ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP028 (2009)

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 10, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP028
ARLP028 Propagation de K7RA

Finally, some sunspot activity to report, and not one of those
phantom spots, appearing one day and vanishing the next.  Sunspot
group 1024 first emerged a week ago, on July 3, 2009, with a daily
sunspot number of 17, and the magnetic signature of a new cycle 24
spot.  Over the next few days it grew more rapidly and became larger
than any sunspot group in the past two years.  Today, July 10, it
should pass over the sun's western limb, and disappear.  Our numbers
at the bottom of the bulletin go through Wednesday, July 8, and on
Thursday the sunspot number was 15.

Look at the table at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt
and notice the sunspot area, in millionths of a solar hemisphere.
You can see the size increased rapidly, backed off a bit on July 6,
then has increased continually since then, at least through July 9.

You can see a detailed daily progression of the sunspot area at
http://www.solarmonitor.org/slideshow.php?date=20090703.  If you see
no image, just refresh your browser, or hit the F5 key.  You should
see images at different times on July 3, from different
observatories, gradually stepping through.  The images look
distinctive based on what part of the electromagnetic spectrum a
particular observatory is imaging.

Now change the end of the URL in the web address window from
date=20090703 to date=20090704, and hit enter.  You should see
images from July 4.  Keep stepping through subsequent dates, and you
will see the active region progress toward the sun's western limb,
which is to the right.

Last week's bulletin had a report from Brian Smith, W9IND, who said
the W9VW six-meter beacon in Indianapolis got a listener report from
France.  This week at 2227z on July 6, it was copied S3 by CU2JT in
the Azores (HM77).  The beacon runs 8 watts.

We've had some interesting comments in past bulletins from Dave
Greer, N4KZ of Franklin, Kentucky, over half about six meters.
Check bulletins 21 and 23 in 2005, 1 and 24 in 2006, and 32 and 33
in 2008.  You'll find these at http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/, then
click on ''Show older bulletins''.

Dave shares more interesting comments with us in this bulletin.

''All 6-meter operators know just how fickle the band can be --
particularly during a multi-hop E-skip opening.  A station just a
few miles from another might not hear the rare DX being worked by
the other.  But I had the opposite occur one recent evening when I
worked California and Ireland within 5 minutes of one another. I
don't recall ever experiencing multi-hop E-skip in two opposite
directions before''.

''It began at 2350 UTC on June 26 when I heard and called KR6Z in
DM14 who had a strong signal here in north-central Kentucky, EM78.
We chatted for 10 minutes and signed.  My friend, Tim, N4GN, over in
Louisville, 40 miles west of my Frankfort QTH, called and said to
turn my beam toward Europe because he had just worked Ireland''.

''I took his advice and put EI7IX, grid IO53, in my log at 0003 UTC
with a SSB contact.  He was 57 here.  Then I tuned down the band and
got on CW where I heard EI2IP in IO61 calling CQ.  He came back and
I had my second Irish station in the log and thus completed working
from the West Coast of North America to Western Europe all in a
5-minute span.  Amazing.  I don't think I had ever experienced
anything like that in 25 years of 6-meter operating''.

''Others might disagree with me but it seems that the multi-hop
E-skip has been quite consistent this year -- day after day after
day.  Of course, I'm at work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and miss out on a
lot of good stuff but have still managed to put three new entities
in the log this summer -- Sardinia, St. Kitts and Grenada.  Of
course, some real good -- and potentially new ones -- got away,
including D44TD, heard at my QTH for 2 minutes before fading out,
OD5KU, who I could just barely hear about the noise at mid-morning
on June 27 and an EA6 who never heard me frantically answering his
CW CQ.  But I have put a dozen EA8 stations in the log this summer,
plus Italy, France and Spain, not to mention numerous Caribbean QSOs
and a strong YV station.  On a recent evening, K6MIO/KH6 was copied
in Louisville by N4GN but his signal never made it the extra 40
miles east to Frankfort''.

''I have begun reading a bit more about these so-called noctilucent
clouds and the role they might play in sporadic-E.  Fascinating
stuff.  First observed after the huge Krakatoa volcanic eruption in
1883 in present-day Indonesia, it was originally thought they were
caused by volcanic debris spewed into the upper atmosphere.  Now,
the more common theory is the debris that helps the clouds form is
dust from meteor showers.  But I can't help but wonder, and
speculate, if the Sarychev Peak volcanic eruption in Russia a couple
weeks ago hasn't somehow contributed to this E-skip season by
dumping more debris in the atmosphere -- enough anyway for people
worldwide to report some very colorful sunsets recently.  Just food
for thought''.

Thanks, Dave.

In other 6-meter news, Ted Saba, KN5O of Covington, Louisiana (EM40)
worked KL7RA, Richard Strand of Kenai, Alaska (BP40) on 6-meter CW
on June 30 at 18:50z with 559 reports both ways.  Their signals
covered a distance of over 3,400 miles.

Jon Jones, N0JK of Kansas has a six meter report from late June.  He
reports excellent E-skip on June 23 1415-1700z, 25 at 1408-1500z and
July 2 1417-1600z, July 3 1400-1520z and a big evening opening at
2225-0300z.  During each of those times 5J0BV in San Andreas was
heard working people, but Jon missed all these openings due to work.

He writes, ''June 26 was very good with Africa, South America and
Europe in all at the same time to Kansas.  Using a 2-element Yagi
and 100 watts on June 26 I worked EA8CQS (IL18) on 6M SSB at 2236
UTC followed by 8R1DB (GJ06) at 2330 UTC, also on SSB.  CT1HZE had a
great CW signal for over an hour.  I did not call Joe, CT1HZE as
have worked him before and he was looking for 6 and 7 call area
stations''.

''Seeing that on several days 5J0BV had Es propagation to the Midwest
between 1400-1600 UTC, I planned to be ready for him the morning of
July 4.  I got off work at 1200 UTC (7am) and drove from Topeka back
to Wichita.  On the way is the portable site I use in EM18.  I was
set up by 1330 UTC.  Initially heard HI3TEJ and some weak Florida
stations.  That seemed to be about it.  I was about ready to tear
down - but stuck with it as I felt between 1430-1500z might be when
5J0BV would show.  Sure enough, at 1420 UTC faint CW appeared on
50.106.  It was 5J0BV.  In the log at 1427 UTC.  Dennis faded out
about 5 minutes later''.

Russ Kendrick, K5RUS of West Monroe, Louisiana sent in a report of
his recent 2-meter e-skip adventures:

''I had just got home from work and turned on the rigs. I saw the E
cloud on DX Sherlock (see http://www.vhfdx.net/spots/map.php) so I
pointed the antennas to NE and turned on the 2 meter rig.  I heard
and worked K1WHS FN43 2259z I began calling CQ then worked VE2DFO
FN25 2305z (first Canadian for me on 2m) then heard a loud thunder
clap and some cloud to ground lightning close by.  Took off my
headset and unhooked everything but the 2meter coax.  Quickly with
one finger on the desk mic and in between the lightning strokes I
called CQ.  At 2306z I worked VE2JWH (FN35) and then VE3EN (FN25) at
2313z.  I only heard the same guys until 2316z, then nothing until
2333z when I heard K1WHS again loud.  I gave him a report, then
things got quiet except for stations near me calling to the
northeast.  I found VE3EN on 6 meters at 0028z and had a QSO about 2
meters.  He put our 2 meter QSO on Youtube.''

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REcR_-3lijo

VE3EN was as loud to me as I am on his video, but I did not hear him
say 73.  That's how fast the band can change.

On May 28, 2008 from 2330z to the 29th at 0005z I made about 25 QSOs
on 2 meters, 6 states, 6 grids in almost the exact same area and the
same time, and worked K1WHS as well''.

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://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 July 2 through 8 were 0, 17, 24, 26, 23, 21, and
18 with a mean of 18.4.  10.7 cm flux was 66.5, 67.3, 71, 71.6,
68.9, 71.3, and 70.8 with a mean of 69.6.  Estimated planetary A
indices were 3, 5, 3, 6, 4, 5 and 6 with a mean of 4.6.  Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 2, 3, 2, 4, 3, 3 and 3 with a mean of
2.9.
NNNN
/EX