The solar news is on the up swing……..

I have seen the flux and sunspot numbers on the rise throughout the week and have been wanting to get on the radio to test the waters! This weekend I have decided to join in on the QRP DX Marathon than runs for the month of April. Fellow blogger Larry W2LJ is also involved in the Marathon and has posted great results. This is a QRP event were you are allowed make contacts using anywhere from 1 watt to 5 watts. There is a formula at the Marathon site that allows you to figure out your miles per watt. What makes this event a challenge is formula that is used to come up with your miles per watt. It seems to me that not only is your QRP power taken into the mix but the station you are contacting also counts toward your miles per watt outcome. So if you have a QRP to QRP contact then you earn a higher score. I found this out the hard way yesterday when I made contact with SP8FHK from Poland with 1 watt...but he was running 1KW and that really hurt my score!! At this point I am number 23.
Today I am at it again but so far no luck, I have been finding stations such as F7HKA, HB9TN and IK5ZWU all on 24 mhz but no luck in contacting them. I start out calling them at 1 watt and move my way up to 5 watts. I have not been able to hit the 5 watt level as they seem to fade into the noise level before then. The day is still young and opportunity awaits me on the bands.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “The solar news is on the up swing……..”

  • Bill - WA8MEA:

    Sorry, Mike. I am not at all optimistic about this new solar “surge”. I still believe that 2011 was our peak and we are on the downward spiral of Cycle 24. Already the spots have dropped from 146 to 117 overnight.

    The pattern of a Maunder Minimum seems VERY likely. In fact, it is somewhat ironic that you wrote the article on the same morning I was considering petitioning the ARRL and CQ to change some of the five band awards away from 15 and 10 meters, and asking for 160 and 17 meter substitutions. If a Maunder Minimum is underway, many hams in their remaining lifetime will not be able to garner a five band award if 80/75. 40, 20, 15 and 10 are still the benchmarks.

    Go to this website:

    Note how far off graphs four and five are from the smoothed predicted cycle, and the actual smoothed cycle: About 40 points off on the sunspot numbers and over 20 sfu’s on the flux.

    However, this is the most stunning graph of all: Cycle’s 21 to 24!

    73, Bill – WA8MEA

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Bill, yes the 21 to 24 cycle seems to show that 24 is not peaking at all like the past few years have…but I have had some great QRP and QRPp contacts with cycle 24!!

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