Mid-Day Poor Conditions

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screamin72

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Everyday so far for 2 weeks or so, It would come to high noon scorching heat and HF is down in signal strength to almost no signals outside the broadcasts band. I check the propagation sites like for one it says 20 meters Good for day and night but I don't see this.

This is for portable / indoor antenna owners. Not for high up above the ground antenna owners.

Anyone in the portable antenna indoor antenna category suffer quiet bands for much of the noon hours? :(
 

SCPD

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Everyday so far for 2 weeks or so, It would come to high noon scorching heat and HF is down in signal strength to almost no signals outside the broadcasts band. I check the propagation sites like for one it says 20 meters Good for day and night but I don't see this.

This is for portable / indoor antenna owners. Not for high up above the ground antenna owners.

Anyone in the portable antenna indoor antenna category suffer quiet bands for much of the noon hours? :(
Conditions have been pretty lousy. Read the spaceweather.com web site and learn about what the numbers mean.
 
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screamin72

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Conditions have been pretty lousy. Read the spaceweather.com web site and learn about what the numbers mean.
So this explains the one sided conversations. Hardly any EAM's heard even though they are there. I wanted to see how many are effected by this poor HF conditions.Thaty space site is too high scholar for me to understand. Need one in the redneck mindset that is based on facts and not redneck humour. that is just what I am.
 

SCPD

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So this explains the one sided conversations. Hardly any EAM's heard even though they are there.
How do you know this if you can't hear them? Hint: There haven't been nearly as many EAMs in the last few years thanks to the DoD cutbacks. Usually they occur in the early morning hours or later in the early evening hours. In recent times, they haven't been very active in the early-to-mid-afternoon hours.

Of course, there's one now as I type this...

That space site is too high scholar for me to understand. Need one in the redneck mindset that is based on facts and not redneck humour. that is just what I am.
Then you should read the sticky posted in the forum:

http://forums.radioreference.com/hf...on/238910-hf-propagation-quick-reference.html
 

SCPD

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This is for portable / indoor antenna owners. Not for high up above the ground antenna owners. Anyone in the portable antenna indoor antenna category suffer quiet bands for much of the noon hours? :(
What portable radio do you have?
 
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screamin72

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What portable radio do you have?
It is the Ham It Up up converter for HF which is reported to be comparable to a portable receiver connected to the RTL SDR dongle. Antenna is a mere 18ft long wire for 20 meters indoor. I like to park it on 15016khz (scheduled not 24/7).

I can sling it out the window but that's not enough. My landlord doesn't want big antenna structures strung up everywhere. Apartment dwelling life.

I know if they are there because it seems to be the typical thing. There were times I would check the super dooper websdr at the University of Twente, Netherlands then bam there the EAM transmissions is while my hdsdr sits on static on the same frequency. I really rather use my own equipment for this to feel 'freedom' from worry of the site going down.

I have heard them late at night and wee hours of the morning them poof gone on mine. When noon approaches is 4 or 5 hours of "dang I wish HF where better"
 

SCPD

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It is the Ham It Up up converter for HF which is reported to be comparable to a portable receiver connected to the RTL SDR dongle. Antenna is a mere 18ft long wire for 20 meters indoor. I like to park it on 15016khz (scheduled not 24/7).
Why 15016? This is usually not a good frequency until later in the afternoon. You're better off staying on 8992 or 11175. Typically, 11175 is considered to be the EAM frequency.

Also, 18ft of wire is not much of an antenna. Some questions:

Have you checked this setup for calibration? Are you on frequency?
How strong are you receiving the time signals?
Is this setup configured for maximum RF gain?

If you can swing the extra cash, then I'd consider buying a portable SW radio with SSB. It helps to have a baseline.

The Tecsun PL-600 has SSB and is $75 thru Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Tecsun-PL-600-Shortwave-Radio-Black/dp/B00ESUOMFW
 
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screamin72

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How many people havbing reception problems on HF at mid-day?

Why 15016? This is usually not a good frequency until later in the afternoon. You're better off staying on 8992 or 11175. Typically, 11175 is considered to be the EAM frequency.

Also, 18ft of wire is not much of an antenna. Some questions:

Have you checked this setup for calibration? Are you on frequency?
How strong are you receiving the time signals?
Is this setup configured for maximum RF gain?

If you can swing the extra cash, then I'd consider buying a portable SW radio with SSB. It helps to have a baseline.

The Tecsun PL-600 has SSB and is $75 thru Amazon:

Amazon.com: Tecsun PL-600 AM/FM/LW SSB Shortwave Radio, Black: Electronics
I havve to ask you did you read 'apartment dwelling life' I don't have the room for 50 foot long wires. I am also really up to my forehead with radio spending. Software defiend radio is a good baseline. Yes it's calibrated and on frequency. I remember having this same issue with a Grundig portable in this neighborhood. I am beginning to think I am in a bad area for shortwave. WWV is always in and out fading alot or not there. This is weird because I can here amateurs partially on 20 meters but no WWV on 15mhz. 10mhz is all day in and out.

I didn't ask for help in this sense I wanted to see how many people are having this same issue. I already know antenna is to short.
 
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ka3jjz

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You're really asking the wrong question. Most everyone is going to notice that conditions have been depressed lately (it's been briefly mentioned on a couple of Yahoo groups to which I subscribe), and the reason, as mentioned on Spaceweather, is, in part, due to a Coronal Mass Ejection or CME which hit our ionosphere a couple of days ago. The impact was weak, but it can last a few days before things return to relative normal.

What is a CME? Basically put, it's a cloud of highly ionized gas emitted by the sun that travels along the solar wind. It can take a few days to actually reach us once it leaves the sun's gravity.

What you should be asking is 'why are conditions so lousy?'.And to begin to answer this question, here's a website - you'll need to get your Flash player going - that will start to give you the answers...

Propagation Primer - Flash Movie by AE4RV

Equipment issues aside, HF propagation is a complex subject, but you really don't need to have a degree in geophysics to understand the basics. And really, for most folks, that's all you need. Understand this, and how sunrise / sunset times affect what you can hear, and you've taken the first steps in understanding how this works.

Mike
 

Boombox

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Generally speaking, when the solar cycle's up and propagation is good, 20 meters can be good day and night, but usually you'll only see night activity when there's very good propagation, usually during the peak years of the solar cycle. This solar cycle hasn't been terrific.

I've never seen an incredible amount of HF activity on the high bands at noon. Afternoon and early evening is when it peaks here, at least in my location.

I use a digital portable SW radio (usually a DX-390) and a relatively short indoor wire. I used to have a longer, outdoor antenna, but still didn't see a terrific amount of activity on high HF bands at noon.

A few weeks last year I got a lot of activity on 11m, 15m, 20m, 17m, and even 10m, sometimes as early as 2 p.m. local time, but with conditions on those bands generally improving later in the afternoon.

This year it's been spotty, with most activity on the high bands limited to 17m, 20m, and sometimes 15m, starting to kick in around 3-5 p.m. local time. Some of the reason for this may be propagation, and some of it might be that more hams get on the air during that time (work day is through).

I don't monitor the military frequencies, so maybe it's different there.
 
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screamin72

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NATS PACAOTS HFGCS HAM tiddles

Generally speaking, when the solar cycle's up and propagation is good, 20 meters can be good day and night, but usually you'll only see night activity when there's very good propagation, usually during the peak years of the solar cycle. This solar cycle hasn't been terrific.

I've never seen an incredible amount of HF activity on the high bands at noon. Afternoon and early evening is when it peaks here, at least in my location.

I use a digital portable SW radio (usually a DX-390) and a relatively short indoor wire. I used to have a longer, outdoor antenna, but still didn't see a terrific amount of activity on high HF bands at noon.

A few weeks last year I got a lot of activity on 11m, 15m, 20m, 17m, and even 10m, sometimes as early as 2 p.m. local time, but with conditions on those bands generally improving later in the afternoon.

This year it's been spotty, with most activity on the high bands limited to 17m, 20m, and sometimes 15m, starting to kick in around 3-5 p.m. local time. Some of the reason for this may be propagation, and some of it might be that more hams get on the air during that time (work day is through).

I don't monitor the military frequencies, so maybe it's different there.
Identical to what I am experiencing. Most of the time I hear one way conversations on 20 meters even though they are not one way this only means I cannot hear all the amateur stations. Typically higher wattage signals get to my antenna. QRP (5 watts or less) rigs are not strong enough. I also am using a relatively short indoor antenna. Alot of hams use beam antennas as well that don't propagate like a monopole, dipole, and omnidirectional antenna. Propagation and solar cycle seems to be a major ball player in all of this. I was questioning if my up-converter somehow lost sensitivity but I guess not.

As far as military HFGCS There are times they are strong or weak. I can hear the volmets and WLO radios at a fair to reasonable level. WWV is stranger because I can hear like WWCR, WWTN, China radio good but WWV doesn't seem to be very strong or very weak. I am beginning to think it is location as well. Living in Oklahoma being so close to Colorado I wonder if WWV is 'overshooting' me a litle bit.

Gander ATCC FIR (ATC NAT) is kind of hard to catch because they don't transmit enough and mainly meant for NAT track beamed over the oceans west and east bound aircraft and before I forget southbound NAT's as well. If I hear them it is probably back scatter. We would figure aircraft at FL300 and up would be heard really far but It's real;ly up to the antenna, maximum useable frequency, solar cycle, F2 critical frequency and power output of the aircraft. There are no NAT's inland. Learned this in my Flight Simulator 2004 sim days learning a very little about aviation ATC on VATSIM, a whole different subject. I have heard some SELCAL tones and marginal volume of voice on sideband. They get these SELCAL codes before they enter the NAT. Same thing goes for PACOTS (Pacific Organized Track System) Same as NAT's but different locale.
 

Boombox

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On good afternoons I can hear numerous two way convo's on 20 meters. Sometimes European stations (usually weak, unless it's that guy in Northern Ireland and another guy in Spain who often have powerhouse signals stateside), plenty of hams from the Midwest and South, incl. Florida. Early evenings (if conditions are up) stations from Oz and NZ can be heard on 20. I can sometimes hear Japanese hams working North America on 15, 17, and also 20 meters -- usually during afternoons.

When I used to monitor the GHFS Air Force stations in the late 1980's / early 1990's I heard plenty of activity on 6761 khz and 11730 (?) khz (the two main frequencies at that time) and mainly it was EAMs and traffic to and from McClellan and other Western US air bases. Evenings I could catch ARINC stuff on the Pacific channels. But even back then most of the transmissions I recall hearing were afternoon and evening.

For some reason, high noon and HF at my location has never really clicked.
 

k9rzz

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That's why hams have so many bands. HF is crap? move up! VHF, UHF, Satellite, or build something ... eventually you'll find something fun, or fall asleep trying.
 
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screamin72

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It's been a long time ago one ham mentioned he rather stay on HF If conditions are lousy he just walks away from the radio and find something else to do.
 

hfflunki

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Conditions are always lousy in the summer just a fact of nature look for brother stair wwcr or wtww and laugh when winter comes try for it again
 
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screamin72

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Receiver Sensitivity being questioned.

Conditions are always lousy in the summer just a fact of nature look for brother stair wwcr or wtww and laugh when winter comes try for it again
I just looked at HF Propagation and Solar-Terrestrial Data Website

POOR POOR FAIR POOR

Them kind of conditions make one think their receiver went bad/ lost sensitivity.

As far as WWCR / WWTN. I live in Oklahoma, They're in Tennessee, I bet I hear them in the winter strong as the summer. That's if radio signals respect trajectory. Always full blast over here. Most the time so strong it overloads the RTL dongle.

Oddball conditions, maybe not? I can sit hear at times hear mainsail on both 1175 or 8992 khz plain as day and then try to listen to WWV ha! funny. WWV is weak, not there, marginal, or strong. I have no clue how much power mainsail runs what kind and what kind of antenna. It can't be one of them long ugly thin black things they used back in the day. I can hear WWTN blasting the front end and Radio Habana Cuba and partof the amateur radio conversation, and my favorite, JT-65A (this one is very cool for weak propagation). I have no idea how much power ham's use on Jt-65. They don't run massive broadcast 150kw transmitters but they can run 1.5kw legally and not all run it. It has been a bunch of hit n miss this summer.

Since I am using sofatware defined raio. I can pull the signals in just a little bit better using SDR-Radio V2(the best results). SDR# HA! nothing! HA! , HDSDR it tries I give it credit it does a good job sometimes. Thisis a good time to test those 3 programs because of the poor lousy HF propagation right now. In RTL and Ham It Up HF up converter. They always say " Your mileage may vary" This is my mileage. SDR# doesn't cut it as the developer and his 'followers' brags about.
 
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hfflunki

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When I said laugh I was referring to laghing at those stations fanatisim in the summer and dx on grayline and in the winter no disrespect intended
 

hfflunki

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Regular indoor appliance wire works best there's around 15 to 20 feet I just cut a foot and a half dowel the short wire maks up for not haveing a lot of wire on the coil check this sight out it has links to just about every antenna ydesighn you can find http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/
 
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