Saturday, October 2, 2010

United States on top band, opening on 12 metres

It's been an exciting 12 hours. Last night just after midnight I sat at the radio for five minutes before heading to bed. Something made me head down to 160m to have a listen. There, I could hear K3ZM on CW. Surely I was missing part of his callsign? Maybe he was OK3ZM? No, he called again. It was definitely K3ZM, Peter in Charlottesville, Virginia. Not thinking I had a hope in hell, I decided to call him. I gave him a 2 by 3 call (his callsign twice followed by my callsign three times). He came back with "2KC?" And before you know it, we were exchanging reports. That's Peter pictured below with some of his antennas. (Note: I'm jealous!!)

Making the States on 160m is a big deal for me. As you might have read in a recent post, the furthest I've ever worked up to now on top band was Lithuania!! It's a bit difficult to radiate effectively on 160m with just 50m of random wire! But somehow conditions allowed a trans-Atlantic contact last night. I was thrilled. I went to bed with a smile on my face. That brings my total number of countries worked on 160m to just seven. It will be a while before I get DXCC on that band!!!

Today (Saturday) there has been some interesting propagation on the bands. The solar flux index hit 91 yesterday but has dropped somewhat today to 87. Nevertheless I've been hearing some interesting DX. For instance, Australia on 20m and 15m, working the Oceania contest (although not able to hear my call regrettably!), China on 17m CW, and a good bit of activity on 12 metres.

It was on the latter band that I sat on CW and gave a CQ and got Russia and Ukraine coming in strong with a bit of Europe too, notably Poland and Czech Republic. Interestingly I am on 37 countries worked on that band. Apart from one great opening last Spring, I am yet to hear 12 metres like it used to be in the good old days. So here's hoping for good dx to come.

Update: It's 12.45pm and I'm hearing 7Q7BP Malawi on 10m CW! Needless to say he's got a big pile-up!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anthony, Yes propagation has taken a spin in the very right direction. Sunspots are up the SFI is staying up there. As you said it sure is nice to see it at 91. Congratulations on getting into the States on 160m.


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