Posts Tagged ‘f2’
The slide down from a solar maximum is (usually) slower than the climb from the minimum to the maximum. Very gradually, the sun is going “off the boil” and solar activity is slowly falling away. With each year for several years to come things will get progressively harder on the higher bands. Some are predicting the next maximum may be a “damp squib”, so enjoy the conditions while they last. It is quite possible that 10m will never be as good again in the lifetimes of many of us. Certainly 10m is already not as good as a year ago. Although Es is good at any part of the cycle in late spring and summer, F2 DX is best around the peak of solar activity. In the past 6m has supported worldwide DX at times, but I think those days are sadly over.
I am beginning to think that 6m is now past its best both for Es opportunities and, of course, for F2 propagation. Almost zero Es on 6m in the last few days, mainly locals and a little GDX. I may give it a few more days before QSYing back down to 10m where both Es and F2 DX are more plentiful.
10m conditions should be good for N-S F2. Sunspot count is 256 (high) and 20-30MHz propagation is forecast to be “normal”.
If anything, solar activity has staged a bit of a comeback lately, but this may be just a blip.
UPDATE 1545z: As if to persuade me to stay on 6m, CN8LI (2113km) was spotted at 1450z.
UPDATE 1810z: No more Es here since CN8LI at 1450z. One blog reader tells me that I should try JT65 as there is more activity. JT9-1 worked well for me on MF with international 2-way QSOs with very low mW ERP. I think JT65 is more commonly used on 6m?
During the afternoon G4FFC (45km) and M0BOB (74km) were both copied on 10m WSPR. These are both outside local range and I would class these as GDX (just). Both show some Doppler so may be helped by aircraft reflection.
On F2 FR1GZ (9724km, Reunion Is) was being copied until 1512z, so good F2 propagation. I wonder if we’ll see South Americans later?
Es disappeared (here) at 1404z but may return this teatime.
UPDATE 1740z: EB3EPR (1248km) spotted me at 1736z and 1746z so Es is back (it is teatime!).
FR1GZ (9734km, on Reunion Is, south Indian Ocean) is still coming through here on 10m WSPR at -27dB S/N at 1444z and again at 1504z at -25dB S/N. F2 propagation N-S is still there when HF conditions are good.
Sunspot count today is “only” 80 – a year from now this will sound amazingly high – although 20-30MHz conditions are forecast to be “good”.
F2 on 6m is very rare except at high sunspot peaks and in latitudes nearer the equator. TEP involving F2 over the equator is more common, but it requires stations to be in the right places to work. On 6m the paths from CN8 to FR1 were open by TEP this spring. Also 4X to FR1 and VK to JA.
On 10m TEP should be more frequent. Sometimes F2 links with Es further from the equator, allowing TEP to be extended to stations in higher latitudes.
On 10m G4DAY (142km) was copied twice in the early morning and again at 0940z.
Es has been plentiful this morning. Looking at the WSPR screen earlier there was lots of MS about with several traces of intermittent (non decoding) signals on 10m WSPR, presumably UK or EU signals reflecting off meteor trails. Es so far includes DL6UG, DL6NL, EB3EPR, EA5CYA, LB9YE and HB9JOI.
Also spotted FR1GZ (9724km) by F2 propagation at 1038z, 1122z and again at 1128z.
10m is a far more productive band than 6m. Interestingly, G4DAY (10W) was being spotted by Es several times in the night suggesting Es propagation was there but not good enough to allow my 2W to be decoded. For some Es and GDX it seems 10W helps.
6m has been good with lots of spots both ways of CN8LI (2113km) during the day. So far, he has spotted me ten times (see below) and I have spotted him 5 times by 1435z. The common wisdom is this is Es but he is the ONLY DX spot so far and this is long distance for single hop. There is no sign of stations half way if this is double hop Es. Could it be F2-layer 1 hop? He has spotted me twice since (by 1525z).
|Spots of my 1W ERP 6m WSPR signal by CN8LI (2113km)|
|10m unique WSPR spots yesterday|
Quite a productive day on 10m yesterday with both Es and F-layer DX about. Best DX spot of my 2W was from FR1GZ on Reunion Is. and my best spot was of CX2ABP (11127km) in Montevideo, S.America who uses 5W.
This morning I have returned to 6m but G4IKZ, my faithful local reporter is not on!