I'd intended to quickly post again on here . . . and that's exactly what I'm doing--except that the past 15 days have passed by in, what, about four?
Reminder: We're less than a week away from Halloween, so if you're in North America (or want to hear stations from this continent), this is a great time to do it. DXers will want to hear everything direct, but if you're not on this side of the pond, try listening on an SDR. Check the loggings on HF Underground, and start checking SDRs over here until you find good signals.
For years, the best times to listen for pirates on Halloween would be about 2200-0600 UTC. The past few years, however, the times have mostly shifted to about 2000-0100 UTC. This is more convenient for European listeners, but not great for those on the West Coast. A couple of big factors this year will be whether stations drop frequencies to maybe 4000-4100 kHz and keep broadcasting later in the evening or if all of the broadcasts will get lumped at about 2200-0000 UTC, and five stations will be on at the same time? Needless to say, I'd prefer the activity to be spread out so that I can listen to as much as possible. Otherwise, I wind up missing some of the short tests, weak carriers, and stations on oddball frequencies.
Halloween local time is generally best for listening, but some stations tend to crop up on Halloween UTC time. So, Wednesday night (local time) in NA should have a few stations, but Thursday local should be the big one.
Reminder #2: The Global HF Weekend follows Halloween, running from November 1-3. I haven't heard about specific tests yet. I plan to be updating my blog with advance tests if/when I receive notice & also post logs. Because of the conditions lately, no one's been too adventurous about testing on high frequencies. We'll see if that changes. If not, look for shows in the standard frequency ranges: 6770-6980, 6200-6320, & 4000-4100 kHz
Halloween wish? Hmmm . . . one real treat would be a new Halloween program from He-Man Radio, after about two decades away from the bands. His trick or treat night show from around '96 or so was one of my Halloween listening highlights. Maybe I should start thinking about some other Halloween radio treats from the past to mention in the upcoming week.