ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP028 (2008)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP028
ARLP028 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP28
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 28  ARLP028
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  July 3, 2008
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP028
ARLP028 Propagation de K7RA

This week's bulletin is presented a day earlier than usual, due to
the Independence Day holiday on Friday.

The weeks seem to drag on with no sunspots in sight.  An image from
helioseismic holography on Tuesday shows a spot on our Sun's far
side.  We hope it emerges in a week or ten days on our side, and
hasn't died out by then.  Spots emerge from time to time, but they
are all old Cycle 23 spots, and they seem to fade quickly, without
much activity.

A reflection of recent activity is the 3-month moving average we
present every month.  With June over, we now know the average
sunspot number for the three months centered on May, and it is very
low.  Instead of rising, the sunspot average has been stalled since
late last year around 8.1 to 8.9, and has now dropped to five.

Here is the table of 3-month averages we present every month,
including the last three months, centered on May:

Jun 06 28.9
Jul 06 23.3
Aug 06 23.5
Sep 06 21.2
Oct 06 24.1
Nov 06 23.1
Dec 06 27.3
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
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

I have no idea when this will turn around.  Cycle 23 seems to be
unusually long.

While there haven't been many sunspots, this has been an eventful
sporadic-E season.

Mark Lunday, WD4ELG of Hillsborough, North Carolina said he listened
to a great 10 meter sporadic-E opening last Friday evening, June 27
between Europe and the upper Midwest and east coast.  4O1A in
Montenegro was one of them, and unfortunately Mark wasn't able to
communicate with any of the Europeans.  He emailed a nice graphic
showing a globe with the stations heard and their paths, including
the grey line terminator.

Jim Abercrombie, N4JA of Enoree, South Carolina worked 4O1A also on
Friday on 28.495 MHz at 2100z.  Jim has a free downloadable book on
antennas, which you can download at,
http://www.hamuniverse.com/n4jaantennabook.html.  Jim says he worked
4O1A again on 10 meters at 1457z the next morning.  4O1A was mostly
working Europeans, but a few North American stations as well.

Julio Medina, NP3CW of San Juan, Puerto Rico sent in an amazing long
list of stations he worked in the month of June, all on 6 meters,
nearly every day.  The calls are from North and South America, and
all over Europe.

John Butrovich, W5UWB of Orange Grove, Texas wrote about experiences
during the recent VHF contest.

John writes, "15 June 2008 during the contest, 2 meters was open for
me (EL17ax) for about 20 minutes (1445-1510 utc) to the NE into EN
field. 12 stations worked on 2 meters.

He continues, "Interesting note: at 1446 utc I shifted N0VZJ to 222.1
and we completed at 1212 mi/1951 KM on SSB. Two others called but
the MUF dropped.

John goes on to say, "I guess you saw the NA-EU prop on 6 meters
today? Perhaps one of the best ever for the northern tier gents. I
am too far south and had no Es until 2342 utc (late for EUs!) and
worked MM0AMW SSB on 50.113 MHz."

You can see some nice photos of John's antennas at,
http://www.k5rmg.org/w5uwb.html.

For some reason, no Field Day reports, so I'll give one.  I showed
up Saturday night with no particular plans at the K7R site in a
wooded park in Redmond, Washington.  Five stations were widely
spaced around an open grassy field surrounded by tall Douglas fir
trees, perfect for slinging wire antennas.  Earlier in the day an
archer slung lines over high branches for the antenna raising.

I stopped at the first station I encountered, right where the trail
opened from the woods.  This was a CW position, and I think with
this particular group CW ops were in short supply.  After a while I
began operating 20 meter CW, but at some point we had a question
about where the beam antenna was actually pointed.

Using a mapping program on my laptop hooked to a GPS receiver, I set
the map to leave a trace showing the path I followed, and I walked
from the director side of the beam in the direction the boom was
pointed.  With the map zoomed in all the way, I could see the path
was heading slightly south of east.

Later when 20 meters died out, I switched to an 80 meter dipole, and
operated until 2:00 AM Sunday morning.  This was a very smooth
operation, as the modern top of the line transceiver automatically
switched to the other antenna when I changed bands.  It also had
built in CW memories, which was very useful, as my call is K7RA,
very close to the special event call being used, K7R.  I think on CW
the 1x1 call causes enough repeat requests that any advantage of
sending one less character is erased.  Propagation over North
America was fine, and I had a ball.  I never did make it to any of
the other four stations.

In last week's Propagation Forecast Bulletin ARLP027, the name and
QTH for AD5FD were improperly identified.  He is Tom Scott of
Schertz, Texas, near San Antonio.

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 26 through July 2 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
and 0 with a mean of 0.  10.7 cm flux was 65.4, 66.1, 65.9, 66.6,
66.7, 65.6, and 65.9 with a mean of 66.  Estimated planetary A
indices were 16, 8, 7, 8, 6, 5 and 3 with a mean of 7.6.  Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 17, 7, 6, 7, 5, 4 and 1 with a mean of
6.7.
NNNN 
/EX