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Author Topic: What's the activity like on 30 & 17 meters?  (Read 6585 times)
NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« on: March 20, 2012, 02:20:40 PM »

I returned to the airwaves about 2 years ago, working CW only, mostly on 40 and 20 meters.  My rig is an old Drake TR4Cw, so it's not equipped to operate on the WARC bands.

However, I do have a Ten Tec Omni 6+ hanging out in my garage, waiting to get hooked up and put into action.  Likewise, I have a set of Drake B-twins that can be converted for the WARC frequencies.

Never having listened to 30 or 17, I'm curious to hear some comments from CW Ops. How do they compare to the older frequencies in activity and propagation?

TNX ES 73

Bill in Pasadena
NK6Q
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N8TI
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 08:22:32 PM »

30 meters, in my opinion, is truly a blend of 40 and 20 meters. I think it is alive more than 20, but more quiet than 40.

That's the good part. The problem is that the band is simply not used as much as it should be. All us CW guys should be active on 30, but there are just not enough people on the band.

I used to use 17 meters a lot during the 90's, but now it is just not busy. The band is
nice because it does not have the contested and is a great DX band. Obviously, 20 has to be open before you will get to use 17.

Within I was restricted to one band, for propagation I would choose 30. But, the problem is the lack of activity. That is not to say it is not busy at times. I just think that there should be more action.

Joe
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WX7G
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Posts: 6210




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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 11:38:57 PM »

17 meters is a great band.  CW DXing is done in the bottom 5-10 kHz with stateside further up the band.

And as Joe says 30 meters is a blend of 20 and 40 meters. As the MUF drops and 20 meters is going out 30 meters is getting hot for DX. DXing tends to be done in the bottom 10 kHz of the band with stateside QSO's further up the band.

Check the Eham DX Cluster Spots to see what's happening on the bands.
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KC9TNH
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Posts: 304




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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 09:49:40 AM »

Concur that 30 not used as much as it could/should be. Seems, as with 17, an under-appreciated band.
I don't chase DX but fond memories of some "scores" while being up early in the midwest with a cup of coffee, just listening, occurred on 17 & 30.
They can be great for a real conversation vs. the usual hi-bye.
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
NO2A
Member

Posts: 824




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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 12:56:21 PM »

30m activity varies. I was on this past weekend,and with the bands being used for contests 30 was busy. Heard some dx as well(C21CT) but couldn`t work him. Sometimes 30 is good later in the evening,sometimes not,but it`s still usually open to somewhere. Many times 17 is open when 15 and above isn`t. Also 17 will stay open later past sunset for awhile anyway. If I had to pick one band I`d say 30,but I like both. 12 is great too,especially when 10 is really crowded. Often the higher part of 12 is unused. I think you`ll find the WARC bands worthwhile.
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1509




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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 07:30:39 PM »

I love 30m I too wish it was more busy, but that is kind of the charm of it... Pileups are not as crazy as 20m and with everyone (at least in the US) only able to use 200w it is a fairly level playing field.  I won't say that people follow that rule, I hear people tuning up on top of DX all the time, but in theory it should be the best band of all
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 04:10:58 AM »

Another "thumbs up" for 30m--it's a great band for CW and PSK.  I'm on the east coast, and in the early evenings, 30 has been open to Europe and occasionally to the Middle East and Africa.  Plus lots of Caribbean stations.  With the solar activity low, 30 has been a great band!
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 11:26:40 PM »

I really enjoy the WARC bands, mainly because there is so much untouched prairie to wander over.
When its crazy on the "tri-band beam" bands (20/15/10), 30/17/12 are nice to work in a leisurely manner.
I have this idea that the reason that WARC bands are not as active is mainly because so many guys have legacy beams made for the "traditional" bands.
I use a remote ATU so I can load any bit of metal on any band (with a bit of tweaking) so I enjoy running up and down the spectrum chasing the changing conditions.
Luckily, when conditions are good on 17/12m a big beam is not necessary (although it helps), so I work a lot of apartment guys with fishing rods sticking out the window at night and mobile ops on the beach.
These guys would likely be obliterated in the melee of 10/15/20m, so the WARC bands have some unique guests.
Worth a look anyway - beats tranquilisers.

73s
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2012, 06:43:12 AM »

When its crazy on the "tri-band beam" bands (20/15/10), 30/17/12 are nice to work in a leisurely manner. ...   when conditions are good on 17/12m a big beam is not necessary ...

Last fall when the conditions were good, 12m was like Mardi Gras.  :-)  TONS of fun even with low power and homebrew antennas!  I did a lot of operating from my back yard, using my riding mower's battery for power, and had a ball working EU and Pacifica on 12.  It's a *great* band!
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NO2A
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Posts: 824




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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2012, 10:41:40 AM »

I like those bands so much I`ve thought about getting a WARC bands beam. Sure solves the contest weekend problem!.... Wink
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K3STX
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Posts: 1052




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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 06:04:12 PM »

For me, 30 is best for my morning DXing to the South Pacific. 17 is a really great band, I think it is more like 20 than it is like 15.

paul
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WA4FNG
Member

Posts: 162




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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 02:18:13 PM »

If you like working DX you'll love 30m and 17m. You won't hear many ragchews or QRP stations. Not that you should, or shouldn't. Just the way it is. But you will hear stateside ops in the upper part of each band. For DX expect to operate QRQ and short QSOs. Lot of 30wpm ops but is very good to sharpen your skill.
See you there...
73,
Milt
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W4FO
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 10:14:30 AM »

Milt I agree 30m is a great dx band along with 17m,But I have many great rag chews on both bands.
30m is also a great qrp band.
Pat
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KC8Y
Member

Posts: 257




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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 04:32:45 PM »

I totallty agree that, both 30M & 17M are great bands (without the contests) !!!

I have been in amateur radio for over 40-years & love that they finally made these bands CONTEST FREE....

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N2ADV
Member

Posts: 69




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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 12:45:29 PM »

Probably 80% of my CW contacts (I'm up to several dozen since diving head first into CW about a month ago) are on 17 meters.  I love that band. 
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