ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP026 (2014)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP026
ARLP026 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP26
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 26  ARLP026
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  June 27, 2014
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP026
ARLP026 Propagation de K7RA

Solar activity continues to weaken, with average daily sunspot
numbers dropping nearly 69 points to 72.3, and average daily solar
flux down nearly 36 points to 98.8.

On Wednesday the predicted solar flux on Friday through Sunday, June
27-29 (Field Day weekend) was 105, 110 and 115, but on Thursday
those numbers were revised downward to 100, 105 and 105. Predicted
planetary A index for those dates is unchanged at 8, 12 and 8.

The predicted average solar flux for the next 7-day reporting
period, June 26 through July 2 was reported as 111.4 in the
propagation bulletin preview in the ARRL Letter, but that is now
revised to 100.4, little above 98.8 from the last reporting period,
June 19-25.

If we look at past bulletins for the 2014 calendar year, 98.8 is the
lowest average flux value reported. The highest average was 201.6 in
ARLP002, covering January 2-8, and the second was 180.4 in ARLP006,
covering January 30 through February 5. ARLP007 reported 171.9 the
following week. The weekly solar flux averages reported in bulletins
20 through 26, covering May 8 through June 25 were 157.5, 128.5,
110.3, 104.1, 146.4, 134.7 and 98.8.

How will this weekend compare with Field Day 2013? Average solar
flux reported in ARLP026 for last year, which covered June 20-26 was
122, which is not much higher, but I would not expect F-layer
propagation on 10 meters this weekend. However, sporadic-E is
likely.

The latest predicted solar flux for the near term is 100 on June 27,
105 on June 28-29, 100 on June 30 through July 3, 130 on July 4-5,
135, 140 and 135 on July 6-8, 130 on July 9-10, 125 on July 11, and
120 on July 12-13. Solar flux continues to drift downward reaching a
short term minimum of 95 on July 21, then a high of 140 on August 3.

Predicted planetary A index is 8, 12 and 8 on June 27-29, 5 on June
30 through July 1, 8 on July 2-3, then 5 on July 4-10, 8 on July 11,
5 on July 12-13, then 8, 12, 8 and 8 on July 14-17, and 5 after
that, returning to 8 on July 22-23.

OK1HH predicts quiet geomagnetic conditions on June 27, mostly quiet
June 28, quiet to active on June 29, quiet on June 30, mostly quiet
July 1-2, quiet to unsettled July 3-4, quiet to active July 5,
active to disturbed July 6, mostly quiet July 7, quiet to unsettled
July 8, quiet July 9, quiet to unsettled July 10, quiet on July 11,
mostly quiet July 12, quiet to unsettled July 13, quiet to active
July 14, active to disturbed July 15, quiet to unsettled July 16,
mostly quiet July 17, quiet July 18-20, mostly quiet July 21, and
quiet to unsettled July 22-23.

OK1HH also sees enhanced solar wind on July 5-7, again on July 9-12,
and on July 14-17.

Tomas Hood, NW7US, propagation editor for CQ Magazine has a special
video devoted to Field Day propagation. I have not seen it yet, but
Tomas tells me it will be available today at
http://nw7us.us/2014FDprop . He also has a Twitter feed at
http://Twitter.com/NW7US . Also check out this interview with him at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph94GAOJeUQ and hear how he was
mesmerized at a young impressionable age by the programming on WWV.

Space.com has a video about the solar telescope at California's Big
Bear Solar Observatory. See it at
http://www.space.com/26343-largest-solar-telescope-sun-video.html .

Thanks to John Campbell, K4NFE of Huntsville, Alabama for sending
along an article and video about the current solar mini-max, as they
call it. Read it at
http://www.space.com/26287-sun-solar-cycle-mini-maximum-video.html .

Jeff Hartley, N8II of Shepherdstown, West Virginia sent in this
report about the All Asia CW Contest last weekend:

"The All Asia CW this year was quite a bit fun on 15 from here, but
the Asian activity level could have been much higher. In particular,
only a few Russian stations were worked. At the start of the
contest, conditions were not very good, but each morning and evening
was better than the one before as the contest progressed until
Sunday conditions (after 1200Z) were extremely good especially for a
SFI of only 98. The first night I was only able to work Japan and
Sakhalin Island despite hearing several Chinese stations and 9V1YC.

"Saturday morning I was able to log 9M2 and several HS prefixes
along with UN8 and some western Asians. Japan was improving, but
limited mainly to a few big guns before I had to QRT at 1400Z to get
ready to attend the W3LPL open house, a really nice and enjoyable
well attended event.

"Saturday evening was decent to JA, but was not able to run that
many JAs. I finally broke through to several Chinese and more Thai
stations as well as logging JT1. Around 0430Z, 15 was still open to
big gun JAs, HS, and across to UA9C, pretty amazing with the low
solar flux!

"From 1200Z onward the band probably never closed to Japan and all
of East Asia was loud peaking to SE Asia around 1500Z. Two 9V1s were
logged along with BV1, BX4, BH3, HL3, E29, XV9, XW3, BA4, VU3, and
many new JA Qs and prefixes. If I could hear a station, I could log
him pretty easily with 200 W to a 5 El Yagi.

"Sunday around 2000Z found JA signals about as loud as they can get
at this QTH, but alas it was Monday morning in Japan, so they were
mostly off to work.

"I QRT'ed for a dinner out and noticed what almost had to be out of
area Es QRM on the FM broadcast band while driving. 6 meters was
open very well to MO and southern IL and IN when I fired up at
around 0030Z. The opening extended a bit farther south and as close
as eastern TN and central KY before I QRT'ed around 0200Z. The skip
zone was quite short for 50 MHz allowing W4SOH to work me for state
49 and KA4MAY for his 48th state on 6 meters."

Bob Foster, N9BGC of Waverly, Iowa offers some tips for modest
stations operating Field Day:

"1. Try the 'hunt and pounce' method.

"2. Tune slowly. Think of the Jodie Foster movie, 'Contact.' Her Ham
father admonished her, 'Small steps, Ellie, small steps.'

"3. Don't try to bust into a pileup for very long. Move on and come
back. The big gun will still be there.

"4. Stations are hungry for contacts as the event winds down. That's
when they often make an extra effort to work the little guys.

"The band doesn't go dead just because Field Day ends. I often work
some pretty cool QSOs, once the band clears of Field Day traffic."

Also, remember in Field Day there are no rare sections, states or
countries. Every unique contact on a band or mode counts the same.
In fact, some casual operators don't even log the exchange or the
time, just the callsign on a dupe sheet, a separate sheet for each
band/mode combination.

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 June 19 through 25 were 108, 75, 75, 95, 64, 37,
and 52, with a mean of 72.3. 10.7 cm flux was 111.1, 102.2, 101.2,
94.2, 92.6, 93.5, and 97, with a mean of 98.8. Estimated planetary A
indices were 8, 9, 6, 4, 5, 6, and 6, with a mean of 6.3. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 10, 10, 7, 7, 7, 7, and 8, with a mean
of 8.
NNNN
/EX