Monday, 28 February 2011

UK Propagation charts for March 2011

I said last month that conditions had been dire - and then the flux rose up to 125. Yippee!

Unfortunately, there was flare activity as well, so the bands were up and down with good F2 layer openings, but then aurora as well. I expect conditions to be similar in March with big swings in the solar index as spots rotate into view and then disappear.

This month's predictions are based on a smoothed sunspot number of 39. Expect to see openings up to 15m, perhaps even 12m/10m if conditions continue to improve. March is also good for North/South paths, such as Uk<>South Africa. So good DX.

Anyway, here are the charts.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ionospheric Sounding and Digisondes

I recently gave a talk to my local club on ionospheric sounders (Digisondes). I will probably give the talk at the RSGB Convention in October 2011 as it seemed well received. While quite a complex subject, I have added some notes to the presentation to try and make it standalone.

The PDF explains what they are, what they show and how to use them. It also has links to free real-time digisonde plots from around the world and an historical database.

You can download the 4.1Mb PDF here.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Podcast: HF Propagation Report, February 2011

A look at the last 30 days' solar and geomagnetic conditions, NASA's new prediction for Solar Cycle 24, a band-by-band breakdown and a short look at NASA's STEREO spacecraft.

Click on the headline to listen to the programme online or if you prefer to listen to it on your iPod search for G0KYA on iTunes.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

UK Propagation charts for February 2011

I have now published my UK HF propagation charts for February 2011.

Regular readers will spot a small change - they are now colour coded. I never found the original charts very clear in terms of the reliability of the path, so I have now changed the software to show colour-coding for the reliability.

Don't get too excited as the colours go down to less than 25% reliability - if you are running a SteppIR at 120ft and a linear you might find paths like that opening up. For the rest of us look for reliability of 40-50% or more.

In case you hadn't noticed conditions have been dire for the last week or so - the solar flux is back down to 80-81 and openings on 21MHz and 28MHz are seemingly non-existent.

Or are they?

VP8ORK on South Orkney Island (take a look at map to see where it is - Falklands and head south) has been worked from the UK on both 21 and 28MHz so paths do open up, albeit weakly and not for very long.

Fingers crossed for some more sunspots. For a general overview of propagation conditions please refer to my posting for December/January. While we will move more towards equinox conditions later in the month I think what I said then still stands.