FT-8 has proven its worth over and over again during this bottom part of the solar cycle. I’ve been having fun noticing the frequent short openings on 10-meters and 12-meters the past few months. I’m convinced that we think the bands are closed, so we don’t even try. FT-8 and spotting programs have shown me the light. Never assume any band is dead.
Since I got back on the air in 2011, I’ve been working toward various awards. I think I completed WAS via JT-65 back in August of 2011, and followed up a couple of years later with the Triple Play. In February of 2014, I completed 5BWAS, having already completed 30-meter and 17-meter WAS along the way. All I was missing was West Virginia on 12-meters.
As the bands have been declining, so was my optimism, and I was wondering if I would complete 12-meter WAS without a big uptick in solar activity. But each day I would get on and always check 12 out for a few minutes. Today that paid off when I saw Tom, AB8RL, calling CQ on the waterfall. I wasn’t able to snag him on his first call, but I did get in the next slot. Thanks, Tom, for getting me to 8BWAS (I am lacking Hawaii and Alaska on 160-meters).
And Tom’s LotW confirmation: