Saturday, 15 October 2011

10M The other Magic Band

I know we normally refer to 6M as the Magic band, but I think the same can be said for 10M ?

For so much of the solar cycle the 10M band is of little value to us as amateurs, but when the sun gets active and the sunspot counts improve it produces great results and surprises. Just yesterday I worked K5ZY at 07:00 UTC (9 AM local time) I recon this must have been a long path QSO via the sunlit side of the earth? IMHO: Quite unexpected propagation. The VOACAP predictions below does not show a path either. Maybe there is a lesson in that. We should remain optimistic at al times?

I don’t have decent antenna up for 10M, in fact I use my 40M dipole and tune out the gross mismatch with my internal ATU. This is worsened by using some 25 metres of high loss RG58U. So we can safely say that it is a very poor antenna system indeed.

With this poor antenna system I still hear plenty of activity and I also manage to work the odd DX. The signals are generally quite weak and I get rather poor signal reports using 100 watts. I have tried using QRP, but I have not been very successful. I think it is time to put up a half decent antenna. A simple rigid dipole i.e. a single element beam or single element Quad fed with good low loss feed line like (LMR-400) might be the easier and most practical option for now.

With a better antenna I might even get lucky and get to work some interesting DX using QRP.

I should stop procrastinating and erect an antenna this weekend. Sure would be nice to have a multi element gain antenna up high on a tower, but that is out of the question for now.

Have a great weekend.

10M Prediction for 07:00 UTC Short Path

10M Prediction for 07:00 UTC Long Path

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