Summer in the Upper Midwestern USA – It means higher absorption on 75 meters and a healthy dose of thunderstorm static as the dew point climbs and storms roll through Minnesota. The 160 m band is all but useless this time of year but you may find some stations on after sunset – provided that there are no lightning crashes wiping out the band! Absorption due to solar radiation is so high during the long daylight hours that the band is virtually dead, with only ground wave contacts possible.
Meanwhile, the PICONET soldiers on, keeping its summer schedule on 3.925 MHz on the 75 m band. Yes, there can be days when the thunderstorms make for a high noise level, but generally the absorption is not as bad on 75 m as on 160 m and some daytime contacts are possible. You will find this friendly net on between 0900 and 1100 CDT every day but Sunday. There is an afternoon session on weekdays from 1600 to 1700 CDT. Most of the net control stations are in northern Minnesota, so W0EQO is your best bet for a solid contact if you are using it as a remote base station. There is information about our remote base stations at http://handiham.org/remotebase.
The 40 m band is generally reliable summer and winter, throughout the solar cycle. The MIDCARS net on 7.258 MHz can be heard most days and provides road and travel reports, especially from mobile stations. It is in the Midwest.
Reports of activity on the 6 m band are still common as good VHF propagation continues into July – a nice surprise! Listen on 50.125 MHz or try some beacon frequencies and see what you can hear. A comprehensive list of 6 m beacons is at the G3USF website: