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Early am activations in US

Curious on the success others have had for early activations in the US. Going to the Carolinas for work this week and want to fit in a couple peaks. I’ve never activated as early as 12:00 utc, 7 am Eastern. Not sure if anyone in US would be up but might get some Europe or ZL, VK on 40 or 30 meters CW. Thoughts?

My earliest was maybe 8 am central and got plenty of Europe on 20m but I think 20 will be dead at 12:00 utc.

I would take gear to use 80 and 40 meters. But you would want to alert chasers as many might not be at their screens or have their mobile devices looking at that time of the day!

John N0EVH

I have done a number of activations in the easternmost 1/3 of the country between 7 - 8am EST, and have found 60m to be the most reliable option. At ~7am I’ve worked stations as close as 100 miles and out to several hundred (basically most of the east coast) on 60. As John says, definitely post an alert.

Thanks guys. I will alert as suggested and I’m definitely thinking about adding an antenna with 60 and/or 80. I’ve never operated below 7 MHz portable but this has me thinking a longer antenna in the lineup would be nice.

Hi Brent,
Over the last week, there has been a lot of NA-EU SSB traffic on 20m & some on 40m around 1300-1400 UTC. I have heard EU SOTA activators working fixed station US chasers with both ends reporting strong signals so the reverse (US /P and EU home station, should certainly be possible).

The one thing that could count against you is the CME from, the Coronal hole which opened in an Earth facing direction on Sunday and the Plasma is due to hit around tonight (Tuesday UTC) which will take the background noise level up somewhat (Kp level up to 4 is expected).

So Thursday or Friday (UTC days) may be better but I’d say get out when you can - I know the EU chasers will be very happy to work you.

73 Ed DD5LP.

Pennsylvania will be up and waiting for you Brent!! Good luck

1 Like

Thanks for info Ed. I ran the propagation prediction program online and 40 looks difficult to Europe but I will probably start there. 30 looks like it has potential at that time and 20 appears to open an hour or so later. My success thus far has only been in 20. But maybe propagation will be better than anticipated.

Good to see your call sign Gary. Glad someone will be up. 40 across the US should be very good … I just was not sure anyone would be awake. This will be a good learning experience for me.

One of my favorite moments activating was my first early morning (7am) activation in the Smokies. It was cold and raining, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t even worth setting up the radio as there’d be nobody listening. I had a pileup after my very first cq! Chasers are awesome.

I’ve actually found myself inadvertently activating frequently at times that are somewhat outside the norm (I often activate as part of long training runs which involve being on the trails from pre-dawn 'till after sunset). I have found that the slowest times tend to be Fri and Sat evenings – like after 1900 EST.

I was in NH over Christmas, and I was able to work people in Europe until about noon local time, so don’t discount some transatlantic contacts.

I’ll be up and activating W4C/US-001 for SOTA and the SCQP from Pickens County starting at 15:00. Perhaps catch you S2S from another SC County. :slight_smile: Dean ~ K2JB

My last activation in late December produced a number of 20m trans-Atlantic QSOs from around 13:00 UTC, though I have worked the East coast as early as 10:00 UTC - an obvious case of insomnia! I will be looking for more Stateside contacts between 24th and 26th February from Scotland - it always gives me a kick when I get a call from over the pond. :grinning:

This is ham radio. It seems to me there are always four operators within range. Some are /m en rout to and from work, others are /p enjoying morning coffee and fresh trout from the nearby brook. For every operator, there’s a different reason to monitor.
Keep the antenna up!

I don’t do activations in early morning, but as a chaser I have found it very fruitful to check for spots in early morning. In January sunrise in Massachusetts is later than 1200Z, and I have found it easy to chase European activators on 20m between 1230Z and 1600Z this January and February. If 17m is open signals are often very good there, too.

  • N1AW

Chaser Reply.

Hi all,
Have read your comments with interest. My location is on the West Coast of Wales Grid IO72RC. I’m overlooking the Irish sea at 680ft asl. Facing North West I have a good take off to N.America. I keep an eye on Sota watch when I’m up here in the shack. I quite often hear US fixed stations calling EU activators & some are with good signals even when the band appears dead here and I can’t hear the EU activator. Whenever I see NA spots I will sit on the Freq for awhile and monitor to see if I can hear anyone. 18mhz & 14mhz seems to be the best band for me. Also 21mhz when open. I have heard faint signals but not always been able to make out if it was a NA Activator or a chaser. But I have had a couple of success in the past. I run SSB & FT8, antenna is a 80mtr Doublet and also a Vertical for 15mtr to 10mtr. So if your up in clouds activating & hear a weak signal calling. It could well be me trying to chase you with my 100 watts.

73’ De Don GW0PLP. IO72

Brent, I have worked into EU from MI and WI, but always on 20M and always before around 11 am. Earlier is better, as you’ve noted. But if it’s possible from the Black Hole (and irt is!), then it definitely should be from the state that is supposed to have the nest prop to EU (NC).

Hope to work you as well!

73 Paula k9ir

Hi Brent :wink:
today you make your try !
You was 339 here and at this time can hear all US calling EU/Sota callers on 20m and 30m… N4EX KD1CT N3TCU N2ESE VE1 … and many others
I know it’s early !
Why starting US activations on band (30m,60m, 80m ?) you have on 20m all europe chasers listening !!
73 Eric F5JKK

Here is a report in the event others are interested. My inverted v dipole with 23’ apex was oriented with broadside near direct east/west. Ideal would have been broadside about 37 degrees. But I had limited space to work with for both the antenna and the tarp shelter. I used 100 watts and started on 20 meters. I had to change plans and did not start as early as expected due to weather and a road closure.

First contact fairly quick at 13:13 with a ground wave followed by SA4BLM. K0RS and F5JKK were complete by 13:19. After that it was dry for maybe 10 minutes so I went to 20m ssb without success. I returned to 20m cw and EA2LU was immediately there. AA7DK was looked five minutes later and it was dry for another five to ten minutes and I moved to 40 cw where I picked up another six and the last qso was 14:29.

So there were not a lot of contacts but “the regulars” made the activation successful. The trans-Atlantic contacts were nice. As suggested above, with adequate notice the enough contacts to activate are likely.

Thanks all. Satisfying trip and flying back to Texas.

Brent, tnx for the update. Sounds like a successful outing for targeting some EU Qs in the log. BTW you were booming when I last worked you; that 599 report was real!

I’m planning to try something similar as soon as our wx here in the midwest calms down a bit ;-). I’ll only be running 50W from a battery powered 706 into an OCF at abt 27’. It will be an early morning so I can get to the summit and set up as soon in the day as possible.

Also hoping to try 60M for the first time as an activator.

73 Paula k9ir