Solar decline

There is little doubt now that we have passed the solar peak and we are now on the way to the minimum. This is still years away mind you. This graph (located at illustrates this well. As I said before, it is too early to say just how poor HF conditions will get.

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

5 Responses to “Solar decline”

  • Richard KWøU:

    Kind of depressing after the last good cycle. But I guess it’s relative. The Old Timers complain that nothing ever beat Cycle 19 (1950s). If we do go into a long Minimum, as has been suggested, I just hope that the next generation of hams can still enjoy some HF DXing. (And that I can get a few more new ones too.)

  • Robert, VA3ROM:

    Hey! Unlike the Hams of the 1950’s, we living in the 21st century don’t need no “solar cycle”. There’s more to Hamming today than just HF voice. Digital modes do just fine regardless of this mystical and magically “solar cycle” which Wolf guessed at based on a limited dataset. 400 years of records based on the sun’s 4,000,000,000 years of existence do not a cycle make in any kind of Universe.

    However, it is serendipity Sol just happened to be going through this current phase at the dawn of radio. Had radio waves been discovered during the Maunder Minimum, it may have amounted to much of anything outside of the laboratory. No global communications starting with spark gap, then AM, FM, SSB, digital, et al. It was only because Marconi et al proved that radio waves could span the globe that it became the Internet of its day.

    Once the sun goes “quiet”, it will inspire people to make new discoveries and find new methods to overcome the minimum. To much of a good thing makes for little need to change things. Invention is the mother of necessity, eh?



    I had a funny feeling about this so I sold most of my HI-TECG HF rigs and picked up an Alinco SR8T 160-6 meters.
    Small and so easy to use.
    0-3 wats,25,and 100 watts and I have some QRP gear.
    I guess it was cayle 119 when my Dad took me out on the front lawn and I remember the sky was blood red.
    I think also some blue and red colors were seen way down in CUBA.
    Well I just went to Amazon and I have another guitar coming.
    34 years of ham radio and I saw all modes grow then go down.
    I have my 200 Countries DXCC so now i’m back on the strings.
    BOB AF2Q

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I have a friend who got his novice and general while in HS during those years. The stories he tells are something else. Like Europe and Africa during the day using only a 10 watt home brew CW setup. Me I 66 going on 67 and will probably be gone by the next major cycle. So I picked up a used TS-711s and TS-811s all mode vhf/uhf xcievers and used M2 2m and 440 Eggbeater antennas. Next stop Sat work. I have also got a SGC-230 ATU with 75 ft of wire and can work 160-10 meter with with, but where it shines is 160-30 meters. The I think will be where all the action is. I am also set up with a MFJ loop and can run all the digital mods on all bands. Again, planing for a few bad cycles and bad hearing. I think QRP-QRO will still all be active with little to no change. So the KX3 is not going anywhere soon.. hihi

    Harry K7ZOV 73


    Hi Harry,
    So much for those 2 direct hits,LOL.
    The sun is sleeping but now I LIVE IN atlantic city,nj RIGHT OFF THE WATER BUT THE SALT IS NOT GIVING ME ANy DX.
    Glad your still here

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