31 Dec 2021
As the 10m antenna is available, I am on TX with the 500mW W5OLF beacon. So far, at 1020z, 2 unique stations are spotting me. EA8BFK (2880km) gave an amazing +15dB S/N report just now!!
UPDATE 1417z: 3 unique stations have spotted me with the furthermost FY5KE (7110km).
UPDATE 2020z: Still just 3 unique stations spotting me today. QRT soon.
Once again, I was briefly on 6m FT8 using 2.5W TX to the V2000 vertical omni antenna. After the brief TX period (no spots!), I am RX only (no spots!). OK, it is early. Maybe things will get better.
30 Dec 2021
My own theory is this is some sort of chordal hop E layer propagation. It always seems to be in late spring/early summer and is linked to noctilucent clouds which form in the mesosphere around this time (late June, early July in the northern hemisphere).
I get the impression that these modes may well work at far higher frequencies, possibly even microwaves.
See also John's blog at https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/ .
For most of the day since breakfast I have been on 10m WSPR TX with my 500mW W5OLF WSPR beacon. At the moment the vast majority of spots are by EA8BFK (2880km) with a couple by local G4KPX (14km). I think the spots in the Canaries are single hop F2 as some are very strong.
After a very brief period on TX (2.5W to the V2000 vertical omni antenna- no spots of me), I am now RX only. So far after about 15 minutes (it is now 1050z) just 1 G spotted on RX in the form of G3RIK (224km). No winter Es evident yet here.
UPDATE 1446z: Just 3 G spots on RX.
My family history can be traced back to the mid 1400s. Many of my relatives are buried in this Devon village. There are some gravestones well over 200 years old. I remember having harvest festivals and my parents funerals in this church. The big building in the foreground is the old vicarage and I remember this as a child long ago.
29 Dec 2021
As my 10m antenna was free, I am again on 10m WSPR with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. I have been on since 0943z. So far, spotted by local G4KPX (14km) and EA8BFK (2880km).
Yesterday I was spotted on 10m in the USA for the first time this solar cycle on WSPR.
28 Dec 2021
27 Dec 2021
Apparently, I have spotted 83 countries on FT8 in the last week. Although most of these will be on 10m, I have been on 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m ,17m, 15m, 6m and 2m as well. This mode certainly digs signals out of the noise.
I am on RX far more than TX these days.
I am on 10m WSPR TX (500mW to the W5OLF beacon) as the 10m antenna is available. So far, no spots of me.
UPDATE 1554z: Just one spot of me, so far, by EA8BFK (2880km).
UPDATE 1645z: 2 unique stations spotting me. In addition to EA8BFK, I am again being spotted by G4KPX (14km). Richard is giving me a poorer S/N report. Nothing should have changed here, so I wonder if he has a higher noise floor perhaps due to Christmas lights?
In recent years we have noticed that the weather in this part of the UK (east) is much wetter. This may be cyclic, but it is more probably the impact of climate change. Some birds are now common in the UK since their ranges have gone further northwards. Swallows were noticeable by how few there were last summer. We get far less snow than we once did. Frosts were very common. Now they are quite rare.
Overall, wildlife is suffering with some species being pushed out and going extinct. There are a few winners.
26 Dec 2021
As 10m is closing, I have QSYed down to 80m FT8 RX using the Wellgood active loop on the shack window. It has been on for about 10 minutes and, so far, 28 stations have been spotted. The furthermost is supposed to be in Iran, but I suspect this is a wrong QTH locator.
As 10m WSPR was good, I have changed modes to 10m FT8 mid afternoon. After initially being on TX with 2.5W (no spots suggesting I was being clobbered by a bigger co-channel signal), I am now RX only with 49 unique stations spotting me at 1455z.
UPDATE 1615z: 134 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today.
After a very brief time on TX early this morning (2.5W, no spots of me) I am RX only with the V2000 vertical omni antenna. So far, (at 1044z) 5 stations spotted on RX with the furthermost OZ1HFG (873km). Most spots are Gs so far.
I am hopeful of some mid-winter Es.
If it looks promising, I may try TX again later.
UPDATE 1447z: 5 unique stations spotted including OZ and HB9. These could be winter Es or aircraft reflection. Now QSYed to 10m FT8.
As the 10m antenna is available, I am on 10m WSPR TX using 500mW to the W5OLF beacon. So far today just local spots, but at least I know it is working!
UPDATE 1425z: 4 unique stations spotting me with the furthermost FR1GZ (9724km). Think I shall QSY to 10m FT8.
UPDATE 1500z: QSYed to 10m FT8.
25 Dec 2021
For the last few days I have had a cold. Now I have given it to my wife! Just in case it was Omicron Covid-19 we both have done a couple of lateral flow tests that proved negative. It looks like it is a common cold.
It is several years since I have had a streaming nose and sore throat. I am largely recovered.
Let's hope Omicron turns out to be milder and we can all treat it like a common cold seeking medical help only when needed. Life could then go back to (nearly) as it was.
Today is celebrated around the world as Christmas Day.
I am not a strong believer these days, if at all. What I am sure of is all the world's religions are hints at a greater truth. We all need kindness and understanding.
Whatever you believe, I wish you peace and happiness now and next year.
Solar flux is 126 and the SSN 145. A=5 and K=1. These are quite remarkably high numbers.
24 Dec 2021
As there is chance of mid-winter Es, I QSYed to 6m FT8. On TX (briefly) I was spotted by 1 G station. On RX (at 1335z) 3 stations spotted with the furthermost F6HGB (983km).
UPDATE 1641z: 5 stations spotted on RX and 2 have spotted my very brief QRP TX sessions. No QSOs.
UPDATE 1835z: Still just 5 stations spotted. I think I shall QSY to an LF band.
This is useless!! At the moment we're meant to have light cloud and no sun. It's sunny!! As a BBC licence payer, I object to them wasting my money. As a joke it is fine, but it is rarely useful as a forecasting aid. OK the UK weather is changeable, but this is terrible even in real time. In the meantime, the best forecast is Windows - just look out of them!! 😁
At 0634z I turned on my 10m FT8 gear. One station spotted (Es?) and my short transmission was spotted by 1 station in England.
UPDATE 0946z: So far, 155 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX with the furthermost VK6AS (14459km) in Western Australia.
UPDATE 1156z: 260 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX so far today.
Well that was a failure! Absolutely nothing spotted!
Overnight I was hoping to catch the end of the meteor shower. Either I was too late, I was on the wrong frequency, wrong mode, activity was low, or the antenna was not good enough. I have copied DX on 6m with this antenna via MS in the past.
The man in the photo is Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister. He is well known for making promises he does not keep. He has charisma, but is fast losing his party votes. He has become a liability.
My bet is he will be replaced by the spring.
23 Dec 2021
At about 1900z I QSYed to 6m MSK144 RX on 50.280MHz, hoping to catch the tail end of the Ursids meteor shower. For the antenna I only have the V2000 vertical omni. No spots as of 2140z unsurprisingly.
I shall leave it running overnight, just in case, but I am not too hopeful.
I think this is the correct frequency in Europe.
The historic 17.2kHz VLF alternator CW TX that is a World Heritage Site and almost 100 years old is on the air tomorrow, December 24th with a special message. They will QSL.this page.
Today is my birthday and may I wish all blog readers a very happy Christmas and a good holiday.
This was a mid-winter holiday way before it was adopted as a Christian festival, so enjoy it whatever your faith or none.
The important thing is always to treat others as you would like to be treated - kindly and respectfully no matter who you are, your race, colour or gender. In the last analysis we are all the same.
Since about 0900z, I have been on 10m FT8 RX. It is now 0944z and so far 99 stations already spotted.
UPDATE 1006z: 149 stations spotted with the furthermost BA7IO (9494km).
UPDATE 1853z: 671 stations spotted today with the furthermost VK6XI (14434km). It would appear that is it for the day. I may try 6m MSK144 on 50.280MHz.
22 Dec 2021
At 0834z my 10m gear was turned on. At 0850z 87 stations had been spotted. It looks like we could have a good day.
UPDATE 1157z: 456 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX this morning. Good.
|10m FT8 RX at 1419z|
One thing is certain, experts do not agree!
In the last few days we have seen quite high solar flux and sunspot numbers for this part of the cycle. Most predictors suggest the next peak will be very similar to the last one. It could be smaller, but it could be much bigger. Only time will tell.
21 Dec 2021
For a change, I am on 30m FT8 RX. So far, 12 stations spotted, all in Europe.
UPDATE 1525z: 61 spots on 30m FT8 RX so far.
According to the EI7GL blog, some amateurs are proposing to experiment with DATV on 10m and 6m. Some DX is possible. I presume this is with much reduced bandwidths.
Being within existing amateur bands, no special permits are needed. In the UK special permits are needed to experiment at 4m or 2m with DATV.
20 Dec 2021
In all, I have probably been on 15m FT8 RX with the Wellgood active loop for about 30 minutes. So far, 54 spots with the furthermost RA0WHE (5565km).
UPDATE 0950z: 57 stations spotted with the furthermost BG0CAB (6149km). Certainly 15m is proving to be a good band at the moment. I expect this time next year 10m will be as good.
UPDATE 1050z: 109 stations spotted with the furthermost E24OYI (9466km).
As the PC and rig are being used for 15m FT8 RX, I am on 10m WSPR TX using 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. So far, just spots by local G4KPX (14km), but at least I know it is working! At 0945z, G4KPX has spotted me 15 times, but no DX yet.
UPDATE 1207z: 3 unique stations spotting me with the best DX EA8BFK (2880km) in the Canary Isles.
UPDATE 1426z: 4 unique stations have spotted me.
19 Dec 2021
It is now 0931z and I have been on for about 30 minutes. So far, 51 stations have already been spotted with the furthermost VK6AS (14459km). 10m is definitely getting back to life. This is with a very low modest end-fed.
|Stations spotted |
early this morning
18 Dec 2021
At about 1815z, I QSYed to 2m FT8. I was on TX (2.5W) for about 2 minutes and was spotted by 6 stations. On RX 13 stations spotted, but no "real DX" seen yet. At the moment, I am not seeing any stations at exceptional range. Still using the big-wheel omni antenna. No beams!
UPDATE 1945z: 52 stations spotted.
UPDATE 2002z: 58 stations spotted with the furthermost F6APE (553km).
UPDATE 2310z: 81 stations spotted at bedtime. RX on overnight (I hope). Several German stations spotted.
It is now 1113z and I have been on for about 65 minutes. So far, no spots have been reported to PSKreporter, which is rubbish as my screen is filled with stations. I shall have to try a total reset.
UPDATE 1150z: It seems to coincide with Windows wanting to do an upgrade. Don't you just love Windows? Complete reset done. Still no spots. I guess this could be a problem at their end? Anyone else had issues?
17 Dec 2021
16 Dec 2021
15 Dec 2021
14 Dec 2021
Several countries have, or are about to, demand Covid-19 passports to gain entry into large venues. Sadly it would appear that previous vaccines do not stop the Omicron variant from being spread. So, after a large event Omicron could still be passed on.
It would appear the real motivation is to get more jabs in arms, especially boosters that appear to work.
So far, evidence from South Africa suggests this is easily transmitted between people, but far less severe. If this proves to be the case, Covid could spread widely, but herd immunity might kick in sooner, which would be good.
This morning, I am on 10m FT8. I was briefly on TX and am now on RX only. So far, 4 stations have spotted me (at 0943z) and I have spotted 3 stations. This looks like mid-winter Es.
UPDATE 1120z: 17 stations spotted this morning on 10m FT8 RX with the furthermost TA6B (2963km).
UPDATE 1152z: About 10 minutes ago I tried a brief TX period with 2.5W FT8. Sadly, nobody copied me.
UPDATE 1317z: So far today 22 stations spotted.
UPDATE 1433z: Just 24 stations spotted and no "real" DX. It has been quite disappointing.