Thursday, June 4, 2009

Am I hearing things?

Tonight was the first time since we moved into the new house that I spent some serious time tuning around the HF bands and listening. I was kind of amazed at how much I was hearing - for example, right now on 40M I am hearing 13 CW, 2 Olivia, and 2 SSB contacts between 7000 and 7100 kHz, and that's only with a piece of coax running under our house (none of my antennas are up yet).

Unless we've had a resurgence of ham activity lately, my only conclusion is that the noise level at my new QTH is way, way, WAY better than the old one. There, on a typical weeknight, I could only hear a couple of CW and maybe 1 digital QSOs above the S7-S9 noise.

By comparison, I'm hearing AC2K in Redmond, WA, and he's S8 on this underground antenna, while the background noise level is S0 or S1. I'm getting excited!


Gordon Good said...

And a few minutes later, I'm copying PP5BI (Brazil), and he's not moving the S-meter. Yes, there is a lot less noise here!

Gordon Good said...

And right now, at 10:00 pm local time, I'm hearing DL2DXA on 14024, and he's S8. Yes, this QTH is a lot better!

Gordon Good said...

And I just worked DL0JK with 50 watts on 14018 at 11:09pm local time. It was rough, but he did give me a 449 and was able to copy my name and QTH, despite some QLF CW on my part.

I don't understand this - how did I just make a 5,700 mile contact using 50 watts into a 50-foot high antenna in the middle of the night? Isn't 20m supposed to close up at night?