Tag Archives: Propagation

Some scientists believe sun may be crossing into “magnetic middle age”

 (SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

(SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

I just received the following link to a Forbes article from my buddy Charlie (W4MEC).

If this research turns out to be correct–and time will only tell–it could mean very low solar activity from here on out (let’s hope not!):

(Source: Forbes Magazine via Charlie W4MEC)

The Sun has likely already entered into a new unpredicted long-term phase of its evolution as a hydrogen-burning main sequence star — one characterized by magnetic sputtering indicative of a more quiescent middle-age. Or so say the authors of a new paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Using observations of other sunlike stars made by NASA ’s Kepler Space Telescope, the team found that the Sun is currently in a special phase of its magnetic evolution.

At time of posting, the Sun has no Sun spots at all. The sun is blank--no sunspots, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

At time of posting (June 28, 2016) the Sun has no Sun spots at all, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

Heretofore, the Sun was thought to have been just a more slowly rotating version of a normal yellow dwarf (G-spectral type) star. These results offer the first real confirmation that the Sun is in the process of crossing into its magnetic middle age, where its 11-year Sunspot cycles are likely to slowly disappear entirely. That is, from here on out, the Sun is likely to have fewer sunspots than during the first half of its estimated 10 billion year life as a hydrogen-burning star.

“The Sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle is likely to disappear entirely, not just get less pronounced; [since] other stars with similar rotation rates show no sunspot cycles,” Travis Metcalfe, the paper’s lead author and an astronomer at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., told me.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Forbes online.

Excellent current conditions, evidenced by today’s 31 meter logs

31meterband-waterfall

This morning, before heading out the door, I tuned around the 31 meter broadcast band. I’ve actually been recording 640 kHz of the 31 meter band for almost 24 hours, trying to capitalize on the fact that propagation conditions have been the best I’ve seen in several months. At some point in the future, I’ll load this recording, tune through it and remind myself what’s possible when propagation is favorable! Check out the waterfall screenshot above.

Asian stations had a strong showing on the band in eastern North America this morning.

Here are the stations I logged starting around 12:30 UTC today:

  • 9395 WRMI English
  • 9410 China National Radio 5 Chinese
  • 9420 China National Radio 13 Uyghur
  • 9430 FEBC Radio Chinese
  • 9440 China Radio International Cambodian
  • 9460 China Radio International English
  • 9470 UNID (weak)
  • 9490 Voice of America Korean
  • 9500 China National Radio 1 Chinese
  • 9515 China National Radio 2 Chinese
  • 9540 China Radio International Chinese
  • 9550 Radio Havana Cuba Spanish
  • 9570 China Radio International Cantonese
  • 9575 All India Radio Tibetan
  • 9580 Radio Australia English
  • 9600 China Radio International English
  • 9620 All India Radio Sindhi
  • 9635 Voice of Vietnam 1 Vietnamese
  • 9640 Radio Havana Cuba Spanish
  • 9645 China Radio International English
  • 9650 Radio Sonder Grense Afrikaans (with QRM)
  • 9660 Radio Taiwan International Chinese
  • 9665 KCBS Pyongyang Korean (weak)
  • 9680 Radio Taiwan International Chinese
  • 9700 Radio New Zealand International English
  • 9710 China National Radio 1 Chinese
  • 9720 Reach Beyond Australia (HCJB) Indonesian
  • 9730 China Radio International English
  • 9735 Radio Taiwan International Indonesian
  • 9740 BBC English
  • 9750 NHK World Radio Japan (?) Japanese
  • 9760 China Radio International English
  • 9785 China Radio International Laotian (?)
  • 9805 Radio Marti Spanish (w/accompanying Cuban jammer)
  • 9820 Radio Habana Cuba Spanish
  • 9830 China National Radio 1 Chinese (with RTTY QRM)
  • 9835 RTM Sarawak FM Malaysian (very weak)
  • 9840 Voice of Vietnam English
  • 9845 China National Radio 1 Chinese (weak)
  • 9855 China Radio International Chinese
  • 9870 AIR New Delhi Hindi
  • 9880 KSDA-AWR Guam Korean
  • 9920 FEBC Radio Hre
  • 9955 WRMI English
  • 9980 WWCR English
  • 10000  WWV Ft. Collins

That’s 46 signals in a space of 640 kHz–not bad!

I dare say: these excellent band conditions will not last forever.

Make time to play radio today!

The bands are open! Make time to listen.

Sony-ICF-SW100-Outside-Fall

Though I’ve spent the entire day sawing and splitting firewood, I’ve been actively recording spectrum on the 31, 25, 19 and 16 meter bands with the WinRadio Excalibur, Elad FDM-S2 and the SDRplay RSP. Why? Propagation–especially on the higher bands–has been the best it’s been in several weeks.

As I discovered at the recent SWLing Post DXpedition, my shack PC can handle making multiple spectrum recordings simultaneously as long as I limit each recording to the width of a broadcast band. (I’ve never tried pushing the limit very hard.) Someday in the future–perhaps when we’re having terrible propagation–I’ll play those spectrum recordings back and tune through them as if they were live.

Radio time travel at its best.

Sony-ICF-SW100-Outside-2

When I decided to throw in the towel with all of the firewood processing, I fired up the Sony ICF-SW100 (above) and tuned in a game on 17,855 kHz: Radio Exterior de España.

The REE signal was simply booming into eastern North America!

Hard to break away from the radio on days like this.

My advice? Take advantage of these conditions and make time to listen!

For me, SWLing a great excuse to relax and let me back heal after a long day of splitting wood. For some, perhaps it’s a good excuse to take the radio outdoors and away from urban interference. Whatever the excuse, don’t hesitate to fire up your radio!

There are some interesting stations on the bands this evening. Feel free to comment with some you’ve logged.

Met Office guide to space weather forecasts

Met-Office

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike (K8RAT), who writes:

The Met Office has this brief introduction to the subject of space weather and the methods they use to make predictions. It may be useful to beginners in the radio hobby.

This download is found on The Met Office’s forecast page:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

They are not giving us any good news regarding the next couple of days on HF.

Click here to download the Met Office guide: “Space Weather: Find out more about how we forecast space weather” (PDF).

Bill solves the CRI echo mystery

Earth

A few days ago, I posted an article about Bill Meara (producer of the SolderSmoke Podcast) who was hearing audio echoes on his home brew regenerative receiver.

Bill has now solved this mystery (hint: it’s all about the receiver):
http://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2014/09/radio-china-international-echo-mystery.html