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The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspot activity has shown steady but modest increases over the past 3 weeks, with average daily sunspot weekly averages rising from 24.9 to 28 to 34.9. Oddly, average daily solar flux for the same 3 weeks was 77.8, 77.8, and 77.7, remarkably unchanged week after week.

Average daily planetary A index went from 6.1 last week to 5.9 in this week’s report, and middle latitude A index went from 6.3 to 6.9.

Predicted solar flux over the next month is 75 on June 11 – 20; 80 on June 13 – 17; 75 then 80; 82 and 77 on June 21 – 23; 76 on June 24 – July 5; 74, 74, and 75 on July 6 – 8; 74 on July 9 – 14, and 75 on June 16 – 17.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 11 – 13; 8 on June 14 – 15; 20 and 18 on June 16 – 17; 5 on June 18 – 25; 7 on June 26; 5 on June 27 – July 4; 15, 10, and 8 on July 5 – 7; 5 on July 8 – 12; 20 and 8 on July 13 – 14, and 5 after mid-July.

Here’s the geomagnetic activity forecast for June 11 – July 7 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH, who has been compiling these reports since January 1978.

The geomagnetic field will be:

quiet on June 12 – 13, 18 – 20, 24, 27 – 28, July 1 – 2
quiet to unsettled on June 11, 15, 17, 29 – 30, July 6
quiet to active on June 11, 14, 17, 21, 25 – 26, July 3 – 4
unsettled to active June 16, 22 – 23, July 5
active to disturbed – none
solar wind will intensify on June (11 – 13,) 17 ( – 18,) (22 – 24, 29,) July (2,) 4 – 5

* Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.

Checking the STEREO mission every day we see more activity in store over the sun’s eastern horizon. You will recognize it as intense white splotches

Watching 6 meters on pskreporter.info on June 10 at 0550 UTC, I noticed an odd late-night opening in western North America, showing many long-distance FT8 contacts. Some had positive signal reports, i.e., above the noise. This is notable because most reports on this website are negative (i.e., below the noise level), but one stood out. It was a 609-mile +5 dB report from K6VVP in San Francisco (CM87rs) to WA7DUH in Eastern Washington (DN06hg). Later I saw a 727-mile report from KA9UVY in Illinois (EM58mk) to N3OUC in Pennsylvania (FN20fm) at 0632 UTC with the signal at only –10 dB. Both reports showed the frequency as 50.314 MHz.

Of course, when FT8 signal reports are above zero, the same path should be viable for other modes, such as CW and SSB.

Michael May, WA8VLC/7 in Salem, Oregon wrote:

“It’s been 2 weeks since an update, and, aside from some FT8, SSB, and CW DX and stateside on 6 meters — including Trinidad and Hawaii on 50.313 and some midwest and eastern US and Canada on 6 meters FT8, SSB, and CW mostly last week. Still the most interesting and weird things occurred on 10 meters — both ham and non-ham activity.

“On May 31 on 29.62 MHz FM, I found the KQ2H repeater in New York in for several hours, and I spent most of the day talking to several hams all over the eastern and southeastern US on this repeater, which never faded for the entire day.

“I actually took an hour break and went to 10 SSB and worked French Guiana, and when I came back, the 29.62 repeater was still 20 dB over S-9. This was simply the best 10 meter activity I have seen in years on FM.

“On June 9 at 0330 – 0355 UTC, another Salem ham, K6FIB, and I both heard several non-ham French-speaking stations coming through my 10-meter remote base on 29.6 FM, speaking to another much weaker non-ham station for 15 minutes.

“At this time I zeroed my four-element 10 meter Yagi to ~195°, which put them somewhere in the Eastern Pacific, but where?

“After some searching around on other 10 meter frequencies, I heard similar voices on 28.700 FM speaking a similar French dialect but this time two of them were readable. One appeared to be a base station that was much stronger, chatting with a much weaker, but readable, station.

“After listening to the 28.700 FM transmission for a half-hour, the strong station identified as ‘Pape’ete radio’ at 0355 UTC, and several minutes later they slowly faded out.

“This would put these transmissions in French Polynesia, but I found it interesting that no hams were on FM from that region on 10 meters.

“In the past 30 years, I have never heard a ham station from these locations on FM, so that was not surprising at all; however, there were South Pacific hams in ZL on 28.074 FT8 and 10 meter CW at the same time.

“These stations, aside from French speaking, sounded like standard FM Land Mobile stations you’d hear on VHF. But I am now discovering more of these odd non-ham signals between 26 and 39 MHz from non-US locations.”

[Great investigative work, Michael! Readers may recall in ARLP022 Michael reported hearing North Korean squid fishermen on 10-meter FM. Quite a “catch.” — K7RA]

“My recent logs, times in UTC:

2021-06-06

2011

KC7I/KH6

50.313

FT8

BL10

2021-06-06

1950

9Y4D

50.313

FT8

FK90gg

2021-06-03

0359

K7EME

50.155

SSB

DM42jh

2021-06-03

0358

K7ZYP

50.155

SSB

DM41KX

2021-06-03

0232

W7PMS

52.560

FM

DM34tn

2021-06-01

0207

WB7PMP

50.145

SSB

EM95pu

2021-06-01

0205

K9PPY

50.125

SSB

EN51xx

2021-06-01

0128

WS9V

50.092

CW

EM59DL

2021-06-01

0118

W3HKK

50.099

CW

EN80qe

2021-06-01

0108

K9PPY

50.095

CW

EN51xx

2021-06-01

0103

K9MRI

50.099

CW

EN70iu

2021-06-01

1708

WA8FGV

50.125

SSB

EN82ig

2021-06-01

1705

K1EAR

50.125

SSB

DN84lc

2021-05-31

0110

VE2XK

50.313

FT8

FN07pj

2021-05-31

0100

VE4VT

50.313

FT8

EN19kt

“10 meters on the KQ2H FM repeater, 29.62 in New York state and French Guiana on 10 SSB:

2021-05-31

1952

KR1COP

29.620

FM

FN21tr

2021-05-31

1952

W2GGI

29.620

FM

EL96wk

2021-05-31

1949

KD2VQR

29.620

FM

FN21ro

2021-05-31

1945

KD2SBO

29.620

FM

FN21TO

2021-05-31

1933

KK4ANE

29.620

FM

EL97RV

2021-05-31

1932

AA2EC

29.620

FM

FN32dg

2021-05-31

1915

FY5HB

28.441

SSB

GJ34WH

Jon Jones, N0JK reported from Kansas EM28 on Saturday, June 5: “Saw the east coast had a big Es opening to Europe all afternoon June 4. Nil out here.

“May 30 and 31 good here. On May 31 had JA8JEP (QN03) in at –14 dB 2238z 50.323 MHz FT8.

“June 5, XE2X spotted 9K2OD on 50.323 MHz FT8 at 1335z. That is remarkable.

“2021-06-05 13:35 XE2X (EL06VC) 50.323.0 FT8 9K2OD (LL49AI) 12,871 km multihop Sp-E FT8 –06 TNX LOUD”

Check out this video of the huge antenna array built for the Soviet Union’s former over the horizon HF radar, the so-called “Russian Woodpecker,” a constant annoyance for HF operators a few decades ago. Quite impressive!

Website for the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico.

Here’s the latest video from the Space Weather Woman, Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW.

Sunspot numbers for June 3 – 9 were 28, 30, 30, 42, 53, 34, and 27, with a mean of 34.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 75.5, 77.1, 74.4, 77.4, 80.8, 79.9, and 78.6, with a mean of 77.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 5, 4, 5, 12, 5, and 4, with a mean of 5.9. Middle latitude A index was 8, 4, 4, 6, 15, 7, and 4, with a mean of 6.9.

For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…,” and check out K9LA’s Propagation Page.

A propagation bulletin archive is available. For customizable propagation charts, visit the VOACAP Online for Ham Radio website.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are on the ARRL website.

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