G0KTN's blog

According to the latest user manual the new FST4W modes should provide enhanced capabilities not only in the LF/MF region but also 160m. Regular activity is now well established on 136 and 474.2 using FST4W with some excellent transatlantic spots when conditions allow, so perhaps its time to see what can be achieved on 160.

There was some initial activity on 160 (and higher) when the modes first became available but appeared to die out after a few weeks.

The special activity day events are due to start again this coming Wednesday 8 April – see top left corner of the home page for future dates.

This has been a very popular event in the past, generating a high level of activity on bands that normally attract a lower amount of interest. The last 17m event on 29 October 2008 generated 7199 spots in 24 hrs which just goes to show that there is a surprising amount of propagation around even at this rather depressed stage of the SS cycle. The last 40m event on 12 November 2008 generated 37,866 spots in 24 hrs.

I think the concept of the Wednesday Special Activity Day (SAD) is excellent and up to now has been very successful in encouraging stations to try bands other than 30m. I do think however that it could be far more useful if it were extended into activity periods of say 3 days at a time over Friday, Saturday, Sunday for instance. This would allow operators who are at work during the week to take part and maximise activity.

Some stations are already doing extended transmit and receive antenna experiments, some are involved in propagation research, others in qrpp activity. All of these would benefit from extended periods of activity to obtain reliable results. It might also allow stations to perhaps try out different antennas during the activity period in the knowledge that the activity would be there again the next day/night.

The following list of dates, allows for activity on mainly darkness bands like 160m and daylight bands like 10m to take place during the same activity period.

Extended 3 day activity periods

6 – 8 February 160m/10m
13 – 15 February 80m/12m
20 – 22 February 40m/15m
27 Feb – 1 March 60m/17m
6 – 8 March 160m/20m
13 – 15 March 80m/15m