MW1CFN via rec.radio.amateur.moderated Admin
2018-03-27 07:00:25 UTC
Real-World Amateur Radio
Posted: 26 Mar 2018 02:33 AM PDT
Well folks, it's rarely wise to generalise about band conditions, but we
seem to have reached rock bottom these past few days.
Whilst the WPX contest provided an astoundingly high activity rate this
weekend, conditions on 14MHz remain generally pretty poor. That band takes
a long time to wake up in the morning, there is precious little indication
of long path propagation, and beyond 18MHz, there is not much reliable
Reaching the bottom. Image: Royal Observatory of Belgium.
The solar cycle is either at or very close to its minimum now, and
predicted by the Royal Observatory of Belgium to begin rising as soon as
late summer 2018. Certainly, we can expect solar activity will remain
very low until the end of 2018, at least.
I have to admit the lack of activity means I am not spending as much time
on the radio as once was the case. That 'slack' is being taken up with
tidying up developments at the 'weekend shack', and the chaos of also
trying to move house.
Global band activity at 10:30UT today. Image: DX Heat.
Turning to something other than radio is not altogether a bad thing. It
can become, and is for many of us, a bit of an obsessive habit that is
ever-present in the home. Not that it's a bad habit, but it can become
more like a lifestyle sometimes.
Still, summer is now sweeping in after the terrible winter that started
with ex-Hurricane Ophelia, and ended with two brutally cold spells of
weather following a sudden stratsopheric warming. After all that, simply
enjoying the great outdoors, with just a bit of 50MHz operating, will see
us through the last breaths of this solar minimum.