October 1990 Forecast -- Flux Range 144 - 233

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

10 Meters is already in the peak of its season. This peak only lasts a couple of months, so it is wise to make the best use of it. Though most propagation forecasters claim the 10 meter season peaks in November, this one prefers October. The grey line path has much to do with this. This path currently leads into the Middle East in the early morning, and to Southeast Asia at sunset. Every DX Hog prefers this DX to Europeans and JA's, which is where the grey line leads us in November. Those working on 5 band WAZ (or 5 band Honor Roll) should concentrate on 10 Meters this month, because these Asian openings only occur at certain times of the day, in certain months, and only near the peak of the sunspot cycle. The CQ World Wide SSB contest is this month, and there is no better opportunity to work a lot of exotic countries in a hurry. Don't miss it.

The situation on 15 is less critical, but the band is very good. Polar openings are much more common and available throughout the year. The fall season brings an increase in activity on all bands, and a greater variety of workable countries. To maximize the number of exotic calls in your log, spend most of your time listening. Tune carefully and methodically across all open bands, and don't just listen for pileups. In many cases, the reason a country is rare is because there are no operators that work large numbers of stations pileup style. They prefer their DXing at a more leisurely rate, away from prime DX frequencies, or at times when the arrogant American hoards are asleep. It used to take much time, patience and skill to chase down all the DXCC countries. With packet, these factors are no longer important.

Returning to the subject of propagation, 20 and 40 will be very good this fall as nighttime bands. On 20, the Antarctic paths will be in season through next spring. The morning short path to the Far East is not in season, but this exotic part of the world is accessible in late afternoon via long path.

Return to Article Index Page