It was another noisy night as the storm system that has plagued North America for much of the previous week in one way or another moved into the Gulf of Mexico. This system has been very slow moving and given many stations a taste of the potential noise levels to come this summer. A G2 magnetic storm that upset magnetometers during the morning yesterday appears to have only had a minimal impact on propagation, perhaps adding a necessary spark at lower latitudes. Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported good band conditions while in full sun, prior to the storm noise propagating into his Florida location. Solar wind persists above 500 km/s and the Bz has been variable through the session.
Mark, WA9ETW, reported a high noise level with few signals being reported at his station as a result. He was successful at hearing VE3OT/B during the evening, however.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, is proof that the band was open during the session, with a report from WH2XCR. John submitted the following comments and provided a map of his activity.
Mike, WA3TTS, adds further support that the band was open with his report of an open path to WH2XCR.
WSPR activity was typical worldwide, with 80 MF WSPR stations observed at 0330z on the WSPRnet activity page.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdown’s follow:
There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session. UA0SNV and ZS1JEN were present but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
EA8/DL9XJ reported a large number of stations across Europe during this session. David, G0MRF, reports that his transmissions were from his portable commercial antenna site. He had a very strong session. Pictures and an email report follow the complete EA8 dataset below.
Eden, ZF1EJ, was successful in reporting a few stations as the gulf storms approach from the West.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to provide and receive baffling reports in spite of the auroral conditions. KL7L was designated as receive-only during this session.
In Hawaii, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received reports once again from John, VK2XGJ, and sees a return of reciprocity in the path to VK4YB. The path to the eastern US was open, including a report for WG2XKA in Vermont.
In Australia Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB, receive reports from WH2XCR. Phil receives additional reports from JH3XCU and TNUKJPM.
Jim, W5EST, presents a very timely discussion entitled, “STATION LIGHTNING PROTECTION”:
“A lot of us, me included, know there’s important reading material out there but there’s just so extensively much of it! Today’s post points to the first of a 3-Part series on station lightning protection by Ron Block, KB2UYT. QST carried it June-August, 2002. http://www.arrl.org/lightning-protection I’ve written this in my own words based on the ideas I learned. Write to us with corrections and further tips from your own experience to include in a future blogpost!
Make lightning strike energy go to earth and away from your station. Radio professionals protect exposed installations and service continues. An only partly-protected radio station risks much damage.
In the shack, define what priority items to protect. Usually TX and RX units are high priority, tuner is medium and antenna/transmission line are lower priority.
MAKE A STATION BLOCK DIAGRAM SHOWING LINES TO PROTECT
Make an accurate block diagram of all shack equipment units with the precise connections shown between labeled blocks and indicate the top priority units like expensive TX, RX or transceiver equipment. Diagram every receiver, transmitter, amplifier, transceiver, antenna tuner, and coax switch as blocks with their connections to each other, to the top priority units and to antennas. Label the feed line highest and lowest MHz, write in the max amount of RF power, and type of each connector. Draw feedlines and other lines leaving shack as labeled lines to edge of the block diagram.
Diagram any other electronic devices, showing connections between them. Look behind equipment, find and diagram all connections. Include power supplies, computers, controllers, modems, network routers and hubs, etc. If AC power connects to a block or acts as an AC extension cord or extended AC wiring, draw a line to the diagram edge and label it with its voltage and current. If a feed line carries DC or AC control power as well as RF power, show peak AC/DC voltage and current. Show any control lines to electronics elsewhere in house or outdoors, and to relays, lighting, rotators, other motors. Diagram any connection to any type of wiring to elsewhere in house, to telephone or DSL line or cable TV/modem, and connection to antenna for GPS, TV, or satellite.
Diagram every electrical conductor or conductive object within a few feet of a shack radio unit(up/down/sideways/forward/back) whether electrically connected to it or not. Examples: telephone on shack desk, computer, keyboard, mouse, unused wall AC or cable outlet out of sight, plumbing, anything listed earlier above.
Draw a closed loop boundary around all the diagram blocks to reveal all of the lines going through the boundary to the edge of the diagram. Lightning-protect all such lines with line protectors grounded together.
Your body conducts electricity and breaches the boundary, so don’t touch shack equipment or conductors during a thunderstorm. A lightning strike has ~3-4 pulses rising within a few microseconds per pulse separated by ~50 millisecond intervals. 40 to 90 Tstorm days a year can be expected in USA locations in the block-shaped geography NM-IA-VA-FL-NM, with Florida the most. A 75’ tower in a region of 50 Tstorm days/year will be struck once a year on average.
More tomorrow. Stay safe!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!