The temps have dropped as predicted and it finally feels like Autumn in Indiana again. I’m happy about the end of summer but the chill in the air (and maybe frost tonight) reminds that time is growing short for antenna work before the snow flies. I’ve decided to remove the Cobra antenna that has been a reasonable radiator for the last two seasons and install an Inverted-L.
I believe the foreseeable future of HF will be at 160-80-60-40 meters with occasional openings on the higher bands. Given that, my antenna choices will focus on whatever can best fit on the lot that will provide more opportunities for success on the low bands.
Apparently there was an article in a recent issue of CQ Magazine by someone who claimed that the current solar cycle may not hit rock-bottom for another year or two, and then the next few cycle will be more anemic than this one has been, even going so far as to speculate that the solar cycles may come to a complete stop for some extended period before resuming the more regular pattern.
I don’t subscribe to CQ and haven’t read the article, neither do I know who the author was or what his qualifications might be. I read about it from a discussion on a ham radio mailing list and wasn’t surprised that such speculation upsets a lot of people.
For the record, I think the theory is likely to be correct. I expect conditions at HF to remain in the dumpster for the rest of my life if not for much, much longer. Sad as it seems, this is just the new normal.
What’s more, I think it’s possible that the cycle could decline to the point that even low frequency signals will fail to propagate. My antenna work is probably just my way of whistling past the graveyard until even the sounds of whistling can no longer be detected…