Thursday, November 28, 2013
Amateur Radio Continues to Assisit in the Phillipines
Even though it’s been more than three weeks since Typhoon Haiyan laid waste to many parts of the Philippines, much of that nations telecommunications infrastructure is still not operational. As such, ham radio operators continue to be a primary information conduit into and out of those areas stricken by the storm. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, has the latest:
The Philippine-based Ham Emergency Radio Operation or HERO stations are still at work providing help and communications after deadly Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda wreaked its destruction in the central Philippines.
The current official death toll of 5,200 puts the Category-5 storm that landed on November the 8th as the worst typhoon in the archipelago, with its 314-km/h winds generating storm surges in coastal villages and devastating main cities.
As previously reported, in anticipation of the arrival of the super storm the Philippines Amateur Radio Association or PARA activated its HERO network. This after having already faced many storms this year and an earthquake in October.
PARA’s Vice Chief Operating Officer is Ramon Anquilan, DU1UGZ. He reports that in some areas mobile phone service is now available, but is patchy and unreliable. The same is true with electric mains power. DU1UGZ says that he knew that amateur radio emergency communications was effective, and the results saw many tearful moments when local people were able to get their message through to loved ones elsewhere.
Meantime, HERO stations have worked with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the National Telecommunications Commission, communities and non-government organizations. The frequency of 7 dot 095 MHz and several others are still in use and PARA thanks the world’s ham radio community for keeping them clear for emergency traffic.
As we go to air, PARA continues to work closely with authorities and hopefully obtain increased recognition of the HERO network. A very good job continues to be done by a group of truly dedicated ham radio volunteers.
With much of the information in this report provided by Jim Linton VK3PC, who is the Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee, I’m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, reporting from the South Island in Nelson, New Zealand for the Amateur Radio Newsline.
It appears as if ham radio assistance in the aftermath of this killer typhoon will be ongoing for some time to come. (VK3PC)
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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