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Author Topic: Japan not like it used to be?  (Read 1229 times)
N3QE
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« on: January 31, 2008, 06:18:11 PM »

When I was a kid I heard and worked Japan all the time on 15M (even as a Novice) and 20M. Using nothing much more than a folded dipole stapled to the side of the house.

I got the ham radio spirit again a year or so ago, and put up a really kick-ass wire antenna that let me work DX on 80M, 40M, 20M, and 15M. Europe, Middle East, Africa, FSU all are easy.

VK and other pacific countries are harder but I've had some good luck early in the morning on 40M.

But other than the big contests, I never hear Japan any more. JA's were all over the place in the early 80's. Of course that was a different part of the sunspot cycle. Where and when can I find all the Japanese hams? I'm on the East Coast of the US if that matters any. On 20M I occasionally hear W6's and W7's calling CQ JA in the late afternoon, I'm guessing I'm too far East for that to work?
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AF3Y
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 07:18:23 PM »

JAs no problem for me in late afternoons from here in South Carolina.  Easy pickings on 20m, and some days 15m works as well to Japan, even with the poor conditions we have now.  Station is Pro III, THP HL-1.5K amp, usually running 700 watts or so to a Force 12 C-3SS mini tri-bander up around 45'.  Not sure why you would have trouble. 73, Gene
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K3NRX
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 04:34:23 AM »

Dude. Trust me on this one...On 10 meters during the upswing and peak of the cycle, you will work so many Japanese stations, you will have to fight them off with a stick!....In fact you will work so many, you will probably get board with it (no offense to our Japanese operator friends)......Patients!

Vince P
KA3NRX

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NI0C
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 05:51:59 AM »

It's going to be a while before 10m is reliable for East Coast to Japan QSO's.  

In the meantime, this winter-- right now-- try looking on 80m right around your sunrise to about a half hour past sunrise.  There are some strong JA signals nearly every morning around on the low end of the CW band. Some of them also operate 160m around 1815 KHz and are looking for East coast stations to work. Of course, don't miss the ARRL DX contest coming up in a few weeks.  You will hear much activity from Japan, especially on 40 and 80m.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

   
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 05:52:24 AM »

Of course that was a different part of the sunspot cycle.


See, you answered your own question.  Big difference in propagation between then and now.  What a couple years and they'll be back, trust me, they're there, just waiting paitently.
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AB3CX
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2008, 11:01:50 AM »

Even with a very nice log periodic, at this point in the cycle, JA is not heard every day as a routine from the East Coast. In the CQ WW Contest last fall, the JA sigs at my QTH on 20 Meters were weak, I worked a few. 15 months ago, much easier afternoons on a vertical. Wait for the flux to increase, there will be many.
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N3OX
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2008, 02:46:49 PM »

"JA is not heard every day as a routine from the East Coast"

That's been my experience both from Erie, PA and here (Riverdale, Tim, so really in your neck of the woods)

I think it's different a little further south like where you are, AF3Y.

Watch for the A and K indices to get really low and the flux to go up a bit.  I worked a ton of JA's one morning around 1200-1300Z on 17m CW last summer, just a really great opening to JA.  I was using a two element beam up 30 feet.

I looked up the numbers for that day, SFI = 86 A between 0 and 7 and K = 0 at the time of the contact.

I certainly don't get JA's every morning on 17m these days (possibly not at all, but I haven't been on every morning)  I do remember nearer the peak of the cycle that I could work Asia every morning on 20m or 17m, and often on 15m I think... BY, HL, JA were all coming in well.  That was back in Erie and the antenna was a tribander at 30 feet on 20&15 and a full wave rotatable loop hanging from a tree about 25 feet up in the center on 17.

73,
Dan

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008, 03:43:42 PM »

I work a lot of JAs from here in CA.  Of course, I'm closer.

10m & 12m aren't open enough for me to spend any time there, and 15m is only open occasionally during daylight hours.

But on 17m as the sun is setting, the JAs start to dominate the band, ditto on 20m a bit later.

Remember a lot of the licensees in JA have only limited HF privileges which do *not* include the 20m band at all...so with lack of propagation on the higher bands, it will seem like not so many of them around.  When the m.u.f. rises again, you'll hear lots of our friends from the land of the rising sun.

WB2WIK/6

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WO7R
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008, 09:51:24 PM »

In the midwest, I can hear JAs just about every morning on 40m if I take the trouble to listen.  And, no doubt, from much earlier than that, too, although I'm in bed.

Of course, from the east coast, the window of opportunity is a bit narrower, perhaps, at least if you don't want to get up in the middle of the night, but I have no trouble finding them.  I can't believe it is that much harder from the east cost.
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AB2KT
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 11:27:16 PM »

"I can't believe it is that much harder from the east cost."

Larry, most of my operating lately has been on 40 and 80 CW between Midnight and 6 AM EST. We're about 30 miles from the Atlantic coast. From here the path deep into EU and RU is such that often you can't copy US stations for the Trans-Atlantic QRM during the late night shift. And, oddly enough, the South Pacific is extremely reliable almost every night, VK, ZL...but no JA. Haven't heard a peep from JA  on those bands in 4 years.

No doubt they're there, but you need a lot better antenna on the low bands than I've got to hear them, and some TX power to go with it. 12, 15, 17 are better bets anyway and it'll be awhile before they come back from the grave.

73
Frank
AB2KT
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N3OX
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2008, 08:18:26 AM »

I have generally had the impression over the years that the  Northeast has a tougher path to JA than most of the rest of the country, and this discussion seems to confirm that.

That said, we'll be up to our ears in JA's in a couple of years like Vince said.  

Seems like 40m & 30m might be possibilities right now but I think we'd just catch big guns there?

73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K3LL
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 08:38:25 PM »

Yes, it is very different here in W6 vs. W3.  Having spent a majority of my radio "career" in WPA, and just a couple of years here in W6, I am still amazed at the wall to wall JA's on 40m SSB.  Many with 40 over S9 signals (I have an trap inverted vee for 80/40/17 - nothing special).

Last week I worked a number of JAs on 17m who were all loud.

On the other hand, working into EU is challenging (for me) and Africa is even harder.

My conclusion is that working JA's from W3 is like working G's from W6.

Keep plugging away!

73,

Cliff K3LL/6
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N3OX
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 05:31:16 AM »

Heard JR7VHZ Q4/5 with QSB amid static crashes this morning on 160m!



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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WW5AA
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 07:59:30 AM »

JA, VK, ZL is like shooting fish in a barrel with the grayline on 80/40 meters here. Gets a little tougher on 160. By this summer you will be looking for some space between the JA's on 20 meters. Have fun!

73, de Lindy
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