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Author Topic: EIGHTY METER BAND  (Read 3612 times)
AF3Y
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« 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
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N1UK
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« Reply #1 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
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AJ4RW
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« Reply #2 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
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N2NL
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« Reply #3 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
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W4VKU
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« Reply #4 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 Smiley

73s
krish
w4vku
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KE8G
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Posts: 151




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« Reply #5 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
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N3QE
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« Reply #6 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.
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NI0C
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« Reply #7 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


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N8EHW
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« Reply #8 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

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K3STX
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« Reply #9 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
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W2IRT
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« Reply #10 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.
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NU4B
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« Reply #11 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.
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NU4B
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« Reply #12 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.  Grin
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #13 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

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 10:54:10 PM by AA6YQ » Logged
NU1O
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Posts: 2592




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« Reply #14 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
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