Author Archives: KD2KPE

The K7RA Solar Update


No sunspots are visible so far in November, and as of November 9 we have seen nine days of blank sun. But the past few days had strong geomagnetic activity, with planetary A index on November 7-9 at 36, 47 and 20, and so far on early November 10, at 21. 28 is the predicted planetary A index for November 10.

According to, 24 percent of 2017 so far (76 days) have seen zero sunspots. In all of 2016 there were only 32 days (9 percent) with no sunspots. There were no periods in 2015 with no visible sunspot activity.

Average daily sunspot number dropped from 17.7 last week to zero this week, November 2-8. Average daily solar flux declined from 75.4 to 70.8. Average daily planetary A index changed from 6.4 to 15.6, and average mid-latitude A index rose from 4.7 to 12.4.

Predicted solar flux is 66 on November 10-11, 68 on November 12-13, 70 on November 14-17, 75 on November 18-30, 72 on December 1, 71 on December 2-3, 70 on December 4-10, then 71, 72, 73, 73 and 74 on December 11-15, and 75 on December 16-24.

Predicted planetary A index is 28, 24, 12, and 8 on November 10-13, then 5, 16, 12 and 10 on November 14-17, 5 on November 18-19, 20 on November 20-22, 5 on November 23-28, 10 on November 29-30, 5 on December 1-2, 10 and 27 on December 3-4, 30 on December 5-6, then 28, 25 and 10 on December 7-9, 5 on December 10-11, 10 on December 12-14, 5 on December 15-16, 20 on December 17-19, and 5 on December 20-24.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period November 10 to December 6, 2017 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH of the Czech Propagation Interest Group compiling this geomagnetic activity weekly forecast since 1978.

“Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on November 13-14, 19, 24-28, December 2-3
Mostly quiet on November 18, December 1
Quiet to unsettled on November 16, 20, 23, 29
Quiet to active on November 12, 15, 17, 30, December 30, December 4, 6
Active to disturbed on November 10-11, 21-22, December 5

Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on November 11-15, (16-19,), 20-24, (29-30,) and on December (1-5,) 6-8.

– Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
– Current forecasts remain less reliable.”

Also we got this from Tomas Bayer of the Department of Geomagnetism at Budkov observatory, also in the Czech Republic.

“Geomagnetic activity summary:
At the Budkov observatory, we observed a minor storm event on November 7, peaking at 1842 UTC. After this event, the conditions are between unsettled to active and through November 10 we expect the same level. Further, we expect at most unsettled conditions til Sunday, November 12, and probably an unsettled event at the end of the forecast period, Thursday, November 16.

Between Monday, November 13, and Tuesday, November 15, we expect at most quiet conditions only with minor unsettled event.”

Hisako Koyama appears in the news again this week. Check out “Ms. Hisako Koyama: From Amateur Astronomer to Long-Term Solar Observer” at .

Check out this article about an unusual solar event:

Bruce Smith, AC4G of Taft, Tennessee wrote: “In April 2013, I was so excited to hear and make a QSO with VK9CZ, Cocos Keeling on 80-meter CW as reported in the ARRL Propagation Report. The VK9CZ signal appeared suddenly out of nowhere with 579 signals at my sunset 2343Z via long path. Other stateside operators made the QSO including N4II who studied the technical aspects (science) and wrote a few articles on the path of the VK9CZ signal at grey line for April 2013.

“Recently, in Nov 2017, 4 years and 7 months later, VK9CZ put on another DXpedition to Cocos Keeling. To my surprise, I heard their signals once again pop out of nowhere on 80 CW at my sunset (from 2235Z until 2325Z) early-November renewing my excitement. The signals long path (SE Beverage antenna) were surpassing 599. I could not pass another chance to say hello this year by giving the op on that side a 599-signal report. His sigs peaked via long path at 10dBs over S9 at my Taft, TN QTH this year Nov 2017. Perhaps Fall long path sigs are better than April sigs? There were several stateside hams who made the 1 November logs on 80 meters. The online log only showed about 36 QSOs in North America who had made the logs according to the Clublog statistics that I was monitoring.

“On 5 November, I could barely hear the VK9CZ signals long path via SE Beverage antenna. Since then, a few other lucky operators logged an 80m QSO via LP with VK9CZ for a total of 71 80m QSOs as late as 6 November.

“November 6 was one of their last operating periods closing out their operation with another long path opening. The VK9CZ signals peaked via LP about 539 on this day in Taft, Tennessee. All other days not described above, there were no apparent signals being received at my location in southern Tennessee on 80 meters.

“My observations revealed one great long path opening at my sunset and one mediocre opening, while the other long path openings were nil to barely readable. As it was in 2013, both VK9CZ and my home were in sunlight for both QSOs taking advantage of another sunrise enhancement.

“I also monitored 160 meters on days no sigs were heard on 80 meters, but not a whisper from the VK9CZ 160 meter signals at my sunset on many days monitored, or when 160-meter cluster spots indicated VK9CZ operations on 160 meters.

“By the time the readers read this, the DXpedition will have ended. Hopefully, the next few years may bring other surprises on 80 and 160 meters for us all renewing the DX Spirit for all low band operators.”

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at More good information and tutorials on propagation are at

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at

Sunspot numbers for November 2 through 8, 2017 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 73.6, 73.2, 72.1, 71.1, 69.4, 68.3, and 67.6, with a mean of 70.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 9, 4, 3, 2, 36, and 47, with a mean of 15.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 12, 7, 2, 1, 0, 26, and 39, with a mean of 12.4.

REMINDER: SMARA Board Nominations 2017-2018

Nominations are still open for the 2017 – 2018 SMARA board.

If you are interested in nominating someone or would like to be on the SMARA board, please email

James MacMurray (N2UZQ) with your nomination. You can email him at:

Nomination close at the end of the next business meeting on September 21.

Nominations for the 2017 – 2018 Board are now open!

Please be aware that the Nominations for the 2017 – 2018 Board are now open.
If you would like to run for a position or would like to nominate
someone , please email James MacMurray ( and he will mark
down your nomination. If you have any questions, those too may be directed to James. Nominations will be closed at the end of the September business meeting.

Maccabi Games – Need Operators Tuesday AM, August 8

The Maccabi Games are just a week away and as yet I have not yet heard from you about your availability. At the moment we have an urgent need for operators on Tuesday morning (Aug 8). I am hoping you might be able to assist. All openings are indoors (basketball & swimming) with relief available at mid-day.

Please let me know if you can help fill these slots.


Hope to see you tomorrow at the orientation meeting in Clarksville.

Dave Galletly KM2O

Maccabi Orientation TOMORROW Aug 1 7:30 PM

A reminder that the orientation session for the Amateur Communications Unit at the Maccabi Games is TOMORROW EVENING. The session will be held at the Albany County Sheriff’s Office at 58 Verda Ave, Clarksville at 7:30 pm.

Credential and T-shirt pickup will take place at this meeting. Please note, for security reasons, that a valid photo ID must be in your possession at all times during the games along with your games issued credential. The T-shirt issued will also need to be worn while you are on duty.
If you are unable to attend please let me know ASAP since we will have to arrange for an alternate pickup of these materials.
Thanks and see you Tuesday evening!
David Galletly KM2O
ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern New York

VE Session Today, Sunday June 18, 2017

VE Session Today, Sunday June 18, 2017
12 Noon, please arrive a few minutes early. Rear of the building,
Shaker Road Fire Department
550 Albany Shaker Rd
Loudonville NY 12211-2100
Sponsor: Capital Area Radio Enthusiasts
Date: Jun 18 2017
Time: 12:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)

ARRL Kids Day is Today, June 18th!

Twice a year, ARRL offers an event designed to promote Amateur Radio to our youth. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public!

Kids Day is designed to give on-the-air experience to young people and hopefully foster interest in getting a license of their own. It is also intended to give older hams a chance to share their station and love for Amateur Radio with their children.

Kids Day always runs from 1800 UTC (2:00PM EDT) through 2359 (7:59 PM EDT) UTC. Operate as much or as little as you like.

For more information visit the ARRL website at

Field Day 2017

Field Day 2017 is coming up this weekend! We will be holding a joint event with the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association (SARA) at the Niskayuna Soccer Park on Zenner Road (see map).  This year, SARA’s (K2AE) will be the main call sign will be the main call sign, while SMARA’s (W2IR) will be used for the GOTA station.

Field Day Set Up will be on Friday June 23 at 12:00pm. Please come down and lend a hand as there is so much to do! Any help is greatly appreciated.

Field Day starts at 2 PM EST on Saturday, June 24th and continues for 24 hours, ending June 25th at 2PM EST.  At that time we will need help breaking down and paacking up.

Field Day is open to the public and guests.  Operators are needed and encouraged!  Take the opportunity to gain invaluable experience on HF bands, CW and digital modes under the guidance of highly experienced Hams.  Bring family!  Bring a friend!


What is Field Day?

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada.  On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

Field Day is a picnic, a camp out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities.

It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.

We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walk-a-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums —these are all large, pre-planned,non-emergency activities.

But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems —or maybe because they ARE so complex—ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations