Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Sun is Still Active

The sun has been active after the Fall Equinox. Not a lot of sunspots, but lots of geomagnetic activity.
A and K Indices have been elevated for a couple of weeks. The result is some nice propagation on 10 Meters at times. October usually is a good month in years of high solar activity. It looks like it won't disappoint us.
All of the following maps are 24 hour captures on 10-Meter WSPR.
I took a few days off.

10/12/2016 Nice opening to Australia and New Zealand.
10/13/2016 Despite a G1-G2 Geomagnetic Storm.
 I have been off for a few days. Despite low solar activity, it is still open.

I am always amazed how the band changes day to day. Yesterday, VK, ZL & an E5 filled the waterfall during the afternoon.

The Sun has been quiet for the remainder of November. There has been a couple of days with activity, but overall DX has been limited.  Today the first good Fall/Winter opening on 10-Meters occurred. For about 6 hours there was occasional paths in all directions. I strongly believe that meteor showers are an influence. It isn't a meteor that causes it, but residual ionization left by them that stirs up the Es layer.

I have replaced the desktop computer running WSPR and have had issues with the rig interface. Meanwhile in order to utilize the computer, I have switched back to PropNET (PSK31 Realtime Propagation Reporting).
5 Days

7 Days.
F2 opportunities were nil as solar activity was very low. I would call this propagation chordal interaction of the E and F layers. Openings were short in duration, but pretty good when it opened up. They occurred usually late morning, mid-day and late afternoon.
I noticed that some of these openings occurred just prior to a geomagnetic disturbance. Despite low sunspot numbers, several large coronal holes continue to produce streams to later disturb the ionosphere. Trans-Equatorial propagation is a usual result.

As I have said many times...
Don't give up on this band.

73 Art KA5DWI/7

Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016 Spring/Summer Es Season Observations from 10-Meter WSPR

I guess I have a weak will.
In November 2015, I said goodbye to 14 years of propagation reporting and analysis with the PropNET group. I was a bit stubborn and due to other things going on in retirement, I did not care to upgrade or replace my desktop computers in order to operate the new version of software. I like using my older equipment for fun stuff like Ham Radio and put the newer technology to use such as typing and posting this paper. I also do not care to use laptops for this either.

I wrote my final propagation analysis paper using PropNET towards the end of January 2016 titled, “How Solar Cycle 24 Affected 10 Meter Spring Summer Es”

The analysis showed that Cycle 24 had exponentially lessened Es activity during the Spring/Summer season.  The good thing I thought was that the decline of solar activity should result in improved Es conditions for 2016.  During the spring and summer of 2015, I had experienced some nice 6 Meter Es (118 grid squares worked) and looked forward to what the 2016 season held.

In December 2015, I played in a few contests and had a great time working the bands, particularly 10-Meters. Cycle 24 was going out with a bang and was still pretty active. I couldn’t help myself and fired up the old Dell desktop on 10 Meter WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) to see if the band was open.  After a couple of weeks pulling in some nice Trans-Atlantic and Pacific DX, I put the old Yaesu HF rig (FT-747GX) back in line, set to one-half a watt to see who could hear me. 

From January thru April I pulled in WSPR signals and was also heard throughout the world. I received some nice emails from Hams copying my signal and/or me copying theirs. The old XP computer worked like a charm. No issues at all with memory or crashes. The WSPRNET website is another issue. I never was impressed with it. There were constant connection timeout issues that still exist today. Where is Dave when you need him?

I decided that despite the Website issues, to operate on 10-Meter WSPR as I had in my early days on PropNET to see if Es conditions were improving since the decline of Cycle 24.  Also, I wanted to see if a different propagation reporting system would show similar results. I took a relaxed approach this year. I operated only when I was nearby. It was infrequently left on all night. 

If you already know me, you can skip this next section.


1. Amateur Radio Operator since 1979. Have carried the same call since issued. Worked all states, all continents and well over 200 DXCC entities on 10-Meters.
2. TV/FM/VHF/UHF/Utility DXer and CB’er since the early 1970’s. MWBC and SW DX’er since the early to mid-1960’s.
3. Active 2, 6 & .70 Meter weak signal. 540+ 6M, 200+ 2M, 40+ .70M grid squares. 60+ DXCC on 6M and one-half of the 2-Meter N. American DX record for Tropo-Overland (9/2003).  All activity from near Fort Worth, Texas (EM12).
4. Retired in June 2014 and moved to near Prescott Arizona (DM34un) and now working on new VUCC’s, DXCC and WAS.
5. Participated in PropNET from 2004 to 2015.  Wrote 7 annual seasonal and 5 cumulative year analyses on Spring/Summer 10-Meter Es.  Published 2 Papers for the annual proceedings of the Central States VHF Society Conference. Also wrote papers on other special events.

Operating WSPR 2016:

1. Rig: Yaesu FT-747GX. Power output set to 2 watts for the Spring and Summer.
2. Computer and Interface: Very old Dell Dimension 2.1 GHz XP Desktop and West Mountain RigBlaster with a Serial interface.  Computer was dedicated to WSPR operation, Telnet and Weak-Signal or Contest logging.  No other programs were used to limit CPU and memory resources.
3. Antennas: Primary – 42 year old 3 Element Yagi. My original CB Yagi (Antenna Specialists Hustler) pointed generally east, but pointed in other directions when working 6-Meter openings. Secondary – 35 year old Cushcraft ATV-3 Vertical nestled between 2 Blue Spruce trees. The antenna was used whenever monsoon storms were forecasted or within the area.
4. Operating Setup – Whenever on, transmitted a 2-minute long WSPR packet either 18 or 20 minutes apart. Software was set to transmit at 10% (10 2-minute transmissions every 3 hours, listening 160 minutes during that time). I operated on average about 11 hours each day from morning to early evening. 


1. All measurements and charts are derived from my reception of 10-Meter WSPR packets. Extracted from the ALL_WSPR.txt file and imported into and compiled from an Excel spreadsheet.
2. The database from WSPRNET was NOT used due to unreliability of the website to acquire propagation reports.
3. Any reception considered ground wave or Trans-Equatorial was removed from this analysis.


1. Operating Dates – From April 29 through August 28, 2016 (122 days)
2. WSPR Packet receptions - 2,543
3. My WSPR Transmissions – 3,941
4. Shortest reception – N7NEV DM43 103 miles Es Backscatter, N6RY DM13 281 miles Single Hop Es
5. Longest reception – WP3D FK68 2,979 miles Multi-Hop Es (F2 MUF was too low)
6. Most active day – July 12 with 154 captures.
7. Least active day – 16 recorded days without activity.
8. Distance – Average capture length 1,175 miles, Median distance approximately 1,050 miles.
9. First capture – KD6RF EM22 4/29 @ 16:34 UTC (9:34 AM PDT Time), Last Capture – W1VR 8/24 @ 01:50 UTC (8/23 6:50 PM PDT)
10. Calls captured – 96, Grid Squares captured – 69

I was optimistic that we would finally start getting more Es activity. All the signs were there for a deserved recovery. Or so I thought.

Daily WSPR Captures During the Season

First observation was that the Es season had no early indications it was beginning. Usually there are short openings the second, third and fourth weeks of April. These did not appear. Even in high solar activity years openings being a probable linking of Es and F2 will show up. No evidence of much of that this season.
Second observation was there were very distinctive quiet periods for nearly 5 periods until the summer solstice. Each active period was a little better than the previous, but each lull was very quiet.  Between the solstice and Independence Day was horrible.
Third observation was once we passed the Fourth of July, something turned the Es switch on and we enjoyed a very good end of the season. The period around the Perseid meteor shower was also very good.
Once the meteor shower was over, the season came to an abrupt end on August 25.

The polynomial trend line of the lowest order showed that the season peaked on July 5, highest order on July 13. These are the latest dates I have observed. Generally it was no higher than June 28.  The median WSPR capture (the one in the middle) was on July 11. My median WSPR transmission was on June 22.

Overall I felt this was unusual for a poor season occurring during a declining Solar Cycle.

Hourly Activity Spring/Summer Es
With the Es season being a little off kilter, I thought that the hourly figures might be off as well. Wrong.
The hourly progression was precisely what has been experienced in most years. The trend is called a dual peaked diurnal pattern. Also, most years it is much more active in the mid to late morning hours, starts to decline around noon, then rises again as sunset is approached. Once the sun sets, activity declines sharply. Missing this season was any hint of twilight activity. The only difference was that in Texas, the second peak was proportionally higher. I might go back to my PropNET data and see if the left coast trends similar.

The median WSPR capture this season was 1,026 miles, so I distributed the hourly captures at the next mileage capture 1,079 miles.
For both distance segments, the dual peaked diurnal was evident. More so for the longer half segment for captures. One of the benefits of being located on the west or east coast is a large amount of multi-hop Es. At times it outnumbered single hop paths.
As noted, the 1,000 to 1,250 segment is the most active and is the optimum distance for single hop Es. Many of the other 250 mile segments were well represented.
During the season, I captured about everyone in the United States that transmitted. Likewise, most that were listening heard my signal. Active participants followed population in most cases. The number of active WSPR participants was impressive, but only a few were active continuously.
Thank you to those that were.
As the Es Season improved, the average distance tended to trend upward. On the most active days average distance was higher thanks to Double-Hop (Multi).

The 90 Degree segments are north, east, south and west. Almost 90 % of all activity does come from the east here in Arizona.  Activity to the north and west was always an indication of more intense Es activity.
Narrowing the angle to 60 and 45 degrees, the concentration of activity is the Northeast to the Southeast.  The more southern Es was central and south Texas and Florida.

Coverage During the Season
The following maps show both 10-Meter WSPR stations that I captured or those who captured my 2 watt signal.

The first active day of the Es Season, May 10. It included Es to Hawaii.

June 14 was the best day prior to the Summer Solstice. Just after the June VHF Contest. There was only one more active day until the first week of July. 

July 5. After an extended lull, Es became more active.

July 12 was the most active day of the Es Season. It was active on 6 Meters this day, but failed to reach 2-Meters.

July 20

July 30
The season was fairly active throughout July into August.

The last high-activity day was August 9. Once the Perseid Meteor Shower was over, activity steadily declined.

Expecting a much improved season from the past few years was not the case. There were occasional signs that Es conditions were on the upswing. In the stratosphere, Noctilucent Clouds reappeared in the Northern latitudes. The first weekend in June, a nice European opening occurred on 6-Meters as far west as southern Arizona. I worked 106 grid squares (down 10%) on 6-Meters and my best worked DX was Maine, Dominican Republic and copying Alaska on JT65.  The difference appeared to be periods that the bands were void of activity.

I still believe that our declining solar cycle is still too active and not quiet enough yet to provide long period high quality Es conditions.

Solar Conditions
2009 and 2010 were excellent years for Es conditions. 6-Meter Trans-Atlantic, short & longer path 2-Meter opportunities and the best conditions occurring around the Summer Solstice.

A comparison between 2009 & 2010 to 2015 & 2016
Solar Flux

Between Solar Cycles 23 and 24, little movement in daily values occurred . In 2014 and 2015, values cycled very close to the rotation of the Sun.  Notable in 2016, was that Solar Flux closely reached its lowest possible levels.

Solar A Indices

The A indices show geomagnetic activity. On several occasions the past 2 years this activity was high enough to produce Aurora.  It was non-existent in 2009 and 2010.

The general amount of high activity still is putting a lid on Es.  I still remain optimistic that a less active sun will produce much better results for Spring/Summer Es.

I hope to be available next year and do this again.

73 Art Jackson KA5DWI/7 near Prescott Arizona

2016 10-Meter WSPR Honor Roll
The following Hamradio operators accounted for 80% of the season's captures:
Call Grid Sq Catches
KD6RF EM22 520
W1VR EL98 400
KC0TKS EM38 368
AE5HO EM13 129
N5GG EM13 115
W6LVP DM04 96
KB2SVD FN20 81
N0AN EN22 78
N5HJC DM93 59
AE5BW DM75 53
AE0MT EN34 47
W3PM EM64 38
N5ZKK EM00 31
AE7U CN87 30

The following Hamradio operators accounted for the remaining 20%:
Call Catches
KR6ZY 27
N3XKB 26
W0JP 23
N7GLS 22
K4RJD 21
K7OFT 20
K9AN 19
KH6RD 19
N0CXX 13
K5DRU 10
W4HFZ 10
N6RY 7
NK7Z 7
W4GO 7
K8TK 6
AK4T 4
KK1D 4
ND6M 4
W1QG 4
WV0Q 2
K7IP 1
N4AU 1
NF4E 1
NV0O 1
W8AC 1
WP3D 1

Friday, January 22, 2016

How Solar Cycle 24 Affected 10-Meter Spring/Summer Es

Please reference PropNET and Art Jackson-KA5DWI if this material is used in a presentation or publication.  Thank you.

In 2004, I first dabbled with PropNET on 10-Meters, if I recall using UI-View and MultiPSK. Back then, a Catch report was generated to create an “hour by hour” – “day by day” historical record of captured PropNET PSK31 captured packets, as well as a listing of transmissions that failed to acquire a captured status.  I was impressed with the results in 2004 and decided to do a full-time PropNET effort in 2005 for what I call the “Spring/Summer Sporadic Es” season.

“Es” had always fascinated me over my 25 years as a ham and quite a few years prior to becoming one. I was an avid SWL, TV, AM/FM broadcast, VHF/UHF Utility DX’er. I am sorry to admit, a CB’er prior to the “Good Buddy” days.  I had experienced a number of unique events during the spring and summer on these frequencies. Once I became a Ham, I was more interested in trying to figure out what might be behind it.
I am a numbers person. I worked in the banking business for almost 30 years and after the industry was deregulated, decided that I needed to take my basic math talents to something more worthwhile, education. A co-worker described me as someone you ask what time it is, and I would tell you how the clock works. I felt that there had to be mathematical patterns to explain the phenomena. PropNET had a chance to help me identify them.

I do not believe in Magic.
 Everything happens for a logical, mathematical and scientific reason. Given the right conditions and sampling of data, anything can be explained by numbers. So the quest to find to find answers to Sporadic Es began in 2005.  The journey was worth it.

After the first year I figured out that my own premonitions and theories needed some correcting. After analyzing each year, I would make the necessary adjustments to perfect the next year’s analysis. One year turned into two, two turned into three and so on. After accumulating three years of data I was able to apply statistical trend-lines (lines of best fit) to the 10-Meter Spring/Summer Es phenomena. By year five, I submitted my first paper on Es propagation to the Central States VHF Society Conference (CSVHFS). Year six, I submitted a second paper to the CSVHFS Conference and was the opening presenter at the meeting.  At that time I was beginning the finishing touches to the seventh and final year of my study of 10-Meter Sporadic Es.

At that 2011 CSVHFS Conference (last weekend of July), the next presenter was Jim Kennedy, K6MIO/KH6. Jim is an astrophysicist and is well known for his analysis of many events that have occurred on 6-Meters. In his presentation, Jim enlightened us to what appeared to be happening at the beginning of Solar Cycle 24.  The news was not very good.  Jim said that the geomagnetic poles of the Sun that swap during a solar cycle were not in sync. This would result in a poor peak of Solar Cycle 24 and would limit F2 opportunities on 6 Meters. I was a bit disappointed, but I figured I would always have Es to make up for the lost F2 opportunities.  Or so I thought…….

So this is where we begin our last analysis. By the summer of 2011, I was already seeing some changes that were foretelling the future.

Solar Cycle 23 and 24:
The graphs show the extent of the decline and bottom of Solar Cycle 23 and the rise, peak and decline of Solar Cycle 24.

It is beginning to appear that in the modern day measurement of solar cycles are showing that most of them have dual peaks. Cycle 23 peaked in July 2000 and again September 2001.  Cycle 24 peaked in November 2011 and once again in April 2014. As noted by the graphs, Cycle 24 was much weaker than Cycle 23.  Maximum usable frequencies were rarely higher than 40 MHz and 6 Meter F2 propagation was extremely rare.  Also, Cycle 23 declined for 9 years. The average decline is 7 years.
The next graph shows the Ap Index progression during the same period. This index shows geomagnetic activity and is similar in purpose to the K-Index. It is more quantitative that the K-Index and updated historically once a day.

For Solar Cycle 23, the Ap index peaked 2 years after the second peak of solar flux.  As of today, it has shown no indication of a decline for Cycle 24. The current level is near to the value experienced in 2005.

The Seven-Year Study:

I was very lucky to have started it in 2005. As we will learn later, to have been in a long decline towards the bottom of the solar cycle, followed by a low increase of solar activity appears to have allowed very consistent results year to year. As mentioned earlier, within 3 years all the statistical trend-lines were consistent to the very end of the study.

The study was a compilation of my captures of other PropNET participants from April 25 – August 15 (later 28th), eight weeks each side of the Summer Solstice.

My total number of PropNET captures for 7 years was 88,195, about 12,600 per year.
The study showed that the peak of the Spring/Summer Es season is clearly near the Summer Solstice. The trend-lines showed the peak on June 23rd or 24th. The median (the middle one) PropNET capture and active hour was on June 21, the solstice.

Es propagation is a daytime phenomenon, called diurnal.  Es can occur at any time, but once the Sun sets, activity and probabilities decline sharply. The most active and intense time for Es is mid to late morning. After a lull mid-afternoon, a second peak occurs before sunset. During the late afternoon, the distance of Es lengthens (multi-hop) as well as the absolute shortest distances (backscatter) occur.

Changes at the Home QTH and PropNET:
After 7 years computing my data, changes were to naturally occur.  After the 2009 season, the 10 Meter operating frequency was changed from the high end of PSK31 activity to just below it allowing the capture and recording of Non-PropNET (NPN) activity. After the 2011 season, I lowered my tower and reconfigured the antenna arrangements. The result was a higher noise level.  A new version of PropNET was released and overall, its performance was inferior to the prior version. The user had very limited control of the IMD channels and the program had operating issues if left running more than 2 days.  I would not transmit packets unless I was near the rig. I did not operate PropNET whenever on vacation trips.  Finally, I was inactive two-thirds of 2014 as I retired and moved to Arizona (DM34). 

Despite my issues, there were many other fine PropNET participants who were active during my absence.

All further data charted will reflect all PropNET and Non-PropNET 10-Meter captures from North American PropNET participants between June 1 and July 9, 2009 through 2015.  The range measured is 39 days around the Summer Solstice.

Solar Cycle 24 Begins:
Each of the following charts are the average recorded values between June 1 and July 9 of the year noted.

In 2009, solar flux was at minimum levels (67). By 2010, it was slowly increasing.  Solar flux began to surge during 2011 and peaked late that year. Solar flux remained high in 2012. Many thought the peak had occurred as it dipped in 2013, but resurged to the highest spring/summer level in 2014. It finally had begun its decline in 2015.

Background X-Ray flux is the average daily X-Ray flux experienced each measurement period. It is a numeric interpretation of Alpha/Numeric values (A0.0=0, B1.0=10, C1.0=19). The sun was spotless most of 2009.

The A-Indices indicate geomagnetic activity. As noted earlier for the past solar cycle, this activity tends to peak a couple of years after the final peak of solar flux.

At least one of these solar or geomagnetic indices increased year following the 2009 lull.

PropNET 10-Meter Capture Activity
The charts were quite conclusive.

In 2009, PropNET 10M operations were on 28.131 MHz, 11 kHz above the majority of regular PSK31 activity. Late 2009, the operating frequency was changed to 28.1186 MHz, 1.4 kHz below the activity. Thanks to Dave Donnelly’s KF6XA routines, this allowed for the capture of Non-PropNET activity surrounding 28.120 MHz. Non-PropNET activity accounted nearly 20% more captures in 2010.  Therefore if Non-PropNET captures had occurred in 2009, the total captures that year would be been near 90,000.  My personal PropNET statistics showed a decline of PropNET captures of 6% between 2009 and 2010. 

The next graph shows a steady decline of capture activity since 2009.
   PropNET activity between June 1 and July 9.
For the above chart, 2009 and 2015 data was removed.
10-Meter PropNET activity declined from 2010 to 2015 at an “exponential” rate. For non-math people, in science and nature, growth and decline occurs exponentially. If the data precisely fits the trend-line equation, the coefficient of determination (R-Squared) value would equal to one (1).  In this case, 0.9538 is not bad at all.

A more simple description shows that in 2009 if a PropNET station transmitted a PNP packet or a Non-PropNET station transmitted a CQ, ten (10) PropNET participants captured it.  In 2014 if the same situation occurred, no one captured it the first time and only one (1) captured it the second time it was transmitted.

Influences Year by Year
2009 and 2010

For both years, the number of sunspots was nil to just a few. Solar activity was very low. In 2010, solar flux increases showed that Cycle 24 had just begun.

When no sunspots are on the Sun, background X-Ray flux is zero (A0.0). So was the case in 2009.  In 2010, the formation of new sunspots created a couple of spikes in the X-Ray flux.

Geomagnetic activity was also very low in 2009. In 2010 there were signs of a few minor disturbances.

The pattern of activity focused on the summer solstice was evident in 2009. In 2010 there was a surge around Independence Day. The trend-line showed that activity peaked at the solstice, normal for 2005-2008.

2011 – The Solar Cycle Gets Active

At the beginning of the measuring period, solar flux was high enough to promote F2 and TEP propagation. As the days passed, it dropped to fairly low levels.

Background X-Ray flux was much higher than 2010. Its value was B1.0 or higher for all but one day. This was probably the best indicator than it would be active in the fall.

Geomagnetic activity was not much different than 2010.

Total PropNET activity was over 50% less than the prior year. It was 27% lower at my QTH. There was little evidence of a peak at the Summer Solstice. Not noted on the graph, it was very inactive after July 9 for a number of days.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its first of three peaks in November 2011.

Solar/Geomagnetic Activity and PropNET Activity Since 2011:
The best description of Solar Cycle 24 was that it was “anemic”. New regions were always forming, but none lasted a week. Most of the active regions during Cycle 23 would last several rotations of the sun. Although it rose over these years, its movement was like a roller coaster.

Solar Flux 2012-2015

Background X-Ray Flux 2012-2015
The movement of background X-Ray flux was similar to solar flux in that it was rising and declining steadily.  There were really no major/extreme solar flares this solar cycle.

The Geomagnetic A-Index clearly shows that it peaked after Solar Flux was back into decline.  2015 was the most active year.  As mentioned earlier like solar flares, there were fewer large Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) within this solar cycle. Although there were some disturbances, they were generally short-lived.

Recap on the Affects to 10-Meter Spring/Summer Es
The affects on 10-Meter Spring/Summer Es were quite evident.

2011 was the last good year for activity and far less than the previous 2 years.

At the bottom of Cycle 23 and the early stages of 24, 2009 and 2010 were outstanding years.

The cumulative activity of 2011-2015 was not half of what was experienced in 2009-2011. The hour to hour pattern did remain the same, a dual peaked diurnal (mid-morning & late afternoon).

The last 4 years have been very poor and in total just equaled 2011.

When the solar cycle (solar activity) was its lowest, Es peak at the Summer Solstice.

Once solar activity increased, the day to day pattern reversed.
A note: F2 High frequency maximum usable frequency (MUF) actually declines slightly as the Summer Solstice approaches.

Measured PropNET 10-Meter Captures per Hour

These charts really show how bad things became.
In 2010, there were ninety (90) 10-Meter PropNET catches per hour. In 2014 there were barely five (5) catches per hour. The trend-line decline between these years was as perfect a polynomial mathematical equation you can compute (exact equals 1).

These hourly charts show the decline across the day. Each hour of the day was affected equally. The increase between 2009 and 2010 is due to Non-PropNET catches from a change of frequency.

These are twilight hours in N. America. At these times there is little Non-PropNET activity.

At this time the sun has risen in the eastern half of N. America. 

Whether we had great conditions or bad ones, this is the most active and intense hour of the day. The morning sun is visible across N. America.

At this time it is solar noon the center of N. America.

It is now afternoon across N. America.

At this time the sun is beginning to set in the east parts of N. America.

At this time the sun is beginning to set in the western parts of N. America.

By this time the Sun has set across most of N. America.


Everything that has been charted clearly indicated that the rise in solar and geomagnetic activity in the Solar Cycle will kill 10-Meter Spring/Summer Es. I was surprised how truly bad it was. I hope that many of you were on when PropNET fired up in 2004, because we got to experience some phenomenal times through 2010.
What caused it to be as bad as it was?
It is just a theory, but I think the fact that this solar cycle was “anemic” might have been the culprit. 
MUF during the late Spring and early Summer was no higher than 18 MHz.  Had solar flux been much higher, we probably would have had better interaction between the “F” and “E” layers of the ionosphere. In other solar cycles we have seen a number of HF and VHF events be sparked by solar disturbances. None lasted long enough to stir up the ionosphere this cycle. Example, there were no mid/lower-latitude Aurora, nor VHF FAI (Field-Aligned-Irregularities) this solar cycle. To my knowledge, only one F2 opening on 6 Meters occurred (November 2011).

Future Predictions

The dashed line is a 27 day moving average, the rotation of the Sun.

Notice the peaks of geomagnetic disturbances declined throughout the year.

Good news!  The Sun is steadily getting quieter.  It gets a little active now and then, but overall is heading in the right direction. We will probably be at the same point in this cycle as we were in 2005. It was a respectable Es year followed by two outstanding ones (2006 & 2007).

Dust off your old 10-Meter and even your 6 and 2-Meter rigs. Get ready for some future fun.


If and when I get an itch to share new observations or discoveries on other reporting systems, you will find them here on my propagation studies blog;KA5DWI – Propagation Studies

Thank you PropNET for 10 years of fun and providing me the platform to conduct these studies. It was the right system at the right time. It was a pleasure to have spent the countless days and hours mining, organizing and plotting the data. Presenting it other Hams was pure enjoyment since I did not have to give a test or a pop quiz after it was done.

I have gone full circle, a solar cycle. Now that I am retired, it is time to fully enjoy other aspects of this hobby.

Happy DXing and 73
Art Jackson KA5DWI/7