to make an investment in a 6 or 2 meter rig and antenna if I want some local chats. Thanks for info guys.
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 03:48:55 PM »

Well, I have been away from ham radio for a number of years, so I need to get up to speed on changes that have occurred. I'll do some reading about digital radio before I form an opinion. Sounds like I'd have to make an investment in a 6 or 2 meter rig and antenna if I want some local chats. Thanks for info guys.

Invest in a 2 meter or 2meter/440 FM rig for local comms.  No local activity on 6.  6 meters is all about chasing E skip and meteor scatter.  Again more digital activity than all of the CW and SSB put together.  Oh, sure someone somewhere will come on and say.  Hey the podunk holler 6 meter net meets every thursday evening.  yeah right.  There is a small amount of 6 meter FM activity in some locales. and some 6 meter repeaters. Good luck finding anyone on them.  And good luck finding anyone on 52.525 the 6 meter FM national frequency even when the band is open.

  Nope 6 meters more than ever seems to be about digital modes. This E season, saw a significant reduction in 6 meter SSB and CW operators, because they were all up on JT65 at first, and then FT8 as soon as it was invented.  That is where I was.  Of course Meteor Scatter is 100% digital now.  No one operates CW meteor scatter any more and thank GOD.  Six meters is included in all newer HF rigs now, and you wont find much in the way of stand alone 6 meter rigs anymore.  There are hundreds of digital modes (way too many if you ask me),  But they have different purposes.  Some are ragchew modes, some are contest modes, and some are strictly for making contacts/awards.   A lot of people hate anything new, or the thought of learning a new way of doing old things, so you are going to see some of that.

But this is the modern world, and while Amateur radio is hardly at the "cutting edge" in anything anymore, we are slowly trying to move forward with new techniques.   Joe Taylor K1JT the leader in the latest digital modes suite is actually moving the state of the art in weak signal modes forward.  He and others are doing one heck of a job is short order I may add.   You will either embrace that and learn something new or you won't.  It is up to you.

The latest digital modes, have at least a 10 dB, some say more advantage over an equal powered CW signal. Just as CW has at least a 10 dB advantage over SSB, and of course SSB has at least 6 dB advantage over AM.    Add up those dB's and think about that.  Just taking the minimum dB advantage, some of the digital modes could easily be 26 or more dB more efficient watt for watt than an AM signal, and I would contend it is much more.

So to get started, you need to know which end of a computer has the power button, be able to install simple software (usually free), and how to set up the computer, the interface and the rig.  Sometimes here lately there is no interface on the modern rigs, as they include it inside.  The connection consists of an USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable, which can be found anywhere.  Wal Mart included Wink

I am almost 63 now, and If I can do it, ANYONE can..  It is all about wanting to. The other responder indicated that something will freeze over before I see him on the waterfall.  "So it shall be written, so it shall be done."  Have fun, stay young, drink Pepsi.Smiley  73 James K0UA
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 04:09:11 PM »

Quote
When I got my General license back in '59 I remember a lot of groundwave voice (AM then)

Judging my your age and experiences, I am sure you remember when AM was king and this "new upstart" came on the scene called SSB.  Well for starters SSB was not new by any stretch of the imagination as it was in use by telephone carriers back in the 1920's but still for hams it was "new".  And do you remember the great "wailing and gnashing of teeth" and "over my dead body" from many older unwilling to change operators?  Surely you remember this? And while you do still have a few holdouts on AM, touting the great audio etc, for the most part even the older curmudgeons moved over to "Slop Bucket".  Or they died.  Either way, there isn't a great deal of AM operation left in the Amateur ranks today.

Well this move towards digital modes, (not to replace SSB or even CW for that matter) but to add a new dimension in long distance communications is also met with a great deal of wailing and tooth grinding by some.  But the majority are getting in on the new fun, and finding out if they like it or not.  I am busy helping others get their setups going, and trying to answer questions that I can.  Not that I am an expert by ANY stretch of the imagination, but just a guy that saw the promise of a shiny new toy and said "hey! I would like to try that".  So since I have just a little more knowledge about these things than you(dangerous? knowledge?)  than by default I am an expert Smiley
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 06:56:08 AM »

To me WSJT or other automated handshake contact is of no value. I want a warm body and a real conversation and not just a handshake and maybe a signal report too.

Well then, I guess I won't be seeing you on the waterfall after all..  hmmm  more bandwidth for me.  73 James K0UA

You can have that waterfall. I have zero interest in automated hand shake QSO's.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »

To me WSJT or other automated handshake contact is of no value. I want a warm body and a real conversation and not just a handshake and maybe a signal report too.

Well then, I guess I won't be seeing you on the waterfall after all..  hmmm  more bandwidth for me.  73 James K0UA

You can have that waterfall. I have zero interest in automated hand shake QSO's.



That's OK.  It's all good..  Smiley
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 17053




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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 10:52:28 AM »

Quote from: W9BVG

...When I got my General license back in '59 I remember a lot of groundwave voice (AM then) activity on 10 meters in Maryland where I lived at the time...



Besides predating 2m FM and repeaters for local contacts, 1959 was a huge solar cycle peak, so 10m and 15m
were often open for DX even after sunset.  We haven't had anything like it since.

So not only weren't there other options for local contacts, but hams often had their rigs on those bands in
the evenings anyway to catch openings.

Since then most local activity has switched to VHF/UHF FM and repeaters, and many hams don't have HF
equipment.  Without the local activity, folks don't monitor the bands when they appear to be dead, so
there isn't any local activity, so...


And I think those local conversations were actually direct waves (like VHF communications) rather than
ground waves.  The latter only work for vertical polarization, and wouldn't change significantly with
antenna height. 
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W9BVG
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 05:43:00 PM »

Yes, '59 was about a peak in sunspot activity. In '80 when I was working at NASA the agency launched the Solar Maximum Mission satellite to study the sunspot peak. So, using the 11-yr. cycle, that places the "peak" peak at '58. Got into ham radio in '57 with my Novice, then General in '59 with its voice privileges...yeah, I well remember all those terrific band openings to Europe, S. America and the Pacific! Anyway.....looking forward to getting back on the air (with my vacuum tube Heath "Apache" and sideband exciter and Hammarlund receiver....I'll see how well those work in today's environment!)
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N0FPE
Member

Posts: 397




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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 03:30:08 PM »

have to agree ..not interested in the automated don't even have to be in the room QSOs. And god are they SLOW . I do however work some of the other digital modes..one i like best is Hellschriber and then ThrobX. IMHO of course..
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2017, 05:47:04 PM »

have to agree ..not interested in the automated don't even have to be in the room QSOs. And god are they SLOW . I do however work some of the other digital modes..one i like best is Hellschriber and then ThrobX. IMHO of course..


They aren't all SLOW.   FT8 is fast.  MSK144 is fast. 
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