Monday, October 10, 2011

Just As I Remembered You...

10 Meter QSO's from KL8DX Oct 10, 2011
We have been blessed lately with some very good propagation on 10 meters (28Mhz), kinda like the old days when I first got into Ham Radio. Today seemed like the culmination of weekend activities for 10 meters. I did not realize when I first turned on the rig this morning that I would eventually deal with a non stop pile-up for 6 hours. That is exactly what happened between my first QSO beginning at 1817z and my last ending at 0018z. This was a day to remember and it was one for the record books here at ARS KL8DX. Yep, 10 meters has not been this productive for me since moving here eight years ago. We have had openings from time to time but nothing to this degree and this many days in a row. I left the shack exhausted but the log was over 230 contacts bigger than before I started today.

I'm not one for SSB but as I have mentioned before, I can always find much more activity on SSB than I can on CW with 10 meters. For this very reason, I will normally call CQ on SSB when I'm looking to drum up a bit of excitement. Well, today not only did I drum up a bit of excitement, I hit the bees nest of propagation. 
Notice 10 & 12 Meters

It's hard to predict when the some bands will open while others are a bit more predictable. I think that simply living in Alaska takes these predictions to another level. When dealing with the aurora, absorption, weather, terrain, and a few other out of our control situations, predictions are even that much more difficult. I have to laugh a bit when looking at the "Calculated Conditions" at the right. As seen predicted here, 10 meters has been far from "Poor" in my book and if anything, exactly the opposite. When talking 10 meters, I think of the Solar Flux Number first and the A & K Indexes next when predicting when 28Mhz may yield some activity. 

The Google Earth® map at the top reflects most of the contacts that I made from my QTH on 10 meters on the 10th of October, 2011. It just so happens that the 10-10 International Club had their 10 Meter Sprint going on so I actually did something I had not done in ages, give my 10-10 number out several times! This is how I remember 10 meters, all day activities, hearing stations in nearly all directions and exchanging 10-10 numbers while hunting new states. I am working on my WAS (Worked All States) using LOTW only and when I uploaded my log at the end of the day, I had 46 states confirmed. Just a few more to go. I did work those states today but I did not look to see if they were LOTW users. I really appreciated everyone's patience and the pile up did not stray out of control. I know there were many that tried working me that were unsuccessful. I spoke with several stations that told me they had been trying to contact me for over 2 hours! Now, that's a sign of a patient DX'er! Hats off to you'all!

I had a blast today actually talking with many on 10 meters. I operate contests most during the winter so it's nice to exchange something other than the typical contest format for a change. Yes, I could of run 10 meters like a DXpedition and operated split and just gave out signal reports but I have to admit, I do that so often it's nice to take things a bit slower and longer from time to time. I truly appreciate ALL QSO's and ALL that attempted to contact me today, successful or unsuccessful. I very much know what it's like to be on the "other side" of the pile up, trust me. 

My T32C Stats as of October 10th, 2011
In speaking of the "other side" of a pile up, my quest continues to get T32C on as many bands and modes as possible. I am missing two QSO's from what I see reflected in the chart at the left. This could be SLIM activity or a busted callsign. One was 10 meter RTTY so it was tough not to see that one show up. I suppose because it is 10 meters and the openings on that band are not as predictable as I had mentioned earlier. But, the good DX'er has patience and continues the hunt and does not give up. I will do just that! I will watch the spots and hopefully land T32C on a few more modes before they depart the island and head back to civilization. 

I snapped a few quick screen shots when working them on RTTY for both 17 and 10 meters. Because my contact did not show up in the log, I'm assuming a SLIM operation rather than a defect in the logbook. The 10 meter QSO I had with them is shown below. Maybe in the end I will be lucky and find out I did in fact snag them but I'm not holding my breath. My quest continues as it does for many.
As winter has arrived I get excited for what this contest season might have to offer. Something tells me that if this trend continues, this will be one exciting contest season!! I consider myself a seasoned DX'er and a contesting greenhorn. This hobby has something for everyone and days like we had today just keep me coming back for more!

Hello again 10 meters, I have missed you.


  1. Good morning, yes I will say I too was surprised with the excitement on 10m. Mind you from this spot on the globe there was no pileups. I am very happy with how 10m has come alive. I was able to get into Europe with my QRP signal and attic antenna.

  2. VE3WDM - It has been exciting to see 10 meters open each day for at least a week now, if not more. So very fun working lots of new stuff on that band. Hopefully it will continue which will make the winter a bit more...tolerable :0)