Friday, February 14, 2014
Amateur Radio Operators Responding to Slovenia Electricity Disruption
Since January 31st Slovenia has been affected by extreme cold weather such as blizzards, heavy snow and sleet. This has caused the collapse of power lines under the weight of ice and falling trees with electricity disruptions now affecting 250,000 people at the height of the outage. The restoration of electric mains supply was being made difficult by the continuing bad weather. This has prompted Slovenia to request assistance from the European Union in the form of mobile high power electric power generators.
While there has been no wide-spread national request for communications assistance Slovenian radio amateurs are preparing to respond if required. In the meantime a number of radio amateurs have been assisting in communications operations on a local community level. This, due to problems with the mobile phone service and other radio networks falling victim to the severe weather outbreak.
The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism has asked for assistance from nearby European states with Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria providing assistance. Because of uncertainty of both weather conditions and overall communications, the Austrian teams responding to Slovenia will be carrying their own gear so as to communicate back to their home bases using Pactor and Winlink.
source; Heather Embee, KB3TZD
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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