Follow The Sun!

Courtesy: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
I like to follow the sun, but ... that doesn't mean that I pack-up and head to Hawaii every winter. I like to follow what is happening on the sun as it so profoundly affects every aspect of skywave propagation.

Where do you get your propagation information?

If you're anything like the rest of us, you probably have two or three favorite sites that you visit to collect the latest data. The news of NOAA's new solar page has been making the e-mail rounds of late and just in case you've missed it....the "Space Weather Enthusiasts Dashboard" (and what ham isn't a 'space weather enthusiast'?) can be found here.

The new site provides an all-in-one viewing experience, with up-to-the-minute reports on such things as the 'K' index, dynamic solar images from various satellites and at various wavelengths, auroral conditions, CME impact predictions (dynamic), a TEC (Total Electron Count) map, sunspot and Solar Cycle activity graphs and more. I didn't see anything showing the daily solar flux numbers (SFI) but it may be there. There is now a growing belief that the SFI value is not that great an indicator of what will or won't be happening, radio-wise, especially when it comes to 50MHz.

Another feature that would be nice, is a display of the latest DST index. This number, based upon equatorial ring currents, is a valuable indicator for the trend in LF propagation. I use the Kyoto site, which provides a real time look at the numbers. Anything positive, or a positive-going trend, is always a good thing to see.
Courtesy: http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/
My favorite site is still SolarHam, manned by Kevin (VE3EN). It also provides a smorgasbord of solar information, even more than the new NOAA site!

If you haven't checked these three sites out, have a look...they're well worth a bookmark and a daily visit ... and, you won't have to go to Hawaii to follow the sun.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Follow The Sun!”

  • Mike vE3WDM:

    Good evening Steve, very nice blog piece one of the best things I took was a propagation coarse from the ARRL. They do not offer these anymore but I had my eyes opened to the mysteries of propagation.
    Mike

  • Steve VE7SL:

    FB Mike. There is such a plethora of realtime solar data now available that it’s almost another hobby in itself!

    Cheers & thanks for you comment.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

E-mail 
Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.



Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.


Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

 
We never share your e-mail address.

Please support our generous sponsors who make AmateurRadio.com possible:

KB3IFH QSL Cards

Hip Ham Shirts

Georgia Copper

Ham-Cram
Expert Linears

morseDX

Ni4L Antennas

N3ZN Keys

West Mountain
R&L Electronics


Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!


  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor




Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: