Is it going to be like that till next cycle peak?

Its a question to the experienced hams as Im only a ham for a year or so.
The bands are quite bad lately.

Is it going to be like that till the next peak? :slight_smile:


No it’s going to get a lot, lot worse before it gets better.

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pif… bad timing to get into the sport…

So what people do on the low cycle? (especially without a super duper antenna)
jt65 and CW?
Any wise advise?

Overall, Andy is right, but there will be periods when it is better than now. A more active region of the sun will soon rotate into view, and conditions often perk up in the Autumn, so there is no need to despair!


PS The lower bands will be the place to be. Listen in the DX window of 80 metres about dawn in the autumn, you might well be surprised by the odd VK or ZL!

Put up a 2m beam and activate or chase some summits on the band. Probably a little too much like hard work for some, but it’s great fun.


I’m not super experienced either, but I remember my uncle describing all the ups and downs he saw in 70 or so years in the hobby. Gotta do what you gotta do. I agree, this is a great time to get proficient at CW. Or try 2 meter SSB. Or some cool digital mode or APRS. So my advice with a “wealth” (yeah right) of 5 years in the hobby is this – don’t be a passenger. Drive the bus. Don’t let the numbers put you off. Make it work. Good luck and I hope to hear you.

73 de KB3UYT


Yet last Sunday afternoon the 26th worked the U.S and a S2S to Hawaii with just 3W and a few bursts of 5W CW.

Five U.S chasers, plus one in Hawaii (S2S). One VK6 (a long haul) on 20M. 20M and 15M were the best bands for DX.

Tried 17M but only worked a couple of VK ops. Probably the wrong time too.

Before moving to the higher bands worked chasers in VK2, VK3 and VK5 with 3W.

Nine of these VK’s (30 and 40M) were worked with the internal KX3 batteries which activated the summit with ease on 3W.

Only plugged in the external battery when I became nervous and the DX stations started to come in.

If I was bolder would have kept going until the internal batteries carked. Did’nt want to miss a contact particulary the S2S to Hawaii.

Nothing special about the aerial, just a link dipole (open wire feeder an 1:1 balun) which I was able to orientate favoring the Pacific and U.S.

Low power, cw and a bit of care with the aerial setup where possible all can help.

If one is able to get a summit where a aerial can be favorably setup pays to sit there for a while and work the different bands at the right times.

And spend at least 15mins of calling CQ. It sometimes takes 5 or more minutes for your self spot to go through the different networks and appear on different devices which chasers are using.

Keep the latter in mind, some are a bit hasty with their band changes.

There is hope for us yet despite the downturn in the sunspot cycle.

Cheers, Nick

10m and 6m are going to be spectacular today. OK that’s wishful thinking as I embark on a “day-nighter” activation of Cadair Berwyn. Hope to work you all later.

You beat me to it Brian, My understanding is that the lower bands (80m, 160m and I guess 40m and 60m (for those who have 60m)), are more active and stable when the sun spot maximums die away - as you also say though Brian, this is not going to happen overnight, we should still get some more good conditions on 20m in the (Northern Hemisphere) Autumn.

More activity on 2m, 70cm and higher would be a nice challenge from a summit as well of course, where DX can be the next county rather than country!

73 Ed.

   Yes its a down ward trend from here

But during me ISWL days even 15mhz broadcast band still provided some interesting Dx during autumn and winter.
But at least on higher band good old Es will keep us entertained during the summer months.

   Never despair and never think negative the bands can through up surprises some days. A lot of people will just switch off but lot of us will monitor the skies as they say. 

Even 6m can throw up surprises at time I has been informed by more experienced gents. To me it makes it a little harder and yet more of a challenge.

Karl M3FEH

Couldn’t agree more Gerald!!

I have upgraded the vast majority of VHF beams at my house and it makes me wonder, why I did it?

Why can I work 100+ stations in a Tuesday night contest on 2m? Yet call CQ at several times on a Saturday/Sunday and not work a soul?

A grumpy XYJ

Tom you should have alerted so we would all know!

I agree, 60m for those who can use it becomes a favourite in sunspot min. Also 80m becomes more useable with much less D layer absorption through the day, it just means carrying more wire. … or use VHF!

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Nope. Six is open to the southeast right now!


He has alerted - look for MW1EYP

60m was a saviour for SOTA activations during the last low point of the cycle - fascinating band for daylight propagation when 80m and 40m are both unavailable (for widely different reasons).
I know it is not available to you, Tasos, but could be the motivation to push through the licence grades

Barry GM4TOE

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So let me prepare for a winter of reading (getting a full licence) and listening (CW) :slight_smile: :smile:

Who are you calling odd?

A low angle radiation antenna at both ends and a hilltop location will enable short path QSO’s on 20,15 & 10 m during the minima. May need CW and 50 W but the secret is the low angle of radiation. A dipole on a fishing rod won’t do it. A 5/8 vertical with elevated radials would be the minimum. 10 MHz will become more of a DX band. 80 m activations in the mornings and evenings will work but midday is likely to be very quiet.


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there is also a nice probability for a “maunder minimum” or close to it :smile:

I used to hear VK7GK most mornings here on 40m on my vertical until around 9 or 10am local during the winter months. If I was on a summit at the time I am sure I would have worked him at some stage. Also don`t forget, we still have Es during sunspot min.