Did You Know About the Big Band Opening?

9am  Friday

At one time, I paid close attention to band conditions.  Now that I’m not on the air, not so much.  So don’t rely on this website for a real-time alert system.  The guys who are proactive and keep their eyes and ears open dig deeper and do their own research.

For several days last weekend into early this week, there was a widespread and strong tropo opening across much of the Great Lakes into the Northern/Central Plains and even into the northeast and Canada, too.  Many stations were working beyond the “normal” 300-500 mile range.  Lots of new grids being worked, lots of excitement.  Hope you got in on the action.
BEST WAY TO KEEP UP TO DATE is to follow the VHF/UHF live chat at www.on4kst.com.   If you haven’t registered (and used) this free and no-BS resource, you’re missing out on a lot of the on-air possibilities.  I lobbied ON4KST back in late 2009/early 2010 to consider creating a USA/Canada-based VHF/UHF chat room and in early March of 2010, Alain (ON4KST) delivered.   The story is here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072  Visit that link if you need instructions on how to register for the ON4KST.com free ham chat rooms.
ALSO… there is the APRS VHF propagation map which is here:   http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/  That website isn’t perfect, it tosses out false positives from time to time and you shouldn’t let yourself fall into the trap of only getting on and calling CQ when the “map looks good”.
Can’t emphasize that enough — the best way to find out how band conditions are is to pick up the mic and call CQ.  Not just once or twice.  Many CQ’s, spinning the rotor and looking in different directions.  There are many times where guys will say, “AB9XYZ’s signal is pretty good.  The APRS map didn’t show any propagation, but his signal was plenty strong.”

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