What HF band to listen in on?
November 25, 2008 8:55 PM   Subscribe

What HF band should I be listening to?

I was thinking of buying/asking for a Ramsey HF receiver kit. It looks like they sell them for 20, 30 or 40 meters. I'm looking for a band for SSB or AM listening that:

1) has a decent level of activity, with bonus points for during the day (US Midwest).

2) Wouldn't require a significant investment antenna-wise. I don't have the ability to set up anything big, so it'll probably be one from another kit.

3) Picking up either US or international stations would be fine, I'm mainly interested in the more "user friendly" band.

I'm considering upgrading my license to General, and it looks like the whole 30 meter band is open to that license level (for when I get around to building a transmitter) but I'm not really sure what band would best meet the requirements above.
posted by drezdn to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think many folks would say the 20m band is really popular.
The antenna would be the smallest of the bands you listed.

30m is only RTTY and CW I believe.

There was a great link the other day to an online tunable shortwave radio, you could play around with that for a while to get a feeling for the bands. It doesn't have the 30m band though (it has 80m instead) and its based in the Netherlands, but should give you a good idea.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:41 PM on November 25, 2008

20 meters. you get good DX and it's popular.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:46 PM on November 25, 2008

Response by poster: 30m is only RTTY and CW I believe.

Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it when I checked band plans last night.
posted by drezdn at 9:48 AM on November 26, 2008

20m was dead this summer due to low solar activity. Is it opened up again? (I'm sure it will be soon, now that we're getting some sunspots.)
posted by neuron at 11:30 PM on November 26, 2008

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