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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: K6UJ on November 09, 2017, 08:15:10 PM



Title: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: K6UJ on November 09, 2017, 08:15:10 PM
Saw a chart comparing our current cycle 24 to the Dalton Minimum period and it wasn't pretty.
Take a look.  Cycle 24 is overlayed over the Dalton Minimum in cycle 5 and 6.  So far cycle 24 seems
to be tracking the Dalton Minimum  >:(  There are predictions that we are beginning another Dalton Minimum but I haven't taken the predictions too seriously but seeing this graphic comparison made me
take notice.   I am already planning on improving my 40 and down antennas for the near term.  If we are indeed going thru another Dalton Minimum will 20M and up will be in the dumps for another 18 years ?  ???
Your thoughts ?

https://s2.postimg.org/ovl9bznpl/sc24-versus-sc5.png

Bob
K6UJ


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: WO7R on November 09, 2017, 09:57:23 PM
Doesn't matter if the long term predictions come true or not.  Worry when they happen.

We are going to be in a down cycle for a couple of years because even in "good" cycles, that's the way it works.  

Improve your low band performance for that and it doesn't matter if the next sunspot peak is weak or strong.  Plenty of time to deal with whatever happens later.  For now, we know what's going to be the truth and can prepare our DXing accordingly.

Heck, some of you might even take up VHF or EME.  Not everything is tied to sunspots, after all.


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N3QE on November 10, 2017, 01:33:31 AM
One thing is for certain: there is no stopping the solar cycle; the new Dalton
Minimum will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new Dalton Minimum
overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted low-band personality, I
can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their swamps laying out
beverages and 8-circles.

(http://n3qe.org/solarmin.png)


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: VK3HJ on November 10, 2017, 02:20:12 AM
My prediction is that it may or may not.


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: VE8EV on November 10, 2017, 05:55:54 AM
Isn't it a bit early to start freaking out the newbies with the "sunspots are never coming back!" talk?  In fact, that picture went around at the bottom of the last cycle.  I hate to confront anyone's "alternative facts" with reality but if you add the last 7 years onto that graph you can see cycle 24 was somewhat unremarkable but not too dismal.

(http://www.qsl.net/ve8ev/sc24-versus-sc5.png)

That said, the solar cycle is like the seasons.  At the end of the summer you put the boat and fishing gear away and start stacking firewood and tuning up the snowmobile (or whatever people do in the winter where it doesn't snow).  Likewise, after all the excitement of 10m DX and 20m open around the clock, towards the bottom of the cycle you get your low-band antennas set up and maybe start on that satellite gear or whatever.  I made sure to finish off 10m DXCC this cycle and now I'm getting ready to press for 5BDXCC by finishing 80m.  The tower with TH6DXX came down to make room for the big S-33 triband yagi (17/20/40m) and several receiving antenna projects are in the works.

I'm looking forward to the minimum as much as I was looking forward to the maximum!

73
John VE8EV


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: K3NRX on November 10, 2017, 06:08:08 AM
Saw a chart comparing our current cycle 24 to the Dalton Minimum period and it wasn't pretty.
Take a look.  Cycle 24 is overlayed over the Dalton Minimum in cycle 5 and 6.  So far cycle 24 seems
to be tracking the Dalton Minimum  >:(  There are predictions that we are beginning another Dalton Minimum but I haven't taken the predictions too seriously but seeing this graphic comparison made me
take notice.   I am already planning on improving my 40 and down antennas for the near term.  If we are indeed going thru another Dalton Minimum will 20M and up will be in the dumps for another 18 years ?  ???
Your thoughts ?

https://s2.postimg.org/ovl9bznpl/sc24-versus-sc5.png

Bob
K6UJ

Yes

V
K3NRX


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N5VYS on November 10, 2017, 06:58:51 AM
I'll remain pat, and ride it out.

Obie N5VYS


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N2SR on November 10, 2017, 07:15:25 AM
Sell everything now before no one wants it.   



Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: AE5X on November 10, 2017, 07:20:58 AM
Or explore the new bandlets (630/2200m).


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: W1VT on November 10, 2017, 07:37:48 AM
In the last seven years I've worked 9 band DXCC with simple wire antennas.  ;D



Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: WO7R on November 10, 2017, 09:49:27 AM
Quote
Sell everything now before no one wants it.   

Yes, panic sell your gear to me for 10 cents on the original retail dollar (provided the equipment is popular and less than five years old).


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: VK3HJ on November 10, 2017, 03:57:13 PM
In the last seven years I've worked 9 band DXCC with simple wire antennas.  ;D

Yes, and it was such a "bad" cycle.


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N2SR on November 10, 2017, 04:52:03 PM
Quote
Sell everything now before no one wants it.   

Yes, panic sell your gear to me for 10 cents on the original retail dollar (provided the equipment is popular and less than five years old).

You'll have to find some other willing participant.   My radio is close to 20 years old, and my amplifier is 17 years old.   


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: NK7Z on November 10, 2017, 09:01:03 PM
In the last seven years I've worked 9 band DXCC with simple wire antennas.  ;D

I must agree, the past decade has been very good to me as well...  I just move to just below the MUF no matter where it is for the most part...  Good DX is here now, and will remain...


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: VE3VEE on November 11, 2017, 03:00:27 AM
For the past few years, I've been QRV on 20m only (a self impost current limitation). I look at the worse CONDX on the upper bands as something positive for me, as DXpeditions spend less time there and more time on 20m.  ;D ;D ;D

When the CONDX on the higher bands eventually start improving, hopefully people from the lower bands will start spending more time on 20 and up, so that'll be a good thing for me, too.  ;D

Marvin VE3VEE


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N5VYS on November 11, 2017, 03:27:17 AM
For the past few years, I've been QRV on 20m only (a self impost current limitation). I look at the worse CONDX on the upper bands as something positive for me, as DXpeditions spend less time there and more time on 20m.  ;D ;D ;D

When the CONDX on the higher bands eventually start improving, hopefully people from the lower bands will start spending more time on 20 and up, so that'll be a good thing for me, too.  ;D

Marvin VE3VEE
A win win situation.

Obie N5VYS


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: WD4ELG on November 11, 2017, 07:55:46 PM
The last minimum in 2009, was one of the best seasons for 160 meter DX.  With a simple inverted L barefoot, I worked 80 entities including 4X and ZL.  So much for bad conditions during the last sunspot minimum.

Low bands are a lot more fun anyway...it evens the playing field because only a few have anything more than wires on 40, and even fewer have yagis on 80.  It then becomes more engineering and skill:  can I hear the DX above the noise?  Can he hear me above HIS noise?  Can I operate in a fashion that allows him to hear me instead of the other stations (CW = timing and split...SSB = timing, audio shaping, split, anunciation).  Generally higher angles of arrival than on the 15-10 meter bands, gray-line prop magic.

40 is my favorite band.  I started on that band in 1977 when I got my Novice ticket when we had to compete with the BC stations in 7100-7150 kHz, worked my first DX on 40, and that's where I learned about gray-line.

After midnight local in winter on 40 I can hear (and work) VK talking with EU, SA talking with JA, OC talking with AF.  Last time I did that on 20 was during the sunspot peak of 2001.

The challenging path on 40 (and on all bands) from here is zone 26.  Not impossible, but it requires planning (prop and DX activity).

So I say...bring on the DALTON and let the low band DX good times roll.




Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: K6UJ on November 12, 2017, 09:50:58 PM
The last minimum in 2009, was one of the best seasons for 160 meter DX.  With a simple inverted L barefoot, I worked 80 entities including 4X and ZL.  So much for bad conditions during the last sunspot minimum.

Low bands are a lot more fun anyway...it evens the playing field because only a few have anything more than wires on 40, and even fewer have yagis on 80.  It then becomes more engineering and skill:  can I hear the DX above the noise?  Can he hear me above HIS noise?  Can I operate in a fashion that allows him to hear me instead of the other stations (CW = timing and split...SSB = timing, audio shaping, split, anunciation).  Generally higher angles of arrival than on the 15-10 meter bands, gray-line prop magic.

40 is my favorite band.  I started on that band in 1977 when I got my Novice ticket when we had to compete with the BC stations in 7100-7150 kHz, worked my first DX on 40, and that's where I learned about gray-line.

After midnight local in winter on 40 I can hear (and work) VK talking with EU, SA talking with JA, OC talking with AF.  Last time I did that on 20 was during the sunspot peak of 2001.

The challenging path on 40 (and on all bands) from here is zone 26.  Not impossible, but it requires planning (prop and DX activity).

So I say...bring on the DALTON and let the low band DX good times roll.





Mark,

40M is my favorite band also.  We will have fun during the low of the cycle on 40 !   I am working on improving my lame 160 inverted L.  I need more radials on my small lot even thought they have to all bend all over the place. Hope to play on 160 this winter. 

Bob
K6UJ


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: W1VT on November 14, 2017, 06:42:55 AM
I think I just passed 250 countries on 40M using simple wire antennas.

I worked VK9MA after he tuned around and found a better listening frequency on 40 SSB.  ;D

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: Sunspot Cycle and DX Antenna Planning
Post by: N5VYS on November 14, 2017, 07:13:09 AM
I think I just passed 250 countries on 40M using simple wire antennas.

I worked VK9MA after he tuned around and found a better listening frequency on 40 SSB.  ;D

Zack W1VT
40M has also been good to me with only a wire at 40 feet. Plus I'm in the big city.

I work VK9MA on 40M Sunday morning @ 10:37Z. Well, 80M that's a different subject?

Obie N5VYS