Dxers Unlimited’s weekend program
for Sunday July 8 2018
By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK
Hola amigos radioaficionados… hi my radio hobby friends all around the world… YES, it is time, right now to enjoy about ten minutes of all radio hobby related information coming to you from Havana, Cuba. I am your host, Arnaldo, Arnie , Coro and here is item one of today’s show: Very good news about the present and future of amateur radio here in Cuba…. Results of the most recent amateur radio license tests follow.
Joel Carrazana Valdés CO6JC the webmaster of the Federación de Radioaficionados de Cuba (FRC) has posted the results of the amateur radio exams in Cuba
323 candidates took the ham radio exams for one of the three categories of amateur radio tests in the first half of 2018 and 310 obtained a license. This is an increase in candidates over last year. The overall pass rate was an impressive 95.97%. I have no doubt that the very high marks are due to the Amateur Radio Academy Program implemented at the Cuban radio clubs for the past several years… For your information…
There are three license categories in Cuba:
CO 1st Category – All bands with up to 2,000 watts output
CM 2nd Category – HF/VHF/UHF with up to 100 watts output
CL 3rd Category – part of 1.8/3.5/5/7/144 MHz bands with 10 watts output
The number of exam passes for the three license categories were: 36 category 1, 53 category 2, 221 category 3.
The pass rates for the three levels of exams were:
92.3% category 1,
94.6% category 2,
96.9% category 3
In all cases, the examination was carried out with the formalities required by this act and characterized by the solemnity and respect that has always been present.”
So, we will soon have more Cuban stations on the HF bands as those third class licensees that upgrade will start operating especially on the 40 meters band.
High frequency HF bands propagation conditions continue to be very poor due to the extremely low solar activity, with several consecutive days with a totally blank Solar disc. During Friday and Saturday weekend propagation on the HF bands was very poor. Si amigos, yes , no surprise as this is typical of the tail end of a solar cycle, nothing abnormal at all… but it is certainly quite disgusting to tune around the short wave spectrum and hear nothing or very weak signals that only sophisticated digital modes can pick up!!! According to the most recent forecasts, next year it is going to be worse , with extended periods of much lower solar activity, that may combine with solar events that will further disrupt propagation conditions. Now, the HF bands from 7 to 30 megaHertz will show the the typical summer season patterns of the Northern Hemisphere and the winter patterns will be showing up in the Southern Hemisphere. For those of us that live North of the Equator, one of the most interesting effects of summer propagation is a consequence of the lower electron density of the ionosphere… At times during the winter months in solar minimum years the maximum usable frequency at night may drop even below the six megaHertz band amigos !!! More about medium wave band and short wave bands propagation at the end of the program.
Now here is item two: Producing very valuable results is a very original application that runs on practically any computer that makes possible to see the results of the REVERSE BEACON NETWORK… an amazing achievement accomplished by volunteer amateur radio operators from many countries around the world. I won’t attempt to describe here how the receiving stations that are known as ¨skimmers¨ automatically pick up amateur CW Morse radiotelegraphy and RTTY signals that are calling CQ, and then also by means of an automated subrutine measure the CW transmission speed and the signal to noise ratio… If it sounds to you as science fiction, it is certainly not, and the Reverse Beacon Network is adding yet another tool to monitor digital modes in order to learn more about the extremely complex phenomena that make possible ionospheric short wave propagation… You may want to visit the home page of the Reverse Beacon Network after calling CQ on CW if you already are an amateur radio station operator and just learn , for example, what is happening when your friend Arnie Coro called CQ on the ham bands the last time he was on the air…. Just type the following URL on your Internet browser search line:
Then when the site opens and asks for whom you are looking, type the callsign and you will see the latest spots on each of the ham bands where that station called CQ…
Now stay tuned for more radio hobby related information coming to you from sunny La Habana , Cuba
Sí , sure, this is Radio Havana Cuba coming to you via short wave and also from the streaming audio at www. radiohc.cu I am Arnie Coro and here is now the next item of the weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited…
Here is now ASK ARNIE, la numero uno, the most popular section of the show… answering today a question sent by listeners from the United States, Mexico, Canada, Argentina Barbados, Nigeria, South Africa and the Netherlands… they all wanted to know if possible when solar activity will again reach levels of solar flux past the 100 units mark..
Well amigos, this is quite a challenging question that may lead to yet another controversy, because there are many opinions as regards to WHEN the new solar cycle enters into its most active phase reaching the 100 average solar flux units that will surely improve the HF bands propagation. Some gurus say that solar cycle 25 will be even worse than this present very poor cycle 24… with the Sun entering into a new Dalton minimum !!!
Add to the complexity of the answer the fact that one must listen to widely different criteria by solar physics experts…