As you have heard me say before just because the various propagation programs say a certain band is poor don’t give up on it. And so be it, it happened again today for me on 15m.
When 20m is open as it was today (again the propagation programs had it as a write off also) I find I like to try 15m as it’s not so stressful as 20m. In my situation when 20 is wide open I either have problems finding a spot on the JT65 waterfall or QRM is all over the place. I travel to 15m, when it’s open it is not so busy and yet you can have a decent day of contacts.
I had been trying 15 for a few days now and it has been bad. I couldn’t even get PSK Reporter to pick me up at all. I even wondered was something busted in the radio on 15. I’ve never seen it this bad. Even on bad days I usually get pickup on the Reporter somewhere. But nothing for about 4 or 5 days. And I thought the same was going to happen. The waterfall was blank, the reporter hadn’t picked me up, but I decided to send out a couple more CQ’s anyway. I was just about ready to go back to 20 when I glanced at the waterfall and I see what looks like a call to my CQ. Better wait this one out. Sure enough there was a east coast US ham coming back to me.
Finished with him and thought let’s throw out another CQ, and yes here comes another reply to my CQ. In total I had 4 different QSO’s one right after the other. All my contacts were to the eastern US area (I’m on the west coast of Canada) plus the waterfall had some other US and Brazilian stations plus one French station showing up on the waterfall.
But the propagation gods did get me a little later and the band indeed did shut right down. For the time I was on 15m it was very enjoyable and rewarding. Give those quiet bands a try you never know. If you see me on the JT65 waterfall drop by and say hi.