Did anyone do any observations on 120, 90 or 60 meter bands this weekend? The amateur bands were a little off their usual.
DX on the low bands appears to have ben impacted by auroral activity this weekend. While first hop skip in the lower latitudes resulted in usual very strong signals here in Central Texas, higher latitude stuff or signals that had paths through the higher latitudes but not normally affected by aurora were bothered. I started by listening on the low bands Saturday Morning Texas time ( 1100 GMT, hoping to hear some of the Japanese stations during their 160 meter contest, but heard nothing. There were very few signals at all and all from the Northeast US or Canada were very weak. Not much on 80 though there was some DX on 40. During the day, the high bands showed good activity though signals were not exceptionally strong. US stations had some echo on them. Ten meters was open to Europe already right at sunrise. Amsterdam Island was in on 15 meters, though not strong. The Dutch PACC contest was on and signals were all over the cw portions from there on the high bands including ten meters. Saturday night local ( Sunday morning GMT 0000-
0200) showed not much happening on the low bands. Heard none of the PA stations in the contest at all on 160 and only a few US stations working a few. US stations were weaker than usual. On 80 meters, PA stations and Europe in general was below par signal strength wise. Many stations had a characteristic echo effect or lots of polar flutter, even signals that would travel lower latitude paths. Forty was a little better, but not much. This morning checking the Space Weather sites I see that there was a big Coronal Mass Ejection on Thursday and that the Earth's magnetic field was shaken up a bit. Auroras did extend well south of their usual boundaries.It is fun to note how sometimes one infer such activity just by listening to the radio, then finding it confirmed by checking later! I would be very interested in hearing from anyone on their observations of this past weekend. After more than fifty years of DX-ing I am still learning about propagation and anyone else's thoughts and observations.
Roland Richter
News Assignment Editor at KXXV