Next band poll summary

I find the results of the "next band" poll very interesting. The winner in a landslide is 6m, with nearly three times the votes of 2nd place finisher 17m. The late surge by 17m, especially after being accidentally omitted from the initial list, make it an excellent candidate for the next HF band.

However, the answers aren't as obvious as they might seem: there is strong geographical bias. All but 4 of the 18 votes for 6m came from EU/UK. All of the votes for 17m were from North America. ...

So, it's clear we have a good core group of stations interested regular operation on 6m in europe, and enough to create a nice propagation monitoring network for that band. It seems as if that would be very useful heading into Es season.

17m is a nice candidate for current propagation study, especially since it's on the edge of current MUFs, often open for several hours a day, but not always, and sometime more. I'm sure there are interesting Es results to be had there as well. The most interesting bands to study are those which are on the edge; paths which are always open or never open are pretty boring. Being a WARC band, it is probably friendlier to QRPp activity.

I think those who have strong 6m interest should try to sustain a critical mass on that band where geographically feasible. Many avid VHFers probably have separate antennas/rigs for 6m work which might not detract much at all from other HF opportunities, so it's not even clear how much of a tradeoff 6m is versus other bands.

I also think it makes sense to get a group active on 17m as the second HF center of activity for WSPR. I think we'll always keep a large group on 30m, but those who have second stations or who would rather work 17m should set up there. We've been doing a lot of band-hopping based on what's open at a given time, but I think it's important to have a group there even when the band doesn't seem to be open, as I expect Es and other unusual things to pop up.

Comments and/or contrary opinions welcome!