THE PRESIDENT’S CORNER – January-April 2018 by President Randy Crews

JANUARY, 2018

January will kick off a very aggressive program agenda for the SDXA – outstanding presentations from recent DXpedition participants, individual member station highlights, and practical techniques on improving your station and operating skills whether DX or Contest. Check our website for the line up!

We request all members attend January’s Meeting due to the number of Business items to be discussed:

1. Constitutional Amendments (Attendance and Participation)
2. Funding of outside speaker guests.
3. Funding of DXpeditions (a vote will be taken)
4. Club Log
5. Review of Club Chairperson Committees

FEBRUARY, 2018

If I could pick one month out of the Winter to operate, it would be February. Combining the best of Winter and almost Spring-like conditions, it truly is a unique Month. Plenty of Dxpedition activity, the ARRL CW Contest, no QRN, very low D-layer absorption, and significant gains in our daylight hours.

Please make time to be QRV during this time especially with the rare 3Y0Z expedition to Bouvet.

MARCH, 2018

Ionospheric Equalization

The arrival of the Spring Equinox on March 20th will usher in tremendous improvements with respect to propagation on North/South paths. Effects will be observed a week prior to this date, the week of, and the week after; regardless of where you are on Earth, there will be 12 hours of daylight. There is also a nice lineup of DXpeditions, including two great contests to exercise your phone skills – the ARRL SSB the first weekend of March, and the CQ WW WPX the last weekend of the month. Whatever your interest, there is enough going on to ease the rigors of the Winter.

APRIL, 2018

The same French DX group that brought us Tromelin (FT4TA) in early November of 2014 and Juan De Nova (FT4JA) in early April of 2016 will activate Brandon Island (3B7A) April 5th to the 17th. The last activation was in 2007 by a small Polish Dxpedition (3B7SP) and September of that same year by the 3B7C group amassing a great QSO Total. Transportation will be via air with only a small hop by boat to the island.
Solar Flux will be approximately the same as during the 2007 operation (high sixties) boosted by almost 13 ½ hours of daylight here in W7 land, and basically a shared gray line at our sunset and sunrise. April normally affords us good propagation to the Indian Ocean and Africa this time of year; opportunities should be good. This is an experienced group of French Dxpedition Operators well familiar with this area of the world and pileups.

Propagation: We actually have a “real” sunspot rotating onto the Sun as March was almost void of spots. The new spot(s) as announced by one of the actually have {reverse polarity}, A good indicator of possibly the start of a new cycle, however new sunspots must be reverse polarity AND high latitude before we can start looking to cycle 25 along with significant growth in size and magnetic complexity to pull us out of the solar dumps that has been the mainstay of cycle 24.