Wednesday, November 21, 2007

30 Meters

I've always enjoyed operating on 30 Meters but lately it's been one of the more productive bands for QSO's here at the bottom of the solar cycle. If you haven't been on 30 Meters for a while or maybe you've never been there it's time to take a look.

There's a moderately active Yahoo group for all things related to 30 Meters. You can look at the group web page where you'll find information on how to subscribe as well as a link to a great 30 Meter spot page.

The spot page deserves special note. Besides the usual features there are also feeds that come from "auto spot" stations such as mine. The auto spot stations listen around 10.140 MHz and when they decode PSK31 streams they spot them without an operator manually typing in the information. If your CQ or QSO shows up as an "auto" it means the station at that location heard your signals well enough to decode it. This near real-time propagation indication can give you good information on where you're really being heard. Currently there are just two auto-spotting stations in the US but look for more around the world to show up soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lack of Sunspots Got You Down?

Does the current lack of sunspots have you down? Don't forget to check out 30 meters!

30 meters continues to be a productive band both day and night even during the solar minimum. One group who promotes its use is the 30 Meter Digital group hosted on Yahoo. They use a variety of modes like PSK, RTTY and MFSK. Mostly they have a lot of fun and just encourage operators to remember 30 meters. One neat thing they also promote is a nicely done digital spots page done by Sholto, KE7HPV. Please join anytime but especially look around 10.140 MHz on Sunday and Thursday nights when activity is especially encouraged.

There is no phone operation on 30 meters in the US but CW is alive and well there too. The QRP watering hole is 10.106 MHz but there's generally activity from 10.100 MHz to 10.130 MHz.

Antennas are easy on 30 meters as well. A dipole is less than 50 ft long and chances are something you already have something up will work anyway. 30 meters is a shared allocation, remember to stay under 200 Watts.

Remember... someone's got to call CQ! The band will sound dead if everybody just listens.


Tim, N9PUZ