Sunday, May 10, 2009

Propogation Report

Propagation Report from Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP
10 May, 2009

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be very low. The geomagnetic field is expected to be predominantly at quiet levels. The expected Effective Sun Spot number for the coming week will be less than 5.
Currently the surface of the sun is blank, and there are no sunspots. We are indeed experiencing a very deep minimum. The sun's failure to produce sunspots is playing havoc with some frequency prediction programs that use stored sunspot values and, of course, with our HF communications as well. The frequency prediction programs tend to give optimistic results and must be treated with caution.
The imminent change of season with less energy from the sun reaching the southern ionosphere is having an impact on propagation as well. 15, 17 and 20 m will provide best opportunities for DX. Conditions to the east and the west will be good from the early afternoon onwards.
During the late afternoon and early evenings it will be good towards the north. The northeasterly, northwesterly, southeasterly and southwesterly paths will be challenging.
Long path propagation towards the USA is also possible. 10 MHz is looking promising late afternoon and after dark for the CW and digital enthusiasts. Local conditions are going to be good on 40 m during the day time. 80 m may perform well during the early mornings and late afternoons over the shorter distances, e.g. between ZS5 and ZS6. 30 m may perform well during the middle of the day between ZS6 and ZS1.
With winter on its way, 20 m is preparing for hibernation but may still give surprising results up to lunchtime. 80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings. Unfortunately, the static noise levels are still a bit high, making contacts over the longer distances a bit challenging.
Remember that this is only a prediction and that HF has the capability to pleasantly surprise you - but you will never know unless you switch your rig on, listen and also call CQ.
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South African Radio League
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50wpm Recording #84