Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wacky Bands

I got up early this morning to snack on a New Zealand apple (even my food reeks of DX) and to listen to the bands. The bands are very noisy down here in FL today likely due to many heaters being turned on. Down here most people heat their palaces with heat pumps and resistive loads placed in the air handler so even though its only in the 40's lots of noise generators get turned on.

Propadex has been negative for days and is just now turning back green. The first green shoot poked its head out of the red just as I plopped down in front of the radio and now I have 3 greenies to brag about. I've been trying to discern the usefulness of this indicator for a low band DX kind of guy and it seems this kind of pattern is when this index is most useful. If the thing is red not much happening. If the thing is all green the result is variable but if the thing shifts from red to green it seems the bands perk up

My first contact was an OA4 on 160. He was truly loud a good -80 dBm. Nice copy. After I worked him I played with the diversity on him and was able to tame a good deal of the noise using that feature. There always seems to be a sweet spot where the signal sort of "jumps" out of the noise. Only a few south Americans trying to get a rise out of Asia on 160 so I flipped on 80 and heard JT1CO in Mongolia working simplex. I could get him to about 439 in his readability but the noise was pretty bad on 80 as well, but he was definitely copyable. I didn't get into the fray as I find working a DX pileup head to head on a simplex freq tiring to say the least. I heard a VK2 work the JT1 and the VK2 was -70dBm a true S9 now that's what I call a signal!

That's the kind of stuff I hear when propadex goes red to green, VK's S9 on 80M and the terminator is still a couple hours out to sea.

You know it's going to be a good day when you hear Mongolia on 80M