CCARC NEWS 14-04
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 14-04 31st. January 2014
In this Issue:
- New propagation predictions for first quarter 2014.
- GREAT GIVEAWAY at the club rooms – Friday night.
- Have you planned your (virtual) trip to Dayton?
- Broke & fixed.
1. New propagation predictions for first quarter 2014.
Steve G0KYA has now updated his HF propagation prediction charts for the first quarter of 2014 to take into account the latest predicted smoothed sunspot numbers.
It is generally thought that we may now be at or past the second hump of this sunspot maximum, but the sun continues to throw some surprises.
For example, the observed sunspot numbers for the last six months of 2013 were 57.0, 66.0, 36.9, 85.6, 77.6 and 90.3, which shows the great variation.
The current predicted smoothed sunspot number (which is that recommended for VOACAP-based programs) is about 61-62 for the next three months.
This equates to a 10.7cm solar flux index of about 110 (on 24th January it was 136 with an actual sunspot number of 121).
A flux over 100 suggests that 10m will continue to open on a fairly regular basis and the next few months should throw up some good opportunities for DX on the higher bands. However, the longer-term trend may be downwards.
On the downward side of the cycle we may also experience more unsettled geomagnetic conditions due to flares and coronal mass ejections. These may cause short-term D-layer absorption (especially on routes over the poles) or depletion of the F layer (with corresponding poor conditions on the upper HF bands). Looking on the bright side it may also give raise to aurorae.
The short-path HF predictions from the UK can be found via a link at the top right on Steve’s blog page at http://g0kya.blogspot.co.uk/.
If you want to produce more detailed point-to-point calculations he recommends VOACAP online at http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html
Chairman, RSGB Propagation Studies Committee
2. GREAT GIVEAWAY at the club rooms – Friday night.
As you will all know by now, I am heading back to Europe, so I am having to thin out my radio gear and I will have taken up to the club rooms by Friday evening, the following list of items that will be free to club members. It’s best you get up on Friday evening as on Saturday we will need to clear what remains (along with some other stuff that has appeared on the benches) before we can start the field day and February business meetings.
Here’s the list – it may get added to in coming weeks as I try to organise myself for the move!
- 21Ah Sealed Lead acid 12V battery and regulator for charging.
- Battery box with lights / tire pump etc.
- 7.5m high flagpole mast with guy plate and guys s well as several extra sections to extend higher “if you dare”.
- 2m/70cm phasing harness / mount .
- Various lengths of metal and plastic pipe.
- Nagoya NL-770R 2/70cm mobile whip (bad connection – needs attention).
- Small format Compaq PC and LCD screen.
- Multi (analogue) input HiFi amplifier plus two compact SONY speaker units.
First come – most happy! When they’re gone, they’re gone!
I will be at the club rooms from 7:15pm tonight (Friday).
3. Have you planned your (virtual) trip to Dayton?
W5KUB.com has been webcasting hamfests for over 11 years. The webcast has viewers in over 150 countries, and pulls an audience of approximately 50,000 viewers during the Dayton Hamvention.
Every year that W5KUB.COM has been webcasting they have been making improvements to the equipment and the technology. Today you can watch near HD quality video of these events in full screen on your computer.
There are several different aspects which make the webcast enjoyable. First the webcast page has a chat room where hams around the world can log in and chat directly with the W5KUB.COM group at the event. In addition to being able to ask real time questions and receive answers from vendors such as MFJ, ICOM, Yaesu and more, online viewers are able to chat with other hams, some located on the opposite side of the world.
Secondly, and this is the fun part, W5KUB.COM gives out prizes to online viewers. There is no cost to anyone! Viewers just have to be logged in to the chat room and winners are randomly picked from the list of logged in viewers.
The winner must claim the prize within the allotted time frame (usually 2-3 minutes) to win it. Prizes vary from magazine subscriptions to high end equipment such as D-STAR radios, watt meters, HTs, dual band radios, antenna tuners, microphones, and more. In the last two years, over $26,000 in prizes have been awarded to viewers. Many hamfest don’t award this much!
And thirdly, viewers get to virtually make the trip and ride along during the drive to and from the hamfest. The webcast usually starts one or two days before the ham event. Viewers are ‘virtually’ in the passenger seat and experience the entire drive, even getting pulled over by the police for speeding! Viewers also get to see the scenery while APRS on the W5KUB.COM page identifies their exact location and driving speed on the map.
W5KUB.COM plans to expand the next Hamvention show with new and special guests, in addition to regular interviews with manufacturers. To assure the best quality video, a dedicated Ka band satellite uplink will be installed for our internet connection.
The 2014 Dayton Hamvention schedule:
- Wed. May 14 th 1300 UTC – go live beginning with the drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Dayton, Ohio -550 Miles and 10 hours of driving
- Thurs May 15 th 1400 UTC – Webcast booth setup at Hamvention
- Friday May 16 th 1300 UTC -Hamvention webcast begins
- Saturday May 17 th 1300 UTC – Second day of Hamvention webcast
- Sunday May 18 th 1300 UTC – Third day of Hamvention webcast
- Sunday May 18 th approximately 1800 UTC – begin the webcast of the drive from Dayton, Ohio back to Memphis, Tennessee
To join the webcast go to – http://W5KUB.com
Item from ICQPodcast.com.
4. Broke & fixed.
Nothing to report this week, everything running smoothly.
This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:
Two important meetings at the club rooms this Saturday:
11:00 – 12:00 Wyong Field Day meeting
13:00 – 14:00 February club business meeting.
(to keep “body and soul together Bob VK2PEP will be running a BBQ at midday).
Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc at ccarc.org.au for full details.
For submissions to this newsletter from CCARC club members please email the editor news-editor at ccarc.org.au
For what’s coming up in the next few months at the CCARC, please check the club calendar, accessible from the header on any page on the website.