Monday, August 22, 2011

Hurricane Watch Net; Activated for Irene

The Hurricane Watch Net has activated as rapidly developing Hurricane Irene makes its way through the gulf. The net is active on 14.325, information is available at

Irene could become major hurricane; Bahamas, U.S. at risk

2 P.M.: Hurricane Irene’s winds remained at 80 mph as the core of the storm churned just off the northeastern coast of Hispaniola.

But with little but warm water in its path, the National Hurricane Center expected Irene to continue strengthening over the next few days as it moves through the southeastern and central Bahamas. By Thursday, forecasters say it could be a major Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 115 mph.

The storm remains a threat to much of the Atlantic coast, from South Florida to the Carolinas.

Telegraph Exhibit & Demonstration

On Saturday, August 27, the Toledo Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club will be demonstrating telegraphy and exhibiting telegraph instruments at the Michigan Historical Museum at Lansing, Michigan. The event will run from 10-AM to 4-PM. We will have two “land line” telegraph circuits in operation, one of which will be connected to an AP news wire and the other of which will be used to converse with retired railroad and commercial telegraphers throughout the US and Canada.

In addition to the telegraph demonstration, one can stop by to see the special US Civil War sesquicentennial exhibit entitled “Plowshares into Swords.” This exhibit includes a telegraph display developed by members of the Morse Telegraph Club in conjunction with museum staff. One can see Civil War era telegraph instruments, hear actual news bulletins from 150-years ago reproduced on the telegraph sounder, and the children can type in a brief phrase on a computer terminal and hear it reproduced in American Morse Code.

Of course, there’s plenty there for the whole family, including numerous exhibits covering the history of Michigan. More information regarding this event may be found on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Web Page at:,4570,7...9234--,00.html

The Morse Telegraph Club, Inc. is an association of retired railroad and commercial telegraphers, radio amateurs, historians, and others with an interest in the history and traditions of telegraphy. Our organization publishes an excellent quarterly journal entitled “Dots and Dashes.” In addition to constructing historically authentic telegraph exhibits for public museums throughout the US and Canada, members regularly demonstrate telegraphy at historical events, steam train excursions and so forth and present talks on the history of telegraphy and telecommunications. More information may be found at:

Thank you, and 73!

My Stamp Collecting Blog

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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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