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Author Topic: Could this be the beginning ?????  (Read 333 times)
NU0R
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« on: January 18, 2009, 07:25:18 AM »

I check the solar flux index pretty much every day to see if there are any changes. Today when I checked it is at "72". I don't remember the last time I saw 72. I have seen 71 and lots and lots of days at 69's.---- I think NASA said that they are seeing a distinct increase in solar flares. Basically from near none to now "some". What say OM Huh   Bruce
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K2DC
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 07:47:15 AM »

Bruce,

  Could this be the beginning?  Maybe, maybe not.  I've noticed over the last year or two that there are days when 20M is absolutely dead, and days when it's just jumping up and down with DX.  And yet, the numbers never changed - usually around 67, 2 and 1.  The only conclusion I can draw from that is that the numbers don't mean much unless they're big numbers.

73,

Don, K2DC

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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 09:16:06 AM »

Pardon me for asking--but of what?  According to most sources the next cycle has already begun.  It maybe the beginning of the upswing, but the only way to really see is to wait.....
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KC8VWM
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 09:38:41 AM »

I check the solar flux index pretty much every day to see if there are any changes.

---

I no longer rely on scientific predictions and reports conducted by leading NASA scientists.

I found that a much easier solution than reading the daily K index is to just turn on the radio equipment and if I hear station propogation, then I know it's there.

According to reports I heard wayyyyyyyy back sometime around  August, 2006, Cycle 24 is supposed to be on the upswing. In fact, in 2009 we should be traversing up the scale and should be more than half way up the scale to the maximum peak already.

Here's what they predicted:

"According to their analysis, the next Solar Maximum should peak around 2010 with a sunspot number of 160 plus or minus 25. This would make it one of the strongest solar cycles of the past fifty years—which is to say, one of the strongest in recorded history."

Well it's 2009, we should be reaching the peak pretty quickly now huh??

Upswing - Downswing - Who really knows.

73
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WD7Z
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 12:19:26 PM »

There are three replies to this one before mine and I think every one of them is right on.  The first problem with predictions is, at this time, you are not going to find anyone on the planet that is going to tell you what solar cycle 24 is going to do.  When we are well into a sunspot upswing, then someone can.  Then you can look at the slope and see where you may be when you think maximum will be.  That may be in another year.  The next problem is that in another year we may be exactly where we are now.  I'm hoping someone can correct me on this one, but it looks to me like we haven't seen a minimum like this in a little over 100 years.  We seem to have left solar cycle 23 behind and we are definitely in solar cycle 24.  We have been for a year.  We are in cycle 24, but we don't know when solar minimum is.  Maybe it was August of this. Perhaps it is still ahead of us.

When I look at the butterfly diagram with the most up-to-date numbers, it looks to me like the closest minimum to this is probably about 1905 between cycles 13 and 14.  If we start an upswing now, perhaps it's more like around 1913 beween cycles 14 and 15.  I don't think you can draw a prediction from this.  There are not enough data points.

Could this be the beginning?Huh  I think so.  I don't know what it's the beginning of, though, other than the beginning of cycle 24, whatever that is.  Is it going to be a big or little cycle?  Nobody knows.

Watching solar flux numbers through this minimum is a lot like watching a slow motion video of the grass grow in winter.  But why is the solar flux as high as 72?  Why are conditions on 20 so poor today with a solar flux of 72?  65, 72, what's the difference?  I think I'll get on twenty today with a Swan 500 into my whimpy antenna and call CQ.  For sure, there is lots of elbow room.  I'm sure I can make contacts with a little power.  Surely there are some around.  Why is 40 so quit?  Where did everybody go?  What does having a lower level ionisphere at this time have to do with conditions?  I no longer wonder if I will ever see 10 meters again.  Now I wonder if I will ever see 15.  I'm thinking I might understand a little more looking back, should I live so long.  You guys and gals filling me in would help a lot.

Trying to understand this stuff takes away from radio time.  I'd prefer someone just fill me in, too.  I can't say it isn't interesting.  80 meters during the daytime is kind of fun.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Got questions for NASA?  Email them and ask.  They actually take the time to answer.

John
WD7Z

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VK1OD
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 12:31:36 PM »


Elmer said: "I found that a much easier solution than reading the daily K index is to just turn on the radio equipment and if I hear station propogation, then I know it's there."

This strategy does not lead to exploitation of sporadic E (Es) which peaks in summer and winter, and supports some interesting QSOs.

Whilst people often associate Es with longer distance QSOs on VHF and 10m, it supports shorter paths on lower frequencies and is probably the MAIN reason for summer and winder contacts of less than 300km on 40m at this point in the solar cycle.

I am confident that one of the reasons the bands are 'dead' is that people used propagation reports to decide to do something else. Too much unreliable science.

Owen
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WD7Z
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 02:50:04 PM »

VK1OD > I am confident that one of the reasons the bands are 'dead' is that people used propagation reports to decide to do something else. Too much unreliable science

Reliable science = I just spent the last hour trying to check into the Swan Users Net on 20 in what should be 20 meter prime time.  I finally made it.  That is called an exercise in frustration.  Reliable science = 40 was great earlier when I was on it.  I obviously need a bigger antenna:)

John
WD7Z


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WW5AA
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 07:24:47 AM »

Actually I also check space weather in the morning, but being a low band DXer, the A/K index along with the gray line are more important than sunspots and solar flux. An interesting thing is that this morning a plague area showed up with cycle 23 magnetism. We have had eight cycle 24 sunspot groups in a row, so this cycle 23 plague area is very interesting.  I will not worry about cycle 24, it will arrive sooner than I would like. It will not be long before those sunspots along with their CME's force me into the squalid world above 40 meters with all the unwashed (:-)

73 de Lindy
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WW5AA
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 07:31:05 AM »

Bruce,

This is a good site with all the prior SS and SF stats: http://www.solarcycle24.com/

73 de Lindy


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KB9CRY
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 09:03:46 AM »

Wait two more years, then we will know.
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N4KC
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 10:46:50 AM »

Like weather, everybody talks about the sunspot cycle but nobody does anything about it.  I know.  It is fun and interesting to speculate and wonder and wish, but predicting cycles and their relative length and strength is like your local TV weatherman telling you what the temperature will be three weeks from Thursday.

For some good reasons over the last 45 years that I've been a ham ("reasons" = college, kids, job), I have been inactive on HF during every single sunspot peak.  I'm really looking forward to this one!

Still, as a little personal challenge during the current minimum, and since I became active again in August 2005, I decided to see how many countries I could work with 100 watts, wire antennas and a 4BTV vertical.  I really did not work at it that hard...nights and weekends when I could but with lots more time devoted to ragchewing and antenna experimenting...but I cherished each and every new one.  And I agonized when I missed some of the really big dxpeditions like Scarborough, due partly to work schedule but mostly propagation and my station's limitations.  

The grand total: 202!  

I've added a broadband hexbeam and an AL-811 amp in the last four months and tacked on 12 more DX entities...some still on the wires and barefoot but mostly with the aid of power and gain.  Funny how a "72" works better with those two factors going for you.

Bottom line: it is what it is.  Until we figure some way to create propagation, we have to use what we have and make the most of it.  Check the K and daily sunspots, but then ignore them and go get on the air.  

Spots or not, it's all fun!

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
www.n4kc.blogspot.com
(A blog dedicated to rapid technological change and
Its effect on society, media and amateur radio)
 
 
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