Welcome to the first of what we plan to make a fortnightly bulletin of DX information relevant to 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 continued to be mostly quiet until the last week in May, when a welcome lift in the Solar Flux Index and Sunspot Number occurred, followed by an increased Solar Wind Speed that caused some disruption to propagation on most bands. Despite this recent rise in indices, we are still heading down toward the Solar Minimum.
Around the bands
Recent conditions around the bands have seen 160 m poor, but with the odd contact with North American stations during our evenings. Local contacts around VK and ZL have been quite good, with generally quieter atmospherics. Eighty metres is still ok into Asia, Pacific and North America during our evenings. Forty metres has been about the best band for DX, with Europe coming in from mid-afternoon, Asia, Pacific and the Americas may be worked consistently during our evenings. Thirty metres has been somewhat deserted, with only a few CW QSO logged recently. Twenty metres still offers some DX each day from most parts of the world. Europe is often heard late evenings here on Short Path. Not a lot happening on 17 m and up lately, but persistence may reward with a bit of DX on 17 m and 15 m.
DX Heard or Worked
A few IOTA activations have been worked or heard, including VK5CE/6 Craig on Rottnest Island. Craig is planning a number of West Australian island activations, but is presently waiting out some rough weather before setting up on OC-140 and OC-199 over the next several days.
KL7RRC/p was active from NA-234 Chuginadak Island, Alaska. Looking at some pictures of their activation shows it to be a spectacularly rugged and remote place!
Throughout May, the First Class CW Operator’s Club was celebrating its 80thAnniversary with many special event callsigns.
This month, the FIFA Soccer World Cup is being celebrated with many “FIFA” and “FWC” suffixes on air.
The 50th Anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 3 at a meeting of Asia/Pacific delegates in Sydney is being commemorated by a number of “IARU” special event callsign suffixes. Australia has a special event callsign on air “VI50IARU3”. There is an award on offer, qualified by at least five different band/mode contacts with IARU stations on air. Details of the “IARU Region 3 50th Anniversary Award” are online at: http://awards-iaru-r3.org/
Upcoming Activations of Interest
Listen out this weekend around 1000z on or near 7.200 MHz for Philip KH9/N7NVK on Wake Island. This will be Philip’s last activity on the island until he returns in the first week of July.
KH1/KH7Z Baker Island, 27th June to 7th July. Website: http://baker2018.net/