Yesterday was one of those rarer events (now we’re on the back end of the solar cycle) where everything seemed to fall into place nicely. I first noticed something was brewing while testing S.D.R antenna for 50MHz (6 meters), having the band suddenly open up with a nice crop of European stations was great to hear and instantly sent me off to have a look at how HF was doing.

HF propagation

Noticed improvements across the higher HF frequencies with probably the best being 14 MHz (ham band). Excellent strong signals were flowing into the UK in what seemed like a straight line drawn from Australia, through the middle east and up the center of Europe.

After having a scout around for utility traffic I sat and listened to a very clear VK (Australian) ham operator who was having a good run. He must have had at least 3 hours of perfect conditions before the band started to change.

Keeping An Eye On DX TV

Recently started up monitoring low band VHF for television signals coming out of Europe and with the activity on the 50MHz ham band I was constantly checking a bunch of TV channels to see it my new setup was bringing anything in, but didn’t see a single picture.

When’s there’s a nice lift on it’s good to try and cover as much ground as you can, but you can only truly pay proper attention to a few radios as the same time before it gets really confusing. Being creative with volume and squelch levels does help along with using the visual aspect of S.D.R to look at larger chunks of spectrum without actually listening.

Even with careful setup up of all my HF stuff yesterday I still could have done with more radios. There’s another S.D.R dongle on the way and if the postal service gets it right, I’ll have it setup on its own computer by the weekend 🙂

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