Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Low Solar Cycle Doesn't Mean No Propagation

Listening lately to the international broadcast bands & the amateur HF bands has served as a reminder that the bad band conditions resultant from a low solar cycle does not equal zero propagation. As of lately, most of the broadcast stations across the globe on just about any frequency have just been screaming in here at 20 over 9 or better. Just yesterday morning, China Radio International was almost 60 over 9...as far as most meters go on modern rigs.

During the JOTA weekend, VY1JA in the Yukon Territory was screaming in just over S9 or better depending on the time of transmission on 20 Meters. WWV has been a 20 or better, and we won't even talk about RHC or the religious stations, or tin hat conspiracy stations. They are always at least a bit over 20 or about 35 over S9. As this article is in production, listening to 5.070.00 with a conspiracy program focused on Obama, they are between 20 over S9 and 35 Over.

Time to spin the dial, see what else is out here. Harvest Radio on 6.916.00 is 40 to 45 over S9 but I assume them to be local. Mind you, the antenna being used is nothing special. Just a G5RV. Here's something interesting! 7.523.00 brings in a Polish station at almost 20 over S9. 15 over is the true reading for this station. 7.730.00 brings in a German Station also at 15 over S9, swinging to 20 over.

This evening, 75/80 meters and 40 meter SSB is very active with mostly the 4 call stations being heard well. Most readings on these operators are 5 by 9 to 20 over. See, bad band conditions aren't stopping anyone due to the low solar cycle!

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