ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP026 (2010)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP026
ARLP026 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP26
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 26  ARLP026
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  July 2, 2010
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP026
ARLP026 Propagation de K7RA

Most stations reported not-so-great conditions for ARRL Field Day
last weekend, but there were sporadic-e openings on 6 and 10 meters.
Geomagnetic conditions were a bit rough, with the Planetary A index
in double digits for both days, June 26-27.  Conditions at
mid-latitude were not too bad, but in Alaska the College A index was
20 and 22.  With atmospheric noise from seasonal thunderstorms it
was a bit rough at times, although with Field Day just about
everyone has fun.

Read comments from participants at
http://www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox and select 2010 ARRL Field Day
from the drop-down menu.

June is over, so we have some new averages for sunspot numbers, and
the numbers declined slightly.  Average daily sunspot number over
the month of June was 18, down from 20 in May.  The three-month
average centered on May was 16.2, down from 18.5 the previous month
(centered on April, with data from March through May), 22.3 the
month before, and 25.7 the month prior to that (centered on
February).

For the past week, average daily sunspot numbers were 11.7, down
from 16.1 the prior week and 26.9 before that.

The latest prediction (from Thursday afternoon) via USAF and NOAA
has solar flux at 72 for July 2-3, and 74 on July 4-10.  The same
forecast has planetary A index at 10 for July 2, 8 on July 3-4, and
5 on July 5-10.

Geophysical Institute Prague in the Czech Republic sees quiet to
unsettled conditions July 2-3, and quiet conditions July 4-8.

With sporadic-e season in full swing, we've heard a number of six
meter reports.  Jim O'Brien, W4AMP of Cedartown, Georgia (EM74)
reports that on June 19 six meters was open most of the day.  With a
2-element beam and 100 watts at midnight local time (0400z) he
worked VE7BEE in DN09 and KW7Y in CN88.  He noted that midnight is
an odd time for multiple-hop sporadic-e skip.

Martin McCormick, WB5AGZ in Stillwater, Oklahoma sent in this note
about sporadic-e on Field Day:

"On Saturday June 26, I was tuning between 25 and 30 MHZ at about
12:30 CDT and heard a narrow-band FM signal on 25.99 MHZ playing
music.  It was a broadcast station's Queuing system.  These used to
be very common around 26.xx MHZ but most stations have gone to much
higher frequencies to get away from Sporadic E, F2 and illegal
CB-type activity so when one hears one of these signals these days,
it is rare.

I listened for a while and heard 2 ID's which turned out to be for
KSCS whose actual broadcast frequency is 96.3 in Fort Worth, TX.
This is very interesting because Stillwater, Oklahoma is only a bit
over 200 to 250 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The signal was full-quieting with fades for several minutes and then
it vanished very quickly.  This should have been good for Field Day
participants on 12 and 10 meters as E Skip doesn't usually get that
short.

The bands were actually pretty boring with 6 meters dead from here
and not many strong signals between 25 and 30 MHZ.  You'd be
surprised what the letters KSCS can sound like even when heard
fairly clearly.  I made a recording of the audio and heard them
refer to Texas but it took several runs at Radio-locator.com to find
anything that made sense.  Fortunately, radio locator lists stations
by Call letters, frequency and program format.  KSCS is in Texas,
plays country music and is on 96.3 MHZ.

Some radio stations may still use these frequencies for actual
remote broadcasts from a truck or public building back to the studio
so you never know what you will find."   Martin mentioned
http://www.radio-locator.com/ which is very handy for identifying
broadcast stations with a great deal of detailed information.

Jeff Hartley, N8II of Shepherdstown, West Virginia sent this report:
"The good news is the almost ever present Es to fill in gaps left by
low solar flux.  Several times on 15 meters I have heard EA and
Italy past midnight local in Europe.  Saturday June 12 was fabulous
with a good European opening on 10 meters from around 1320-1430Z; a
couple of signals were over S9 from MW0, and DL and about 25
stations were worked mostly in SW and S Europe.  Saturday June 19 at
1630Z, I was operating in the WV QSO Party.  I was able to work the
'far side' of WV during several periods on 20 meters as close as
about 200 miles away and had almost continuous openings to 8's, 9's,
and close in 4's as well as long openings to New England.

There was also a very extensive double hop 10 meter opening to the
Rockies, southwest, and west coast from 2100Z thru past 0200Z which
also extended to 6 meters.  I worked about 720 stations on 20 meter
phone and 170 on 10 phone.  I missed AK and VT for WAS, several
called in from HI on 20 including KH6G mid day mid path.

Sunday the June 20 around 1300Z, I heard N0KE and K0GU in CO and
others out west calling CQ DX and heard KE trying to complete a QSO
with OH5.  I heard locals calling a few Europeans which were in the
noise here without much success.  WQ7Y was very loud from NW WA here
just past 6AM PDT".

Jon Jones, N0JK of Wichita, Kansas reports:  "Kind of an unusual Es
contact on 6 meters last Sunday June 27.  I worked HC1HC Ecuador at
2345 UTC.  He was in for about 20 minutes, peaked up to 599 at
times.  First time I have heard or worked Ecuador on 6 Meters via
Es.  Have worked it a number of times on F2 during both cycle 22 and
23 peaks.

Suspect it was Es rather than F2, as the solar flux was 75.  Kp did
reach 3, probably just enough to dampen northern Es paths and
perhaps enhance Es closer to the equator.  HC1HC is about 4,664 km
from EM18 - two hops of 2,332 km each?"

Jon was using CW, by the way.
 
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
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.  Find more good
information and tutorials on propagation at
http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/k9la/index.html.  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 June 24 through 30 were 13, 12, 0, 11, 11, 24,
and 11 with a mean of 11.7.  10.7 cm flux was 74.4, 74.5, 74.5,
72.9, 73.9, 73.6 and 73.8 with a mean of 73.9.  Estimated planetary
A indices were 7, 8, 15, 13, 7, 11 and 19 with a mean of 11.4.
Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 8, 9, 12, 6, 8 and 15 with
a mean of 9.
NNNN
/EX