Posts Tagged ‘cycle 25’
The batch of bureau cards last week included several cards from Europe and were probably the last I'll get for my Cycle 24 10m fun, using the homebrew Tri-Tet-Ten.
As mentioned previously, this rig was the culmination of wondering, for many many years, if I could get a single 6L6 to work well enough on 10m CW, using a 40m crystal ... quadrupling to 10m ... and still have enough useful output to work Europe! As well, the note would have to be 'acceptable' as I realized that any crystal chirping would be multiplied four times, during the quadrupling process.
The evolution of my eventual transmitter, is described in more detail here, where you can also hear what the tone sounds like. Suffice to say, the results were much more than I had ever hoped for and during the peak years of this past cycle, many enjoyable hours were spent on 10m CW with my one tube tri-tet crystal oscillator.
I guess I could always move down to 20m CW but, for me, this just doesn't have the same appeal or sense of satisfaction as using it on 10m or what I like to call, "the other magic band". Who knows what Cycle 25 will bring to 10m? I may get another chance yet, if the solar prognosticators are all wrong!
We now seem to be, on average, on the downward slope to the next solar minimum. Some are predicting that the next peak will be almost a non-event with the sunspot number peak of just 7. Of course no-one really knows, but I think it is true that most experts now think cycle 25 will be very poor. Conditions on LF/MF are likely to improve but decent F2 propagation on 10m is likely to be rare, except perhaps with N-S paths over the equator. What is certain is no-one is really sure. Summer Es could well be the dominant DX mode on the higher HF bands.
UPDATE 2048z: I have now gone QRT (for the night) on 10m but I will be on 160m now and overnight. Back on 10m tomorrow morning after breakfast.
It has been notoriously hard to predict future solar cycles, but the science is improving all the time. Right now, the experts are predicting that solar cycle 25 will be very small indeed. Some think we are moving towards another Maunder Minimum when solar sunspots all but vanish for around 50 years. If so, most of us alive now will never experience “good” HF conditions ever again in our lifetimes. Experts can be wrong!
On a positive note, poor solar activity often means the lower frequency bands are better. With some luck, we may have a new international contiguous band at 60m in a few years’ time. This depends on WRC2015.
Regarding cycle 24, it looks like the peak was Feb 2014.
See http://www.solen.info/solar/ .