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Poor Bands, Happy Memories

Just got back from activating SC-003 & 007 and have been looking at my results. Over the past week I had been thinking that my aerial at home had a problem because the bands seemed to have been dead. However, today I discovered that 40M is most certainly dead. Struggled to make any contacts on SSB and only managed to qualify hills by using CW and 2M FM.

Had a strange Deja Vu moment when I was getting ready to walk up Beacon Batch SC-003. I was parked at the top end of Burrington Combe putting on my boots when I realised that 40 years ago I would have been 200 m further down the road putting on my boiler suit and helmet to go caving. Spent many happy years caving and potholing under the Mendip Hills as a club caver and a member of the Mendip Cave Rescue Organisation.

Report blog to follow.

73 Glyn


Hi Glyn,
I am pleased I managed to work u on CW from Morpeth in Northumberland report 579. When out portable at the moment I find 40m CW makes contacts possible onto the continent with just a few ssb contacts inter-G. This distinction has been quite pronounced. 60m although lightly populated still does function inter-G. Midday ±2hrs seems to be the most depressed time and is not illustrated on VOACAP etc…
I also was a potholer in the 70’s and member of Mid Pennine Mountain Accident Panel. My latest quest is the activation of the G-NP’s, I am re-visiting all of my old haunts (and watering holes).


David G0EVV

I have been active on the HF/LF bands, both as a listener and as a licensed amateur, for 58 years. In all that time, I have never before encountered such a long and sustained period of poor conditions. The prognosis is not good … the following article published by the Royal Astronomical Society makes interesting (and depressing) reading.


Walt (G3NYY)

Don’t get depressed too soon, Walt! They are testing a hypothesis by making a prediction. The trouble is that over many decades there have been many attempts to predict the course of future sunspot cycles, I remember Fourier analysis being applied back in the fifties. The success rate of all those attempts? Nil! The thing we can be sure of is that any given sunspot cycle will be bumpy, more active periods alternating with less active periods - and right now the SN is 35 and the SFI is 89, with just two minor sunspot groups visible, but we are not at minimum yet and can hope for better things soon.

I was never into caving, a marginal tendency to claustrophobia made it unenjoyable for me. The joy of SOTA for me is that I hear so many operators enjoying hills that I, too, enjoyed in the past. Plus I have been drawn into activating hills that at one time I would have bypassed on my way to something more challenging - for instance when I was younger and there was no SOTA I would never have considered the Little and Great Mell Fells in LD, thus missing a couple of fine viewpoints!


I check out this website on a daily basis http://spaceweather.com/ and the occurrence of solar flares with associated CME’s seems to be in the increase.

[quote=“G3NYY, post:3, topic:11261”]
I have never before encountered such a long and sustained period of poor conditions.
[/quote] I totally agree, in my mere 48 years SWL and Licensed I cant remember a time so bad.