Friday, January 15, 2010

Springtime for shortwave

Spring is my favourite time of the year. The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting warmer and everywhere looks brighter as green shoots appear in the woods and gardens and the early flowering plants start to appear. Spring may be a fair way off yet but we definitely seem to be in the spring of Solar Cycle 24, with a solar flux of 90 and a SSM of 34, and it's cheering me up no end.

A post by Paul, WW2PT prompted me to try 17m for a change, and there was a fair bit of activity over the kind of distances one would only have expected on 20m a few weeks ago. I made several PSK31 contacts before lunch including a new country for me, 7Z1HL in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

There was quite a pile-up on Harry but he was a snappy operator sending just his name and a report and I'm glad to say that everyone I saw working him were equally brief in their replies, so he was making a contact every minute or so. I was pleased to get this one in the log using 25W to my MFJ magnetic loop in the attic.
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