October 1988 Forecast -- Flux Range 149 - 200

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

The real Ten Meters has arrived. The band is open to everywhere and everybody knows it. There are lots of pileups on both phone and CW over the rare DX, and there are laid back portions of the band higher in frequency where you can get away from the 30 second phone QSOs and actually TALK to the DX. Ten Meters is a big band. If your goal is to work a lot of countries, keep in mind that propagation on 10 is mostly across daytime paths and the sun has already set on the North Pole. The grey line window into central and southern Asia is narrow and the grey line is moving away from the pole. Deep Asians are easy to identify because their signals have the most echo. Work them now - we will have access to Europe until late next spring. 20 is still the best nighttime band, with an excellent path to Europe in the late afternoon. 15 is in great shape too, but will become more of a daytime band like 10 as MUF's decline in autumn. Last spring 15 had better 24 hour propagation than any other band with polar openings day and night. This excellent 15 meter propagation will emerge in the southern hemisphere in the form of long path opportunities that will usually pass unnoticed.

Long Path: This writer will try to gain a better feel for 15 meter long path during the current cycle peak and seasonal peak this fall. 20 meter paths are very predictable and are all open daily at this time, but there is less activity. Is everybody on 10 Meters? The morning path peaks from 1300Z to 1500Z, beginning with south Asia (VU/4S7) bearing about 200 degrees. Opening gradually swings to westerly heading, opening to Russia and the Middle East, then Europe and east & southern Africa. Afternoon opening begins around 2000Z for sunrise peak in western Pacific (beam heading east). This sweeps across VK, then becomes grey line path via antarctic to Far East. These paths are well known.

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