Monday, October 8, 2018

FT8 signals heard on 28 MHz... Mon 8th Oct 2018

Just like yesterday, there was plenty of FT8 signals heard on 28 MHz on Monday the 8th of October 2018...

The band seems to have been more or less open all day with lots of Sporadic-E signals from Europe and some F2 signals further south. Interesting to hear 3B9FR on Rodriguez Island in the Indian Ocean as well as ZD7JC on St.Helena and VP8LP on the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. WP3MM in Puerto Rico was also heard.

Pretty amazing conditions considering the solar flux is just 68 and we're at the bottom of the sunspot cycle.

I suspect a lot of this is due to the FT8 digital mode. In the past, I have often heard the band open in October at the solar minimum but I would be just hearing weak cw beacons in Europe and then maybe the occasional DX signal on SSB or CW working back into Europe.

With FT8, everything is different. Everyone is on the one frequency so if the band is open, it's obvious. It's a bit like everyone is congregating around the 'watering hole' of 28.074 MHz as opposed to being spread across the band.

Lots of people might complain about FT8 but it is certainly increasing activity on bands like 28 MHz at solar minimum.

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