10m is my favorite band of all: there is the possibility of local QSOs on 10FM out to 30-40km (at least) even with very modest (CB level) powers to a 1/2 wave vertical. It is good for GDX with suitably equipped stations out to many hundreds of kilometres. F2 and Es propagation allow really long distances.
6m is the “magic band”. It seems to be good for locals and GDX seems to work out pretty well too out to several hundred kilometres, as for 10m. Although F2 is rare except close to good sunspot maxima, Es is there every spring and summer and at other times too, but more rarely. More stations active (e.g. on WSPR – a great DX mode) would indicate more openings, I suspect.
Actually one could do a lot worse than concentrate on WSPR on these 2 bands only. That is what I may do in future. In effect I am already doing this, but I could better optimise the antennas – maybe a 1/2 wave vertical on 10m and a halo on 6m? My antennas may be compromised but in my present state of health (stroke) they will have to do.
UPDATE 1820z: All afternoon on 6m it has been just locals G4IKZ, G4KPX and G0LRD only here with no signs of GDX or Es at this QTH. Things on the “magic band” can change quite quickly, so I shall be staying on 6m for the rest of the day. We’ll see.
UPDATE 1830z: Looking back through the WSPR logs I see G3IGU (172km) near Doncaster was being spotted here at 1254z with only very slight Doppler or warm-up drift (-1Hz). This may have been tropo or a favorable aircraft again. So there was some GDX around. I have seen a surprising number of GDX stations now on 6m at decent distances. Theseare all “accidental” spots – no skeds, I just happened to see these stations.
As I write this I see G6AVK (78km) is spotting my 1W ERP at -27dB S/N at 1830z , yet more GDX.
UPDATE 2030z: Just the locals reporting me. No Es or GDX currently.
UPDATE 2155z: Still just the locals. Soon be time to pull the big switch to off.