At long last the solar cycle has improved and the 10m (28 MHz) band has been 'open' during daylight hours recently.
Last weekend was the CQ World Wide (www.cqww.com) international amateur radio contest. This is a major event and as the weather was so bad over the weekend I was able to spend a bit of time operating. I decided to run just low power (5 Watts QRP, this is about the same power as a Christmas tree light!) and just one band - 10m. I was using my Yaesu FT-817 with a home-made vertical dipole in my loft. Conditons were quite good and I managed to work 116 other stations from the Middle East to USA East Coast.
Also on the 10m band, today I was able to pick up an amateur radio repeater, N2ACF/R, ( http://www.rra.net/ ) which is located in Rockland County north of New York City. This was carrying traffic for the amateur radio emergency net in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy, that is widely predicted to cause major damage in the New York area. I wish everyone in the path of the storm well and, while I hope the amateur radio support is not needed, I am pleased to see that the capability is available if needed.