Sunday, December 14, 2008
Digital TV participation
Earlier this week, the ARRL received a request from the FCC asking thatARRL members provide technical educational assistance to theircommunities concerning the FCC-mandated digital television (DTV)conversion scheduled for February 17, 2009.
According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts,W1AGP, Amateur Radio clubs across the country are being asked todevelop and implement plans to provide information throughout Januaryand February about the DTV conversion in their areas. The FCC isleaving it up to the clubs to decide how to do this, as local groupsunderstand the communities in ways that the FCC does not. Eachcommunity is a little different, Pitts said, so plans carried out bythe clubs will vary from community to community. Interested groupsshould contact their ARRL Section Manager.
Pitts stressed that hams should not make "house calls," sell anyequipment or do actual installations; the request is only to distributetechnical information and FCC materials. He commented: "As we all know,some folks just never get the message until too late. Materials forpresentations, education and many other activities are availableonline. Beginning early January, FCC staff will contact SectionManagers and leaders of interested clubs and, where possible, arrangeto meet to share even more information, audio, visual and printedmaterials, as well as and training aids, with the clubs involved thiseffort. We know the time is short, but your aid in this now will be appreciated.
"Now to the specifics for all Michigan ham clubs:
Please review the full announcement at: http://www.arrl. org/news/ stories/2008/ 12/10/10499/ ?nc=1
Discuss the implications for your club. This can be an excellent PRopportunity. Consider your available resources and assemble a team toevaluate your participation. Should your club desire to participate,please prepare the contact information and email it to me beforeDecember 27th. wa8efk@arrl. net
I will need the following contact information only: Club Name, Clublocation, Club Contact person's name, call, address, telephone number,and e-mail address. This will be loaded into a spreadsheet and sent tothe FCC.
The club will then be contacted by the FCC and set up to receive PRmaterial from the Commission along with handouts and training aids. Iwill also emphasize, at no time is anyone to enter someone's home orinstall equipment. That opens the door to too much liability.
This deadline is short, action is needed immediately.
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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