Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Does a solar flare make conditions bad?  (Read 2587 times)
VA2FSQ
Member

Posts: 514




Ignore
« on: July 08, 2012, 06:53:44 PM »

Today, I put up a new antenna.  When I went on the air around 16:00Z I found that there were few stations to hear....but I saw on the cluster that there was a flare.  Does this generally make HF conditions bad?
Or is my antenna bad...(seems to work, an is better than my dipole).
Thanks
Logged

VA2FSQ
KY6R
Member

Posts: 3277


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 08:52:18 PM »

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. In general strong "earth directed" flares have a greater chance of disrupting radio conditions than those that are weak and not directed toward earth. These two sites usually describe flares and their impact on radio:

http://spaceweather.com/

http://www.solarham.net/

You will see that there was a very strong (M6.9) flare at 1632 utc - so you probably experienced it - and your antenna is probably just fine.

And here is an article regarding the recent flares and radio blackouts:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/solar-flare-sunspot-radio-blackout_n_1653581.html

During this past week there were a few times where the bands seemed to just fade completely out. I was on a net during the day on 40 meters, and the net completely faded away for a few minutes, and then came back. Sometimes you will even hear a long "swooshing" sound - where static seems to get louder.

Radio blackouts happen (usually) during the peak years of a solar cycle - when the sun is more active.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 09:20:38 PM by KY6R » Logged
W2IRT
Member

Posts: 2813


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 10:12:40 PM »

Not just that but remember that for us in the northern hemisphere the Summer Doldrums are very real. Propagation and DXing takes a holiday. It's the Palos Verdes Sundancers' hint that we should do likewise Cheesy
Logged

www.facebook.com/W2IRT
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
VA2FSQ
Member

Posts: 514




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 07:55:17 AM »

Thanks for the info.
Actually, the last couple of weeks have had good propagation here to Montreal....go figure, it decides to take a dive when I change my antenna.
Logged

VA2FSQ
KY6R
Member

Posts: 3277


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 08:02:11 AM »

On the West Coast, most nights on 20M have been quite good. Especially early evening.
Logged
AD9DX
Member

Posts: 1509




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:21:07 PM »

Thanks for the info.
Actually, the last couple of weeks have had good propagation here to Montreal....go figure, it decides to take a dive when I change my antenna.

The conditions took a big crap when I upgraded rigs. I was really freaked out about my rig.
Logged

EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
N7SMI
Member

Posts: 366




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 02:36:49 PM »

I like to think of propagation like roasting a marshmallow over a fire. Sometimes the fire is a perfect bed of coals (solar maximum), sometimes it's barely smoldering (solar minimum), and sometimes it's a raging inferno (solar flares/CMEs).

You want heat (solar activity) to slowly (but not too slowly) brown the marshmallow (good propagation). And rotating the marshmallow to cook it evenly is best (just as good propagation and MUF changes as the world rotates). But if you get too much flame (solar flare/CME), it can make a mess and burn the thing (HF black out). But you can just take off the burned crust and start roasting the thing again and in a bit of time it starts looking golden brown again.

Simple and silly perhaps, but it works in my mind. Of course it is much more complicated than that and there are some very cool types of propagation that occur before, during, and after solar flares. A much more detailed, yet easily understood explanation of it all can be found at http://www.qrparci.org/mambo/pdf/FDIM81.pdf
Logged
VA2FSQ
Member

Posts: 514




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 08:56:50 AM »

What a great Article.  Thanks!
Logged

VA2FSQ
KB2FCV
Member

Posts: 1298


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 11:33:45 AM »


You want heat (solar activity) to slowly (but not too slowly) brown the marshmallow (good propagation). And rotating the marshmallow to cook it evenly is best (just as good propagation and MUF changes as the world rotates). But if you get too much flame (solar flare/CME), it can make a mess and burn the thing (HF black out). But you can just take off the burned crust and start roasting the thing again and in a bit of time it starts looking golden brown again.

I'm one of those who like to light the marshmallow on fire and then eat it when it burns out.. molten marshmallow goo inside a thin 'crust'. Yumm!

Thanks for the explanation though.

There has been another solar flare in the news in the last day or so. They said it should bring on some aurora's. It sounds like a good time to swing the 6m beam up north and try for some auroral propagation!
Logged
VA2FSQ
Member

Posts: 514




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 05:15:45 PM »

Well it seems that right now, at 00z we are in the midst of a major solar storm....Almost all day, the bands were completely dead from my qth. So, here is where experience comes in..the literature doesn't say much about what will now happen.  So, how long do these last?  What can you expect in the hours or days going forward?
Logged

VA2FSQ
W2IRT
Member

Posts: 2813


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 07:48:46 PM »

Unless more crud comes along it'll slowly get back to normal in about two days, three at the worst.
Logged

www.facebook.com/W2IRT
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 04:17:24 AM »

Unless more crud comes along it'll slowly get back to normal in about two days, three at the worst.

Peter, I do believe I saw that someone spotted you on the cluster yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, on 20m phone.  Smiley  I hope you had more fun than I did--I tuned around 20-17-15 (CW areas) and didn't hear much of anything.
Logged
W2IRT
Member

Posts: 2813


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2012, 07:40:02 AM »

I saw that spot, too, but it looks like it was someone's contest logger hiccupping. I worked the station in question on that exact frequency almost exactly one full day before the spot was made, while I was running on 20 during the contest.
Logged

www.facebook.com/W2IRT
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!