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Friday, June 6, 2014

ARLP023 Propagation de K7RA

Propagation Forecast Bulletin 23 ARLP023
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA June 6, 2014
To all radio amateurs

ARLP023 Propagation de K7RA

Boy, has solar activity declined this week, and the near term
outlook weakened as well.

Average daily sunspot numbers for May 29 through June 4 dropped from
103.3 (for the previous seven days) to just 60.1. Average daily
solar flux declined from 110.3 to 104.1. Last week the predicted
solar flux for Field Day weekend was 108 and 110, and on June 2 that
changed to 95 and 110.

Predicted solar flux for the near term is 110 on June 6-7, 115 on
June 8-11, 110 on June 12-13, 120 on June 14-15, 115 on June 16-17,
110 on June 18-20, 105 on June 21-23, then dipping below 100 to 95
on June 26-28, then peaking at 120 on July 6-12.

Predicted planetary A index 8, 10 and 8 on June 6-8, 5 on June 9-17,
8 on June 18-19, 5 on June 20-24, 8 on June 25-26, 5 on June 27, 8
on June 28, 5 on June 29, and 8 June 30.

OK1HH predicts geomagnetic conditions will be quiet to active June
6, quiet to unsettled June 7-8, mostly quiet June 9-10, quiet to
unsettled June 11, quiet on June 12, mostly quiet June 13, quiet
June 14-17, quiet to active June 18-19, quiet on June 20-24, mostly
quiet June 25-26, quiet June 27, quiet to unsettled June 28-29, and
quiet to active June 30.

Randy Crews, W7TJ, has been thinking about where we are in this
sunspot cycle, and what we might see in the near future.

He wrote, "It is now common knowledge that Cycle 24 is the lowest
cycle in 100 years, and also being one of the slowest starts of any
cycle in our radio lifetime. (Historically - with no exceptions -
cycles that begin slowly are very low in peaks; the opposite of
cycles that get off to a fast start.) Of the double peaked cycles
(Cycle 22 and Cycle 23) this is the first cycle where the second
peak has been higher than the first. November 2011 SF=153, February
2014 SF=170.

"The second peak has also afforded us a higher extended elevated
solar flux, averaging 150 for the six months from November 2013
through April 2014. Quite a performance to say the least, and
finally igniting 10 and 12 meters.

"However, prior to making plans to put up 10 and 12 meter stacked
Yagis, we all need to be aware we are probably past the peak of
Cycle 24 because we are approximately 70 months into this cycle from
the low of the lows set in August of 2008. (The official low is
booked as December 2008, however whatever date is used, it is late
in this cycle.)

"What is really behind the recent surge we had last spring and
winter is not only the great combination of consistent monthly
sunspots, but most importantly - the size and magnetic complexity
was the largest of this cycle and mirrored many of the 200+ Solar
Flux days we saw in Cycle 23 and 22.

"This trend is now on the decline, and aligning with Penn and
Livingston's studies and measurements citing a steady decline in
magnetic strength and complexity of sunspots since 1995. (We
basically experienced a pause in a downtrend.) Livingston projects a
continuation of the trend will result in virtually no sunspots by
2016, and Cycle 25 being even lower than Cycle 24.

"NASA says we may be heading into a mini Maunder Minimum. Putting
all this together, we will be hard pressed to see good 10 and 12
meter DX propagation going forward. 15, 17 and 20 meters will most
likely be the workhorse high-bands."

May is done, so let's look at our 3-month moving average of sunspot
numbers. Centered on October 2013 through April 2014, the average
daily sunspot number was 102.9, 123.7, 123.3, 138.5, 146.4, 148.2
and 129.6. This is just a simple arithmetic average for three
months of activity. As we complete a new month and add that data in,
an old month falls off.

Jeff Powers, KD9AGN is a Technician class ham in Janesville,
Wisconsin, and is very excited to be on HF for the first time via
the 10 meter band.

Jeff wrote: "May 24, 2014 was a big day in my ham adventure. It was
the day of my first HF QSO! I got my ticket in January and with the
Wisconsin winter we had we could only put up a 10 meter wire dipole
in my garage. Many days I have sat at my radio and listened to 10
meters with nothing but static and called CQ until I was hoarse.

"Imagine my surprise May 24 when W1AW/0 came booming in! At 19:35
after about half a dozen tries I got through the pileup. MY FIRST
QSO! (Yes, I think even my neighbors heard me get excited. And that
wasn't all. 10 was alive!) I made six QSOs that day and even bagged
my first DX QSO, I worked HK3TK in Columbia, 2783 miles. I struck
out on the 25th. Then on May 26 I worked ZP5DBC in Paraguay 5107
miles! My rig is an old Kenwood TS-520 and my wire is about 10-12
feet off the ground."

Eric Guzman, NP3A of San Juan, Puerto Rico wrote about an
interesting backscatter effect, and provided us with audio too.

"Would like to share the most crazy propagation effect I have
experienced in my 24 years as a ham. It happened during the CQ World
Wide WPX CW Contest on 10 meters last weekend. Antenna setup was a
3/3 Stack pointing to Europe and a Q52 (N6BT 2El Yagi) pointing USA.
Headings between EU and USA from KP4 are approximately 90 degrees

"While calling CQ on the stack (EU) on 10M on 5/25/2014 at 1430z and
after working several EU stations, WY3P called in. Since it was a US
station, I switched to the Q52 (on US) to send the exchange. When he
came back, he was unreadable on the Q52. Was it LY3P or some other
fancy EU prefix? Switched back to the stack and asked for a repeat.
He was lot stronger again on the stack. I was so confused and
surprised I asked to repeat the call before logging the QSO. The
call was confirmed. WY3P looked like coming from EU. This must have
been the craziest backscatter. I mean, backscatter is the way we
usually work other Caribbean stations on high bands, but this one
was a W3. There was like a wall over the Atlantic bouncing back the
signals. Amazing.

"I made a simple video with the recording. It can be seen at

"Besides that, propagation was spotty to EU. Sometimes it looked
like it opened to Germany only. Missed a lot of usually easy EU
countries. However, long path to ZL (very long shot) over South EU
was there."

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

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bulletins are at

Sunspot numbers for May 29 through June 4 were 55, 56, 55, 68, 56,
61, and 70, with a mean of 60.1. 10.7 cm flux was 102.7, 101.6,
103.7, 103.3, 105.3, 107, and 105.4, with a mean of 104.1. Estimated
planetary A indices were 7, 9, 4, 5, 5, 7, and 5, with a mean of 6.
Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 8, 8, 4, 5, 5, 5, and 6, with
a mean of 5.9.

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