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HF conditions

Over the past few days I have been struggling to hear most of the 40m and 30m activations being spotted. Not a dickybird heard from any of those spotted this morning, even though I hear plenty of people working them. Is it just me or are conditions really so dire?

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G3YMC:

Conditions are dire Dave.

However, for the past couple of years, activators from southern EU locations, such as Z3, OE, HA and OK have been mostly inaudible here during mid summer, especially when using QRP power.

10 MHz is usually the lifeline, when activators increase by two S-points on a move up from 7 MHz, but this too has been under-performing for the past week or so.

73
Roy G4SSH

In reply to G3YMC:

Same thoughts here Dave. In fact, yesterday I lowered the antenna and checked that it was still in one piece! It was a worthwhile exercise as I found one section that was showing definite signs of wear, but I still cannot hear those activators even after the repair.

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to G4SSH:

The following web site allows you to view how low power stations (0.1 to 5W or so) are hearing each other. http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

The map can be set to display conditions on most bands and filters are available as well as a database of contacts.

Hope you find this of interest.

73 Tony G8BVj

In reply to G8BVJ:
I know some of you are into WSPR. But spots via WSPR are NOT QSOs. I have looked at it in the past, and it struck me as watching paint dry. I am pretty sure that the activators I could barely read would have been solid copy if they were running WSPR, but they weren’t, and two way QSOs weren’t possible on the normal CW they were using.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been playing in the club72 Marathon (http://club72.su/marathon.html) using some SOTA QSOs as credits in this. I have had had considerable success with just 1W output, including a QSO with LU. All done with my own two ears…

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G8BVJ:

Many Thanks Tony, much appreciated.

73 Roy

In reply to G3YMC:

Is it just me or are conditions really so dire?

I’ve been wondering much the same this morning… There’ve been spots, but at best I’ve heard only chasers’ sides of conversations, and those often with severe QSB…

Hopefully better conditions will be along soon… :confused:

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to G3YMC:

Over the past couple of weeks I have been playing in the club72
Marathon (http://club72.su/marathon.html)…

Dave,
Playing also in the QRP Marathon, last two days I also noticed low conditions on 40 m.
Before two nights around 20:30 Z experienced a fantastic DX opening on 30 m working JA, VK and ZL with 5 W and G5RV at 25 m.

Vlado, Z35M

In reply to G4SSH:

Today it was quite normal; due to rain I skipped DL/MF109+110 (next attempt will be tomorrow) and took a (short) walk to DL/AM-001 (Hohenpeissenberg). Good condx on 30m, lots of G’s, loud signals, nice to work… Missed you, Roy :wink:

72, Jo (dj3cq)

Deja-vu time… Is it just me, or is HF in poor shape at the moment?

I’ve seen plenty of spots today for folks on summits at distances I’d normally expect to be able to hear on 40 metres, but I’ve not been able to decipher anything from the static. It’s as if the skip for 40 metres has stretched to over 700kms in some directions…

Either that, or the fox has done something unpleasant…

…but if he has, I can’t see the damage…

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:
The K index has been 3 or higher today, so not good. Coupled with general summertime absorption and a low fof2 critical frequency of under 6MHz it has not made things easy on 40m and 30m. Most of the 40m activations have been inaudible here today. The sun is also now virtually spot free, there has though been sporadic E on 10m revealed by stations calling the ST0R dxpedition.

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G3YMC:
Ah, yes. Worth keeping half an eye on the Es, I guess, especially if the Sun’s going to give up helping the longer wavelengths…

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to Z35M:

In reply to G3YMC:

Over the past couple of weeks I have been playing in the club72
Marathon (http://club72.su/marathon.html)…

Dave,
Playing also in the QRP Marathon, last two days I also noticed low
conditions on 40 m.
Before two nights around 20:30 Z experienced a fantastic DX opening on
30 m working JA, VK and ZL with 5 W and G5RV at 25 m.

Vlado, Z35M

Congrats Vlado in winning the QRP Marathon. I have to be content with 3rd position… It was fun, even under the current lousy conditions, and a great show of what QRP can do. Nearly all the summits I worked from here during July were with just 1 Watt at this end…

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G3YMC:

Dave

Proof that WSPR works. On 30m - G8BVJ heard VK3JNI at 06:52 UTC and was heard by VK2XN at 06:58 UTC. I was using 2 watts into a 30m dipole at 15 feet AGL and VK3JNI was using 5 watts. This was not unusual. VKs started appearing at 17:04 UTC yesterday (Monday)and lasted until 21:10. They re-appeared at 05:00 this morning and faded out at 07:30.

Interestingly, eQSL allows two way reports to count as a QSO. I suppose it it considered just another data mode with a few minutes delay in reports.

73 Tony

In reply to G8BVJ:
WSPR is a SWL mode… I did have a little play a while back but it looked rather like watching paint dry. When I am in the shack I actually want to use my rig to make QSOs… The problem is that when you hear the VK’s in the mornings all they want to do is ragchew with their mates (did work a couple during the BERU contest in March on QRP).

Just worked the ST0R DXPedition on 17m with my 5w and low longwire so feeling rather smug. You certainly don’t need QRO to work the DX.

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to G3YMC:

Dave,

I disagree. There is a serious purpose to my use of WSPR - that is monitoring in real time band conditions. I leave thr rig running overnight and I am gradually picking up what can be considered normal conditions and what are anomolies. I compare the actual conditions with HF prediction charts. Also, I can use it will the XYL is asleep which I couldn’t do with voice modes.

I still have my main rig for SSB QSOs which I enjoy - hence my participation in SOTA, WAB and several rag chewing nets.

Each to their own, I say.

73 Tony, G8BVJ