Radio W4KAZ

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Any Time Now

Wazzap wit dat?

Reality sets in

2021_08_21_> Would be really nice to see solar flux improve, but sunspot numbers continue to be/trend mediocre. Either the predicted time scale is going to be longer or the magnitudes of activity lower. Maybe both?  Peak at ssn 60? That would be sad. The optimistic projections would be nice to see again, but I expect to be long dead before that happens.  SSN today at 25. Based on today’s reality, it time to repair the 80m antenna and that 15m/10m project is deprecated.

2021_10 >>

2021_12>> SSN Graphics,

2021_12_26_> What a difference a few months make. Too bad this didn’t show up in the week before the 10m contest. Beginning to think there may be a bigger cycle than I would have ever expected. A few more months of this would make the high bands worth experimenting. Was expecting peaks well below 100ssn….hmmm. From the site, [current graphic link].

ssn graph, dec 2021….Didn’t ever expect to see ssn over 140 this cycle, or even much over 80.



2022_01_04: This last graph shows the current cycle is ahead of the modest predictions that I thought were over-optimistic. The spike to 140+ SSN in mid December seems more like a much stronger cycle than the last, since the cycles usually ramp up quickly once they begin. That will make fun high bands again, but […]

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2021 WPX CW on 40m EFHW-[Extending a 40m EFHW as an 80 Vertical]

Very casual

The wpx operation was very casual. I spent a lot of the time just tuning around the bands listening. The beginning of a CW contest are always too fast paced for my mediocre CW skills, and taking a mental picture of band conditions was more fun. The bands sounded “brighter” than at any time in the past couple of years.

As a quick-n-dirty mod, I used a second feedpoint to attach the efhw to an 80m folded counterpoise. This is to allow 80m operation by shifting the feedline and using a jumper to bypass the transformer. \/expanded description below\/ This gave the antenna resonance on 3.625Mhz. To drop the resonance into the CW segment I wound a 6 turn coil on a 1.25 inch form. That is inserted at the bypass jumper with faston connectors. To raise the resonance to somewhere near 3.8Mhz a 3kv capacitance of about 500pf does the trick. 80m was good-to-go.Â

Dirty Tricks Department

So as luck would have it, the good band conditions made testing on 80m less useful than I hoped. 20m was open until at least local midnight (0400Z), and probably was open to somewhere all night. On Friday night few ops moved down as far as 80m with 20m and 40m providing a bottomless pit. It did allow for gathering some info from the RBN spots, which look like either the band was open in famous fashion, or the EfHW was doing a decent job. Maybe a bit […]

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