Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare for fun on HF.

Evidence beginning to mount that this solar cycle could be a big one.


fingers crossed :+1:

The addition of the solar data to the SOTLAS header is a nice touch as well, thanks Manuel.


HF Condx for SOTA within EU today were pants…


I noted that during a rare listening session from home. I say listening session because I couldn’t hear anyone well enough to work them. There were some E’s on 6m this afternoon though.

I hope it settles down tomorrow. Going up the rarely activated Ben Vuirich GM/CS-049 if all goes to plan.


Not yet seen on iPadOS :thinking:

There has been daily openings on 10M as of late.

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Saw Your Alert on SW3 Andy but could not hear you or any of your chasers.
My first EU DX on 20m CW last Sunday 3/4/22 worked OK2PDT DJ5AV SM4CJM OH1MM on 20m CW around 0600 UTC. I have worked those Chasers before from summits but it must have been at least 6 years ago. Looking forward to some more DX SOTA to EU.
Ian vk5cz …


I think Ed correctly predicted the start of the new cycle in 2019. This is confirmed by recent plots by the IPS. So the peak is only a couple of years off. Get out of the shack now while the sunspots shine or miss out.


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Same on my Android phone. It seems screen estate is too limited on phones and tablets and so solar data is not displayed on mobile devices.

Recent news reports have stated that the sunspot level for the last 18 months has ben increasing at a faster rate than the NOAA/NASA predictions. There is discussion now as to whether this means that the peak will come earlier than predicted (but still at a similar level to SC24), which would mean that we will then be left in the doldrums for longer at the end of the 11 year cycle or indeed whether the new way of predicting how strong a solar cycle will be is correct and we will get an all time record peak in SFI and this will be a great cycle for the higher HF bands. Of course thouse who like to operate on 80 and 160 metres will suffer longer with bad band conditions if the latter prediction is the one that comes true.

Although conditions in general for DX over the last few days have been “variable”, it is interesting to see from the DX Clusters that 10m and 12m are now opening up for the Southern Europe-Oceania connections more often.

73 Ed.


Forgot to mention, over the weekend had a successful chase of a JA activator on 10M.

Something I have not been able to do for quite some years.

73’s Wal VK2WP

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From Kratka Ridge, W6/CT-225, on Friday I was surprised to hear a loud BA5AD calling CQ on 12 meters. He came right back to my call with a 559. W6LOR, who was set up 30’ away from me, tuned him in and worked him just as easily. I was running 5 watts and a 59’ EFRW. Lorene was using a similar setup.
A new SOTA DX for both of us! Onward and upward, SFI.
73, David N6AN


People often conflate weather with climate ( weather refers to short term atmospheric conditions while climate is the weather of a specific region averaged over a long period of time). We’re talking about a whole solar cycle not day to day conditions especially as there has been a big geomagnetic disturbance over the weekend with high Kp index.

Ed’s comment is correct, is the prediction wrong and we will have a short cycle 25 with a longer downside before cycle 26 starts? Or is there another effect where there are cycles within cycles and cycle 25 will be a very strong one. There will be some of us who are old enough to have been active during the 1957 IGY which was a massively strong cycle. And there are some of us who weren’t and are hoping that this growing cycle could be as good. :wink:


I hate to sound a word of warning, but I must point out that the initial rise rate of cycle 24 was not much different to what we are seeing now. Cycle 24 went on to have a double hump maximum and a disappointingly low pair of peaks. The prediction for cycle 25 is a single hump with average rise and fall rates. If 25 also exhibits a double hump then the predicted maximum may well disappoint. AFAIK there is no way of predicting the finer detail of a cycle, the only difference that I can point to is that the rise of 24 came in three distinct surges while 25 has been steadier, if the surges were related to the double hump of 24 then hopefully 25 will be smoother and will realise its potential. Let us hope!


Or just activate using a quarterwave vertical with elevated groundplane - then you can enjoy working regular DX on QRP in mediocre conditions!

Though I must admit, given what I’ve seen possible using these antennas on 10, 12, 15, 17 & 20 over the last decade, I’d be rather excited to see what a monster solar maximum could bring in on them!

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Might just get a few people looking back in their logbooks… :grinning:

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Indeed. I just did…

Yes please, we’ll have a bit more of that!

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On 4/7/2022, I experienced a first (but I hope not last!) with SOTA. I worked JH1MXV on 30M around 1345Z while activating from W5A/OZ-001 Yates Benchmark. First time I have worked into Asia from the US midwest. 15W into an 84’ end fed.

Conditions definitely are improving!

73 Paula k9ir


If all goes as planned, you can talk to the world on a bed spring with <100mw

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This thread got me “in the mood”. I had a 90 minute window to sneak up a summit - so obviously I’m sat on G/SP-015 as I write this, QRV as GB20SOTA.

I meant to try 10m. I got that antenna out of the bag to find it was a 6m vertical. I’m sure I did that last year too. And the year before that. Then I remember that my 10m vertical is actually a 10m-12m vertical and is in the bag marked 12m.

I must relabel those bags….

Anyway, I did also bring up the 17m vertical as back-up, and three continents in the log already from the 817. Probably around 15 minutes operating time left before I have to call it a day (night).

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