The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Feb 2020 23:08

Earlier this evening, I was thinking about how poor this MW season has been. There's no denying that there have been some good moments and a few gems in there, not to mention a plethora of personal firsts, but this is the super-low solar minimum and I am guessing that we were all expecting better. Especially regarding west coast North America.

Had I not had the beverage antenna, small and relatively bodged as it has mostly been, I would have missed so many of those Asiatic catches. Even the new North American beverage has not brought in the high-latitude DX I was hoping for, although it hasn't been too bad and there has been a good deal of signal improvement when compared with the flag. The ridiculously long coax feed (150m, comprising lossy 50 ohm RG58 and 75 ohm sat-shotgun) has no doubt reduced the beverage's directivity. Adding the low-loss satellite coax did give some improvements as I could extend the beverage by another 50m or more.

What do you think to the season so far?

tvdxrools
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by tvdxrools » 11 Feb 2020 06:52

apart from a couple of rare K stations i have found this season garbage and no san francisco etc and as i have said the past few weeks there seems to be no dawn peak , David

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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by simbeav » 11 Feb 2020 10:22

Certainly worse than my expectations for solar minimum,

But, if it wasn't for the reports of others, I wouldn't truly be able to judge. Getting past the local noise is becoming more of a chore every year.
First there is the band wide general noise and then I have to notch and/or switch usb/lsb to try and avoid at least one bit of electronic noise on each frequency.

I know that in this location I am never going to get the super DX, but this season has certainly been a disappointment for NA. I have however received some Far East that I never thought would be possible.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 11 Feb 2020 10:55

So I am not on my own thinking that it's been a poor season.

It's easy to moan about these things, but past solar minima have produced so much more. Back in the 2008/09 minimum I received all but two U.S. states and all Canadian territories (excluding Yukon). Where has it all gone so wrong this season? Too many lengthy quiet spells? Have those magic A/K numbers not been quite right? Has something else come along to spoil things?

It's easy to seem ungrateful for the DX we've had. I think I've had my largest number of personal firsts this season, but the beverages have helped there.

It's also easy to reminisce, yet back in the 70s/80s we used to have good signals even well away from solar minima.

Where are the super-strong east coast signals which easily get through on portables? There's been none of it here.

I have to admit, it's fun to chase new stations and dig deep into the mush to find those weak signals, but that's exactly what they have been - weak!

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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by Paul_Logan » 11 Feb 2020 19:05

I remember dawn receptions in the past far from solar minimum which were pure magic, as if you were tuning around on the east coast of North America. Just isn't happening at the moment. Tell you the truth I'd be more inclined to hearing Latin American stuff but it's bloody difficult, Spain just swamps almost everythng here. We ask too much though. Remember how you'd have felt back in the 80s if someone had described spectrum recording to you and that it was feasible or if someone said "You'll hear Iowa and Texas, Wisconsin and Minnesota regularly. Oh and Argentina on 1350 will be a pest"
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FMDX: Elad FDM-S2 with 5 el Yagi by K6STI, 9 el yagi.
MW / SW: Perseus / Elad FDM-S2 with EWE / Wellbrook Loop / MFJ1026 Phaser.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 11 Feb 2020 19:21

True enough regarding Buenos Aires, but we would hear countless Venezuelans and Colombians back then (70s/80s). There were a few Argentinians which used to get through quite regularly too.

Maybe it's just a general change in transmitter behaviour. Antennas being more efficient and not wasting signal into the sky. Actually, I think this could be a good reason for this apparent downfall in conditions. Look at the big Asiatic stations with their broadcasts to neighbouring countries and continents. Some of them absolutely blast through and they are further than the west coast of North America.

You're right about Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. They would be rare at one time. I remember being blown away by a report from Barry Davies who received 1420 WOC Davenport IA back in the 80s. Now that station is a pest, especially this season. The same for 1540 KXEL Waterloo IA and 1040 WHO Des Moines IA. All just about nightly here lately but real rarities in the past.

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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by ken_scotland » 12 Feb 2020 20:01

Well I am not sure if I have joined this group or not in the past but this thread was interesting enough to grab my attention. For what it's worth, here are a few random comments...

This season showed some promise and good signals in Oct and Nov, but I often look at the Canadian graph, and almost on a daily basis there have been large spikes at our dawn period...... for whatever reason.

https://www.spaceweather.gc.ca/generate ... stackr.png

There is also the Perseus thing that we have all got used to now. Like mentioned above stations like WOC 1420 and 1160 WYLL, or 1000 espn chicago I once thought of as rare were actually nighly logs. (Also in the 80's at some point, I was quite taken by WJR 760 the first time I heard it. )

But flash back to say 25th January 2009, 11 years ago, and we had a superb opening to the Canadian mid west etc. There were good signals at 1000 and some still there at 1100 on this and other occasions. All I have had beyond 0900 this winter is weak common east coast stuff. But this past November I think it was, we had KOTA 1380 a few times, and sometimes with surprisingly good signals. Often though only CJOB 680 would break through and nothing else out the ordinary heard.

My logs sadly have been kinda neglected and still sit on scraps of paper waiting for my limited dx time to type them up. But I have never been inactive in recent years. Just a lazy typist..... I have made a start often, but become distracted with other things.

I was glad of the NC 1380 stn John , tnx to your tip for 0100.... That was the only hour I had the stn.... most others were drowned out by either mush or CKPC.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 12 Feb 2020 22:10

Hello Ken and welcome to the group. I don't think you have subscribed to this group before. Maybe it was the old Yahoo Group.

I am now feeling that I jumped the gun a little bit before posting this, although I did make references to the fact that some real gems were making it through despite the season feeling generally poor for a solar minimum, so I think I've covered myself. ;)

I often wonder how DX would have been 'back in the day', had we had the delights of SDR receivers and carefully designed software. There wouldn't have been any more signals, but we would have been able to dig them out with greater ease than we did.

The more I think about it, the more my recent assumption that the use of better designed transmitting antenna systems has reduced skywave losses, the more I think that is probably why we don't have the massive signals we had back in the 70s and 80s, and before, no doubt. I wonder if anybody agrees with this assumption.

Those sunrise peaks are interesting. Did they happen 30 and 40 years ago? Surely they must have.

KOTA has visited here several times before and around Christmas. A real exotic, yet it became almost regular. Such reception would have been be unheard of during recent solar maxima - and even minima.

I too neglect my loggings. I try to catch up and update my personal logs as much as I can. The only thing I have been doing religiously regarding my own log updates is to MWList. http://www.mwlist.org/mw_logmap.php?la=de It can take me a month or two to add my loggings to the log section here. How I wish I had the time (and the inclination) to update my website recordings, etc.

You are very welcome re. WKJV 1380. Happy to have helped. Good DX!

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Andrew Walmsley
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by Andrew Walmsley » 20 Feb 2020 11:12

On the subject of this it may be interesting to note research done in the 1950's by RCA, who had an engineer J H Nelson investigate SW propagation over the North Atlantic, the papers were published in The Electrical Engineer in May 1952

Basically without going into all the ins and outs of it, he said that the relative positions of some of the main planets in the solar system along with the sun, you then mix this with the usual 11 year sun cycles and it could have affected the Atlantic path in ways that had never been observed before.

This could very well go some way to explaining the anomaly we are seeing between the current sunspot minimum compared to the previous one, it could simply be the planets in the solar system being in the wrong positions this cycle minimum to glean decent DX

And of course could be linked to the climate change we are starting to observe similar to the maunder minimum 400 odd years ago, with a few decades of colder weather. Its not as a result of us, with all this carbon nonsense peddled out ! its the sun/lack of sunspots and the planets movements increasing cosmic radiation(not deflected by the solar wind as much during the minimum) on the Earth, this then affects the weather and solar weather.
A little more info here
https://www.eham.net/article/8828

Andrew
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 21 Feb 2020 12:45

I read this article, just about in its entirety yesterday. Thanks for posting. I found the comments below it to be more interesting though. Seemingly most people debunking the investigation. Food for thought anyway. I feel sure that everything affects everything, to a greater or lesser degree. Chaos theory, etc. Whether it's all significant to our needs is the question.

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Andrew Walmsley
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by Andrew Walmsley » 21 Feb 2020 18:45

John, yes like you i always take partic notice of things when they are argued against !
I initially came across the info from a book called Babylons Banksters by Joseph P Farrell, it argues that everything, and i mean everything runs in cycles, and that its provable given a long enough time span, I have scanned half dozen pages that covers propagation you may find interesting

Andrew
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Airspy Discovery
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The 2019/2020 MW DX Season. Poor?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 21 Feb 2020 21:39

Thank you Andrew.

Will digest this as soon as I can. Now at the YL's and my beverage is set up for the weekend so little time to play too much radio.

I have to confess that I am one of those who tends to be sceptical about most things like this. One of the big problems with science and scientific discoveries is that what was once considered to be scientific evidence or fact can change over time as new discoveries are made and our understandings change.

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