October we had fairly low expectations, what with the end of the summer sporadic and it being too early for the winter openings, all we could do was sit tight and see what came our way.
The 1st and the 2nd showed virtually zero SSB activity only some short openings to 3 division getting through. There was also short hop skip on UKFM of around the 250 miles, again very unstable.
The 3rd, 4th and early into the 5th we had nothing, late afternoon of the 5th finally brought some strong continued conditions, divisions inc: 1,14,15,30,34. On the 6th again conditions opened for a short time over lunchtime, div inc: 13,14,15,30,31. On the 7th the best propagation of the month so far and brought signals from: 1,13,14,15,16,19,26,30,31,161,163 divisions as well as good FM skip from 26 div to my QTH in 108 division.
The 8th continued the trend of short openings with 30,34 and 3 division making it to the UK, although not too stable they were workable. Also on the 8th the 1st reports of 43 and 44 divisions making it to Europe for many months were made on Cluster.DK. From there it was fairly quiet until the 11th with 1,34,30,31,14,137 heard and worked, 43 div again reported on the 16th. On the 18th stations from 161,163,13,3,1,35,47,21,56,20 were heard and worked.
On the 19th “Karen” 108TM026 made an unexpected contact with 9CO990 “Brian” in Nova Scotia, Canada. Her 1st ever QSO.
Generally quiet until the 24th of Oct where FM opened up to allow CADS to be heard across CEPT/UKFM & even bleeding alll over 27.555usb. Most of the common EU divisions reported through to the end of the month. On the 28th/29th 43 div again reported into the EU.
Also on the 28th I made contact with 14TM102 for 5/7 QSO, many thanks Pascal.
November was a very quiet month. Only 26TM022 “Phil” with great RX reports of 74 and 43 divisions. Otherwise a couple of the mainland EU divisions were RX’d and a handful worked.
Certainly appearing to be the true solar minimum.
December the 2nd had reports of 161,13,19,35 divisions, a welcome change from a very dead 11m band.
It didnt last and it wasnt until the 14th skip really returned bringing many 13 div stations on CEPT FM. Nothing further through until the 26th & 27th where both SSB and FM were active, divisions 1,13,14.19,30,35.104,330 heard and worked. Lots of QSB around and propagation dropped to very low on the 28th/29th/30th and nil on the 31st.
Mid December did show signs of the very start of cycle 24. Increases in solar flux, flare activity, sun spots and generally healthier numbers all round. On the 11th a magnetically reversed active region was identified over the eastern limb of the sun and could have been the first signs of the new cycle. Quiet from mid December until the 31st with a very high C class flare and forecasts of possible M or X class flares early January.
26TM022’s new Corsican spider antenna built by Roy 104GT011.
Please contact me with your highlights or pics and be inc in next months report.
73s & Good DX for 2008.