At times yesterday, and more or less the whole day today, I have had big white noise (in CW narrow s8, in SB s 9+10) and received no readable signals. The noise is NOT local, and tuner positions are ok. No noise on 10 MHz and up.
Any encouraging comments?
PS: the noise here is still (20:43 UTC) in SSB 9+10, but now with QSB ± 10 dB
In reply to LA5SAA:
At my QTH on the North Yorkshire coast, conditions on the 7 MHz CW part of the band during the mid summer months of June and July have been the worst I have experienced since I started SOTA chasing in 2005. For days on end the band has been one continuous crackle with waves of static washing over signals. The result of such poor propagation has been that to all intents and purpose I have been unable to hear any activators on 7 MHz from around 0900z-1500z for the past 6 weeks. I am not alone, with local chasers Nick G4OOE and Kevin G0NUP faring little better.
This effect occurs regularly at this time in the sunspot cycle and hopefully propagation should improve now that we are heading towards Autumn.
In reply to G4SSH:
I used to be only an occasional user of the 40m band as the sort of distances I wished to work were better achieved on 80m. Since my renewed interest in radio over the past few years, coupled with my interest in chasing SOTA, I have found that I spend a lot of time on 60m, which does usually sit in a “sweet spot” in the spectrum for the type of distances I wish to work.
I have been around long enough to remember 40m being wide open for very local, to 1500Km plus qso’s at the same time on a daily basis. I concur that 40m has been very poor for extended period of time lately, with no marked improvement in the higher bands to make up for it.
For me to be unable to work Inky on 40m SSB last week is a good demonstration of that fact, & conditions here on that day were dire, with some very well equipped fixed stations being completely inaudible above the noise here in Blackburn. I was almost beginning to suspect that I had a fault with my equipment, despite various tests, & a visual check to make sure my antenna had not fallen down proving everything was as it should be.
I very rarely use CW, although as some of my recent posts, & spots, demonstrate, I am using it on a more regular basis, but as yet, only as a chaser. Although 7032KHz is still a widely used SOTA calling frequency, I have found 10118KHz to be an excellent alternative when conditions allow. The noise level I have on 30m is much less than on 40m, & signals are clear & readable down to much lower levels.
Thankfully, conditions on 40m do seem to have improved over the past few days & as I have a couple of days off work I have been up most of the night mostly listening to DX on various bands. This did mean though that I was up early enough on Friday to see Frank’s (G3RMD) alert for G/SC-003 using 7032CW. All the Ionospheric data suggested that a contact would not be possible on 40m over such a short distance at that time, but I listened in any case & was very pleased when I heard his call. After working a couple of other stations, at what was a very comfortable speed for me (Thanks Frank) I gave him a call & we exchanged reports.
I listened to virtually all of Franks CW activation & when I worked him early on he was genuinely 559 with me, but as time went on he went up to 599+ at times. After a QSY to 7118 SSB I called Frank again & gave him 57. Towards the end of his 40m SSB session the QSB was beginning to get quite deep & I switched to monitoring 5398.5 KHz on 60m in case anybody called there.
When Frank called on 60m SSB he was much stronger than he had been on 40m SSB & really was armchair copy at that time.
On a different note, being up at strange times of the night listening to DX I almost worked ZL, which from memory, I don’t think I have worked before in 16 years on HF. I could be wrong though, as I was about not having worked Japan. Hi!
I could not believe how strong ZL3SV was this morning on 40m SSB. He was genuinely 59 on my FT897D with attenuation switched in & a zero noise floor. He was in qso with someone else & was clearing the frequency & qsy’ing up the band. It would have been impolite to shout in, so I went looking around to see what else I could hear & found VK7GK at 58 & had a very easy QSO with Gerry in Tasmania, which I think I have worked before but maybe not on 40m.
It seems like it’s just a case of being in the right place at the right time!
I hope you have enjoyed better conditions Mike & hope to work you, & Roy, very soon. Hopefully on the key, & from a summit
Sorry for deviating from the subject a little.
In reply to G0VOF:
Pleased to work you on cw and ssb from Beacon Batch on Friday morning. It’s proximity to Bristol Airport was the key to my early morning activation of this pleasant little hill. I was delighted to have to walk through a herd of wild hill ponies (21 in number) on the ascent. I understand they have been implanted from Exmoor in a bid to control the vegetation. They looked very healthy,and were doing a fine job.
Conditions seemed quite good on 40m. I worked about 40 stations about the UK and Europe. 5MHz delivered about a dozen contacts, including Graham OZ1KGV and Jurgan 5P8ZY.
Thank you for the spots, and look forward to contacting you on my next outing. (tomorrow!)