[AMRadio] Re: 40m tonight

Ellen Rugowski ellenjoanne2003 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Sep 29 09:59:56 EDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Geoff/W5OMR" <ars.w5omr at gmail.com>
To: "Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service"
<amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 10:01 PM
Subject: [AMRadio] Re: 40m tonight

> Well, it wasn't a complete bust, for me.
> While I never heard any of -you- guys (Todd, Larry, Ellen, Bian), I
> -did- get to work Dave/W9AD from near Chicago (strong - but
> disappeared.  He mentioned something about getting some sleep before the
> hamfest in his area in the morning.)  I did get a 20/9 report from Dave
> on his Flex radio.  After that, I heard Bill/W8VYZ calling CQ from
> Ashtabula, OH.  Bill didn't come back to my calls to him, but Ralph/W3GL
> did, there in Newcastle, Delaware.  Cool!  There's hope of working New
> Hampshire and VT!  Alas, never heard you guys, and Ralph faded out into
> the noise, then Bill was back up to strong again, and he and I worked
> for a good 30mins or so... even had a breaker - KF6RNT/Terry from near
> LA, but he didn't come back when we turned it to him.
> So, there is your 40m report, from San Antonio, TX.  I heard a couple of
> other unidentifiable carriers in there, and heard audio on one, but he
> was doubling with Bill, so never heard that.  I -thought- I heard
> someone say "..Os*bzzt*r Mike Ro*crah*o"... that's how the noise was,
> here.  When the signals were there, it was good, but the band conditions
> were very 'dynamic'.
> Change happens.
> Maybe tomorrow night, 40m will be better and we can get a round table
> 7.290 is now void of a Broadcast station, and the frequency is pretty
> much clear.
> I just signed out about 7 mins ago, and pulled the big switch.
> Good night Mr. and Mrs Ship, and all the Americans at sea...

Hi Geoff,

My sked with Jack, K9ACT was a dud.  I did listen to 7290 on the TS-820
(which actually does an OK job of receiving AM).  I heard nothing.   Oh
well, at least you had some decent success.  Jack, K9ACT informed me via
e-mail this morning that we had a solar flare last night.  I just checked
the K & A indices. The K is at 4, and the A is at 17.  At my latitutude,
that's pre-Auroral.  If the K gets above 5, and the A gets above about 25 or
30, there's a good chance we'll have an Aurora (it sure would be nice to
watch the Northern Lights tonight, they're eerie, and beautiful).  90-95% of
the time I can't even hear Rob, WA9ZPY run the Midwest classic net from
Marshall, WI (about 65 miles west of me). Another station in the Milwaukee
area is also having a tough time checking into the net.

In spite of conditions, I think I'm going to QSY to 7290 now, and give it a
go there.  40 usually is good for me in the mornings.  I guess I'd better
fire up the FT-620B on 6m, and start listeing for the beacons.  I'd also
better plug in the bug.   AM & FM are basically useless for working Aurora
(Au), due to phase/multipath distortion caused by the signal bouncing off
the irregularly shaped, constatly moving auroral curtain.  SSB is useable up
to about 2m, but sounds like you're either trying to talk under water, or an
unearthly growl.  CW is the best for Au.  There is doppler signal spreading,
doppler shift, and phasing distortion, so the tone is a hiss (as a result,
for an RST, you would for example say 56A, with the A meaning auroral), but
it is useable.  Most Aurora work is on 6 & 2m, but it has been worked on 222
& 432, when the aurora  is particularly strong.  The highest ham band it's
been worked on is 903 MHz.  Theoretically, it should be doable at 1296 MHz
(radar signals have been bounced of the auroral curtain as high as 2300
MHz), but the dopper spreading, and doppler shift could be as much as 20
kHz!  Working Au is a blast.  There's something about working out to
distances on frequencies that most people think are only good for line of
sight communication.  Duuring the last decent Aurora we had here (in
December of last year), I took my FT-897D (which I still had at the time),
and a small log periodic, and set up on my balcony (temps were pretty mild -
in the 40s).  With 50W of CW, I worked as far east as North Carolina.
Well, I'd better go fire up the scout on 7290.  Hope you're feeling better.

Ellen - AF9J

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