November 1990 Forecast -- Flux Range 141 - 222

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

The fall DX season (aka contest season) is at its peak. On 10 and 15, we have grey line openings along the most densely populated DX paths: Europe and Japan. Signals are loud with an unlimited supply of DX nearly every day. The trend at this time of year is for the high bands to close earlier, with less opportunities after sunset. This also narrows or closes the windows over the pole into Asia on 10. The lower MUF's also bring good news, as the low bands are opening up.

40 is in excellent shape, with Europe in the evening and Asia & the Pacific late at night and in the morning. Incoming signals from points east and northeast peak from wherever the sun is rising in a window that lasts about an hour. There is activity on 80 too. The high sunspot activity means weak signals on 80, so activity is low. There are a few stations coming through every night on the CW low end, and more activity on 75 fone. 160 is not much of a DX band at this point in the cycle, but is a great fone band for stateside work. Many serious DX'ers and contesters can be found on 160 at night.

And then there's 20 - usually open all night. As winter approaches, the band will often close sometime after midnight, especially when fluxes are down. Antarctic long paths are excellent with lots of activity in the morning to southern Asia, the Mid-East, Russia and Europe. We get a late afternoon pipeline to SE Asia and Japan, but with very little activity. Asians apparently don't get on 20 in the morning for long path the way Americans do. The path is open every day, however, and since few stateside ops watch this path, there is little competition for the rare DX when it shows.

In summary, this is the time of year when all HF bands are jumping with activity. There is a great variety of propagation available, which make the major DX contests of the fall season especially fascinating. But even if you are not the competitive type, there is plenty to do on the bands this fall - enjoy!

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