The things that memories of solar cycle peaks are made of…

When you look back on the peaks of solar cycles, I find that some of the memories usually feature 28MHz. Last cycle I spent loads of time on 28MHz CW working across the US and beyond from a tiny garden in Windsor, with a stealth wire antenna! The cycle before that, I remember listening to mobiles driving around Tokyo on 29MHz FM on my converted CB set with a small antenna in the loft.

I wonder what this cycle’s memories will be? Maybe some of the low power WSPR and JT65A. But this evening, driving home would be a contender. The KQ2H repeater was end stop on the Anytone and absolutely jammed with people trying to access it. After a couple of abortive attempts to put a call through, I sat back and listened.

6Y5SJ was working into the UK and Germany. A mobile in London was working a fixed station in Essex- over a path of 7000 miles or so! But what was brilliant was listening to (I think – this is from memory) K2SLJ/P using a UHF portable working another portable in New York through a UHF link. One of them was using 1W from a Baofeng UV-3R. How cool that their signals are crossing the Atlantic and beyond.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “The things that memories of solar cycle peaks are made of…”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Nice stories, Tim. Of course people still talk about the legendary Cycle 19 of the ’50s, and the last two weren’t bad either. But what we can remember in this current poor one is that openings do suddenly appear. These stand out as victories over adversity. In the last couple of months, using phone on an attic dipole running 100W, I’ve worked a V73 on 10m and just got the 3B9 on 20. For that I lurked on his expected frequency and waited for a greyline opening. To my surprise he showed up and this strategy actually worked. So there is DX out there, and contacts that will be memorable.

  • John N1PCE:

    For a few months during the last cycle I had 28.6MHz linked into my UHF repeater. One of my best friends had a blast talking to many stations all over the world using his UHF HT.

    I’m thinking it’s time to set that back up again. Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday. Time permitting of coures.

    John – N1PCE

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