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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 10/23/2013 :  4:52 PM                       Like
As some of you may know I enjoy ham radio. Much of your success in making contacts in far off places has a lot to do with solar activity. For three years now the sun has been very quiet and making calls to far away places has been difficult. However for the past week old Sol woke up. Today the solar Flux Index is 152 and there are 252 sun spots. What that means is the upper levels of the atmosphere are being ionized and RF energy in the HF bands will be reflected back to earth a long way from their source.

Today I have had conversations on 10 meters to Guam, Japan, Austrailia, New Zealand. Madagascar and South Africa. The sun is setting now so it will soon be over but looking forward to tomorrow.

[URL=http://s272.photobucket.com/user/Axiom2000/media/HamShack002.jpg.html][/URL]

rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  6:19 AM
quote:
Today the solar Flux Index is 152 and there are 252 sun spots. What that means is the upper levels of the atmosphere are being ionized and RF energy in the HF bands will be reflected back to earth a long way from their source.

Can't help but admit that that is counterintuitive to me. Solar activity, in my mind, has always been associated with disruptions.

Decades back, before the CB craze I got an FCC(??) license to operate a CB radio. I think it was more a registration than a license since I do not recall any exam associated with it. On cloudy nights I could also get some real distance in talking to someone on the CB. Once the craze hit that went out the window. You were lucky to not have your transmissions stepped on by the guy driving down the street asking for a radio check every 2 seconds. If they added something to boost power the bleed over from other channels just added to the frustration.

I actually considered a ham license but if memory serves me Morse Code was part of the test. Is it / was it part of the license requirements?



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aa6vh
Male Standard Member
165 Posts


Oxnard, CA
USA

Suzuki

Burgman 650

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  8:43 AM
quote:
Originally posted by rayg50

[quote]Is it / was it part of the license requirements?




In the past, you were tested on Morse code to get a Ham license. Morse code is now no longer required.
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aa6vh
Male Standard Member
165 Posts


Oxnard, CA
USA

Suzuki

Burgman 650

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  8:46 AM
Axiom,

Nice setup. What kind of antennae system are you using?
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17375 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  8:56 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
When I got my Ham license I was unable to advance because of the Morse code requirement. (There are several levels of license available.)

Thought I was doing pretty good with a couple of different rigs (one on my motorcycle) - until I learned that Axiom2000 actually was successful in getting a CQ confirmation card for connecting with the space station guys.

That's quite an accomplishment.
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onthebeach
Male Standard Member
118 Posts


Arch Cape, Oregon
USA

BMW

R 1200 RT

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  9:01 AM
Very nice station shown. Over here on the Pacific coast we have a pretty easy shot to Australia and nearby places and when 10 meters is in the voice quality is like making a phone call. Other bands don't depend quite so much on the sun but do demand a large antenna if you hope to work Europe from here with any ease (on SSB anyway).

Morse Code has not been a requirement for a long time. It was when I was licensed and the 20 word per minute was definitely the most difficult task I have ever undertaken. Far harder than any college class I have had. Fortunately (my opinion) that has been dropped and it is no longer a barrier to entry.

I have thought that getting APRS on my bike would be nice so that my wife could track me when I am out riding. Due to the poor antenna I don't think the very low wattage small trackers would be useful in the rural areas I ride. I would like to see how a compact 25 watt APRS unit would work.

73, Dale, K7FW
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  12:18 PM Follow poster on Twitter
When I was in the Navy...a few years ago...U.S. based Ham operators were some of our best friends. The only way we had of making "phone calls" from the middle of the ocean, whichever one it may be, was through the MARS radio network. Basically, our radio shack would contact a U.S. Ham operator, they in turn would make a collect call to your family and then through some form of magic, their phone would be connected to the Ham Radio and you could communicate with your family. We were very limited as to what we could say due to OPSEC regs but it was a lifesaver when you needed to make an emergency phone call to home.

today, with satellite phones, the internet and Skype, et.al. our military has no idea the difficulty we faced during long deployments. Not complaining, that's a good thing. Everyone used to pray for the right weather and a good connection with a MARS operator.

So...for all of Old Salts, thank you Axiom and others for what you did/do for us.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 10/24/2013 :  4:40 PM
quote:
Nice setup. What kind of antennae system are you using?


Have a 5 element 6 band Beam on a telescoping mast full up it goes to 55 feet. The HF is a Yaesu, 2000D that I drive a VL-1000 Linear Amp to 1000 watts. So when the conditions are right I can get out fairly good. This 10 meter opening we are experiencing has been great I hope it lasts.

quote:
Can't help but admit that that is counterintuitive to me. Solar activity, in my mind, has always been associated with disruptions.


It certainly can be, expecially if the solar radiation is from a solar flare.
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