I've been a little remiss in updating this web site which I normally do every week because I'm in the process of finalizing a novel (I'm an author of mystery/adventure fiction CLICK here if interested)) and it is due for release next month. Working on the thing has also kept me from opening any ham radio! But the last time I was on, the bands were virtually dead during the week. The lack of sun spots is paramount in working DX of course and we are apparently at the bottom of the cycle.
We have had 150 days of 0 (zero) sunspots (58%) so far this year and there is no indication of how long this dearth of sun spots will last. But in spite of no sun spots that doesn't mean a lack of operating. It just means that you have to be a better operator. You have to pick your times better and do a whole lot of listening. New hams are all about transmitting. But the old timers will tel you that "listening" is the best way to work what you want to work. It just makes sense. If you are "talking" you can't be listening so you won't hear the station or area you are interested in working.
Also, you have to readjust your habits. I am a 20 meter nut and I always tune up on that band. Well, 20 meters doesn't work really well when here are low or no sun spots. So I need to drop down maybe to 40 meters. And, of course, 75 meters works really well with ground wave RF so you can get re acquainted with the hams in your region or state. There's always someone on 75 at night, and if you drop down to the CW portion you might be surprised at what is coming in. Now with computer decoding of Morse, and keyboard sending there is no excuse for you to avoid this mode..
And, finally, if you have never worked 160 meters, no sun spot time is the time to work the "Gentleman's Band." A long wire, with a simple tuning section at the base will get you on this band and if you have never worked it, it will be a pleasant surprise for you. So give it a try.
In closing, Iwant to say "Thanks" to all who used the link to jet NIST know that as Amateur Radio Operators we are vitally concerned with keeping WWB and WWVH on the air. Many of you used the lick to the petition and I expect that your response will have a great impact on the outcome of that hullabaloo.
Thank you for dropping by. . Send comments HERE. Until next week 73 and Straight Ahead ->