Happy New Year to everyone. Guess it’s time to get back into the swing of things.
The ARRL January VHF Contest is coming up on January 19th-21st. More details and rules here:
Unless something changes, I will be working that weekend and unable to participate in this one. I wish everyone good luck and maybe the weather will cooperate enough that a good crew of rovers will be out and about.
6 meters has been hopping some over the last few days. Maybe the eskip will carry over into the contest. Unlikely considering how late in the month it is, but you never know with 6 meters.
I’ll try to get an updated VHF/UHF Calendar posted in the coming days.
I think the new “FM” only category kicks in with this one. I have mixed feelings on this, but probably wise to keep an ear on the common simplex frequencies and see if you hear anyone. Remember (best I can tell) 146.520 is off limits to contesting. I tried to prod the VHF Contesting list folks into coming up with a list of FM “hangout” freqs by band. That quickly turned into a big mess of excuses and arguments and I don’t think much came of it. The ARRL hasn’t exactly helped either so I don’t expect to see much out of it, especially in this area.
Some updated SWPC forecasts and data are out on the current solar cycle. Even though the “bar” for Cycle 24 wasn’t very high to begin with, it is starting to look like it will likely fail to even reach the smoothed SSN 90 prediction. We are now far enough into this cycle that the data clearly shows this cycle is under performing:
Granted past history shows that the ol’ sun can always surprise us. Time will tell, but the recent data is what it is. Don’t fret as there has been some decent propagation on 10 and 15 meters.