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Author Topic: ...is it the worst ???  (Read 37726 times)
K0XY
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Posts: 70




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« on: July 29, 2013, 06:59:13 AM »

...I talked to a local who has been around since the "best" cycle of '58'...he indicated that this cycle was by far the worst and would rate it among the worst since records were kept...agree / disagree  Shocked Shocked Shocked
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WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 06:51:51 PM »

The last solar cycle as low as the present cycle (cycle 24) was cycle 13, which peaked in 1879.

http://www.michaelmandeville.com/earthmonitor/cosmos/solarwind/Sunspot%20Cycles%20&%20Human%20History.pdf



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K7MH
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 06:57:19 PM »

The Maunder Minimum was the worst. In terms of radio it didn't matter. There wasn't any!
If something is "among the worst" it will depend on just how broadly you want to define "the worst".
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N3QE
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 07:41:24 AM »

...I talked to a local who has been around since the "best" cycle of '58'...he indicated that this cycle was by far the worst and would rate it among the worst since records were kept...agree / disagree  Shocked Shocked Shocked

Conditions on especially 15M in this summer's All Asian CW test were truly spectacular. A local expert told me it may be the best he's ever heard. I'm a newbie but wow, I was amazed too, I had never heard the other side of the world so well. It's more than just raw sunspot number I'm told, it also has to do with low A and K indices.
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K0XY
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 09:41:31 AM »

...drat !...I missed the all-asian cw test...my bad...thanx for the input ...actually I am finding that night after night, MDST, 20cw is open from 8pm until about 1am with nothing but DX...  what I'm missing (and I am Midwest/Colorado on a vertical) is 10/12m CW DX being open most anytime of the day with plenty of DX signals...those bands, for me, are just dead as door nails ! Shocked Shocked Shocked
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K6AER
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 09:15:27 PM »

At the bottom of the current cycle I reset the DX log. In one year with casual DXing, I worked 278 countries on 20 meters with a 4 element beam.

Put up a good antenna and enjoy the DX.

Also be careful of what you wish for. When the bands are hot most have a problem finding a place to call CQ and the receivers get beat to death.

Ever listen to the World Wide DX contest. That was 1957 in the summer..
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AC4RD
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 11:33:33 AM »

Conditions on especially 15M in this summer's All Asian CW test were truly spectacular. A local expert told me it may be the best he's ever heard. I'm a newbie but wow, I was amazed too, I had never heard the other side of the world so well. It's more than just raw sunspot number I'm told, it also has to do with low A and K indices.

Absolutely right, but there's another factor, too:  Some people get on the radio and listen carefully and call CQ, and they work DX even when people are talking about how poor the propagation is. Smiley  The key is to turn that radio on and give a careful listen.  And if you don't hear anything, call CQ a few times. 

Solar flux is 103 just now and the A-index is 6, but I've just worked a handful of Europeans on 12 meters.  And there are no pileups, because a lot of hams are convinced propagation is poor so they're watching TV or something.  Wink

Don't worry about what the SFI is or how "poor" propagation is--give it a try and see for yourself!  I've had a bunch of decent DX the last few months--no ATNOs and nothing super-rare, but plenty of fun DX, on 17, 15, 12, and even 10m, no matter WHAT the propagation is supposed to be like.  Wink  73 GL GD DX!  --ken
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K0XY
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 01:13:04 PM »

...oh I agree...most any summertime evening through midnight, on 20m, I can work an assortment of CW DX...it is there...but check the DX qso maps http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php?Lan=E&Frec=14&ML=M&Map=W2L&DXC=N&HF=S&GL=N  and notice that the majority of dx qso's are happening to and from the eastern US...and that as you move from 20 thru 10 that even the number of those qso's drop like a ton of bricks on 15, 12 and 10m...in fact I just checked the map for 12 and 10...zilch, nada, nyet !!! and to make matters worse check out those same maps assuming you are living in Colorado and then, and then, assume a vertical...it's ugly... so, I'll still take the spots that ol' Sol can generate, anytime...but it's fun to dream !!!
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M6GOM
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 05:12:22 AM »

I worked Argentina with 1W SSB last night on 17m. I'd say that wasn't too bad.
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W9KEY
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Posts: 1165




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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 02:23:53 PM »

Conditions on especially 15M in this summer's All Asian CW test were truly spectacular. A local expert told me it may be the best he's ever heard. I'm a newbie but wow, I was amazed too, I had never heard the other side of the world so well. It's more than just raw sunspot number I'm told, it also has to do with low A and K indices.

I was amazed to work China (BG2AUE) yesterday early evening (23:45z) on 10m CW!  As an added bonus the QSO is already Lotw confirmed   Smiley

And I operate 100 watts out with a fan inverted vee with legs cut for 40, 30 & 20m that is up 40 ft in a tree. 
It probably didn't hurt that he is in northeast China, but still.

Could this mean the sunspot cycle is re-peaking or was i just in the right place at the right time?
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 472




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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 09:27:41 PM »

I figure, just as others have said, that one doesn't worry too much about the solar cycle and just have fun.  Unless space weather is your cup of tea, then worry away by all means.
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 06:15:24 PM »

Worked ZL with 5 watts on 10 meters Thursday night local.

The difference between today and past cycles that may make it seem worse:
1. Home owner restrictions (yes, I am bringing up THAT topic up again)
2. Packet clusters (and yes, I am bring THAT topic up again too!
3. Change in perception/expectation (instant gratification)
4. Change in lifestyle (more work, more distractions, less time for hamming)

For me, after 36 years in the hobby, I remember the great times in summer of 1979 in central California on the coast with dipoles and 100 watts, running UA9/0 and JA pileups on 15 meters until midnight local time.  Every time I moved as a kid I was able to get DXCC in about 12 months of casual operating with wires: 4-land, 3-land, 6-land.

On the flip side, the equipment is MUCH better now.  I would argue that it could be considered easier to get DXCC than 30 years ago (can be done in 24 hours of contesting if using the packet clusters during a DX contest) but harder to get something like Honor Roll because everyone is aware and onboard.  One spot and there is chaos.

I will say the one thing that made a big difference in DXing that had nothing to do with sunspot cycles (well, three things, actually):
1. Getting my CW speed up to and above 20 WPM
2. Getting an amp in 2010 (finally gave in and went QRO)
3. Passing the Extra exam in 1990

Item #3 was the biggest factor.  The extra 25 kHz of the CW band, where the juciest DX hangs out, was a MAJOR factor.  That one item really accelerated my DX adventure.

So I would say it's all relative.  Sunspot cycle may be weak, but the sun ain't dead, and there are many othern factors in the mix....both for and against.  N3QE is 100% correct - you can't work 'em if you can't hear 'em, and you ain't gonna hear 'em of the rig is off.
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KO1D
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 06:40:29 AM »

Just because I can.  Grin

"They were the best of times, they were the worst of times..."

We've defined worst. Now for best.

In addtiion to tweaking my windoms for 10m-80m I am putting up new wire for low band antennas (160-30) and focusing there for now. Hopefully Murphy will continue bothering all of you who just got new beams for above 20m and leave me be for a bit. Seems to me this last cycle bottom was phenomenal for low band DX activities. When the NCS ops on 160m are complaining that they can only hear long distance stuff and not the locals (and that is before sunset) I call that a good day! I am thinking that if you are not happy with perforamce above 14 MHz try improving your situation below 14MHz. Could use some company on 30m digital at night. Hard having long chats with the same eastern European DX all the time Smiley

FWIW maybe if it does go the way of a Maunder Minimum type event (unlikely IMHO) I may have to figure out and learn more about 137 KHz.
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W1VT
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 05:37:15 AM »

I still need China on 10M, but I've managed to work 154 countries in the last year, putting my all time 10M total up to 212!

Zack W1VT
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W5WSS
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Posts: 1783




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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 07:35:53 AM »

I have been at it for 44 years still love it.

I have been in different situations relative to antenna installations.

From high performance arrays to indoor antennas.

In my years I have not purchased very many antennas and mostly build my own.

Maunder minimum to daylight. I am having a good time with 10m and the indoor antenna as of late.

I have many contacts using the indoor antennas too.

We are all in the same boat relative to the solar strength of a cycle the key to it all is to enjoy.

73

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