ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP044 (2010)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP044
ARLP044 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP44
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 44  ARLP044
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  November 5, 2010
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP044
ARLP044 Propagation de K7RA

Last week we promised more from Stu Phillips, K6TU about propagation
and WSPR.  Stu put together an excellent presentation with his
observations.  You can see it along with the comments by Carl
Luetzelschwab, K9LA at
http://1vc.typepad.com/ethergeist/2010/11/wspr-hf-propagation.html.

Average daily sunspot numbers declined again this week, this time by
nearly 25 points to 25.7, about half what it was last week.  Last
week's average was down about five points from the week before, when
it was 55.6.

Look for good conditions this weekend in the ARRL CW Sweepstakes.
Predicted planetary A index for November 5-7 is 5, then 8 on
November 8-9, and then 5 for the foreseeable future on November 10
and beyond, until November 18-23, when we may see a minor
geomagnetic disturbance.  For those days, predicted planetary A
index is 8, 20, 15, 10, 8 and 7.  Predicted solar flux is 82 for
each of the next nine days, followed by 85 for about twelve days.
The ARRL SSB Sweepstakes falls during that active period, on
November 20-21.

That forecast above changes from day-to-day.  You can always get the
latest update at
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/forecasts/45DF.html each day after
2100z.

Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions November 5-9,
and unsettled November 10-11.

The latest three-month moving average of daily sunspot numbers shows
a steady rise, with the trailing three-month average at the end of
June through October at 16.2, 20.4, 23.2, 28.9 and 33.  The average
daily sunspot number for October was 35, slightly higher than the
trailing three-month average, which is a slightly positive sign of
an upward trend.

For conditions in last weekend's CQ World Wide SSB DX Contest, we
heard from a number of participants, many operating from
well-outfitted contest stations using large antennas, relative to
what most of us have available.

First from Jeff, N8II in West Virginia, who reports there was a
wonderful 10-meter opening to Europe the weekend before the contest.

"The WW was not for the faint of heart here with booming signals
from EU on 20 and 15 with humongous band crowding. Saturday I
operated from W3LPL on 15M and we worked nothing deeper into Asia
than JA in the evening, not even HL, but the morning was loads of Qs
into EU including northern EU with EU Russia right on the edge of
the opening. We did have a nice run of VKs and ZLs around 2330-0015Z
after the JAs faded out. Sunday I trolled around from home with 15
absolutely packed with EU signals including two Europeans trying to
run on the same frequency in several spots. 10 never opened well to
EU, but around 1545Z-1620Z Sunday came to life working ST2AR, 5R8X,
5N7M, MW1LCR (first EU), GW9T, MI0M, GI4SJA, EI7JQ, and about 3-4
Gs. Earlier C91M and FY5KE were in on 10M, but never hear later.
There was a very good opening to the south with many loud LUs and
PYs on 10 starting before 18Z and lasting until about 2130Z, with
closest stations worked being KP2M and two NP2s along with NP3O. 20M
was great during the day, but rapidly declined around 24Z each day
with SA barely workable in the first hour."

Art, VE3UTT/W1AJT operated from 125 miles northeast of Toronto. He
writes, "I think that you know that 15m was excellent with long
openings even at 43 degrees North.  20M was open late here Friday to
0100 and was good both Saturday and Sunday.  40m was noisy both
nights.  40M is usually a strong band for me with 3el at 100 ft but
a little more difficult this contest.  10M was not as good as early
in the week when it was pretty much omnidirectional.  During the WW
it was open shorter and mostly North - South with short openings to
my East/Southeast."

Doug, K1DG in New Hampshire reports "10M was a tease...it 'almost'
opened to Europe. I worked a half dozen stations in Italy and
Germany (and one in the Azores). It was quite good both days to
South America and the Caribbean. 15 and 20M were both excellent. 40
was good, but a bit noisy. 80 and 160 were down from last year, and
fairly noisy both nights."

Dan, KB0EO in Minnesota reports, "We had unusually good propagation
for the CQWW contest this past weekend - good for Minnesota, that
is. 20 meters and 15 meters had terrific all day openings world wide
with contacts made to all continents. It was interesting to be on
all day Saturday and Sunday and watch as the propagation moved from
east to west. I was also surprised to have a very strong 10 meter
opening midday on Saturday to South America - 10 meters has been
pretty dead lately. The opening lasted for about 3 hours and allowed
for contacts from Chile to Venezuela. 40 meters was pretty good
Friday night into Europe and Africa and solid Saturday morning to
Oceania, including numerous contacts with VK, ZL, and JA stations.
The flip side was 80 meters had very little activity here - only
contacts into Canada and a few into the Caribbean."

Bud, AA3B in Pennsylvania reports, "Conditions were very exciting. I
had my best personal results in CQ WW SSB on 160M.  It was probably
the result of a new transmit antenna, but I thought the conditions
were good. I thought 80M was awful from here to Europe.  I struggled
with every EU QSO.  I did have a relative easy time working Zone 29,
30 and 31 from here on Sunday morning. Forty seemed typical.  A
highlight was a fantastic opening at my Sunday sunrise to Asia.  JA
and JT was S9 here - I've never experienced signals so strong. 20M
was very nice.  Europe was very loud after around 10Z and hung into
there until 22Z.  Conditions to Asia and Oceania were also better
than I remember in recent years. 15M was my money band.  It opened
here to Europe around 12Z and was great until about 18Z both days.
There were also nice conditions to Asia and Oceania both afternoons.
10M was very exciting and frustrating.  North South propagation was
wonderful between 18Z and 20Z both days.  I could hear some
Europeans and even worked a few, but conditions were not real
productive."

Fred, KH7Y on the big island of Hawaii operated 15 meters only, and
reports, "The best in years!  First hour at a 300 QSO pr hr rate to
north America at the same time working CU and Europe with S9
signals.  Late afternoons worked many far east like A65, J28, 4X, EY
along with JA, JT. etc.  Early evening ZS/VU/HS/XU etc.  0600 to
0800 UTC has long path to Europe each evening of the contest 100s of
EUs even OZ and OH and OX at S9+ for the big guns and S5 for the 100
watt guys.  Fantastic to say the least.  Ended up with 3.1M score
3152 QSOs 108 countries and 37 zones for a 24 hour operation.
Station a IC-7800 and K-3, AL-1500 and 1X 4 element M2 at 110 feet
and 8 element M2 LP at 100 feet.   I have been also working 12
meters LP in the evening to EU same as last year.   We are 1400 feet
above the ocean and at the far southern end of the Big island of
Hawaii."

Rich, NN3W in Virginia reported, "Conditions were decent.  I think
the increased SFI has taken its toll on the low bands to an extent.
80 and 160 didn't have the deep openings that I've seen in the past.
40 was also a bit shorter but I think that there is a benefit in
that the increase in SFI has clearly affected the MUF in that we did
not have the typical EU 7.0 MHz blackout from 0100-0400z that we
have experienced over the past few years.

"20 was pretty good.  Hard to judge with the QRM.  The usual
openings.

"15 was pretty good.  Openings into EU for a substantial part of the
day starting as early as 1130z.  I heard some EUs as late as 2200 or
2300z.  The Pacific opening was good to VK, and ZL with some strong
JAs on Sunday (stronger than on Saturday).

"10 was interesting. It was disappointing to see so many packet
spots early in the week on 10 with solid openings and to have the
door shut by Thursday and Friday.  I know we lost one sunspot group
and group 1117 was quickly rotating out of view.  We had the
standard trans-eq propagation and north-south starting late morning
and lasting into the early evening on Saturday which I caught and
worked out a bit.  However, I apparently completely missed a good
north-south opening on Saturday afternoon (2100z) based on what
YN2AA told me on Sunday morning and I was determined not to miss it
again.  Thus, I pressed a third radio into service on Sunday and
just parked it on 28450 to see what I could hear.  Around 1530z
noise levels started to pick up and I could hear W3LPL moving around
and working stuff.  I followed suit and first found 4B2S working W6s
(which I could hear very clearly).  I worked him and then a VE.  I
then spun the beam north to work more VEs and found instead an
opening to the Mediterranean - IT9s, IG9s, and EA8s.  I then heard
MI0M and worked him.  Decided to set up shop and run.  It was
clearly some spotlight propagation as I was working GMs, GWs, Gs,
EIs, and GIs.  A second path opened up to Africa which yielded
ST2AR, a 5R8 and a ZS.

"The opening fizzled by about 1700 and I was stuck working
north-south again - lots of LUs, PYs, CEs, CXs.  The opening
broadened to cover most of the Caribbean and was far enough north to
allow me to work a KP2 - although I had to beam pretty much due
south to land that.

"I think that if we had about 8 more points of SFI, 10 would have
been nuts.  But alas!"

Thanks, everyone.

And finally, take a look at http://tinyurl.com/2v5n7gy for an
interesting new highly detailed solar image.

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.  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 October 28 through November 3 were 27, 24, 32,
32, 30, 17, and 18, with a mean of 25.7. 10.7 cm flux was 86.4,
85.7, 84.8, 81.2, 79.1, 78.9 and 78.5 with a mean of 82.1. Estimated
planetary A indices were 3, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2 and 4 with a mean of 2.7.
Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 2, 4, 2, 1 and 2 with a
mean of 2.1.
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