All Things HF: July 2018

The best laid plans etc.etc. and then there’s Murphy’s Law so that’s how it is sometimes in this hobby that we’re consumed with or…the hobby that’s consumed us. The first conundrum was the DXpedition to Bouvet that was suddenly aborted within sight of the Island, next was the much anticipated DXpedition to Baker/Howland that went QRV at the appointed hour with some of the poorest propagation of sun cycle 11. This operator spent literally hours listening for even the faintness signal of CW or SSB to no avail. There were no sunspots at the start of the DXpedition and no sunspots during nor at the end of the DXpedition. There was some sort of propagation for some regions of the globe but…nothing to my station. The operators on Baker Island did a terrific job of making 64,000 contacts with 17,000 unique call signs. I have an acquaintance in Hamilton, Ohio NØFW who filled 21 band slots out of 30 available indicating a propagation path for Pete who is an avid DXer. In all, KH1 on Baker Island made 11,000 CW contacts on 20-meters and 8,000 SSB contacts on 20-meters to North America. There’s no doubt that disappointment runs deep because of the poor band conditions. I suspect the low numbers to North America were a disappointment to those on the Island pounding brass and those on phone along with digital modes that expected the overall numbers to be closer to 100,000. I applaud those folks for their efforts to bring this rare ATNO to the worldwide DX community…they’re deeply appreciated. I’m disappointed that 2 good ones got away from me. Sunspot cycle for the most part was not as good as it could have been plus it has a couple of years to go. Hopefully we will see better band conditions soon. In the meantime, I still work HF almost daily connecting mostly with stations in the U.S. and occasionally a DX so the hobby is alive and well here at my station. Be sure to keep HF radio alive by calling CQ because someone somewhere is listening for your call, don’t disappointment them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be.

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob/WØZPE

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