October 1991 Forecast -- Flux Range 154 - 273

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

10 Meters is back with plenty of activity, and will be at the peak of its short season for another two months. It is likely that sunspot activity will be significantly lower a year from now, and that this will be the last good year for 10 until around the year 2000 (unless your primary interest is collecting 10-10 numbers).

15 is in great shape, and has completed the transformation to a daytime band. The daily propagation cycle on 15 is in sync with 10 Meters, with band openings to most parts of the world occurring at about the same time. Since these are the first DX bands that most hams get to know, everyone knows why we get Europe in the morning, JA in the afternoon, and nothing at night. This article has consistently stressed the more exotic DX paths, because the serious DX'er has to work everything. A DX'er with a shrinking DXCC need list spends most of his time stalking the specific stations he needs. Difficult paths present a special challenge when stalking a rare station that's only going to be active for a week or so.

10 Meters is a great band, but do you know anybody that worked Burma? The DX season on 10 is brief, but the other great shortcoming of this band is that certain paths are usually impossible, and difficult even when the band is at its best. The best time to work the long haul polar paths is early in the 10 meter DX season when they are grey line paths: October. The Burma expedition came up in September, and nearly all contacts with North America were on 15 or 20. This is the difference between 15 and 10 in the fall: 15 has much better openings over the pole.

20 will remain the best nighttime band for at least another month, but DX'ers will move to 40 & 80 when 20 starts closing early. 80 meter activity is already picking up.

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