It’s always interesting to get on the bands on the Monday after a big contest, and last evening was no different. The FT8 crowd was there … 80, 60, & 40 were full of FT8 signals … 20 and above were dead here. CW was a far second place …
BUT, the interesting thing …
I could not find a single RTTY signal, anywhere. Just the evening before, it was wall-to-wall RTTY with the ARRL RTTY Roundup going on. I don’t know if they were all burned out or if they only fired up that mode during contests. I suspect some of both!
I dove in and worked a bunch of North American FT8 QSOs, with some Caribbean islands thrown in for good measure. I also worked a few CW contacts as well. Had some enjoyable chats there. I try to pick the best-sounding fists. I’m getting too old to try and parse poorly sent, poorly spaced CW. Running words and letters together is NOT GOOD!
Sorry for my mini-rant there … have a good week and get on the air! Enjoy!!
Even though I didn’t get on the air all weekend (due to other commitments), I’m still hangin’ in there! In addition to my previous contact with Rwanda last week in twenty meters, I made another contact with them last night on 40 meters. I’m still trying to nail Mayotte (TO6OK), but they’re a bit more elusive. I’ve heard them, and seen them spotted, but no luck on CW or FT8.
A note on the TO6 pileups … there are some totally messed up people out there. Anyone who deliberately QRMs any QSO, not just a DXPedition, is a loser in the true sense of the word. Strings of dits, cursing, deliberately calling CQ on top of the DX station, all with no ID … you have to wonder if these folks have any other life! And don’t forget the oblivious ops who have obviously never heard of split operation … not to mention the frequency cops who add their own offering to the chaos.
So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be a LID! Cut the other guy some slack. Don’t be an antisocial jerk! It’s a lot easier if we all show some courtesy to the other op. Stay cool …
The bands suck … right? If you look at the solar conditions, they’re no good, right? Can’t hear anybody, right? Behold …
Those flags represent the stations I heard on FT8, 80 through 17 meters, this evening. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, loads of Europeans, Australia, Oman … what more do you want? Could I work them all? Unfortunately, no. But I worked a bunch … twenty-one of them. With a better antenna … you never know. But they’re THERE … and they’re WORKABLE … by SOMEONE! Might be you! The right time and the right place!
Turn the radio on … don’t sit and complain. They’re there! They’re waiting!
Looks like solar activity is “heating” up a bit. Propagation has been erratic, but last night I got on for a while and was pleasantly surprised.
I didn’t work anything new or spectacular, but as you can see, I was certainly being heard all over.
According to the predictions, we’re due for a rocky time in the next few days from some pretty big solar storms. But … don’t rely on the predictions … turn on the radio … the bands are always open to somewhere.
Next item … a RANT! One thing I noticed last night was that some ops are running way too much power. A couple of stations were running so much power, they were distorted and you could actually hear it “crackling” in their audio. Luckily the JT modes are robust … you could copy in spite of the splatter. Please, watch your power!