Cycle 24 seems to be heating up after some false and no starts and it even looks like we are going to see some consistency in regards to the sun. Does flux (not the stuff used when soldering), K and A index's, solar wind, CME and sunspots sound like blah blah blah to you?? It did to me, but understanding propagation really has helped out my contesting and DXing. Understanding propagation....how you ask???? ARRL has a great online coarse. www.arrl.org/online-courses, and I did notice that on the ARRL site you have to be a member to register for the coarse. Even though they offer online courses to members (at a reduced cost) and non members,I have to ask the question how does a non member register when the site requires you to be a member??? New Years is still some time away, so take the time to make an Autumn resolution and investigate a new area of our hobby.....propagation.
Here are some links I use