A lot of mis-information is going around in amateur radio FM and repeater circles regarding an upcoming FCC mandate on narrow-banding communications in the 150 to 512 MHz spectrum is finally being debunked. Ham radio is not affected by this change. ---- Much of the mis-information regarding narrowband on amateur radio FM appears to be coming from hams who have purchased various low cost Part 90 radios built in China. These radios are capable of narrowband operation on the 2 meter and 70 centimeter ham bands in addition to Part 90 frequencies. The manuals that come with these radios are written with Part 90 users in mind and much of the material has no meaning to Part 97 Amateur Service operations. However, some hams do not realize this and that's likely the way the erroneous rumors that ham radio FM and repeater operations at 70 centimeters and above would have to narrowband got started. To make it clear, ham radio is not affected in any way by this FCC edict and your ham gear is not going to become obsolete. The switch to 12.5 KHz from the current 25 KHz channel spacing only affects operations in the FCC Part 90 regulated services. There is no narrow band mandate by the FCC for Part 97 ham radio operations. Hams are free to voluntarily switch to narrowband operations if they so desire, but the Amateur Part 97 Service as a whole is not obligated to make any change.
Friday, April 27, 2012
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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