Sunspots, CMEs and HF

27 Aug

If the prognosticators for increasing numbers of sunspots and the ramp up of the new sunspot cycle are correct, then those radio amateurs who enjoy HF will be dusting off their rigs, keys and microphones in anticipation of good DX.

Here’s a link to the Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations which gives us a taste of what’s to come for sunspot numbers. Today’s numbers can be found at Space Weather Live.

There’s always a possible fly in the sunspot ointment and they’re called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) which can disrupt communications. A nice CME was observed on Tuesday August 4th. Check out this GIF.

Lancaster Bomber project in Sidney – parts needed

3 Aug

The British Columbia Aviation Museum (BCAM) at the Victoria International Airport is in the process of restoring a Canadian built Lancaster Mk.X Bomber, eventually to return the airframe to certified flying status. The airframe, serial FM104, was on unprotected display on the Toronto waterfront for many years, resulting in the loss of all equipment on the inside of the aircraft fuselage. The aircraft will be restored as a post-war Search & Rescue variant which had been converted from the Maritime Reconnaissance role.

The artifacts the project is looking for (which radio amateurs might help find) include transmitters, receivers, power supplies / dynamotors, antennas, interphone station boxes, mounts for any of this equipment and also cabling and connectors.

This link will take you to a well-researched website that describes in detail these various electronic systems incorporated into a post-war RCAF Lancaster. BCAM would be interested in hearing from you if you have any of the components of these systems that you would be willing to donate to the museum.

For donations or questions, please contact restorer Paul MacNeill at paulmn@shaw.ca

2021 Pacific NW DX Convention – August 7th

7 May

Registration is now open for the 2021 PNW DX Convention sponsored by the Willamette Valley DX Club in Portland, OR.

The in-person convention scheduled for August, 2021 has been cancelled. The WVDXC will be holding a one day virtual convention via Zoom instead. The date is Saturday Aug 7, 2021. All hams are welcome.

Registration is free and open to everyone since this is a virtual convention. Technical sessions and prizes are still under development by the convention committee.

Please check this 2021 PNW DX Convention link for the latest news.

Saturday Morning Coffee Breaks on ZOOM

9 Dec

WARA is testing holding our Saturday Morning Coffee Breaks by using the Zoom platform. This will be very informal in place of the breakfasts that we can’t hold right now. The first Zoom meetup was very well received, and there was a sense that the group wanted it to continue.

Saturday Zoom meetings provide a chance to say “Hello”, meet and put faces to people we only hear on air, swap stories, and have a “Show and Tell” if you have a new piece of kit you want to brag about.

All members should have received an email with the login information. I hope to see you on Saturday mornings at 10 am PST.

Thanks, Brent Besse VA7BNB, WARA President

The magnetic classification of sunspots

7 Dec

HF communications are affected by sunspots. Their number is growing with the new solar cycle #25. There are eight classifications of sunspots. You will find them below.

The different classificationssunspot with magnetic classification

  1. α – Alpha:
    A unipolar sunspot group.
  2. β – Bèta:
    A sunspot group that has a positive and a negative polarity (or bipolar) with a simple division between the polarities.
  3. γ – Gamma:
    A complex region in which the positive and negative polarities are so irregularly distributed that they can’t be classified as a bipolar Sunspot group.
  4. β-γ – Bèta-Gamma:
    A bipolar sunspot group but complex enough so that no line can be drawn between spots of opposite polarity.
  5. δ – Delta:
    The umbrae of opposite polarity in a single penumbra.
  6. β-δ – Bèta-Delta:
    A sunspot group with a general beta magnetic configuration but contains one (or more) delta sunspots.
  7. β-γ-δ – Bèta-Gamma-Delta:
    A sunspot group with a beta-gamma magnetic configuration but contains one (or more) delta sunspots.
  8. γ-δ – Gamma-Delta
    A sunspot group with a gamma magnetic configuration but contains one (or more) delta sunspots.

Check out more info on sunspots at SpaceWeatherLive.com