Saturday, June 17, 2017

Having Fun Even If 2-Meters Won't Open

Good afternoon,
Unfortunately due to personal issues, I was unable to play in the ARRL June VHF Contest.
So I am trying to make up for lost time and play a little this weekend (June 17 & 18).

Since analog TV is a thing of the past, I am now relying om FM Broadcast DXing to determine that Es are building towards 2 Meters.
I didn't want to spend the bucks on a HD FM Receiver that had RDS capabilities, nor did I want to run out to the car that had RDS.

Last August just as the season was ending I purchased for 17 bucks a RTL-SDR. I plugged it into a WIN7 computer and one of 2 outdoor FM antennas.
This is fun !!!!!

Some screen prints of what Es openings look like.
Most of the stations are from Iowa, Nebraska and one Illinois.  Patiently wait for a build up and a RDS ID appears, or listen for the Call or local Ads.

Enjoy Art KA5DWI/7 DM34 Central AZ

 92.5 and 92.9 are semi-local. 92.5 is easily overwhelmed by another station on Es.
 As Es build, it lights up like a Xmas Tree.

 KIOA Des Moines IA was booming in with awful 70's music.
93.9 & 95.1 are semi-local. This 94.9 MHz station was running ads for Chicago IL. We think DeKalb WDKB. No RDS.

My RTL-SDR was loaded into a 44 year old Archer Log Periodic.
I was having so much fun, I wasn't working the contest very well. I did make a 6-Meter PSK31 QSO to Pennsylvania later.... Art

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Es Off to a Much Better Start in 2017 -Summer Solstice Update

The data displayed below was extracted from the PropNET database. It has been filtered to contain information pertinent to this analysis. It contains only North American participants of PropNET for the 10 Meter Ham Band on the dates noted.

Hi all,

Since last year's total Es activity was so poor, I thought I would see how this season had changed.
So far I am very pleased. There has been one noted 2 Meter opening also.
So how much different?
3 Times more activity in 2017 than in 2016.

Daily Activity:

2016 had 2 occasions of extended periods of low activity.
In 2017, by the first week in May the rate of  activity increase was higher each successive day.

Es Season started off very late in 2016
Es Season slowly progressed throughout the season in 2017.
Hourly Activity:
The daily hourly activity trends have changed very little between years although for 2017 high volumes and much better afternoon activity.

Everything indicates a much much better season. It is half over and we have many more great weeks to come. Stay active through mid August.
Make noise.

73 Art Jackson KA5DWI/7