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Author Topic: High sunspot number and lousy propagation  (Read 15102 times)

Posts: 26

« on: April 19, 2014, 09:19:17 AM »

Looking at sunspot numbers, 263 reported on DXsummit, why are bands not open?
What are the other factors that cause this?


Posts: 739

« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 12:30:30 PM »

After much reading and discussion it seems that even if the number are at extremes there is little or no correlation between band conditions and any solar index. Extensive studies suggest that the propagation is influenced by factors not even measured now.

Look at weather prediction, we have thousands of monitoring stations, satellites, and still can't predict weeks out. And the number of monitoring stations for solar and ionosphere data pale in comparison. The UV measurements can't even be made at earth level which might have a better chance of defining current conditions.

Throw the numbers out and listen to the bands, that's the only way.

Posts: 534

« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 09:22:04 PM »

It actually got up to 296 yesterday... But the A index is quite high and that's bad. The Solar Flux (SFI) is more relevant than the actual sunspot numbers.

You want high SSN, high SFI, low A and low K. (A and K measure the same thing over different periods of time)

PLUS, the time of year has a lot to do with it...It's not just how active the sun is, but where the ionospheric layers are. Different times of year yield different predominant paths.

73, N4UFO

Posts: 655


« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 01:23:24 PM »

 ???The Bands are open-just nobody using them. Except--Listened during the WPX lately?. No space on the bands anywhere.

Posts: 1513

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 05:25:14 PM »

Exactly everyone listens and says the bands are dead.

10 meters has been fantastic its just that nobody is  on their calling CQ.
I hear stations on 40 meter chatting and saying "i used to love 10 meters this cycle is bad" Yet when I tune down their onto 10 meters
nobody around calling CQ. Even if you do call CQ  and the bands are open so many hams cant be bothered to get off the internet to
answer your CQ. When the magic goes  then ham radio is headed to the grave.

This cycle for me on 10 meters has been characterized by simultaneous openings both long and short. Even in past cycles I never encountered this oddity
as much and with such regularity as I do now.

Even better is 12 meters. 10 dies a bit and nobody is on 12 meters. When I do call CQ signal strengths are fantastic from JA's running simple antennas.
However there is no activity and you struggle to get a QSO when the band is wide wide open.

Yes the bands are open and hams cant be bothered being radio active. It seems hams only want to work those who call CQ. So  it seems the ham bands have a standoff,
thousands of stations waiting for someone to call CQ. Why are hams so shy to call CQ these days. In past cycles even if you were using a attic dipole  you would call CQ and many times you would get lucky.

Since the boom in mobile HF I work so many HF mobiles who actually call CQ. These mobiles dont  search and pounce or pick the strong cherry stations. They call CQ
and even if they S1 or S2 I work them and thank them for call CQ. Its seems the majority of hams have forgotten about the long lost art of calling CQDX. So HF mobile stations at least get a A+ for effort. They understand that even with marginal antennas you create your own success and propagation by calling CQ.

Maybe ham transceiver manufacturers should start  putting HF SELCALL On  new radios. You can at least check propagation by making a beacon call, or even calling a specific station using HF SELCALL. HF selcall works amazing well even on the low bands. If every ham had a callsign ID and you could work   DX in matter of minutes just by using selcall.

???The Bands are open-just nobody using them. Except--Listened during the WPX lately?. No space on the bands anywhere.
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