Slow time on the bands.

I took an extra few days off over the Easter weekend with the intention of getting some solid radio time in. As it turned out the only day I had was yesterday afternoon most likely because I knew my vacation was coming to an end and the plan was to get on the rig! I was planning on doing some JT-65 as with the solar conditions not so great and my 5 watts signal to boot it seemed to be the logical move. Before getting on the radio I looked up a website called Band conditions. This is a very nice site that gives you up to date band conditions via nice easy to read bar type graphs. Each HF band is displayed and is update automatically every 30 seconds. There is an arrow for each band graph that is either in the Red, Yellow or green portion of the bar graph……you can guess what color means what. Seeing that 20m and 30m seemed to be the go to bands I booted up WSJT-X and ended up finding 30m not so great but 20m was booming with lots of European stations.  Unfortunately my calling CQ was not being answered. I did check with PSK reporter and my signal was being spotted all over the U.S as well as some places in Europe.  I then closed down WSJT-X and opened Fldigi and now the plan was to give PSK 31 a whirl on 20m. I was not disappointed as there was lots of signals in the waterfall. After spending about 45 min’s on the band I only was able to get the attention of one Spanish station to hear my QRP signal……BUT conditions seemed to change and we never completed the QSO. One thing I took away from the time on the radio is that I have to review what PSK-31 macro’s and simplify some and rename some of the buttons to make them more user friendly to me. 
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “Slow time on the bands.”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Cool website, Mike. But it’s a slow time for everybody right now. I’d sure like to push those arrows into the green zones….

  • Tom KN6DR:

    Slow CW around 7.050 has been moderately busy in the evenings. Mostly 5-8 west coast time.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Richard, yes the site is neat and very handy to get a fast indication of the bands….BUT…..it never hurts to flip the switch and get on the air and see what happens. In the past I have been surprised by making some nice contacts on a band that software said was dead.
    Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    73, Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello Tom very nice to hear from you, my antenna is the MFJ 1788 and it does go up to 40m but I have always found it operates like a wet noodle! I have yet to make a single contact.
    73, Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hmmmm, I have no idea where the Vimeo movie came from……I just went to post a comment and low and behold a video showed up with it.
    Strange
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Murphy is playing games with me…..the video link is now gone!
    Mike

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