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Summer time always seems to bring a major down turn in ham radio activity. What is your summer radio operating activity like?
  Posted: Aug 20, 2001   (1269 votes, 24 comments) by NB6Z

Survey Results
More time for the radio... 8% (102)
The same all year long... 29% (367)
Slightly less time for radio... 19% (237)
About half my usual activity... 15% (188)
Very little time for the radio... 22% (283)
Bands are dead in summer... 7% (85)
Can not operate in summer... 1% (7)

Survey Comments
Summer Sporadic E Rules!
Summer is always the big time of year for us 6 meter enthusiasts in the Northern Hemisphere. June and July are the big months, but this year the season lasted well into August, and I still have a bunch of QSLs to return. For those of you who have not worked 6 meters, the signal levels can be quite a bit higher than what you would find on 10 meters, but of course the openings do not last as long.

Posted by K7ZL on September 3, 2001

Winter vs. Summer
Another reason we work more So. American and ZL/VK stations in the summer, it's Winter down there!

Posted by NB6Z on August 28, 2001

Antenna TIME!
I went back to school and the class I took ate up all my time, but I'm getting back into HF radio and I'm putting up all sorts of odd (non-working :) ) wire antennas.

Posted by K7EMI on August 24, 2001

Summer activity
I usually spend summertime researching new antennas, selecting a project, building and installing it for fall/winter use. This summer has also been consumed by moving to a new (noise quieter!) QTH.

Posted by N4KIT on August 24, 2001

Summer Time is...
Hi everybody,
My answer was very little time for radio in the summer. Summer time for me is fire season time & U will ususally find me out on a fire line

Posted by KG6CSM on August 23, 2001

Pick A Season & Band
Well, when it's 105 in the shade outside, you can find me indoors with the AC cranked in front of a rig with mike in hand. Lousy HF conditions? Try 2m SSB. When stations several hundred miles away start keying the local repeater (no PL), then I know it's time to fire up the 726. Or try working some 6m, they don't call it the "Magic Band" for nothing.

Posted by K5MAR on August 23, 2001

With 750 votes made to this survey question so far, it is probably a good time to analyze the results... 63% of those answering the survey indicate they operate less in the Summer than other times of the year. 28% indicate they operate the radio very little or not at all during the Summer... I thing one more factor needs to be considered here. If hams are too busy with other activities in the summer, then they are probably also not going to be browsing Ham websites on the internet as well. (I am discounting what I have read in the replies to this survey, because they represent a very small percent of those who answerred the survey.) This factor would tend to skew the results towards more activity rather than less...
The conclusion I draw is that the down turn in activity on the ham bands is mainly due to lack of operators and NOT primarily due to any lack of propagation on the bands. I guess I am not very suprised... ;-)

Posted by NB6Z on August 22, 2001

Winter Options
I live in a winter wonderland for snowmobiling, cross country ski expeditions, ice fishing, etc. I do not care for any of these activities. Ham radio is a real friend. The summer is consumed by water sports, trips to favorite vacation spots, misc house renovations and/or maintenence, gardening and yard work plus preparation for winter. Winter prep includes stacking wood for heat- no increased heating costs last winter!

Posted by N8FVJ on August 22, 2001

Winter Options
I live in a winter wonderland for snowmobiling, cross country ski expeditions, ice fishing, etc. I do not care for any of these activities. Ham radio is a real friend. The summer is consumed by water sports, trips to favorite vacation spots, misc house renovations and/or maintenence, gardening and yard work plus preparation for winter. Winter prep includes stacking wood for heat- no increased heating costs last winter!

Posted by N8FVJ on August 22, 2001

Summer Activity
I've gotten into the (bad?) habits of spending lots of time with the family and doing antenna work in the summer. But then there's FD, and a couple of "minor" contests, and my VHF operating during my daily commute, so I'm not totally QRT.

Posted by K3YD on August 21, 2001

No contests
All the big HF/DX contests are in wintertime (for us Yanks), as are the best I definitely suffer the Summer Doldrums. However, the bands can be surprising, any time. Last Saturday afternoon/evening (August 18th), 10 meters was so wide open I decided to fool around a bit on 29.6 MHz FM (which I rarely do), and made a couple of dozen rapid-fire contacts in 22 states and six countries before leaving the frequency...pileups galore, with me running 100W to a vertical! As always, it pays to listen for signs of life even on "dead" bands. When I'm in the shack, on the computer or just kicking back and reading a magazine, I leave the HF rig turned on and scanning the bands electronically.

Posted by WB2WIK on August 21, 2001

More Time
By necessity. Summer is the busy season for Public Service events and severe weather here in southwest Ohio. (Oh, I'm sorry, it's not HF DX, so it doesn't count as REAL radio).



Posted by KA0AZS on August 21, 2001

Slightly less time...
Summer time usually means less time for me on the radio. Propagation isn't as good, so that plays a part in it. The main part is that I'm out and about more, out later, and just outside more. I guess that I'll just have to buy an Icom IC-706MKG for my Camaro, (never the Porsche), so I can operate HF mobile. W8DMC has the right idea! Hmm... Time to check AES, then see about an Outbacker. I have been on the road A LOT this summer, so maybe it's time. 73 Clinton AB7RG

Posted by AB7RG on August 21, 2001

I get on the air any chance I get. If the bands are dead, I listen to the shortwave broadcasts--at least the ones in English. I am not yet set up like W8DMC, but give me time, and I will be.
73, Matt

Posted by K7MNS on August 20, 2001

Radio is radio, but to enjoy all year round, and to be a TRUE HAM, have HT on ones person, Afford yourself a IC 706MKIIG or FT100D Mobile. Then not only have you a home operational station, with a back-up rig, but set up a portable station to bring along at any time, any place. Now that's HAM radio, and all the time as well. But then, thats why I'm at 256 confirmed and still pushing for the 329 that I know of. Tune in later de W8DMC Doug

Posted by W8DMC on August 20, 2001

teachers on the air
I'm a teacher also,but the time off you others stated, wow!! I get on the air a bit every day,be it talking or listening. I will say that it is in the evening after all of the school stuff is done. My summer consisted of two full weeks off,plus part of two others. I'm a band director for a district near Houston Tx. Radio is a part of my life, but a balance with family,job,life,etc.

Posted by KB5LPA on August 20, 2001

Busy Summer
Well, I really don't operate during the summer so I am fresh for the contest season. Also, taking the summer off means that I can spend time with the XYL. It makes her really appreciate the winter! HI.

Posted by WM3T on August 20, 2001

Hey N8XMS, u have a busy week, im teaching in Ireland and do a 22 hr week, 3 months off in the summer, job suits the hobby...Summer is Sporadic E time here on 144 mhz and I make the most of it, Get on to ur union rep re. 6hr day !!!
73's Charles

Posted by EI5FK on August 20, 2001

Same year round
I am not currently active on HF. If I was, I would have a different answer, based on whether I use 75m a lot; summertime is rather a poor time on that band.
For my current activities, it's about the same year round.

Posted by AD7DB on August 20, 2001

Mid Winter
G'day mate,
Here it is winter.........

Posted by VK2GWK on August 20, 2001

Summer Activity
Although the common perception of school teachers is that we only work about 6 hours a day, the reality is that most of us carry a large briefcase of work home with us each evening. During the school year my logs show an average of only about 8 to 10 QSO's per month so I really try to make-up for lost ground when the summer comes along. Although I really like my job, I once saw a coffee mug with a great saying printed on it which captures my ham radio activities: "The three best reasons for becoming a school teacher are... June, July, and August!"

Posted by N8XMS on August 20, 2001

Summer Activity
A couple things are note worthy concerning summer operating:
Most of us take advantage of Summer weather to spend time vacation/Family/and taking advantage of good weather.
From the radio side, antenna /station improvements etc. Propagation is a strong driver: In the Northern Hemisphere the big culprit is high D layer absorbtion + seasonal increase in static levels ( lower bands ) Adding it all up...less activity in the Summer for most.

Posted by W7TJ on August 20, 2001

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