Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Aurora and Es email warnings and more solar activity

First of all, I am pleased with this ...
Stavros is a real gent. He had the patience to deal with awkward conditions and everybody else stood aside and waited. The amateur spirit remains alive and well in some places anyway. To begin with it was scratchy, but once we got going the frequency cleared and it was quite easy in the end.

There was an aurora last night, but at 03:00 local times, which is not ideal for me or the rest of Europe.

The Nordic magnetometer stackplot looked interesting yesterday  ...
 ... and the satellite based GOES magnetometer detected another solar event which looks likely to make today and tomorrow interesting too ...
Time will tell whether anything else happens and if it is not at 03:00 - a time when good citizens of this part of the world are firmly asleep in their scratcher.

Now, I have signed up to get Es warning emails with titles like this...

Thu 1459 UTC: 70 MHz E-skip Alert - 4 m Band open from CS5BALG to F4CXO on 70159.0 kHz

Inside the email is a link to a cluster site with Es reports. This handy service is offered by Allard, PE1NWL. You can sign up at his site "GoodDX - the home of the DX Robot". I think it is a great idea and I would not be without it - but I need to turn it off if I am away from the shack otherwise I get annoyed by what I might be missing.

OK, sometimes they are not so effective - they are triggered by the early contacts of an opening and maybe not representative of what comes later, but that is not the point. They just alert you to what is happening.

It takes a couple of contacts before they are activated, as you do get 40 metre band contacts posted on the 4 metre band cluster by mistake. And that one above is a French listener hearing a Portuguese beacon, which is interesting but maybe not what points the way to conditions here. Still, I like them.

I also sometimes get things like this ...

Sun 1223 UTC: 70 MHz E-skip Alert - 4 m Band open from CS5BALG/B to GM4FVM on 70159.0 kHz

I knew about that one. More often they are QSOs rather than beacon reports.

The DX Robot also does aurora warnings and you can choose whether you only want high latitude ones (if you are fairly far North) or lower latitude ones (say, in England or further South). At 56N my QTH is a bit borderline [in many ways]. I did choose to get the high latitude warnings even though that means I get warnings for openings which really only affect Nordic stations. It is good to be alerted. Their titles look like this ...


Once again in the text of the email you have a link to the GoodDX site and their aurora listings.

Well, I find them useful anyway.



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