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Propagation Forecast Bulletin #52 de K7RA:

from W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 28, 2012
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Propagation Forecast Bulletin #52 de K7RA:

Propagation Forecast Bulletin 52 ARLP052
>From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA December 28, 2012
To all radio amateurs

ARLP052 Propagation de K7RA

An error crept into data reported in last week's bulletin. Solar flux on December 19 was 113.4, not 117.5. The average for the week, 117.5, was transposed into the solar flux number for the last day of the reporting period. The Winter Solstice was on the date of the last Propagation Forecast Bulletin, ARLP051, on Friday December 21, at 1112z.

Average daily solar flux was down this week about four points to 113.4, which coincidentally was the solar flux number for the last reporting day of the previous week.

Average daily sunspot numbers were down 6.7 points to 65.4. Geomagnetic indices were very low and stable, which should please 160 meter operators, who are also enjoying the long periods of darkness in the Northern Hemisphere.

Predicted solar flux from NOAA and USAF are 110 on December 28-30, 115 on December 31 through January 4, 105 on January 5-7, 110 and 115 on January 8-9, 120 on January 10-12, 115 in January 13-19, and 120 on January 20-22.

Predicted planetary A index is 8 on December 28-29, 5 on December 30 through January 12, 10 on January 13, and 5 on January 14-25.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH has his own geomagnetic forecast, and he says conditions will be quiet to unsettled on December 28-29, mostly quiet December 30-31, quiet on January 1-3, mostly quiet January 4, quiet to unsettled January 5, mostly quiet January 6, quiet on January 7-9, mostly quiet January 10, quiet to unsettled January 11, mostly quiet January 12, active to disturbed January 13, quiet to unsettled January 14, mostly quiet January 15, quiet to active January 16, and quiet January 17-19.

Jeff, N8II from West Virginia wrote with some observations: "On Monday December 17 I got up early to find UA0ZN in zone 19 on 80 and finding not much else, decided to call CQ which resulted in a run of JAs around sunrise, most of which were very good copy ending with a JA5 who was S9+10dB! It was one of the best JA openings I have ever heard from here and my biggest 'run.' Signals from all over Australia were booming in on the Southern Cross net on 14.2385 MHz around 1300Z, and 12 meters was wide open to Central and Western Europe with a few Southern Europeans on 10 meters. VR2XMT was S7 on long-path on 12 meters around 1330Z.

"I finally had some spare time on a decent sunny day Sunday, December 23, and fixed my 160 meter sloper feedline. It still needs some work, but is working like a champ! With 200 watts I was getting thru to European stations Sunday night with ease. Worked UX0ZA, another UR, SM6MCW, two Gs, DJ2EH (S9+), another DL, F6 (S9), OE5O, OK1DQT, OM2XW, and ON4IA (S9+). I also heard 9K2MU who had many USA stations calling him he could not hear. He was mainly working Europe and calling CQ.

"Sunday morning was rather poor on 12 meters with some western EU Qs and a loud LA4. 10 was pretty close to dead, but there were a few western USA on in the afternoon. But 17 meters was wide open to Europe with good signals, whereas they would have been much weaker with higher SFI."

If you are curious about Jeff's antennas, log into and check his page at

Randy Crews, W7TJ of Spokane, Washington thinks we are past the peak of Cycle 24. He writes, "It's pretty evident to me that unless we see another re-generation of new sunspots, November of 2011 will be the peak of Cycle 24 (short as the activity was) as actual solar activity as defined by average monthly sunspots and solar flux. Both measures have been slowly on the decline since that date. Then we will all have to prepare for the coming Propagation Winter."

Brad Miskimen, N5LUL of Amarillo, Texas wrote: "The design of the Yaesu FT857-D requires one to 'scroll' from one band to another rather than a simple push of a button. I had the rig set on 2 meters Tuesday evening (December 25), and planned to scroll down to 40 meters for the SKCC 2 hour sprint. Hokey Smokes! Voices on 6 when I hit that band section! Stopped and made a few contacts into Tennessee. I only caught things open from 12/26 0046z to 0050z.

"Not too impressive, but more contacts than I have made in the past 2 months on 6 meters. Looking forward to the January 19th VHF contest."

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 An archive of past propagation bulletins is at Find more good information and tutorials on propagation at

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

Sunspot numbers for December 20 through 26 were 53, 55, 67, 90, 53, 58, and 82, with a mean of 65.4. 10.7 cm flux was 114.1, 114.6, 115.3, 114.2, 113.1, 113, and 109.8, with a mean of 113.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 1, 2, 3, 3, and 3, with a mean of 3.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 3, 1, 2, 2, 2, and 2, with a mean of 2.7.

Source: W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL.

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