Friday, March 18, 2011
ICOM & Kenwood Shutdown Factories Due to Events in Japan
Today I-Com and Kenwood have been added to the list.
From the Icom press release at
On March 11, northern Japan was struck by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. Icom Inc. is an international company with its home base in Japan.
Fortunately, no one from Icom is known to be injured. There are no damages reported at Icom's headquarters in Osaka or at either of our two main factories in Wakayama. Both Osaka and Wakayama are located far south of the most severely affected areas. Icom did suffer some minor damage at our Tokyo and Sendai branch offices.
Most of Icom's facilities and systems are ready to get back to normal business. However, supplier logistics, commuting issues and future power disruptions will affect our company. It is too soon to tell how big an impact the earthquake and its aftermath will have on Icom. We appreciate your interest and concern for Icom Inc. and will update you as information becomes available.
We are fortunate that most of the Icom family has so far survived this crisis intact. Other families have not been so fortunate, and many lives have been lost. Crisis relief donations are requested through the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/ . Google has also posted a helpful crisis response page on how to get involved.
The Kenwood statement says
“Thankfully, our staff in Japan is safe due to earthquake preparedness and the special construction of our buildings,” said Junji Kobayashi, President of Kenwood USA Corporation. “Power outages and interruption of mass transit have kept most of Kenwood’s staff at home since the earthquake however we expect the infrastructure to improve in the coming week and our operations to fully resume accordingly. We appreciate the concern for our employees expressed by all those who have contacted us.”
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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