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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP046 (2011)

ARLP046 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 46  ARLP046
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  November 18, 2011
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP046 Propagation de K7RA

This week geomagnetic indices quieted a bit, and so did solar
activity in general.  Sunspot numbers reached a high of 220 on
November 9, and this week declined, rose to 176 then declined again.
Average daily sunspot numbers slipped 8.4 points to 145. Average
daily solar flux dropped 12.5 points to 161.2.

The most recent forecast predicts a bit lower activity than we've
seen recently.  Predicted solar flux from NOAA and USAF shows flux
values of 150 on November 18-19, 155 on November 20-24, 150 on
November 25, and 145 on November 26-28, then rising to 165 on
December 4-7, which is just a few days before the ARRL 10 Meter

Predicted planetary A index for November 18-19 is 7 and 8, then 5 on
November 20-25, 7 on November 26-27, and 5 on November 28 through
December 8.

Geophysical Institute Prague has their own take, with unsettled
conditions November 18, quiet to unsettled November 19, and quiet
November 20-24.

Conditions should be good for the ARRL SSB Sweepstakes Contest this
weekend, which runs from 2100z Saturday, November 19, until 0259z
Monday, November 21.  See for full
details. has an interesting article concerning whether or not the
Sun is really headed for a grand minima, as some have suggested. The
study they cite suggests that an increase in solar activity over the
next few decades is just as likely as a decrease. In other words,
nobody knows!  See the article at

Jimmy Mahuron, K9JWJ of Salem, Indiana pointed out that the sunspot
record at no longer
matches what we've reported in past bulletins. I have an inquiry to
NOAA about this.  We reported a sunspot number of 220 on November 9,
but now that same source shows 208 for that day. More on this next
week, no doubt.

Lots of fun to be had on 10 and 6 meters over the past week.  Chuck
Dennis, WA5ZTD wrote: "Your article about 10 meters being open was
sure right.  11/11/2011 at around 9 AM PST (1700z) on just 100 watts
and a buddipole up about 20 feet from Hillsboro Oregon, I was able
to work IK4WKU in northern Italy and I heard a station in northern
Ireland, Argentina, and Brazil. Sure hope it lasts a while."

Tad Marko, KC5UWS of Flower Mound, Texas writes: "The QRP story in
your recent ARRL Propagation update reminds me of my recent first
QRP contact. I have had a Yaesu FT-817 for a while now, but had yet
to make a contact with it as of 2011-10-26. I had just gotten home
from work, the kids were playing outside and I had a few minutes
before dinner, so I attached my Miracle Whip antenna to the '817 and
carried it outside. I perched it precariously atop a short ladder
and started tuning up the 10m band. At 28.430 I hear a CQ and make
out '4MAX' from the call. I'm thinking maybe I'm making 800 miles or
so to the east coast. I reply, not expecting anything, but I get a
response. It's VK4MAX in Queensland Australia! My first QRP contact
is 5w to go 8,300 miles using a compact antenna! He was a solid 59
on my end, and though I was only 41 on his end, he was able to copy
my call sign and we had a short QSO. He was absolutely astounded and
so was I. This was a very timely contact as I was about to give up
on QRP. I know this isn't typical, but it sure was fun."

Actually Tad, it may be more typical than you think!  We hear many
such stories lately with all the recent solar activity.

6 meter reports are from K7JA and K7CW.

Chip Margelli, K7JA of Garden Grove, California wrote: "Worked
LU9EHF on November 14 at 0136 UTC on 50 MHz SSB via F2. Also VY2OX
and VY2ZM November 15, around 1835 UTC along with VE2DLC and several
W1 stations.

"Earlier QSOs included ZL1RS on November 1 (around 2325 UTC), ZL1RS
also on October 24 at 2234 UTC, TX7M on October 25 at 1945 UTC,
E51CG on October 26 at 0143 UTC, and VK4FNQ and VK4BKP on October 26
around 0150 UTC."

Paul Kiesel, K7CW of Tahuya, Washington wrote: "I got T32C and FO4BM
on October 13. This might have been Es link to TEP. On October 24 I
worked FK8CP and on October 26, I worked seven VK4 stations. I think
these contacts likely were Es link to F2 due to the high angle to
the perpendicular with the geomagnetic equator.

"The last couple of days (November 13-15), I've gotten VEs 1, 2, 3
and 9 and VY2 along with Ws 1, 2, 3 and 4. Today (November 15) had
propagation all the way down to South Florida, whereas yesterday and
the day before were limited to the northern states and southern

And finally, if you love Morse code, don't miss this unusual video
in which Kristen Haring talks about knitting in Morse code patterns.
She wrote a book a few years back called "Ham Radio's Technical
Culture" which many radio amateurs hated, but I found unusual and
quite interesting. Thanks to W0PV for the tip:

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers,
email the author at,

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL
Technical Information Service web page at For an explanation of the
numbers used in this bulletin, see An archive of past
propagation bulletins is at Find more good
information and tutorials on propagation at

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve
overseas locations are at

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL
bulletins are at

Sunspot numbers for November 10 through 16 were 152, 127, 155, 142,
176, 137, and 126, with a mean of 145. 10.7 cm flux was 178.6,
173.9, 168.8, 155.3, 161.1, 148.3, and 142.3, with a mean of 161.2.
Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 2, 2, 0, 0, 6, and 2, with a
mean of 2.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 7,
and 3 with a mean of 3.4.


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