The 8th of February 2023 was another good day on the 40 MHz band with lots of reports. Both Robbie, EI2IP in Ireland and Paul, G9PUV are active almost daily on the band and their reports are shown below.
Both EI2IP and G9PUV are looking for more reception reports on 40.680 MHz. Just try listening on that frequency with FT8 and see if you can decode anything. Just make sure you have the correct frequency set on your FT8 software.
With WSJT-X, go to File – Settings – Frequencies and change one of the unused microwave bands to 40.680 000 MHz.
An antenna tuned for 28 MHz or 40 MHz should still give reasonable reports although of course, it would be best to have a dedicated antenna for the band.
Reports for the 8th of Feb 2023…
EI2IP: The map above shows the stations that heard the FT8 signals from Robbie on 40.680 MHz. Robbie writes… “The band has been on fire these last few months, and the SWL reports are extending to Mexico, Cuba, Ecuador and well into East Coast of North America.”
Robbie reports that Osmany, CO2OQ in Havana, Cuba was using a 6M Moxon antenna and an ICOM-7300 and 50 Watts. Signal reports of +4dB and -12dB were exchanged on FT8.
G9PUV: The map above for Paul shows a similar pattern with the 8m signals reaching Cuba, Mexico and Ecuador to the west.
F14700: The FT8 signal from CO2OQ was also received by SWL Jean Trenscène, F14700 in the north of France. Jean was using a SDR Play RSP1A receiver with a D3000 discone antenna.
Analysis… The signal paths that are now being reported on the 40 MHz are reminiscent of what the 50 MHz band would be like if only the solar flux and sunspot numbers were higher.
The problem in the past was that the 28 MHz band was too far away from the 50 MHz band to warn of imminent openings. Now with the 40 MHz band, 6m operators know that the maximum usable frequency is just 10 MHz below and there is some potential of an opening.
It would be good to have more stations providing reception reports on FT8 and WSPR. 40.680 MHz in the middle of the ISM band seems to have become the default frequency in terms of activity.
Both EI2IP and G9PUV are looking for more reports from Asia, Africa, South America and the western half of the USA.
Link… For more info on the 8m band, see my 40 MHz page