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Friday, January 10, 2014

ARLP002 Propagation de K7RA

If you haven't heard, the big geomagnetic storm predicted for
yesterday, Thursday, January 9, did not happen. Planetary A index
was predicted to be 73 for the day, and instead it was a quiet and
stable 10. The planetary A index predicted for today, January 10, is
41. The latest forecast from late Thursday has revised that to 40.

If the planetary A index had reached 73 yesterday, it would have
been historic. You have to look way back to December 15, 2006 to
find anything stronger.

But this has been an exciting week for Sun watchers. The daily
sunspot number reached 245 on January 6, and solar flux was 237.1 on
January 8. This may turn out to be a strong second peak for Cycle

The GOES-15 x-ray background flux has also been high, and may be
more significant for enhanced HF propagation than a high solar flux.

You can see daily x-ray flux values here:

For historical values of x-ray flux, solar flux and sunspot numbers
check the links marked DSD.txt:

The links marked DGD.txt will give you daily geomagnetic indicators.

The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology has a brief
explanation of x-ray flux at

Over the past week, average daily sunspot numbers rose more than 80
points to 188.1, and average daily solar flux was up more than 62
points to 201.6.

Predicted solar flux for the next few days has been adjusted
downward about 11 points from Wednesday's forecast. The latest
prediction has solar flux of 184 on January 10-12, 175 on January
13, 155 on January 14, 150 on January 15-19, 155 on January 20, 160
on January 21-23, and 165 on January 24-26. It then rises to a peak
of 190 on January 29 through February 3, and declines to a minimum
of 140 on February 12-16 before rising again.

Predicted planetary A index values are 40, 15 and 8 on January
10-12, 5 on January 13-22, 10 on January 23, 8 on January 24, 5 on
January 25-27, then 10, 18 and 8 on January 28-30, then 5 again
until it hits 12 and 8 on February 6-7.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH has a short prediction for us this week. He sees
quiet to unsettled geomagnetic conditions on January 10, quiet to
active January 11, quiet to unsettled January 12, and mostly quiet
January 13-17.

Mike Stein, WB9NOO of Fort Wayne, Indiana sent an interesting report
on a sporadic-E event.

"I am a broadcast engineer at WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Thursday, Jan 2 at noon, we were doing a live report from our remote
truck. We were using our IFB transmitter, running 1 watt FM into a
quarter-wave whip on 26.35 MHz, which transmits our off air audio to
the reporter a few feet away.

"After the newscast I received an e-mail from David E. Crawford in
Indian River City, Florida, who had received our signal. He was
using a Drake R8 receiver and 170 foot longwire 20 feet above

"He sent us pictures of his equipment and a recording, requesting a
QSL card.

"That was certainly exciting on both ends!"

IFB stands for "Interruptible Foldback" or "Interruptible Feedback,"
the low power system that transmits either cues from a director or
in this case audio off the air to a news reporter. Intended to
travel just a few feet, the signal made a roughly 900 mile trip to
Central Florida. Of course, they were using a full watt into a
quarter-wave whip, which at 26.35 MHz would be about 8 feet, 10
inches long.

I believe the SWL at the other end is probably KD4WHZ.

Bob Foster, N9BGC of Waverly, Iowa writes: "The best techniques I
have found this winter: 1) start high in frequency and work lower;
2) seek out the various beacons; 3) be aware of the LUF (Lowest
Useable Frequency) predictions found on the ARRL website. Those
techniques resulted in numerous DX contacts. Finally, don't be
discouraged if the DX isn't pounding into your shack. I had some
very enjoyable domestic QSOs this past week, when the DX was hard to

The LUF predictions are in the propagation charts mentioned at the
bottom of this bulletin. LUF is shown as a blue line toward the
bottom of the charts.

Dennis Condron, K0LGI of Marion, Iowa sent information about
monitoring radio signals reflected from meteor trails. He and KB5VL
have a lot of material on this at,
description of what they do is at,

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers,
email the author at,

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL
Technical Information Service web page at For an explanation of the
numbers used in this bulletin, see
propagation bulletins is at
information and tutorials on propagation are at

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve
overseas locations are at

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL
bulletins are at

Sunspot numbers for January 2 through 8 were 133, 162, 178, 225,
245, 196, and 178, with a mean of 188.1. 10.7 cm flux was 160.5,
182.3, 215, 217.5, 203.9, 237.1, and 194.6, with a mean of 201.6.
Estimated planetary A indices were 20, 20, 6, 4, 4, 8, and 8, with a
mean of 10. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 15, 7, 6, 4, 4, 7,
and 8, with a mean of 7.3.

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