Thursday, December 8, 2016

When 80 sounds like 20 - during daylight

As we get ready for the ARRL 10m Contest this weekend, it's the low bands that have been the performers.

I've worked 3B8 and 3B9 many times on the low bands over the years but two days ago, for the first time ever, I worked them in the morning on 40 meters. All prior contacts with that region were made during my local evening.

I was surprised and amazed at the propagation, but it was about to get better...

Yesterday afternoon I noticed 3B9HA being spotted by W3LPL on 80 meters while the sun blazed outside my window. W3LPL spots mean very little to me as I can't even copy the stations he's spotting most of the time. A few minutes later another east coast station spotted 3B9HA so I decided to tune the rig and antenna to 80m so as to be ready as darkness approached.

As soon as I tuned to 3007.5 MHz, before even getting the dipole tuned, there he was, as loud as he would be during the best of conditions on the high bands.

It took 8 minutes of calling to work him and during that time 3B9HA was working Europe, JA's and the US. Propagation was amazing from his perspective. I couldn't copy any of the JA's and only a few Europeans so a good amount of guessing went into where to place my TX VFO.

So 3B9 goes into the log at 4:31PM my local time on 80m - in broad daylight. Now if 10m can be as good this weekend... :-)
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2 comments:

  1. Great propagation on your side John. I think 10m will work out at your side as well. North-south path is open every day. However it is difficult here in Europe. We'll see how things work out this weekend. I don't expect too much but take a close look at 10m these days. 73, Bas

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  2. Hi Bas - I'm not really setting much time aside for this contest but will listen from time to time. If prop is good, I'll probably jump in for a while. Good luck to you and 73

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