Dead Bands

As a holder of a Technician class license for amateur radio, I have full privileges on the 6-meter band and partial voice privileges on 10-meter (and Morse code privileges everywhere else, even though I don’t know code).

Unfortunately, due to being in the minimum part of the 11-year sunspot cycle, these are dead bands (sunspots ionize the atmosphere and increase radio wave bounce for longer distances). When a band is not able to sustain long-distance propagation, it’s not an attractive place for other hams to operate. That’s what makes it dead; nobody to talk to. It’s a lot like fishing; if a lake’s condition isn’t good (livestock, season, tide, etc.), it won’t have many fishermen on boats, and instead of little boat lights dotting the surface at night, it’s a dark lake. You’ll only see that one guy trolling for bottom-feeders.

6-meter dipole antenna, ready for use

Today’s experiment with my handmade 6-meter dipole antenna (and last weekend’s experiment with a 10-meter dipole) proves these are dead bands. That’s unfortunate for me. So, it behooves me to get my General license for full privileges on all the other bands, because the 40-meter band is where it’s at. It’s very, very active. Morse code everywhere, and lots and lots of Canadian and spanish-speaking conversations among the US and foreign contacts I listened to.

Time to study and upgrade.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?