Interesting time s on the HF bands right now. For example over the last week or so, I’ve been working inter G on the 40m band and I’ve not done this for a couple of years. Last Saturday, I activated G/SP-004 Shining Tor, a summit I’ve activated well over 100 times and know inside out. The 40m band has been the goto band for Dxers and I would have bet my house on working VK/ZL from there, however, I couldn’t buy a contact outside of EU.
Yesterday, I activated GW/NW-070 Great Orme, a summit which I rate as having one of the best take-offs in the country. Just to try something different, I started on the 20m band to try and work the Skeds I had arranged with VK. Once again, nothing into the Paciific and save for RM9 Asiatic Russia and ST2 Sudan, I would have drew a total DX blank again. With the threat of rain looming, I quickly threw up the 40m dipole and knocked off a dozen contact and again inter G was finding my log.
Maybe there are some changes on the horizon…
Both myself and my dad Tom M1EYP were on Great Orme GW/NW-070 yesterday also and that rain didn’t come in until 1:30pm, we were hoping to meet you on there, but looks like you left before we arrived, hopefully meet you on another SOTA summit in the future.
Today 40 metres has been very short skip as well, along with a high noise level and agressive QSB - something is changing.
I note the Solar Winds are slower than usual as well (they were under 300km/s earlier today) and that the 3000km MUF is going up above 14 MHz before dawn some days, (almost up to 17m today as you’ll see below).
SFI & K are around average values but something different is happening to propagation. Perhaps we are now at the change of the Solar Cycles? (hope so).
Yeah, I think you and I are thinking along the same lines. It’s a matter of getting out and conducting experiments, trying to find the DX sweet spot on the 20 and 40m bands (if 40m is still even in play.) As well as extremely time consuming, it can be very battery consuming.
Zero sunspots certainly aren’t helping matters and the deep and rapid QSB on 40m, was trying, early yesterday morning.
I think the inter-G 40m propagation is caused by Sporadic-E. People think it only affects 10m and above, but that isn’t the case. The rapid QSB is a bit of a giveaway.
Use this tool to check; PROPquest | Graphs