24 Jun 2014

Sunspots slowly falling?

Today's sunspot count is 65 with "normal" 20-30MHz conditions. It looks to me as if the solar activity is now on the slide downwards. This does not mean an end to good conditions. This autumn 15, 12 and 10m should still be in very good shape and it will be a few years before we really see the changes.

There are all sorts of predictions about the next few cycles. The consensus is the next few cycles will be ones with low solar activity. It is still too soon to say if we are really entering another Maunder minimum. Don't worry: this is a chance to explore HF in different times. There is unlikely to be any (much) East-West F-layer propagation on 12,10 and 6m but North-South propagation will be possible some of the time and openings on Es can be surprisingly distant in all directions at the optimum times of the year.

And there are always VHF, UHF, microwaves and nanowaves to explore!

Let us see the coming years as a challenge. We may never see really good conditions again in our lifetimes but there will still be interesting propagation and DX to be worked and heard.

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