Here is the fortnightly bulletin of DX information for Australian DXers. Solar and ionospheric news, DX observations, announcements of DX activations, operating tips, and anything else that may be of interest to DXers in our part of the world may be found here. Reader’s observations and suggestions for content are welcome.
The sun was mostly quiet over the past two weeks, but the geomagnetic field has been at unsettled to storm levels recently from recurrent coronal hole high-speed solar wind streams. In fact, this effect has been amplified due to what is known as the “Russell-McPherron effect”. This has the greatest effect around the equinoxes, and the least effect around the solstices. The sun’s relationship with the Earth varies with the seasons, and we have just passed our Spring Equinox, where the length of day and night is equal all over the world. This may be observed on a “Greyline Map”, tool offered in many logging computer programs. One may observe the changing length of dark and light globally, as we pass through the seasons, marked by the solstices – the longest and shortest daylight hours and the equinoxes – where the day and night is equal.
For an interesting weekly report on Space Weather, see Space Weather Woman, Tamitha Skov’s YouTube videos. Her latest is here: https://youtu.be/xAeBAcBq4UE
The Spring Equinox has also brought us improved propagation on at least the lower bands. Whilst it is a long way from conditions we enjoyed a few years ago, it is definitely busier on the bands, not to mention the frequent Contests and more DXpeditions on air.
Around the bands
Forty, thirty and twenty metres have been going quite well over the few weeks, with signals from most parts of the world. If you look at the FT8 segments, these bands run just about all day and night. At times they are absolutely buzzing with DX from nearly all over the world.
Low Bands are picking up, with some good openings on 160 and 80 m. High bands are poor, with little heard above 20 m.
DX Heard or Worked
Norbert VK0AI is seen fairly regularly on 30 and 20 m FT8. DXpeditions are bringing some more activity to the bands. TO6OK Mayotte has been good on 160 – 40 m, with weaker signals on 30 and 20 m. 9X0T Rwanda has been weak on Low Bands, and mostly not heard on higher bands, however, this DXpedition is running as 9X0Y on FT8, and has been quite workable – at least on 40 m in the morning. VK9XT Christmas Island is often difficult to work due to the fact that the island itself blocks the view towards Australia, however, they have been quite good on 40 m. If you miss this one, VK9XG will be on in a few weeks’ time. 5W0GC Samoa is easy to work on lower bands. One activation that has not had favourable propagation to Australia is ZD9CW Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. This one is difficult to work at the best of times, but now, near the bottom of the solar cycle, chances are almost non-existent. No VK QSO have yet been logged. Steve is there until the 22nd of October, and was apparently calling for VK/ZL on 40 m around 0630z this afternoon.
Upcoming Activations of Interest
Details of upcoming activations will be brief as there are so many, as we go into “DXpedition Season”! For more details of any activation listed below, visit NG3K’s excellent “Announced DX Operations” calendar https://www.ng3k.com/misc/adxo.html
Nauru: C21GJ, until 12th October. 6 m EME.
Albania: ZA5V, until 12th October.
American Samoa: KH8/VK4MAP, until 10th October.
American Samoa: WH8/DL2AH, until 29th October.
Vietnam: XV9WJR, Until 27th October. https://www.qrz.com/db/xv9wjr
Palau: T88UN/T88HS/T88WM, until 9th October.
Niue: E6Y, 6 – 16 October. https://quakedxpeditions.wordpress.com/
Norfolk Island: VK9/JO7GVC, VK9/JK7LXU, 9 – 14 October.
Norfolk Island: VK9BF, VK9PM, 9 – 19 October.
Chad: TT8KO, 9 – 21 October. http://la7gia.com/Chad/index.html
Reunion: FR/DJ7RJ, 9 – 27 October.
Svalbard: JW7XK, JW9DL, JW6VM, JW5X, 10 – 15 October.
Guantanamo: KG4WV, KG4HF, 10 – 24 October.
Laos: XW1IC, 12 – 16 October.
Aruba: P4/NN5E, P4/NT5V, 12 – 19 October.
Laos: XW4XR, 12 – 22 October.
DXpedition and Contest Season
After a somewhat long and dismal winter, we are at last enjoying a little more activity on the bands and a seasonal lift in propagation. Make the most of it now, while it lasts. We should see somewhat improved conditions heading towards summer, but nothing like we had a few years ago. There is the odd sunspot group appearing, but they are small and short-lived.
Make the most of what we have. Look at different modes of communicating when SSB becomes difficult, such as CW, and the very popular FT8 digital mode. The amount of activity in those FT8 band allocations is incredible. If nothing else, you have the opportunity to work new countries or at least band fills.