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Author Topic: Is It Just Me... (Propagation rant)  (Read 1156 times)

Offline ka1iic

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Is It Just Me... (Propagation rant)
« on: November 21, 2015, 0347 UTC »
Why is it that the propagation these days seems so much worse than any of the sun spot minimums of the past that I remember???

Is it just me or has my memory gone QRT?

When there is a band opening it always seems to be north to south and seldom east to west or south to north...  This has been bothering me since January of this year... maybe I am just fruity or more fruity than my 'norm'.

Seems weird to me because I am using a vertical antenna these days and not my typical 80 meter dipole <south west/ north east> fed with open wire line. It's almost like someone is using a HARPP unit and burning out selective parts of the atmospheric layers <cue 'Twilight Zone' music> So help me... someone does not want me to work to the east coast from here in Ohio...  Maybe Doctor Poo is putting up massive shields to keep my signal radiating to the south only...  the Doctor does know my Spanish is lacking greatly  grrrrrrrrr

Want to know why I play my music so loud?  It's simple really, the loud music makes it impossible for me to hear the voices in my head ;-)

Well got to go... they have my cage cleaned out and.....

I really would like someone to explain the south only propagation thingie...  it's driving me nutz...  Is anyone else noticing this weird propagation that I am having?
73 Vince
KA1IIC

"If you can't be anything, you can at least be annoying"

Troy, Ohio. 20m Vertical & low long wire E/W, Yaesu FT-187ND, SDRplay 2, Ratt Shack 2 meter rig, and other little bits of electronics I'm not talking about, homebrewed and otherwise... so there bleech!

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Is It Just Me... (Propagation rant)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 1741 UTC »
I think there's a few factors at work here. First, the ionization level has been pretty weak, especially now that we're entering winter. Here's a graph of the foF2 value for Wallops Island VA, which you can consider typical for the east coast of the US (the blue line are today's readings so far:



This is the highest frequency that will be reflected for a vertically incident signal (straight up and down). Higher frequencies at more shallow angles will be reflected. Once this drops much below 7 MHz, NVIS for the 43 meter band effectively shuts down. Notice how it sits around 4 MHz for much of the night. This is when the band has "gone long". You'll hear distant stations, but nothing within a few hundred or even a thousand miles of your QTH.  You can view the current data here: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/IONO/rt-iono/realtime/WP937_foF2.png

Second, here's a map of the foF2 values:



As you can see, they are higher to our south. This could explain why you are getting better propagation from the south, vs east or west.

And don't forget, it is only November. It's going to get much worse as we get further into winter.  May I suggest MW or even LW DXing  ;D
Chris Smolinski
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Offline ka1iic

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Re: Is It Just Me... (Propagation rant)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 2138 UTC »
Thank Chris....

That makes sense,  I never paid much attention to propagation forecasts and the like I always went by if I can hear them I could work them.  With the number of Shortwave targets decreasing it's beginning to be more important to me.  That and the fact that I am getting soooo much older and my patients wearing thinner than onion skin paper well... you get the idea <heh>

In the 'good old days' I use to listen to the SW stations around 4MHZ to 5.5MHZ but there are so few I could hear here because of the high noise level.  Time to build up a loop antenna I guess. Trying to DX long wave here is a sure fire way to win a trip to the funny farm.  Sometimes I miss my old QTH in 'nowhere, Maine' but I can't deal with the winters any more <sigh>  I hope to get to move to SE Asia soon but still have to wait a bit to take care of CONUS stuff.

Anyway, have a great day and a better tomorrow!
73 Vince
KA1IIC

"If you can't be anything, you can at least be annoying"

Troy, Ohio. 20m Vertical & low long wire E/W, Yaesu FT-187ND, SDRplay 2, Ratt Shack 2 meter rig, and other little bits of electronics I'm not talking about, homebrewed and otherwise... so there bleech!