Well, No Magic Today


... it seems. It really does take an extraordinary amount of F-layer density to reflect rather than refract 6m RF. With this afternoon's somewhat late arrival of an earlier CME, perhaps tomorrow's F2 spike will be higher.

The global ionospheric (foF2) map today, around 1100 local time, shows a critical frequency of about 12MHz over central North America. This is the frequency at which RF, when shot straight up, will be reflected straight back to earth. This number can generally be used to find the F2 MUF when multiplied by 3.6, which, in today's case would be around 43.2MHz.

Courtesy: http://www.ips.gov.au/HF_Systems/6/5
The highest F2 MUF that I heard today was, very briefly, 43.400MHz...Spanish...from where I have no idea but likely from Central America or Florida.

With the solar flux continuing to remain high, so are my hopes for the next few days but I suspect that any openings could be missed, should you blink!
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Well, No Magic Today”

  • Hans (BX2ABT):

    I had to think about you this weekend! No spectacular conditions at all. In fact, it seemed someone turned off the ionosphere. My 6 meter antenna is already down, so I didn’t check that band, but I did manage one CW contact on 10m with W1AW/KH6 who came in S1 one minute and S6 the other. It was actually okay as I did a lot of chores in and around the shack. Tying up loose ends is satisfying as well.

  • Peter kg5wy:

    Bottom line. I just turn the radio on.
    If conditions are bad, I turn it off.
    If conditions are good, I have fun.

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