ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP004 (2014)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP004
ARLP004 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP04
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 4  ARLP004
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  January 24, 2014
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP004
ARLP004 Propagation de K7RA

Average daily sunspot numbers increased slightly this week from
111.4 to 113.3, but average daily solar flux declined by 22 points
from 155.4 to 133.4. Although there seems to be no shortage of
sunspots, they are anemic and not magnetically complex, and thus
radiation from the spots is feeble, indicated by lower solar flux
values.

Predicted solar flux for the near term is 135 on January 24, 130 on
January 25-26, 135 on January 27, 140 on January 28-30, 150 on
January 31, 155 on February 1-5, 160 on February 6-7, then 150, 140
and 135 on February 8-10, 125 on February 11-15, and 130 on February
16-20.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 24-26, 8 on January 27,
12 on January 28, 5 on January 29 through February 6, 8 on February
7-8, 5 on February 9-16, 8 on February 17 and 5 on February 18-23.

OK1HH sends his latest geomagnetic predictions, which have mostly
quiet conditions on January 24, quiet on January 25, mostly quiet
January 26, quiet January 27, quiet to active January 28, active to
disturbed January 29, quiet to unsettled January 30, mostly quiet
January 31, quiet on February 1, quiet to unsettled February 2-3,
mostly quiet February 4-6, quiet February 7-9, quiet to unsettled
February 10-11, and mostly quiet February 12.

This weekend is the CQ World Wide 160-Meter CW Contest. It begins
today, Friday January 24 at 2200 UTC and ends at 2200 UTC on Sunday,
January 26. As there are no geomagnetic disturbances predicted for
the weekend, conditions should be good. See
http://www.cq160.com/rules.htm for info.

Jimmy Mahuron, K9JWJ of Salem, Indiana (in southern Indiana, about
30 miles NNW of Louisville, Kentucky) noted great 40 meter
conditions with strong signals on January 21, and commented on the
sunspot number. The sunspot number on January 20-21 was 131 and 141,
with solar flux at 137.4 and 146.

Jeff, N8II sent this report from West Virginia on January 21:

"I was operating as W1AW/8 from Jan 3-7 here and worked mainly
75/80, 30, 15, and 10 meters. There were strong signals on 10
meters, but propagation seemed fairly unremarkable for SFIs running
over 200. There was not a lot of activity on 10 from the USA in the
afternoon and I didn't work that much from Eastern EU on 10 in the
mornings. EU was pretty well gone on 10 at 1700Z.

"Signals from the USA were loud on 15 meter SSB Monday afternoon the
January 6 as close as WI and IL with many of the louder ones more
than 20 dB over S9. I received several calls from AK and HI with
loud signals and then was treated to a JA run which did not last
that long starting about 2235Z until QRT at 2305. By my return at
2320Z on CW signals were markedly weaker from JA. Earlier on phone
the loudest JAs were S9 with weakest ones S3-5, but they all were
apparently hearing me quite well. The morning of the January 7 on 15
phone, I ran a pretty big raucous EU pile up working as far as UA4s
in Russia until about 1430Z.

"HZ1PS and A71EA called in with good signals with the highlight
being called by a VK7 long path! I had never worked eastern
Australia on 15 via long path before. But that is pale compared to
the Midway Island QSO long path on 10 CW around 1315Z in early
December.

"Conditions were down a bit compared to last year in the NAQP SSB
contest this past weekend January 18-19 according to several
comments, but I managed 1276 QSOs in about 9 hours with some very
good conditions on 20 and 75 meters. After dark, around 2230Z until
just past 0100Z, 20 meters was wide open from Texas to the West
Coast with loud KL7 and KH6 as well. Around 0430Z, 75 was open well
to the West Coast with quite a few CA stations logged which was not
possible around 0200Z. I never did work much west of MN, NM and MO
on 160, but signals out to about 800-900 miles away were pretty
loud. 10 was average with fairly weak signals from the West Coast
and loud ones from the Rocky mountain area. 15 was better to the
West Coast and stations as close WI, MN, KS, AR and TX were loud.
Both 10 and 15 were wide open to AK with little activity and a few
KH6's were on both bands with good signals. Near sunset a couple of
ZS stations were good copy off the back of the beam on 20 and a UA0Q
called in with a S9 signal around 0015Z.

"On January 16 at 0500, 80 meter CW was wide open to EU with E7, LY,
SM, OM, SP, OK, OE, EW, DK, US5, and S5 stations all worked between
0500 and 0530Z. Most signals were S9 or better!

"On January 17 at 0103Z, 9V1YC was 579 long path on 20 CW, later
than the usual long path here which peaks 2230-2345Z. Also worked
with a strong signal at 0110Z was VK6FZM/MM about halfway around the
world from me on their way to Amsterdam Island from Freemantle in
VK6.

"Then in the morning of January 19, the Russian Olympic special
stations were worked on 20 and 15. Some on 20 were S9+ while others
were weak in the noise. Stations with 22 in their calls honor the
Olympics (22nd Olympiad) and 11 the Paralympics. Also worked on 20
CW were the wild card stations R7378TM and R7979TM. A65CA was 579
long path on 20 at 1401Z and a few western EU stations were also
heard long path."

Amid many news reports with observations about a quieting Sun, we
get this from Scott Bidstrup, TI3/W7RI on Costa Rica:

"A friend of mine in Panama (HP3AK) is quite the 75 meter DX
enthusiast, and is up every morning looking for whatever DX he can
find in the DX window on that band at gray-line from his QTH in the
western Panama highlands. He reports to me that so far, this has
been the lousiest DX season he can remember. With his monster
high-gain phased delta loop array, he can still manage to work Japan
only about every other day, and in past seasons, he'd be talking to
his friends there every morning with great signals both ways. He's
only worked a couple of new ones in the South Pacific all season.

"6 meters has been very quiet here lately, too. There hasn't been a
really good opening on 6 from down here since the big F2 opening in
December - just the odd, short sporadic-E opening now and again.
Pickings have been pretty slim other than the usual daily TE
(trans-equatorial) openings into Brazil and Argentina from here, and
always with the same stations in evidence every day.

"10 meters is showing some decline here. The reliable, daily
openings are still there, but signals are fewer and weaker, with
South America beginning to predominate - which leads me to suspect
what I am seeing is mostly a TE propagation mode. I've given up on
10 and have moved my PSK activity to 15, which has been quite hot -
but only early in the morning and late in the afternoon."

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 web page at
http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of the
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 January 16 through 22 were 77, 95, 114, 91, 131,
141, and 144, with a mean of 113.3. 10.7 cm flux was 121, 128.8,
129.6, 127.5, 137.4, 146, and 143.3, with a mean of 133.4. Estimated
planetary A indices were 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 8, and 9, with a mean of
4.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8,
with a mean of 3.6.
NNNN
/EX