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Old 02-25-2011, 11:43 AM
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Groucho Groucho is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Posts: 1,651
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Keep in mind the effects that the atmospheric conditions have on radio waves. They are predictable (sometimes) with the time of day, and obviously with the sunspot cycle.

I usually have great QSO's on 17M phone in my later afternoon (~11PM-ish GMT). And this propagation travels fast. It starts on the eastern seaboard and ends up in Japan in a very short period.

My 20M voice contacts are good for weekend mornings. I can usually hit eastern europe from my mobile rig from between 2-4PM GMT my time.

My 40M voice stuff is mostly at night. From 1AM GMT to 11 AM GMT I get really good propagation. I made a good QSO to Hawaii on 40 in my early evening. But right around 12PM GMT the international broadcast stations wake up and 40M goes dead for amateur traffic. Too much QRM.

I made one 10M contact in my history as a licensed amateur. That was just after I got my technician license. I spoke with a guy for about 90 seconds from California. That was it. No luck on 10M since then, but I'm hoping that we start climbing on the back of the next sunspot cycle so I can make things fun. 10M when I was 12 and listening to my father (early 80's) was kind of cool. He took a converted CB radio, and transmitted around the world with 4 watts of power to a 50' high 10M beam.

That last experience is to show how dependent these radio waves are on conditions. My father now has legal limit amplifiers to beams up 80' in the middle of nowhere New Mexico and 10M is still dead. 20 years ago (during what some consider the best sunspot cycle to date) 5W on a converted CB rig literally went around the globe. Cayman Islands to Christmas Island.

Now start praying to Ra the sun god for more sunspots...
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