Monday, March 7, 2011

Solar Flux Index Leads to 10 Meter Fun!

What a great Monday it was! Monday can be a bit tough for anyone but a Solar Flux Index of 153 will sure make any Monday better. 10 Meters (28MHz) started off with several beacons being heard from various locations in the lower 48 not to mention several heard in Mexico. Once the beacon spots started to show up, the band came to life. I personally only made 9 contacts on 10 meters today.  I was busy working through my stack of QSL cards I had received from the Alaska QSL Bureau. I did more listening than hunting. I would normally go fishing (find a frequency and call CQ to see what I could catch) but I opted to just tune around and work a station here and there. 

I have HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) set up with alarms that will text and email me should Alaska get spotted on 10 or 6 meters. Since I leave my logging program up and running 24/7, as long as I don't lose my internet connection, this is a great way to catch these types of openings. The only sad part is if a text is received, and you are nowhere near your radio.

The cluster is many things to many people. The beauty of the cluster these days is the ability to filter and set alarms for specific callsigns or countries. I was a bit miffed today when I saw the following message from the cluster;

HRD DX Cluster
DX Callsign ......: KL8DX
DX Locator .......: BP53
DX Country .......: AK-Alaska-Nome-KL7
Frequency ........: 28000.0
Date .............:  7-Mar-2011 1921Z
Spotter ..........: WD9DZV
Spotter locator ..:
Spotter comment ..: NO /B DX SPOTS ONLY!!

My first intention was to fire a response back but I figured I would be a bit more adult about the matter. Obviously, WD9DZV is the keeper of the world wide DX cluster system. The cluster is used for all bands, all modes, by amateurs all over the world. I see satellite spots, UHF and VHF spots, beacon spots, day in and day out. I, unlike WD9DZV, know how to use software to my advantage when it comes to filtering those things I don't want to see. And since when is Alaska NOT DX?  Last I checked, this 49th State is listed in the ARRL DXCC listing. I don't spot for me, I spot for those letting them know that there is a path to Alaska!  

Ten meters does not open into this part of the country very often so we take full advantage of each and every opening. I know I'm not the only Alaskan who enjoyed the fruits of the propagation tree today on 10 meters. Let's hope this is just a hint as to what is yet to come. I would love to finish my WAS (Worked All States) award for 10 meters not to mention get my DXCC on that band from this location. 

When you hear 10 open, don't forget to point those antenna's toward Alaska! Oh, and I will continue to post beacons in the hope that folks in those locations will do just that, point their antenna's toward the many hams in Alaska! 



  1. Keep on spotting beacons Phil. It would be great to work you one day on 10m. But it will take some time till I got me 10m beam up. Hopefully I will get to that one of these years.
    I tried to setup my station for 10m WSPR today, but did have limited time and the autotuner did not respond at the 5W from my FT817. So I guess I will miss the good propagation again...
    Hope you will have more luck. 73, Bas

  2. Bas,
    LOL, I sure plan to. I was actually as SYSOP of my own Packet Cluster before the internet craze came along. I ran JNOS and had a dual port system, 2 meters main frequency with a 440 backbone. Other than UHF/VHF beacons, I never really relied on them when I lived in "8" land in the lower 48. That has changed living in a northern latitude where propagation is challenging, to say the least. I'm a fan of the beacon network for sure.

    I saw that TF8GX, Gulli was spotted on 10 meters and I listened for him several times but no luck. I have seen Gulli's QTH when I was in Iceland but kick myself for not going over and introducing myself. I not only hope to catch him, but also to hear EU on 10 meters and it would be awesome to log a 10 meter QSO with you my friend!!

    I listened to some JT65 and some PSK31 on 10 meters but when the band is open, there is much more SSB than CW activity. I worked some PSK31 during the last opening I caught and I am focusing a bit more on the digital modes when I have the chance. Either way, 10 meters is exciting and it sure is great to see it return! Let's both work lots of DX on 10 and blog about our success! :0) 73!