The evening of radio got underway for me with the hour long K1USN SST. The sprint begins at 4pm local which is always daylight here so I usually play it on 20 meters. Band conditions weren’t good and that’s being generous. “Lousy” is a better adjective for HF band conditions of late.

A few months ago there was some reason to believe that Cycle 25 was going to prove those experts wrong who claimed the new cycle would look a lot like the previous crummy cycle. Hope springs eternal I suppose, but now that the summer doldrums have taken hold I wouldn’t give you ten-bucks for Cycle 25. Just my opinion.

Still, the 20 meter band has maintained its value and even delivered a little DX through thick and thin. So despite the rapid fading and incredibly light signals I managed 22 contacts including CT7AUP. There’s only a handful of DX who regularly work this sprint so it’s always a treat to hear them.

After the sprint, and after dinner, I was back in the shack to see what might be up. Tuning on 20 CW I stumbled over a pile that turned out to be Rich, NN3W operating 4O/NN3W from Montenegro. Took three or four calls to get him in the log which will be a new one for me on 20 CW if he confirms.

Moving on, I switched to digital to check on six meters and sure enough, there were signals present. That’s rare enough to warrant some attention though this season hasn’t been good to me and it’s my own fault. I have a three-element beam for 50MHz (and an unused rotor!) that has remained in the box for more than a year.

Finding a good place to install it isn’t easy and I’m a world-class procrastinator. Maybe next year?

I’ve been using a vertical on 6m which has yielded unsatisfying results. I have added a few new states this year but no DX. The Magic Band has been open a lot, but for me these have been weak openings into various corners of the US and they’re always the same. The Northeast, Florida, Texas, and a few states in the upper midwest.

After the six meter expedition I checked out 20 and 15 again making a few contacts along the way though nothing that was sorely needed. I managed to work VP2EIH on Anguilla, a slot-filler for 15 meters that notched one more on the DXCC Challenge.

I closed the station at 11pm local and called it a night. The bands have turned stingy and collecting DX has been like pulling teeth, but I’m hopeful that the IARU Contest this weekend might offer up a few more savory entries for the log.

Confirmations received recently via LoTW: EA7BD, SP3DOF, F5RRS, KL7J, YV1GIY, VP2EIH, CT7AUP, TF3VS, F6KRK, J69DS, OZ1RH, HI3A, ZF2OO, 9A4ZM