Monday, 18 November 2013

The Magic band surprises yet again

Yesterday 17 November the 6m band opened yet again and many South African stations were able to work into Europe. There has not been a significant opening in months. In fact, the TEP season which should have peaked at around equinox 22 September (almost 2 months ago)  has been a huge disappointment.

All that changed yesterday. The band opened up with a vengeance and the opening we had lasted for several hours. At times the signals were remarkably strong with the odd reports received of S9+25 dB This seldom happens, most of the time we must be satisfied with working signals that are just above the noise floor and often distorted due to the typical multipath that the signals follow.

The image certainly suggests that this was a typical TEP opening, but who knows? The SFI has been climbing and is now sitting at 177. I sure hope this trend continues. It could make for a interesting CW-WW-CW contest this coming weekend.

I managed to work 141 stations from 45 grid squares during the opening.

No new DXCC entities were worked, seems like I am stuck at 55 countries worked/confirmed. I did work a few new grid squares (3 new grid squares already confirmed in LoTW) total now 156 VUCC grids confirmed on LoTW.

My HRD log shows 273 grids worked with 186 confirmed.

These 6m openings are great. For a few hours it feels as if you have the world at your feet, with dozens of callers begging to work you. Then "poof",  it's all over and back to being a tiny pistol and listening to white noise yet again……

6m 17 November 2013

ZS6A 6m grids worked 17 Nov 2013


  1. Hi Pierre,

    I'm going to have to start paying more attention to 6m. Every once in a while, I read stories like this - always after the fact, of course - and it makes me regret not having been a part of it.

    Just curious, what type of antenna do you use for 6m?

    John AE5X

    1. Hi John,

      I have only recently started playing on 6m and never quite understood why some have such a fascination for the band.

      Now I understand why it is called the “Magic band”. There is so much to learn and gives a rush second to none if and when the band opens up.

      I use a 5 element Yagi 6M5XHP from M2, mounted at 8m agl. This is a remarkable antenna which I can highly recommend.

      Hope to work you during CQ-WW-CW this coming weekend.

      Pierre ZS6A

  2. I forgot to mention that the very next day we had a similar opening and I managed to work some 60 odd 6m stations including a ATNO The Island of Jersey - GJ