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Author Topic: Does higher latitudes affect DX propagation?  (Read 699 times)
VA2FSQ
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« on: March 20, 2013, 06:45:47 PM »

Just wondering, since the last two days I can hardly hear ANY stations except SA...whereas last week, I was getting QSO's with Indonesia and Spratley, Sri Lanka and others. Are more northern latitudes affected by Auroras, which was around because of the solar storms a few days ago?

Finally, what is going to happen when we are at the lowest of the solar cycle?  Will I hear no stations any more?  Haven't been around on the air long enough to know.  Is there DX then?
Tom
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VA2FSQ
W2IRT
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »

Just wondering, since the last two days I can hardly hear ANY stations except SA...whereas last week, I was getting QSO's with Indonesia and Spratley, Sri Lanka and others. Are more northern latitudes affected by Auroras
Absoutely, yes. The higher you go the greater the polar absorption. That is why all the asian stuff is so hard for us here on the east coast. The closer to the pole the path passes through, the rougher it is. The more disturbed the ionosphere becomes due to solar activity, the worse the polar paths become. By polar paths, I refer to anything from about 330 to 040 degrees on the short path.

Finally, what is going to happen when we are at the lowest of the solar cycle?  Will I hear no stations any more?  Haven't been around on the air long enough to know.  Is there DX then?
It will be significantly tougher. 10 and 12 will be deader than they are now...as in nothing at all. 15 will be a crapshoot, with more bad days than good. 17 and 20 will be the moneybands during the day; 40 at night. 80 and 160 will be as good as they are now, if not better with less noise/disturbance.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 07:27:34 PM by W2IRT » Logged

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W1VT
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 06:31:10 AM »

At the bottom of the cycle, it is still possible to work DX, but antennas become much more of a factor.  At the top of the cycle, you have higher angle bounces--so folks like KY6R can make hops over hills and still snag the really rare DX!  This becomes rare at the bottom of the cycle--folks with really good locations or tall towers get to work the DX and exchange good reports--while more modest stations are lucky to hear anything.  In other words, that 15M beam at 100 feet really stands out at the bottom of the cycle--not so much at the top of the cycle. At the top, a modest station can just wait for the high angle band opening--at the bottom--there is no such opening to be heard.

On the plus side, low solar activity means fewer disturbances, so conditions are actually better if you have really good antennas for 160 through 20 meters.

Zack W1VT
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W2IRT
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 07:15:59 AM »

On the plus side, low solar activity means fewer disturbances, so conditions are actually better if you have really good antennas for 160 through 20 meters.

Not just that, but less competition for the DX that does venture on the higher bands, if there's a whiff of propagation at his location. Many of the guys here with 100W/verticals or G5RVs won't hear the really weak stations at all or will have packed their stations up until better overall conditions appear, so all the more for the bigger stations out there.
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VA2FSQ
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 08:08:55 AM »

Thanks for all the info.
I guess it's time to get that beam, looks like I'll take Peter's advice and get the MQ-36R.  That's probably the best I will ever do.
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VA2FSQ
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