Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reverse Beacon Network

I enjoy tuning around looking for beacons, especially on 10 meters but another great way to see if you have propagation is the Reverse Beacon Network where you can enter your callsign and see if any of the monitoring stations hear your signal when calling CQ. With Skimmers (a multi-channel CW decoder and analyzer) being the next step to DX Clusters, there are "ears" on pretty much all bands. From time to time, I call CQ and see if I am being heard by any of these. I won't get into the debate of Skim or not to Skim, but I find it a neat propagation tool. Here I took a look at where my signal was being heard on 10 meters. It lists what station was hearing me, my transmit frequency, the date and time, signal to noise ratio, and the speed I was sending CW. This is a band that is not open on a regular basis so it's often fun to listen for beacons and just give out a CQ. Just because a band is quiet does not mean that it's not open. I normally find more SSB activity on 10 meters than I do CW. Let's hope with the peak of this solar cycle that will someday change. But for now, major contests are a great time to score some extra QSO's on what to me is also another "magic band."

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