Congrats to Peter, Brian and Markus on making traces with Lawrence.
Dex's and my plots of DCF-39 last night tell an interesting tale and are
object lessons in what heavy lightning static looks like on such plots.
The static started off bad and steadily got worse as the night progressed;
it was sufficiently bad I didn't bother setting up the second radio/'puter for
Argoing. The spectrogram of DCF-39 just showed a solid continuous wall
of strikes during the night.
Most noteworthy though is the QRN's sudden death as propagation
to the storm-ridden south-central US went away!
So, this is something else to throw in the mix when deciding if 'tonight's
the night' - if the target is the US, then a look at
could be very informative. We 'hear' Florida and Texas really well!
As a consequence last night I couldn't 'see' out of my backyard, barely a
few sadly limping Loran lines hacked to pieces. The degradation on an
'Argo' screen is deceptively subtle - no bright jaggy lines or flashing red
lights (except on the signal level bar-graph with individual strikes), just the
signals go away and perhaps an increased texture to the background
It really doesn't take much lightning to shoot plots to pieces.
Somebody earlier made the point that perhaps a lot of people are waiting
for 'ideal conditions'. We might be suffering from an overdose of
information from plots such as at w3eee.com (and now lightingstorm.com!)
which may or may not be telling us all we need to know, although are
significant pieces of the puzzle. It takes a happy 'accident' like the other
night to show that ultimate propagation isn't the ultimate key; I'm sure
those pioneering TA QSOs and 'takes' a couple of years ago weren't at
glorious peaks either - it was more a case of "well, let's just do it".
I'm becoming more and more convinced that a larger part of success
is due to quiet conditions at the receiving end than massive propagation.
Steve . . .