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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: AF3Y on October 31, 2012, 05:06:12 PM



Title: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AF3Y on October 31, 2012, 05:06:12 PM
When is 80 meters gonna pick up.  I need a LOT of 80 meter action for my 5BDXCC. All of the others are within 5 or 10 more to be confirmed.  Even after getting my vertical to tune pretty well on 80 now, I dont hear much action.

Anyone having much luck on 80?

I sure hope its better than this when the guys get going on St Peter and St Paul.

73, Gene


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N1UK on October 31, 2012, 05:11:38 PM
I worked quite a few European stations on 80m ssb this last contest weekend. Monitor the 80m dx window and see what you can hear now that the longer nights are coming.


Mark N1UK


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AJ4RW on October 31, 2012, 06:09:32 PM
I'm hoping it picks up pretty soon also.  This past weekend was fairly active for EU but maybe it will quiet down some more soon


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N2NL on October 31, 2012, 07:55:50 PM
I think the problem is that most low band operators go straight to 160m because it is simply more challenging (and thus more enjoyable?).  As a result, you see the normal activity from 40m and up, and on 160m.  80m seems to get forgotten except during DXpeditions.

Hopefully I'll catch a break with work to allow me to get back on the bands for East Coast NA SR during my local evenings.  Still playing sleep catchup from WWSSB last weekend.  It's getting into the winter season where it's quieter in NA and especially here now that we are slowly moving from the wet monsoon season into the dry season.

73, Dave KH2/N2NL


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: W4VKU on October 31, 2012, 08:44:03 PM
I tuned around both 160 and 80m this evening, also looked at spots. Looks like not much Dx around.
On 80m, the issue is with hearing the weak signals amidst the noise and the local QRO rag chewers, who are dime a
dozen.
Just like Mark mentioned, i also picked up over a dozen new ones in the SSB contest the past weekend on 80m.
80m was one of the neglected bands for me and hope to work a lot more this winter. This coming weekend is the
CQ WW CW contest i guess. Must be a good time to pick some new ones :)

73s
krish
w4vku


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: KE8G on November 01, 2012, 03:54:37 AM
The 80 meter band is the last that I need for 5BDXCC and I'm looking forward to a pick up in activity now that the Fall/Winter season is upon us.

Originally, I did not realize that I needed 80 meters, thinking it was any "5" bands.  Wow, what a rude awakening when reading a QST article a few months ago.  I have a vertical (DX-88) and my one neighbor was good enough to let me run a leg of the dipole antenna to a tree in his backyard.  So now I am ready... for the action to begin.

So far I have DXCC on 10, 15, 17, 20, 30, & 40 meters, with a couple more needed on 12 meters.  I have about 20 worked and 12 confirmed on 80 so far this year, so I hope to finish 80 off maybe this year (much luck required) Hi Hi.

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N3QE on November 01, 2012, 04:24:54 AM
Well, I just got DXCC on 80M with only 100W, but that makes me no expert! Only 4 years ago I thought 80M was nearly unusable for domestic contests and now I know it's the moneymaker. And it was only 4 years ago I had my first 80M DX contact.

I think as night-time action has picked up on 20M and even 15M because of sunspots, that the action on 80M has declined just in the past couple years.

Even though I only have 100W, I can work most of what I can hear on 80M. I think this is a combination of my local noise and many of the DX having very effective 80M receive antennas.

Contests will have many strong Euro and (in our pre-dawn, VK and ZL) stations on 80M. I think some of the Euro mega-contest stations are a bit alligatorish (all mouth no ears, or maybe even just "holding" the frequency by continuously CQ'ing) but others have serious 80M antenna arrays and are trying hard to listen for you and me. A couple of winter contests got me to at least 60-70 confirmed via LOTW. It takes a concerted effort to linger on 80M when there's action on 20M in a contest at night.

CQ'ing on 80M when there's nothing else on, doesn't hurt either.

Recently I've been "moving" the vacation-style stations to 80M (asking them to QSY to 80M if action seems to be slow) even if I don't need a confirmation on 80M as a way of encouraging more activity there. Often they tell me that they had tried CQ'ing on 80 earlier but heard nothing.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NI0C on November 01, 2012, 05:29:18 AM
N2NL wrote:
Quote
I think the problem is that most low band operators go straight to 160m because it is simply more challenging (and thus more enjoyable?).  As a result, you see the normal activity from 40m and up, and on 160m.  80m seems to get forgotten except during DXpeditions.
I've suspected this is the case.  It's been that way for quite a while.  About ten years ago, I made the QSY to the low bands to complete 5B-DXCC, and I found 80 meters (CW at least) pretty well abandoned except during contests and Dxpeditions.  After completing 80m DXCC, I started spent more time on Top Band, and found a lot more company down there. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C




Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N8EHW on November 01, 2012, 06:00:14 AM
80 is tough in 2 different ways.  The first is making the contact, and the second is getting the confirmation.  I found that the percentage of operators using LoTW on that band was a lot lower than the others.  On top of that, QSL return rates for cards sent directly to the DX stations or through the bureau were also lower.  I’m guessing that the stations who are the most prominent there have been fixtures on that band for a long time, and aren’t necessarily real excited about QSL’ing anymore.  The real satisfaction for me in completing 5BDXCC was finishing up 80.

Hint: Keep your headphones handy

Best of luck,

Tom



Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: K3STX on November 01, 2012, 06:16:25 AM
I think as night-time action has picked up on 20M and even 15M because of sunspots, that the action on 80M has declined just in the past couple years.

BINGO.

AND it is not winter yet. Looking back at my logs I never started working much 80/160 DX till December. Most of it was in January/February. It will pick up, don't worry.

paul


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: W2IRT on November 01, 2012, 07:12:41 AM
Conditions on 80 have just plain sucked this season, and Topband hasn't been a whole lot better. It was usually a no-brainer that in CQWW-SSB I could easily sit on 80 for hours but last weekend there wasn't much to be heard, none of it was loud and there was intense stateside competition for what little was there.

I agree with others, though. I prefer 160 to 80m, though I use them both for DXing where there's something of interest on.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 01, 2012, 01:37:04 PM
The best time for the lower bands is during the solar min. The bands are more quiet. In addition there is more activity there during the solar min because there are very few (if any) 10 and 12 meter openings. I think alot of people have been concentrating on the high bands just from the fact the solar min was so long this time. And since this solar max is so weak - this may be the only chance in several years to get those high band contacts in.

The best thing to do is hit the contests heavy and work what you can until low band conditions improve.

I haven't had any trouble getting QSL's for 80 meter contacts. In fact that's my best band for receiving confirmations.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 01, 2012, 04:47:38 PM
I went back and looked at new 80 countries worked each season through the solar min. Of course the numbers will be a bit distorted because during the early years there were more available countries. And by the time I passed 100 most of the easy ones were gone. And maybe I'm spending more time on the high bands too.

season                 new countries worked

05-06                                            9
06-07                                            6
07-08                                           12
09-10                                           12
10-11                                            8
11-12                                            3

The antenna and the power were the same. Starting last season when we had the big spike in solar activity, there was a definite decline in the DX I heard on 80 meters. Now those with big 80 meter antennas would have different results I'm sure.
The other thing that plays a part for me is the weather. If we have a warm winter there is much more atmospheric noise from more thunderstorms. I remember having thunderstorms during the ARRL DX contest in Feb a couple or so years back. That puts a damper on 80 meter DXing.
On the positive side I would get up at 1 or 2 in the morning and check the band. Many times I would find a station calling CQ with no or few answers. And I also got up early (around 5AM) to get an early shot to the Pacific before the competition. Now that I have DXCC on 80 I don't get up at those times much.  ;D


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AA6YQ on November 01, 2012, 10:51:12 PM
When is 80 meters gonna pick up.  I need a LOT of 80 meter action for my 5BDXCC. All of the others are within 5 or 10 more to be confirmed.  Even after getting my vertical to tune pretty well on 80 now, I dont hear much action.

Anyone having much luck on 80?

>>>Worked T6LG on 80m CW two weeks ago for #304 on that band. Lots of QRM and QRN, but Ilian confirmed via LotW.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ



Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU1O on November 01, 2012, 11:32:49 PM
When is 80 meters gonna pick up.  I need a LOT of 80 meter action for my 5BDXCC. All of the others are within 5 or 10 more to be confirmed.  Even after getting my vertical to tune pretty well on 80 now, I dont hear much action.

Anyone having much luck on 80?

>>>Worked T6LG on 80m CW two weeks ago for #304 on that band. Lots of QRM and QRN, but Ilian confirmed via LotW.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ




Ironically, or not, the current Eham article is about the old inverted L for 160 meters.  It's getting to be that time of year. For those of you who have had success on 80 how about giving your antenna?  One really needs more than an inverted V at 35 feet on 80 to be successful so it would be interesting to read what the guys who spend a lot of time on the band are using for 80 - and also 160.

Thanks and 73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 02, 2012, 02:52:03 AM
When is 80 meters gonna pick up.  I need a LOT of 80 meter action for my 5BDXCC. All of the others are within 5 or 10 more to be confirmed.  Even after getting my vertical to tune pretty well on 80 now, I dont hear much action.

Anyone having much luck on 80?

>>>Worked T6LG on 80m CW two weeks ago for #304 on that band. Lots of QRM and QRN, but Ilian confirmed via LotW.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ



Now that's a nice 80 meter contact! I too would like to know what antenna you were using.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AA6YQ on November 02, 2012, 01:00:27 PM
For transmitting on 80m, I use a quarter-wave vertical suspended from the end of a 15' boom attached to the top of my 80' tower. For transmitting on 160m, I use an inverted L suspended from the end of the same boom; its vertical section is separated by a foot or so from the 80m vertical. Both of these antennas are over a ground system of 48 130' radials.

For receiving on 80m and 160m, I use a DX Engineering RX 4-square about 100' on a side - the compromise setup for 80m and 160m reception. It often produces workable copy on signals that can't be heard with the vertical or inverted L.

My QTH is ~15 miles west of Boston, so there is no saltwater enhancement.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N1UK on November 02, 2012, 02:11:51 PM
During the sunspot doldrums when 10m and 15m were dead and only a few stateside stations were heard on 20m, there were a lot of stations to be worked on 80m. In fact a ham friend achieved DXCC on 80m in one season. He was running a 1/4 wave vertical and an amp.  I worked a bunch too with a G5RV at 45 feet, even VK and ZL

I would enjoy the higher bands while we have them. The time for 80m DX will be upon us too soon.


Mark N1UK


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 03, 2012, 03:38:46 AM
For transmitting on 80m, I use a quarter-wave vertical suspended from the end of a 15' boom attached to the top of my 80' tower. For transmitting on 160m, I use an inverted L suspended from the end of the same boom; its vertical section is separated by a foot or so from the 80m vertical. Both of these antennas are over a ground system of 48 130' radials.

For receiving on 80m and 160m, I use a DX Engineering RX 4-square about 100' on a side - the compromise setup for 80m and 160m reception. It often produces workable copy on signals that can't be heard with the vertical or inverted L.

My QTH is ~15 miles west of Boston, so there is no saltwater enhancement.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ

That sounds like a nice set up Dave. Certainly much much better than I have here. I have to think about any improvements I can fit into this city lot (although it is almost an acre lot.), and do some reading. I think I've pushed the windom about as far as it will go, although I could get it a bit higher and/or possibly put one up perpendicular to the one I have now. I have worked 22 zones on 80 with the windom. The best has been Zone 39 to the east (VQ9LA) and Zone 32 to the west (ZL8X).
Working T6 on 80 must have been a real thrill.
It looks like we will have alot of time to experiment with low band DXing with the way this cycle is unfolding.  ;D


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: K7MH on November 03, 2012, 10:08:58 AM
80 was a real pain for DXCC from here (WA state). It took me a few years to get there.
If there was a contest, I would be on 80 as far into the night as I could and back on it during the morning grayline time.
CW was the only way to go and you better be good with very weak signals, sometimes a whisper. I worked B7P on 80 and it was the weakest nothing signal I have ever worked. If there is a DXpedition going on that you think you should be able to work on 80, take every opportunity to try to work it. I was leaving the computer on all night on DX watch for 80 meter spots.
If I got up for any reason during the night, I'd take a look to see what was spotted and maybe a quick listen.
I probably only have 5 or so SSB contacts for 80 DXCC.
Perseverance pays off. You have a big advantage on the east coast. You'll get there.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AF3Y on November 03, 2012, 11:28:17 AM
80 was a real pain for DXCC from here (WA state). It took me a few years to get there.
If there was a contest, I would be on 80 as far into the night as I could and back on it during the morning grayline time.
CW was the only way to go and you better be good with very weak signals, sometimes a whisper. I worked B7P on 80 and it was the weakest nothing signal I have ever worked. If there is a DXpedition going on that you think you should be able to work on 80, take every opportunity to try to work it. I was leaving the computer on all night on DX watch for 80 meter spots.
If I got up for any reason during the night, I'd take a look to see what was spotted and maybe a quick listen.
I probably only have 5 or so SSB contacts for 80 DXCC.
Perseverance pays off. You have a big advantage on the east coast. You'll get there.

Well, I hope so.  I have 20m and 15m confirmed, and within 5 or so on 10m and 40m, just waiting for the confirmations.......
I have 32 QSOs in the log on 80m (24CW and 8SSB) with 26 confirmed.
I do have at least ONE toughie, RZ0AF, Asiatic Russia, in Zone 18 confirmed on 80CW.... tough from E coast :o
90% of these, including the zone 18 were worked on a little 6BTV vertical!
73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 03, 2012, 02:31:31 PM
80 was a real pain for DXCC from here (WA state). It took me a few years to get there.
If there was a contest, I would be on 80 as far into the night as I could and back on it during the morning grayline time.
CW was the only way to go and you better be good with very weak signals, sometimes a whisper. I worked B7P on 80 and it was the weakest nothing signal I have ever worked. If there is a DXpedition going on that you think you should be able to work on 80, take every opportunity to try to work it. I was leaving the computer on all night on DX watch for 80 meter spots.
If I got up for any reason during the night, I'd take a look to see what was spotted and maybe a quick listen.
I probably only have 5 or so SSB contacts for 80 DXCC.
Perseverance pays off. You have a big advantage on the east coast. You'll get there.

Well, I hope so.  I have 20m and 15m confirmed, and within 5 or so on 10m and 40m, just waiting for the confirmations.......
I have 32 QSOs in the log on 80m (24CW and 8SSB) with 26 confirmed.
I do have at least ONE toughie, RZ0AF, Asiatic Russia, in Zone 18 confirmed on 80CW.... tough from E coast :o
90% of these, including the zone 18 were worked on a little 6BTV vertical!
73, Gene AF3Y

Zone 18 is a nice catch on 80.
The way I figured it was there are about 51 common NA entities that are easy to pick up either with ham populations or activated during contests. (This includes northern SA). Then there are 22 Zone 14 countries (including TF in zone 40). I counted 12 west coastal African countries that are usually on the air. Adding 4 mid SA countries (PY, OA, HC, HC8) that brings you up to 88. That only leaves 12 and I didn't count NA/SA entities like TI9, XF4, CY9/0, KP1, KP5, HK0M, etc.. that are uninhabited and we need to wait for expeditions. Stations like KH7X, 4O3A, and similar stations should be easy pickups because they hear everything. The last few came from zones 15, 16, some PAC expeditions, and a couple surprises. Once I broke it down like that 80 didn't seem so bad.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: W2IRT on November 03, 2012, 04:10:33 PM
Don't forget western Africa. Lots of relatively-small entites there too and once a DXpedition fires up they're quite easy to grab. Also includes the usual contest stations on EA8, EA9, CU3, D4 and CN. Getting 100 on 80 isn't all that difficult, and a modest station on the east coast should be able to pull it off in two seasons, one if propagation is good and you're on the air at both greylines.

I agree about Zone 18 being a great catch on 80...that's one of the five zones I still need for my complete 5B-WAZ.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AF3Y on November 03, 2012, 04:11:03 PM
Of the (Only) 39 TOTAL 80 meter QSOs I now have in the log, they are : NA 12, SA 1, AFRICA 2, EU 21, ASIA 1 AND OCEANIA 2. (26 on CW the rest on Phone)
Interesting, as I would have expected more SA, but nope.  SA should be easy of course, but I just dont hear much 80 meter traffic from there ???

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NU4B on November 03, 2012, 04:17:02 PM
Of the (Only) 39 TOTAL 80 meter QSOs I now have in the log, they are : NA 12, SA 1, AFRICA 2, EU 21, ASIA 1 AND OCEANIA 2. (26 on CW the rest on Phone)
Interesting, as I would have expected more SA, but nope.  SA should be easy of course, but I just dont hear much 80 meter traffic from there ???

73, Gene AF3Y

WOW, you have more EU than NA.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AD9DX on November 04, 2012, 04:41:09 PM
I have done almost nothing on 80m since catching the DX bug last winter.  I have 7 total, all confirmed.  I figure while 10, 12 and 15 are good, I should probably try and get those bands filled up as much as possible.  If I hear something on 80 cw, I will probably try and get it too.  Since I did not have my extra until late spring, I did not get anything good yet.  I'll keep plugging away, since I am still very young (30), I feel I should have a couple of solar minimums get 80m DXCC.


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AA6YQ on November 04, 2012, 06:50:53 PM
I have done almost nothing on 80m since catching the DX bug last winter.  I have 7 total, all confirmed.  I figure while 10, 12 and 15 are good, I should probably try and get those bands filled up as much as possible.  If I hear something on 80 cw, I will probably try and get it too.  Since I did not have my extra until late spring, I did not get anything good yet.  I'll keep plugging away, since I am still very young (30), I feel I should have a couple of solar minimums get 80m DXCC.

If you can hang an 80m quarter-wave vertical or inverted L from a tree over 4 raised 60' radials, 100w will give you a good shot at 80m DXCC between now and the spring solstice. You can roll up the radials in the spring if they become a geopolitical liability...

    73,

          Dave, AA6YQ

   


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: N2NL on November 06, 2012, 09:40:44 PM
Not sure if anyone noticed but conditions on 80m over the past few days (SFI=95, K=0) were spectacular.  Over a couple nights last weekend, I worked over a hundred NA on 80m, many with excellent 579-599 signals, up into W1 and Maine.  Last night I worked K8GU on a sked who was 579 here while he was running 100W into a vertical from Maryland.  Unfortunately, there were not many W2's who called in - a product of Sandy I suppose.

We are supposedly at the sunspot peak, but cyclically there are times now when activity is low - resulting in low absorption and low aurora - and good low band conditions.  I suspect solar activity might be bouncing upwards again for another 2-3 weeks, but I'll keep an eye on the low bands and will be QRV when things sound good, usually on my Friday/Saturday evenings when I don't have to wake up early in the AM.  As long as there isn't much tropical WX around, I generally hear pretty well with a 1000ft Beverage pointed at W3.

73, Dave KH2/N2NL


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: K3VAT on November 07, 2012, 05:40:21 PM
Not sure if anyone noticed but conditions on 80m over the past few days (SFI=95, K=0) were spectacular.  Over a couple nights last weekend, I worked over a hundred NA on 80m, many with excellent 579-599 signals, up into W1 and Maine. ... 73, Dave KH2/N2NL

Yes, great condx.  Thanks Dave for the 80M CW QSO just after sunrise here!  Hopefully, they'll be many more condx like this one.  We'll be looking for you a bit later in the season when 160M condx peak.  73, Rich, K3VAT


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: NI0C on November 07, 2012, 07:01:36 PM
Hi Dave.  Thanks for your low band activity.  I worked you on 80m last Saturday morning here just after my close neighbor, AA0FT, worked you. I heard you answering a K8's CQ the other morning as well. 
73,
Chuck  NI0C 


Title: RE: EIGHTY METER BAND
Post by: AD9DX on November 08, 2012, 09:05:08 AM
Both 80m and 160m were great last night. Worked E77DX on 80 and a European Russia station on 160.