Saturday, April 16, 2011
World Amateur Radio Day
Long before the Internet and smart phones, Amateur Radio operators have been talking, texting and sharing for decades. But unlike those commercial services, Amateur Radio continues to attract people world-wide by providing international communications for free. And because it does not need pre-established supporting infrastructure, these radio-savvy “amateurs” can reach out to friends in every corner of the world, as well as into space.
Amateur Radio operators have been the leaders in developing many of today’s modern electronic and communications marvels. Today, the citizens of Earth think of “wireless” as being the ubiquitous cellular phone. But this technology is only made possible due to the pioneering work in radio technologies first explored by these “amateurs.”
Many of our leading electrical engineers draw from their practical experiences as Amateur Radio operators as they continue to develop applications blending computers and radios. Ham radio operators may be “amateur” because they are unpaid volunteers, but their skills and contributions to the world are of the highest order.
World Amateur Radio Day celebrates the founding on April 18, 1925 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and hams around the world will be on the air.
World Amateur Radio Day
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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