>16 MHz Reception "Problem" ?

BOBRR

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Hello,

Really enjoy the hobby, a lot, but much that I don't understand.
Using a WinRadio G-31 Excalibur. Really a nice radio.

Question:

Located near Boston
In the daytime, it seems I almost never pick anything up Over about 16 MHz am
Lots of stations below 16 MHz I can pull in just fine.

Have a simple "long wire" of about 75 feet or so, a Balun at one end, and then a coax run up to the house.

How "typical" is it for my location (and setup), perhaps, to have really poor results above 16 MHz in daytime ?

Thanks,
Bob
 

ka3jjz

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While the sun has been relatively quiet in the past, some sunspots are beginning to appear with the new solar cycle. Until we get enough ionization in the ionosphere to support higher frequency HF propagation, it can and will be sporadic. There will be good and bad days - just ask any ham who works the 18, 24 or 28 Mhz bands.

Right now most broadcasters are going no higher (on a regular basis, anyway) then 17 Mhz or so (the schedules do show some in 21 Mhz but not many). We are also going into the winter season where the lower frequencies will be favored.

Turn on your Flash player and read this - it will help get you started in understanding this....


Mike
 

GB46

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One exception, at least for me, is the activity in the FT8 digital mode. This morning (17:00-17:24 UTC, or 9:00 to 9:24 AM local) I monitored transmissions from hams in Spain on 14.074, 18.100 Mhz and 21.074 Mhz. That's unusual here, as my reception of European stations as a rule is difficult even under the most favorable conditions, but FT8 can decode very weak signals, even if they're below the noise floor.
 

ka3jjz

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It's hardly an exception. You simply had a good path this morning. Tomorrow, that path may or may not be there. As I said, there will be good and bad days - until the sun starts waking up a bit more

Mike
 

BOBRR

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Hi Mike,

Thanks so much.
Just the info I was looking for, and need.
Great.

Will definitely study up on propagation; an area I have never gotten into.

Regards,
Bob
 

GB46

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It's hardly an exception. You simply had a good path this morning. Tomorrow, that path may or may not be there. As I said, there will be good and bad days - until the sun starts waking up a bit more
I think what I meant about an exception is that I've rarely been able to hear a European broadcaster at that time, even when the bands are in good shape, but FT8 is an exception, because it's always reliable under the same conditions and in the same time frame.

Europe is pretty difficult even near sunset and on the lower bands. At least some of my difficulty picking up European stations is probably caused by the mountain ranges east of our valley. Not too far from us are the Kootenays, and beyond them the Rockies. That's why I always have better luck with stations to the south and southwest than in any other direction. Signals from Asian broadcasters are generally strong here during the early morning hours. After about 11:00 AM all I hear is ham activity from Washington, Oregon and California, some of which is on 40 meters. Most of it is on 20 meters, however, and FT8 gives me a lot more range, so that I can monitor stations from well beyond North America, especially from Brazil, Japan and some of Europe.
 

ka3jjz

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For us on the East Coast, we have a different issue. Most of us would give our eye teeth to have your location - you've got a straight shot into the Pacific and Asia, not to mention China and Russia. But then we don't have the 'radio shield' you do - You would need a heckuva tower to get over those mountains...Mike
 

GB46

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For us on the East Coast, we have a different issue. Most of us would give our eye teeth to have your location - you've got a straight shot into the Pacific and Asia, not to mention China and Russia. But then we don't have the 'radio shield' you do - You would need a heckuva tower to get over those mountains...Mike
Ah, but there's another catch: To the west of me are the Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges! Asia is a shorter hop, however, and doesn't require a polar route, so that's where my advantage is. Nevertheless, I prefer listening to the European stations, and have fond memories of hearing so many of them when I lived in central New Jersey, and could pin the meter with most of those stations just by dropping a short piece of wire out the window. Of course, our house was made of brick with no metal studs or stucco mesh to block the signals, and we had none of that RFI from digital devices back then, either.

At that time I held a technician class ham ticket, and operated exclusively on 2 meters with 18 watts input. My beam was permanently pointed northeast. My uncle did that, as he was a ham living on Long Island and wanted to stay in contact. At that time I couldn't afford a rotator, but was able to work New Hampshire without aiming due north, and could even work Pennsylvania off the back of the beam.

BTW: At the moment (21:55 UTC) some Japanese stations are showing up on 20-meter FT8, as well as some from the eastern U.S. and Canada. but I hear nothing at all on the 20-meter voice frequencies.
 
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Boombox

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I haven't heard any activity above 14 Mhz for a few years, even the CB band has been dead.

Not that I've been checking it much, but I usually check HF Ham bands maybe 1-2 times a month (when prop was up I used to check it daily) and still there is reduced activity and dearth of signals in the higher reaches of HF.
 

GB46

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I haven't heard any activity above 14 Mhz for a few years, even the CB band has been dead.

Not that I've been checking it much, but I usually check HF Ham bands maybe 1-2 times a month (when prop was up I used to check it daily) and still there is reduced activity and dearth of signals in the higher reaches of HF.
I heard a lot of skip on CB this past summer, particularly on channels 6 (27.025 Mhz) and 17 (27.165 Mhz), plus some LSB QSOs on channel 38 (27.385), but it has died down now. During skip conditions all of the signals I heard came from the western states. One evening the skip lasted 'til about 9:30 PM local.

Maritime signals on the lower HF bands have been very unreliable; the Navtex bulletins I like to decode on 8416.5 fade too much, so I get lots of garbage mixed with the text The station isn't very far away; it's in the San Francisco bay area. On occasions when their signal is strong, the transmitter is just idling; there's no data to decode.

As for ham activity, I've been monitoring FT8 more frequently lately to fill in the gaps left by just about everything else.
 
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