10 Meters has been rubbish the past few weeks, although yesterday there was a contest and I did managed to hear a few stations but nothing like what we were hearing about a month ago, I just hope things haven’t peaked. I keep reading on QRZ that things hopefully will pick up again, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed as it would be a shame now I have the moxon really running well to miss out on all the fun. However, using my tuner I can switch the moxon down to 12 meters and could hear a few JA’s unfortunately I had no luck in contacts.
I’m getting to the stage now where I do a lot more listening than sending, mainly because I get fed up with just working the European stations, I must be getting too picky as now I will only reply to CQs from DX stuff or QRPs! 30 meters is still as reliable as ever and using my good old inverted Vee you can occasionally get some great DX stuff and it always amazes me if you are patient just what you can hear on the band. VK’s and JA’s will appear from nowhere especially up around 10.128/30 and provided you’re quick and get in before the big guns you can have some fun.
Although I've read about it I've never used Cluster websites before, mainly because the computer is situated downstairs from the shack and I'm too lazy to go running up and down the stairs monitoring the bands. But over the weekend I decided to give it a try and after checking what was about I zipped over to the radio to have a listen.
First impressions are that if its on the cluster then you are obviously up against a number amateurs going for the same station so sometimes it’s a real struggle to work out what’s being said, but on the whole it was a good experience and no doubt with practise I will develop the learning process.
The other habit I’ve recently picked up is to listen to 80 meters first thing in the morning before work, having a tune round you hear some marvellous conversations going on and usually pick up some useful hints and tips from the old timers!