It has been a good month for propagation, and an especially good month for rare DX. Since our last newsletter, there has been activity from Afghanistan (with new hope for a QSL), Clipperton, S. Sandwich, Bangladesh, and now S. Georgia. Making contacts across difficult paths has been no problem. We are now moving into late spring, and the band to watch will be 15 Meters.
At this time of year, excellent propagation occurs on both daytime and nighttime paths. The most interesting propagation occurs on paths spanning areas of both day and night. This cannot be done on 20 or 10. 10 does not open at night, and 20 is not good for DX during the day (except at the bottom of the sunspot cycle.) This is what makes 15 Meters unique.
At mid-day we can work over the pole into southern Asia, where it is late evening. During May, the polar paths are open almost constantly. Europeans are workable most of the day, including the late afternoon. We also get pipeline conditions into Europe in the evening on a night path that follows the sunrise across the continent. Japan and the Far East is workable in the morning, with a pipeline to the Indonesian area in late morning. After sunrise, look for 15 meter long path to Europe and Africa (but don't miss all the good stuff on 20 during the same period).
These awesome conditions on 15 peak during May and early June, but will be developing over the coming weeks. During this time, 10 meter activity will fall off sharply, since we will lose most of our propagation to Europe and Asia.
20 will remain reliable as a nighttime band, with excellent long path to Africa and the Indian Ocean in the morning. Indian Ocean countries are very active through the summer, and we in W5-land have an excellent advantage in the pileups. Morning 20 meter strategy should include careful tuning with the beam southwest, alternating with separate passes across the band with the beam NNW on Asia (but don't forget to check 15 long path.)