Solar Storm Forecast 06-21-2015

The Sun sends multiple M-flares and 3 solar storms our way this week as two regions on the solar disk keep us on our toes. The first solar storm should hit starting on June 22 with the next two hitting on June 23 and June 24. This means we will have strong aurora possibilities through the entire week. However the amateur radio bands and GPS operators will likely have further degradation along with the intermittent radio blackouts they are already experiencing during large flares. In addition, we are experiencing a radiation storm due to a solar eruption back on June 18. This ongoing radiation storm has dropped below storm levels, but further causes issues for amateur radio and GPS operators, especially at high latitudes. Learn the details of this radiation storm and the three solar storms that are on their way to Earth, how they will affect you, and see what else the Sun has in store for us this week.

RAC Canada Day Contest 2015


Each year on July 1, the anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, Radio Amateurs of Canada sponsors the Canada Day Contest. Amateurs all over the world are invited to Canada’s Birthday Party on the air.

Please see the following link for all the details and rules.

The Balcony Mounted Magnetic Loop Antenna

A NEC Model Comparative Analysis of Physical Orientation and Performance

by Dr. Carol F. Milazzo, KP4MD (posted 12 June 2015)

The small magnetic loop is a useful compromise antenna for limited space and portability.  For this reason, the magnetic loop antenna is a practical high frequency antenna solution for the restricted space of apartment dwellers.  Little has been written on the effect of antenna orientation on performance in this scenario.  This study presents a comparative 4nec21 model analysis on the effect of orientation of magnetic loop antennas mounted on an apartment building window or balcony with regard to antenna radiation pattern and efficiency.

You can see the entire article at the following link.


JT 65 mode


Doing some JT-65 on a Thursday evening, getting some decent DX contacts with my Flex 3000 connected to my MFJ Magloop antenna. I am near Toronto.

I managed to work Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Russia.

JT65, developed and released in late 2003, is intended for extremely weak but slowly varying signals, such as those found on troposcatter or Earth-Moon-Earth (EME, or “moonbounce”) paths. It can decode signals many decibels below the noise floor in a 2500 Hz band (note that SNR in a 2500 Hz band is approximately 28 dB lower than SNR in a 4 Hz band, which is closer to the channel bandwidth of an individual JT65 tone), and can often allow amateurs to successfully exchange contact information without signals being audible to the human ear. Like the other modes, multiple-frequency shift keying is employed; unlike the other modes, messages are transmitted as atomic units after being compressed and then encoded with a process known as forward error correction (or “FEC”). The FEC adds redundancy to the data, such that all of a message may be successfully recovered even if some bits are not received by the receiver. (The particular code used for JT65 is Reed-Solomon.) Because of this FEC process, messages are either decoded correctly or not decoded at all, with very high probability. After messages are encoded, they are transmitted using MFSK with 65 tones.

Solar Storm Forecast 06-11-2015

The Sun has kicked things into high gear this week with a new active region rotating onto the East limb (that has already given us an M-flare since the video was shot) and with a new Earth-directed solar storm that should graze Earth on June 12. See details of this coming solar storm, catch up on some gorgeous aurora pictures from the solar storm last week, and see what else the Sun has in store for us this week.

Broadband-Hamnet MESH network working with Asterisk

Another great MESH video from Chris (VE3SKH)

Running a Broadband-Hamnet ( BBHN ) MESH network at home, I have connected a Cisco SPA525G SIP enabled VoIP phone to a Raspberry Pi running the RasPBX Asterisk software. Then, using a WiFi hotspot connected to the MESH network, I am able to connect my Android Nexus 5 phone and make a VoIP call to it. This project is designed to help the broadband-hamnet community in creating solutions for emergency and disaster preparedness, and separate ham networks. Filmed via YouTube Capture.