Wednesday, December 26, 2018
I reviewed how my lifetime lined up with the solar sunspot cycles this weekend. As we know, HF propagation is much better on 20 meters and up during the maximum of an eleven-year average cycle. I made a table of my life's solar cycles below. I am not sure if there is any significance that I was born at a solar cycle minimum. Cycle 20 was on the high side when I operated as a novice around 1967/68. I remember that the fifteen-meter band was very active. I also remember listening to phone stations running AM on 10 meters. My modest backyard vertical got me plenty of DX. I missed the maxes for Cycles 21, 22, and 23. In fact, I was off the air for twenty-five years and my license expired. In 2008 I got relicensed and that was the minimum for Cycle 24. The max came roughly in 2014. So I have experienced one cycle when I was more enlightened on what was going on with propagation. Now we are poised for Cycle 25. It may be lackluster or it may be better than the last one. We will see. Anyway, while we are at the cycle bottom we can plan for better times on HF. Being 65 now, it looks like I will be in my early 70s for this one. I hope to be retired and enjoying it to the fullest.