February 1990 Forecast -- Flux Range 139 - 236

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Like winter temperatures, MUF's are at their lowest during January. This has moved evening hamming activity to lower frequencies, but the trend has just reversed. With the help of the higher solar fluxes, 20 meter nighttime paths will be reliable shortly. We are making the transition to springtime.

DAYTIME BANDS: 10 Meters is not as spectacular in the spring as in the fall. Still, the band is loaded with DX. There will be opportunities to work the difficult polar windows into Asia and the band will be wide open to nearly everywhere else. Enjoy now, because 10 will only be good for another couple of months. Daytime MUFs start to drop in March & April, and that is the end of the party until fall. 15 is in good shape, and will begin staying open later in the evening. This will widen the windows on some of the more difficult paths, but the most interesting 15 meter propagation is still a few months away.

NIGHTTIME BANDS: Those of you that can't get a beam up can still have a lot of fun on 40 CW with a delta loop hung in a tree. Minimum tunable apex on a 40 loop is about 55 feet (90 feet on 80). You can start working DX about an hour before the sun goes down, and catch a nice sunrise peak for about an hour after sunrise. Wire antennas don't cut it on 20. Still, it is the best DX band of all - even though the phone portion is wall to wall turkeys and 75% of them have the same beam heading as Europe from W5 land. They don't get in the way much during morning long path openings, which are excellent through the winter months to southern Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Europe and northeast Africa. The southern USA has the advantage in long path pileups. Since these windows are narrow, competition from W6 isn't bad either. The W6 long path peak is two hours after ours. Just about any night path is workable on 20, beginning around mid-afternoon with long path VK & Pacific.

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