Thursday, January 12, 2012

OPERA Encoded Signal Travels 2000 Miles

Opera has made a big debuet on the ham radio bands. Using the new Opera data mode, Gary Taylor, G4WGT, in Lancanshire in the United Kingdom has successfully transmitted a signal on 137.5 kHz across the North Atlantic to Joe Craig, VO1NA, in Toebay, Canada. This over a distance of 3,500 kilometers or 2200 miles.

Taylor transmitted six full callsign frames in a two hour period, which is a big time saving over other slow digital modes like QRSS. Opera was created by Graham Brown, G0NBD with the actual code written by Jose Ros, EA5HVK. This as a way of providing data operations for stations that only had the CW capability. The most up to date information on this mode can be found at

Southgate Amateur Radio News

FCC Rejects ARRL Partial Appeal on Club Callsigns

The FCC has rejected a motion for partial reconsideration of revised rules enacted by the FCC. These to limit the number of vanity calls that any individual or club can hold.

In its petition the League stated that it supports the Commission’s efforts to prevent club stations from obtaining an unfair share of desirable call signs. But it also expressed concern that the precise rule language adopted by the FCC did not preclude the abuses that the Report and Order intended to prohibit. Specifically, the ARRL believes that if a club has multiple station trustees, each of these trustees could obtain a vanity call sign for the club. That in turn could allow the club to obtain multiple vanity call signs.

But in denying the ARRL appeal the FCC said that the Leagues petition does not provide any grounds for reconsidering the Commission’s decision in the Report and Order. It said that the concerns expressed by ARRL about licensees attempting to evade the rules adopted in the Report and Order are already addressed by the Commission’s licensing rules and processes. It notes that Section 97.5(b)(2) of its rules states, in part, that a club station license grant may be held only by the person who is the license or trustee designated by an officer of the club. In simpler terms, only one vanity call sign per club. (FCC)

My Stamp Collecting Blog

Counter Added January 1, 2011

free counters


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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