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The K7RA Solar Update

08/16/2019

No sunspots were visible over the recent reporting week, Thursday through Wednesday, August 8 through 14.

According to Spaceweather.com, 67% of the days so far in 2019 have been spotless, and for all of 2018 it was 61%. In the previous solar minimum in 2008 and 2009 the spotless days ran 73% and 71%, respectively.

Solar flux has been minimal and unremarkable, with average daily solar flux changing only to 67.4 from 67.2 last week.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is likewise unremarkable, at 67 from August 15 until September 29.

Predicted planetary A index is 8 on August 16, 5 on August 17, 6 on August 18, 8 on August 19-20, 5 on August 21-25, 8 on August 26-28, 5 on August 29-31, then 38 and 14 on September 1-2, 5 on September 3-5, 8 on September 6-8, 5 on September 9-11, 8 on September 12, 5 on September 13-21, 8 on September 22-24, 5 on September 25-27, and in a recurrence of geomagnetic activity reported in last week’s bulletin and also predicted for September 1, 38 on September 28 and 14 on September 29.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019 I will be conducting an informal presentation on space weather, propagation and my involvement in Amateur Radio since being licensed at the end of cycle 19 at age 12, at the monthly meeting in Seattle of the Western Washington DX Club. See https://www.wwdxc.org/ for details.

Last weekend was the 65th annual Pacific Northwest DX Convention, and among the presentations was an excellent talk by Space Weather Woman Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW. If you ever get a chance to see her give a talk, don’t miss it. Her presentation was excellent.

Jim Brown, W5ZIT of Farmersville, Texas (or Tucson, AZ) wrote on August 15: "I had just finished an Olivia contact with Fergus ZL2VF via grey line (7 dB s/n peak) as we usually do around 0300Z when I noticed a very strong PSK31 signal on 20 meters, which I assumed was a nearby local.

“When I checked I found that it was Suke, JM7OLW, at 30 dB plus s/n ratio.  Suke runs 200 W to a 5-element Yagi up about 100 feet. Suke gave me a very good 20 dB plus s/n report.

“This morning I tuned across a dead 20-meter band and again saw a 30 dB plus s/n signal, which I again assumed was a local. Instead it was Fred, W4PKU, Fred in Virginia. With signals barely copyable on 20-meter PSK in the last few days, I was really surprised to see this kind of signal. Fred gave me a 30 dB plus s/n report also, from my 30 W into an 80-meter OCF antenna. Turns out he had also worked Suke in the last few days also.

“The bands can still surprise you even at the low end of the cycle."

Be sure to check out the W5ZIT page on QRZ.com.

Ken Brown, N4SO, wrote on August 15: “Using FT8 on 18 MHz, I added Reunion Island and Fiji to the list as new countries for me on this mode. I have also added a note on both Pacific and Europe being decoded at 2210 UTC.

“I monitored 17 meters on for FT8 activity for several more days and made some contacts with just 10 W and a half-square antenna.

“The band stays open until about 0300 to 0400 UTC. The numbers on the left-hand side of the following list (captured from my WSJT-X software) indicate the UTC time. I noted that it is possible to receive weak Pacific Ocean stations or W8 (K8FAM), until the band closes completely.”

033915 -17 -0.5 1083 ~  CQ E51BQ BG08      S. Cook Is.

033830   6  0.1 1198 ~  CQ K9OM EN65       USA (The band opens at approximately 1200 UTC to all of the Northeast USA, Canada, and also to Europe.)

130800 -12  0.5  306 ~  CQ TO5M GN16       Reunion Is.

131130  -9  0.5  305 ~  N4SO TO5M 73      (Reunion Island new country)

120430 -14 -0.0  418 ~  CQ EA6VQ JM19      Balearic Is.

122200 -14  0.1  902 ~  CQ IZ8VYU JN71     Italy

123130 -11  0.1  902 ~  N4SO IZ8VYU 73

124830 -17  0.6 1930 ~  CQ 9K2NO LL39      Kuwait

125215  -3  0.3 1692 ~  CQ HA7TM JN97      Hungary

131415 -10  0.2 1713 ~  CQ OK2WMC JN99     Czech Rep.

120730  -6  0.0 1452 ~  CQ W9XB EN52       USA

134700   4  0.1  883 ~  CQ N4TZ EN70       USA

122215 -17  0.3 1333 ~  CQ HA7TM JN97      Hungary

124745 -19  0.2  831 ~  CQ F8DZU JN15      France

131915 -15  0.4 2214 ~  CQ VE3MGY EN92     Canada

141115 -18  0.1  709 ~  CQ PA9CC JO32      Netherlands

During daylight hours, the 18 MHZ band continues to remain open to North America, Europe and also to the Caribbean and South America and even Africa.

Around 1800 UTC 184700   0  0.4 2513 ~  9G2HO KA1J FN31 Ghana

Propagation to both Cyprus and Fiji is possible, with the signals from Europe and Russia very weak and not workable. Fiji was worked though.

221000 -16 -0.1  949 ~  CQ 5B4AMX KM65     Cyprus

221300 -13  0.2 2098 ~  CQ 3D2AG RH91      Fiji  (new country)

221700 -17  0.4 2095 ~  N4SO 3D2AG -11

“Before sundown (7:36 local time) there is a possibility of Japan and Far East stations, or to New Zealand and also Australia.  Good times are 2200 to 0200 UTC.  Japan is favorable after 2200 UTC.   Most of these were easily worked:”

222300 -14  0.1 1825 ~  N4SO JF8QNF -19

222300 -12 -0.4  654 ~  N4SO JH0INP PM96

222900 -12  0.1 1908 ~  N4SO JH7CVM 73

222930 -13  0.1 2043 ~  N4SO JH2FXK RR73

224230 -13  0.4  474 ~  N4SO JA1XEC RR73

224900  -7  0.1  787 ~  N4SO JA1NCZ RR73

020000 -16 -0.1 2155 ~  N4SO VK7WX R-10

020015  Tx      2375 ~  VK7WX N4SO RR73

020030 -17 -0.1 2156 ~  N4SO VK7WX 73

222415 -17  0.1 1859 ~  CQ DX JA7QVI QM08  Japan

000700 -13 -0.1  485 ~  CQ JA8KSF QN03     Japan

004300 -16  0.1 1650 ~  CQ VK4PY QG62      Australia

004730  -3  0.1 1536 ~  CQ ZL2IFB RF80     New Zealand (This ZL station was worked with 10 W, and the numbers  (-1) show good signals propagated to New Zealand.)

004830  -1  0.2 1536 ~  N4SO ZL2IFB R-02

“During the evening hours the band is open to the West coast and British Columbia, Canada, and the Pacific such as FK8 New Caledonia. The band usually closes with W6, W7, W0 or W9 in the USA, or a Pacific Ocean station (South Cook Island E51BQ)."

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at k7ra@arrl.net.

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for August 8 through 14, 2019 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 68.6, 67.2, 67.2, 67.6, 67.2, 66.8, and 67.4, with a mean of 67.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 6, 8, 6, 5, 7, and 5 with a mean of 6.3. Middle latitude A index was 6, 7, 8, 7, 7, 8, and 5, with a mean of 6.9.

 

 



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