Let‘s face it…This is not the best of times for us Hams, thanks to the current solar conditions! Worse still, this is just going to be the way life is for quite a number of years to come.
So, what do we do?
The answer is, ‘Just about anything you can dream of!’
First, realize that the solar situation actually translates to ‘less than optimal’, not, ‘impossible’! Sure, its not like the good ol’ days, but look at the contest activity. They are getting contacts from somewhere! The truth is, there is plenty of signal out there, its just not handed to you on a plate at the moment! Sure, DX might be a bit hard going but its not impossible and, whats so wrong with some local rag-chewing?
Let me ask you this; Are you a Nobel Laureate regarding any topic to do with Amateur Radio? You’re not? So, whats wrong with getting on the internet or breaking out that old, dusty book and either re-learning what you once knew by rote or perhaps, this time, really learning it? My list of what I don’t know is most definitely much, much longer than what I do know! If you aren’t an Extra class Ham, now would seem like a perfect time to prepare for that final ticket. If you are an Extra, what about getting that Commercial Radio General Operator License (GROL)?
How’s your morse? Are you up to 60wpm with perfect copy and sending? Can you work straight key, bug and an iambic? No more to be said here…
How about spending your free time learning to work with a mode you haven’t tried before? Are you an absolute pro when it comes to using that digital mode software, or do you just know enough to get by?
How about building something? What was the last QRP transceiver that you built? Have you ever tried to design one from scratch? If you aren’t too good at electronic theory or your soldering skills suck, you just found yourself something to do!
What is the radiation pattern of your antenna at your QTH? Oh, you’ve never used antenna modeling software? What a great opportunity to learn something new!
Speaking of antennas, this could be a great time to work on building (and erecting) that antenna you’ve always been dreaming of.
How about visiting the left side of your brain… What new digital mode, can you dream up? How would it work? What would be its benefits? What would be its drawbacks? What software processing would be required? Do you know how to write the necessary software for it? Is the programming language you know, the most suitable language for your software? Assuming you know nothing about programming, you now have tons of things to learn!
You get the idea now… let your mind go free and turn that solar lemon into achievement lemonade!