You might be puzzled as to the heading above, but let me be clear. This time last year there was no action to be had on 10 metres or 12 metres. 15 would close at sunset, and 17m might just stay open a while longer. Guys like me would arrive home from work - after dark - and find everything from 20m up closed. Not so this year!
10 metres has been open as early as 8am. One morning this week I worked China on 10m CW at 8am. Nice. But the liveliness of the bands, and the wealth of DX available, shows just how much conditions have changed in recent months. This weekend has been no exception, with great openings around the world on 10 and 12.
This morning I called CQ DX on 10m SSB using 200 watts. I got a couple of VKs coming back, solid 5 and 9, like European stations. Then I ran a pile on 12m for the afternoon, mostly into the States, but also snagging a couple of new DXCC, like V51B in Namibia and 3A2MG in Monaco. The USA was bombing in on 12m SSB, where, with the help of a borrowed Acom 1000 linear amp, I was able to run 400 watts for the afternoon. There were many states worked during the session, including: WA, CA, UT, NH, SC, LA, PA, MO, MN, ID, CT, TX, WV, IL, NC, OH, FL, NM, GA, VA, AZ, AR, WI, NY, ME, MT, CO, NE . . . the list goes on and on.
To top it all off, I nabbed E51NOU, South Cook Islands, on 15m CW, a new one on that band, followed by ZK2V (Nieu) as an all-time new DXCC on 10m. I worked him with 75 watts on 10 m, and about 40 minutes later I got him on 15m CW with just 100 watts.