Doppler on locals and a VERY quiet day on 6m

Today, so far, it has been exclusively local G4IKZ (18km) on 6m WSPR  One thing I have noticed both on his spots and those by G4FFC (45km) yesterday is that when there is a lot of Doppler my reports are poorer. I assume the aircraft reflections sometimes result in destructive interference and an effective drop in S/N.

This month, so far, sunspot numbers have been lower (70 today), although 20-30MHz propagation is described as “normal”. I think the slide downwards is starting, sadly. But, even next autumn 10m should still be good though – we are a LONG way from the minimum yet. I think long distance 6m F-layer propagation openings will be few unless one is lucky enough to be closer to the equator and may catch TEP openings. CN8LI and stations in Israel were managing to catch 6m TEP openings quite recently, as were some VK and JA stations.

UPDATE 1700z:   Just G4IKZ (18km) spotting me since I switched on 6m WSPR at 0556z – a very very quiet day on 6m so far today: no Es and no GDX seen here, so far. There is at least one “wandering” signal that has been seen several times drifting across the band but with too much drift to decode. Strong, but no Doppler. At one point it was stable enough to decode but the signal faded out after 1 minute. I think this was an Es signal. May never know though. I am tempted to QSY to 472kHz WSPR this evening unless things markedly improve on 6m.

UPDATE 1808z:  another new local(ish) station has just appeared on 6m spotting me:   M0MVB (30km) up in the Fens.  Still no 6m Es here.I presume M0MVB is just in from work and just turned the gear on.

UPDATE 1925z:   Still no 6m Es here today. Tomorrow can only be better.

UPDATE 2050z:  I stuck with 6m, but only locals today. Very disappointing indeed.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

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