ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP027 (2009)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP027
ARLP027 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP27
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 27  ARLP027
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  July 2, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP027
ARLP027 Propagation de K7RA

It was a perfect Field Day weekend from where I stood.  The weather
was warm, skies clear, the space weather was calm, and there was
enough propagation to make a domestic contest interesting.  I had no
plans, so on Saturday I went to the web site
http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php and used
the Field Day Station Locator.  The one I landed at (W7AUX) listed a
contact number, a cell phone at the site.  I inquired if they needed
a CW op, was told "We could use any operators," and drove up to the
site north of Seattle.  I had a lot of fun on 20 meter CW.  Sporadic
E even helped out, and the 6 meter station made a number of contacts
with other Field Day stations in the western U.S.

You can get a taste of what happened at Field Day stations around
the country via the Contest Soapbox at,
http://www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox/.  I noticed quite a few posts
from Puerto Rico this year.  For a remarkable story from Michigan
about what happened when a 13-year-old non-ham showed up and wowed
everyone by operating the GOTA station on 40 meter CW, see the
narrative from KB6NU at,
http://kb6nu.com/field-day-2009-stuart-makes-his-first-contact/.  A
shorter version with a photo is on page one of the 2009 Field Day
Soapbox.  Just search for KB6NU.

Last week's Propagation Forecast Bulletin mentioned a problem
reaching the FTP site for the Penticton observatory, where we get
our solar flux numbers.  Flux values in our bulletin were expressed
in whole numbers last week, not resolved to one tenth as they
usually are.  If you use the WA4TTK Solar Data Plotting Utility (see
http://www.craigcentral.com/sol.asp) to grab the numbers from our
bulletin, or if you keep records in some other way, correct June 18
flux to 67.7, June 20 to 66.7, June 23 to 67.9 and June 24 to 66.8.
Of course, this only matters if you care about resolving the data to
one tenth.  The NOAA site at,
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt just rounds them off
to whole numbers.

The problem turned out to be at this end, due to a quirk in Internet
Explorer 8.  In the new browser, unless you have the Enable FTP
Folder View option checked in the Browsing section under the
Advanced tab in Internet Options, an address such as
ftp://lynx.drao.nrc.ca/pub/solar/FLUX_DATA/fluxtablerolling.text
could be blocked.  Another option is to delete the ftp:// characters
in the web address field, then hit Enter, and it will resolve to an
http:// URL.

With June over, we can now add to our 3-month moving average, using
the April, May and June sunspot numbers to calculate a new average
centered on May.  The April number (average of daily sunspot numbers
for March, April and May) was 2, and the May number is 4.

Here are the three month averages of daily sunspot numbers since
January 2007:

Jan 07 22.7
Feb 07 18.5
Mar 07 11.2
Apr 07 12.2
May 07 15.8
Jun 07 18.7
Jul 07 15.4
Aug 07 10.2
Sep 07  5.4
Oct 07  3.0
Nov 07  6.9
Dec 07  8.1
Jan 08  8.5
Feb 08  8.4
Mar 08  8.4
Apr 08  8.9
May 08  5.0
Jun 08  3.7
Jul 08  2.0
Aug 08  1.1
Sep 08  2.5
Oct 08  4.5
Nov 08  4.4
Dec 08  3.6
Jan 09  2.2
Feb 09  2.0
Mar 09  1.5
Apr 09  2.0
May 09  4.0

If you look at Propagation Forecast Bulletin ARLP023
(http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/2009-arlp023.html) which was the last
time these numbers were presented, you may notice that the averages
centered on December 2008 and January and February 2009 have been
revised slightly.  This is due to a very small revision in my
records of sunspots.  But these numbers agree with the data
presented at the end of each bulletin.

The one month average for June was 6.6, a good sign because it is
higher than the latest 3-month average of 4.

Steve Taylor, K5MR of Gunter, Texas (north of Dallas) was at home
last Saturday night during Field Day, and checked 10 meters for
sporadic-E skip.  He pointed his 7 element beam straight north, and
found stations in MN, WI, IL, WY, ND, SD, NE, CA and AZ.  He was
surprised at 0430z when OH2MCN called him with a solid S7 signal and
no flutter or auroral distortion.

Mike Treister, W9NY of Dune Acres, Indiana has more 10 meter
sporadic-E news.  On June 26 he wrote, "Well it is no secret but for
the past 8-10 days, 10 meter propagation has been remarkable. Very
widespread sporadic-E seemingly in every conceivable direction
(Friday night tonight till 11:30 PM when I stopped) working stations
east coast, Canada, south, mid-west, many with 5/9 plus reports,
many stations using small antennas and low power, like the good old
days. I have also worked a number of Europeans, South Americans, and
Caribbean stations at various times on 10. Some Europeans have been
coming in well over 5/9. So ionospheric skip has certainly been
present. Oh, and worked quite a few stations on 12 meters too. I
have heard that 6 meters was open too, but didn't get up there.
After calling CQ on 10 meters I have generated huge pile-ups from
Dune Acres, Indiana- just like being at my occasional QTH in Nevis
as V47NS!"

Back during the All Asia CW Contest, June 20-21, Neal Sulmeyer of
Canton, Georgia has an E-skip report for 10 and 15 meters. He
writes, "I too had great propagation into JA Friday night during the
AA CW.  About 30 JAs plus BY, BV, HL, 3 UA0s and VR2 on 15 and about
10 JAs and UA0 on 10M. I also heard 9M6XRO on 10 but as he is not in
Asia I did not work him. On Saturday worked A45WG, A65BD, 4L6QC on a
dead band!"

Larry Godek, W0OGH in Gilbert, Arizona reports good times on 6
meters with two watts and a 5 element Yagi.  He uses DX Sherlock to
check for openings (http://www.vhfdx.net/spots/map.php) and notes
that on Saturday, June 27 during Field Day the eastern portion of
the U.S. was covered with a blob of red lines.

He wrote, "By 1601Z signals started coming up out of the noise and
things got hot.  First off was AA4V in FM02 followed by EM44, FM06,
DN25, EM37 and a ton more."

"Man was it a hoot,  Only had 90 QSOs to log but I worked Maine,
Vermont, New Hampshire, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, New
York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and at least 20 more states.
Grid squares I never thought I'd hear, much less work.  High spot
was hearing JA7WSZ and JH0RNN on CW even though I couldn't get back
to them.  I tried but kind of got over ridden by some of the higher
power guys.  Didn't hear a single Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New
Mexico, Alabama, West Virginia, North Dakota or Michigan station."

"Today, June 30 didn't start out very good. Looked fair on the east
coast but nothing out west here.  Picked up a couple of stations to
the SE but around 1816 the Pacific NW started showing up.  Looking
at DX Sherlock web page there were lots of lines from the SW here
going to Alaska.  Well why not.  So I slid down to 50.095 and heard
KL2AX calling CQ.  Jumped on that one right away and made a contact
out of it.  WHOOPEE!  Alaska with 2 watts.  When I finished that one
the frequency filled up with stations calling them.  While there was
a VE8 operating also I didn't hear anything out of him.  2W of RF is
fun but 16 more dB of power will really help.  Probably next step
then will be to get a pair of 7 el Yagis and stack them.  That
should really help the 100W output."

Larry also suggests that everyone check out the Logbook of the World
at, http://www.arrl.org/lotw/.

In other 6 meter news, Brian Smith, W9IND reports that the W9VW
beacon on 50.069 MHz from grid square EM69wt in Indianapolis was
heard by F6FHP in France at 2010z on June 26.  The grid square at
the other end was IN94, and the signal report was 529. The beacon
runs 8 watts.

Mike Schwieterman, K7MS of Lake Tahoe (Incline Village, Nevada)
reports a 160 meter opening recently, using a dipole at 100 feet.
He writes, "At 03:20z June 25 made contact with PY2BW (Brazil) on
1.821 CW - RST was 549, PY2BW was also 549. Heard CP4BT in QSO with
PY2BW after our contact.  I called CP4BT after the QSO ended but no
response.  Both stations were very copyable for about 60 minutes."

Mike notes that he heard W1AW around 1.8025 MHz with S5-S9 signals
around the same time.

Earlier in the month, Bob Karpinski, WB8B of Clinton Township,
Michigan had some QRP fun on June 11 and 17.  With one watt CW on
June 11 he worked N1BAA in Massachusetts at 2355z on 10 meters.
Also with one watt on 10 meters he worked W1QS in Maine on June 17
at 2354z.  Also on June 17 with 5 watts CW on 12 meters he worked
VA2WDQ (Quebec) at 2336z, AA4AK in Maine at 2342z, and at 2347z he
worked CT1AOZ in Portugal.

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://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html.  For a detailed
explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/k9la-prop.html.  An archive of past
propagation bulletins is at, http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/.

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

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of this
bulletin are at http://www.arrl.org/w1aw.html#email.

Sunspot numbers for June 25 through July 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
and 0 with a mean of 0.  10.7 cm flux was 68, 66.8, 67, 67, 68.5,
68.2, and 67.5 with a mean of 67.6.  Estimated planetary A indices
were 7, 3, 3, 11, 10, 5 and 4 with a mean of 6.1.  Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 6, 2, 4, 8, 7, 5 and 3 with a mean of 5.
NNNN
/EX