Thursday, May 23, 2013

Like a Sponge

Absorption of DX signals according to HAARP
I enjoy reading several radio related blogs and one in that batch is by John, N8ZYA. John's blog details his chasing DX using QRP (low power). John's at the 122 days of DX worked now and I applaud his determination. John's use of QRP and indoor antenna's is something I may be doing myself, depending on where we choose to live in 1'land. If we are apartment dwellers, that will surely be the case but if we are lucky enough to land a house with a bit of property, hopefully I can throw something minimal up on the rental property. Maybe, just maybe, I can catch John on 40 meters or one of the other bands once we get settled. Sadly, I have not worked John from my Alaskan QTH, but he did hear me on one occasion and tried to unsuccessfully work me. I was hoping to work John from here someday but it appears I will be 4,600 miles closer when I finally snag a QSO with him.

I'm envious of John today as from the HAARP Riometer graph above, I simply hear absolutely nothing on the bands this morning. Not one signal! The radiation storm has rendered the ham bands useless here. Even if I could send 1,495 more watts than John through my coax and out my 4 element beam at 43 feet, I'm not working anyone. You simply can't work what you don't hear. Well, excluding some of the weak signal digital stuff now-a-days. :0)

Propagation here in Alaska (like many northern latitudes) can be extremely challenging. I had high hopes for some low power contest QSO's this weekend in the WPX contest. If this spaceweather continues, there will be few, if any. But on a positive note, our local weather has taken a turn for the better! The weather at our house is currently 40 degrees! The holiday weekend local forecast appears promising. Needless to say, it will be another busy weekend here and thankfully, the outdoor activities will not be hampered by rain or gusting winds.

I can't predict what the bands will be like tomorrow afternoon for the start of the WPX contest but at least I can safely predict our grill will be used a few times this weekend. This weekend will be the culmination of my ham radio activities from BP53lu. My remaining QSO's with my Mosley HF beam are now on the horizon. As the DXing sun sets for me this weekend, it will rise once again many miles east of here in the coming weeks/months. This is the weekend that I normally close the shack for the summer. This weekend is no different. It's camping season and we are now being bathed in sunlight nearly 24 hours a day. Lack of propagation, depressing? Yes!  All I have to do is step outdoors and it's all forgotten. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Phil,

    I thought I was doing well until I saw the post by K3WWP about his string of DX back in the year 2000.
    I made an entry on my blog today. It's pretty amazing.

    btw/ Last night brought me Bermuda and Slovakia. That makes 123. I'll look forward to hearing you from 1 land.