Author Archives: Troy Riedel

Surprise sunspot group & G-3 Geomagnetic Storm (Now!)

As an avid amateur astronomer, solar observation has been quite boring during 2018.  As a shortwave radio enthusiast, the lack of solar activity has impacted that hobby as well.

Well, the catchword of the day is “surprise”!

I was alerted yesterday evening by Spaceweather.com that a large sunspot had emerged and developed into a group – with the two main sunspots’ diameter about as large as the earth.

 Credit: Spaceweather.com – Sunspot group AR2720, photographed by Thierry Legault on Aug. 25th from the Saint-Véran/Astroqueyras observatory in the French Alps. An image of Earth has been inserted for scale (Link).

Another overnight email notification from Spaceweather.com stated a “surprise” G-3 Class Geomagnetic storm is underway (now!) caused by a coronal mass ejection.

Credit: Spaceweather.com – According to a NOAA computer model, almost 80 billion watts of power surged through Earth’s auroral oval during today’s geomagnetic storm (This image/forecast is updated every 30-minutes at this link).

Has this “surprise” impacted your radio weekend?  I know it has impacted my astronomy weekend … I’ll be out there, soon, setting up my solar telescope to view today’s show in hydrogen-alpha!

Go to spaceweather.com to follow the developments.

Edit: Yes indeed, even excluding the sunspots the solar disc yielded more surface detail today via my H-alpha solar telescope than I’ve seen all year – as well as several nice solar prominences along the limb.  I encourage anyone who has the proper telescope AND proper filters to take a look at ‘Ole Sol today (and hopefully for the next several days).  I’ll have to check the shortwaves later.

Guest Post by Troy Riedel

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Space Weather: A [big] Hole in the Sun’s Atmosphere

The SWLing Post Blog has recently featured a few posts on “Space Weather” & Geomagnetic Storms. As an amateur astronomer, I receive many daily space-related emails in my INBOX right along with the SWLing Post Daily Digest. I thought this might be of interest:

From Spaceweather.com

An unusually wide hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet. Estimated time of arrival: April 9th. Polar geomagnetic unrest and minor G1-class storms are possible when the gaseous material reaches Earth. Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

Image credit: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The hole bisects half the solar disk, stretching more than 700,000 km from end to end. This means Earth will be under the influence of the emerging solar wind stream for more than 4 days after it arrives.

A G1-class storm is “Minor”, so I doubt there will be very much “radio” impact – but you gotta admit, a hole that large is interesting nonetheless!

Posted by SWLing Post Contributor Troy Riedel

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External Ferrite Antenna by playloudfm

Posted by SWLing Post contributor Troy Riedel:

I just noticed something on eBay.  Seller “playloudfm” based in Greece (100% feedback rating), the first to offer the high gain external ferrite antenna for the Tecsun PL-360/PL-365/County Comm GP5, has a new offering:

From the seller’s listing:

– Frequency: 530Khz – 1710Khz
– Tunable
– Passive, No external power or battery needed
– Wireless connection to AM Radios
– Plus a low impedance output 3.5mm mono plug for 50 ohm scanners
– Improves Sensitivity and Performance of your AM Radio Receiver for AM Band Dxing!
– Very small and lightweight, perfect for traveling antenna

This AM antenna can be used in two different ways
1) you can simply attach it near your AM radio internal ferrite antenna – wireless connection
2) use a 3.5mm cable to get a low impedance output for use with 50 ohm scanners

Use tuning knob to get the maximum signal

RFA200

 

Have any Post readers bought and used this?

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C. Crane’s latest deal: Free Shipping on the CC Pocket Radio

Though not a shortwave radio (the SWLing Post loves ALL radios!), C. Crane’s latest special involves free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. customers for their CC Pocket Radio.  Just use the Promo Code: CCPKTSHIP.  This special ends at midnight PST on 17 December.  The CC Pocket Radio comes standard with the CC Buds earphones – a quality set of earbuds.

Crane’s Amazon Canada store offers free shipping with a number of C. Crane products through Amazon Canada Prime.

Post author: Troy Riedel

 

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Update: XHDATA D-808 shortwave radio goes live

Overnight I received the following email:

This is Sylvia from global radio store in Aliexpress platform, I want to inform you that XHDATA D-808 radio will start to selling at American time 2017/12/09 13:00. The sale price is $69.98[…]

I’m sure we’d all like to hear from anyone who takes the plunge on this unit.

Troy Riedel, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Check out Troy’s YouTube Channel here.

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Geomagnetic Storm Predicted (G2-Class)

Credit: NOAA SWPC

Per spaceweather.com & NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC):

“A high-speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth, and NOAA forecasters say there is a 75% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when it arrives during the late hours of Dec. 4th. Periods of moderately-strong G2-class storming on Dec. 4th and 5th could send Northern Lights spilling across the Canadian border into upper-tier US states; affect shortwave radio transmissions at high latitudes; and confuse wildlife that use magnetic cues for navigation.”

The SWPC forecasts G-2 conditions starting at 2100 UT on 04 Dec and lasting through 06 UT on 05 Dec.

Though there is only a 1% chance of this G-2 causing a “radio blackout”, shortwave transmissions at higher latitudes will be affected.

You can subscribe to the SWPC to receive daily forecasts emailed to your INBOX at the following NOAA site:
https://pss.swpc.noaa.gov/RegistrationForm.aspx

Troy Riedel, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Check out Troy’s YouTube Channel by clicking here.

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