Propagation predictions and reality

Once again a contest proves that propagation prediction tools are naff. ­čÖé

I decided to spin the dial on 17m this evening before sneaking to bed and spoke to Eric, SM1ALH in Sweden for a few minutes but it was pretty rough, although 17m this late at night is always a bit of a crap shoot.

Conditions have been poor the last wee while due to a solar storm, with good visible aurora from my QTH but I decided to pop down to 20m to see if anyone was awake down there.

Low and behold the Scandinavian Activity contest has magically opened the band and I can hear a whole bunch of Europeans, JA’s and some VK’s plugging away in standard contest style.

Contest Log

Scandinavian Activity contest log

I promptly shoved a bit more coal in the direction of the afterburner and gave out some multiplier points to some folks up the other end of the planet before I got my beauty sleep.

In the mean time the propagation prediction tool in my logging software is saying “don’t bother” and the published solar numbers suggest getting shares in skype rather than HF gear.

So, once again, all together…

Turn on the radio and listen for a while, the bands are always open somewhere!

73, Chris

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