Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We had 7 checking tonight and the topic I chose to do was,
HF Radio Propagation and Sunspots
- an overview of the basics of the effects that sunspots have on HF radio propagation and radio communications in general including two way radio communications, maritime mobile radio communications, mobile radio, radio broadcasting and amateur radio communications.
The NET started out fine until about 5 minutes into it my doorbell rang, the dogs were going nuts. I grabbed my HT and made it to the living room where I discovered that our church was here to treat us to some Christmas Caroling. OH BOY………..
I did not know what to do. The wife was out getting groceries and the kids were involved with an X-Box game. I unlocked the front door and yelled to my son, "Tell them Mom is gone and Dad is unable to talk/visit."
How rude was I?
I made it back to my room and continued with the Net. Mean while, I could hear the church singing, my son stood there by himself with the door open, the dogs got loose and I was committed to doing the net.
The wife made it home in time to see the church group get into there van and to see my son chase the dogs. She opened her truck door and the dogs jumped in.
I did not know the dogs had gotten loose until I was done with the net. Whew…….I got through another Net.
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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