Dxers Unlimited’s mid week edition Tuesday July 24 2018
By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK
Hola amigos radioaficionados all around the world that are now watching a very long period of very low solar activity that according to the opinion of several experts is probably signalling the end of solar cycle 24…. one of the weakest solar cycles ever seen since the days when mankind started to use radio signals to communicate and broadcast. By the way scientists are now pretty sure that sunspots that belong to the upcoming solar cycle 25 have already been seen at locations and with magnetic polarity that gives no doubt to them belonging to solar cycle 25…
I am Arnie Coro, radio amateur CO2KK your host here at the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited coming to you from Havana with great love for our hobby, yours and mine… RADIO
Si amigos, long time listeners of Dxers Unlimited keep me up to date about many interesting radio hobby related events, and they also send opinions about our programs that help us to improve them… I am now going to read a recently received e’mail that came from Fort Pierce , Florida USA.
Hola Amigo Arnie,
De nada, 5040 works great here! That sounds great that you may add another 60 or even the 90 meter band broadcast. 6000 has been great here, too during the summer.
Then comes a comment about our science show, Breakthrough, that featured the installation in Cuba of solar powered deep wells pumps… Amigo Richard, the author of the message adds:
It’s amazing that the submersible pumps do not use batteries! Wow! Interesting to hear these are used to provide water for cattle farms. I wish we had submersible pumps in my neighborhood. I came home late one night from a work trip and the house had no running water. Not a drop. The houses in the neighborhood have wells and use electronic pumps to extract the water. I went into the garage and felt the pump and it felt hot. Turns out it was a capacitor in the pump and the next day the 15 year old pump was back in action.
The friendly exchange then moves to amateur radio, a hobby that amigo Richard is enjoying in many different ways, He adds:
Last weekend was the CQ Amateur Radio Magazine sponsored Worldwide VHF contest. I made some contacts on 6 meters SSB. Not as many as the ARRL VHF or Field Day contacts on 6 meters but still had lots of fun.
I had sent amigo Richard an e- mail that I am reading to you now…
> Hola amigo Ricardo:
> Muchas gracias, thanks a lot for your nice report of our lonely 60 meters band 5040 kHz frequency. We may add later into the end of the solar cycle another 60 meters band frequency or maybe a 90 meters band outlet around 3365 kHz for evening broadcasts. The Breakthrough show about the solar powered deep wells pumps was very interesting topic to learn about and then write the script. The submersible pumps are fed directly from the solar panels… no batteries are used… Cuba is installing hundreds of those solar powered water pumps to extract ground water, especially for providing enough water for cattle farms. 73 and DX Arnie
This is the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited and now our next topic…. It has to do about what can be done to continue to provide a high quality short wave broadcast within the region of the first hop via the F layer night time propagation when solar activity is at rock bottom levels… The service area of a short wave transmitter operating on the 90 and 60 meters bands is quite useful while running power output levels from as low as 10 kiloWatts and simple low cost omnidirectional antennas… As a matter of fact, during the tail end of solar cycle 22, Radio Rebelde , a Cuban national radio network ran an old three kiloWatts transmitter on 3365 kiloHertz, a frequency inside the 90 meters Tropical Band, and every evening that low power transmitter was clearly heard within an area of around fifteen hundred miles around Cuba…. Looking at the reports received during the time when the old Federal Radio Corporation World War Two original five kiloWatts transmitter was on the air from the former CUBARADIO site, I found out that by next year , and probably as early as september of this year , it would be a very good idea to run one of the veteran SNIEG 50 kiloWatts transmitter on 3365 kiloHertz or a nearby clear channel to provide additional coverage to our Spanish, English, French and Kreyol languages transmissions that may then be heard with better signals within a radius of about fifteen hundred to two thousand miles around Cuba…. If you are able to tune the 90 meters Tropical Band, listen to it searching for active stations from South America that can be heard in North and Central America, as well as all over the Caribbean starting about three to four hours after local sunset and until very near local sunrise.
Si amigos, this is the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited reaching you when the Sun is at a standstill… a very small short duration sunspot active region interrupted 24 days of zero sunspots, then it vanished, and once again Monday July 23 we are looking at a blank solar disc, while the daily solar flux continues to be at levels typical of the end of a solar cycle. During extended periods of very low solar activity we see more sporadic E layer band openings on the VHF region of the radio spectrum…. For example, Monday July 23, I picked up two FM Broadcast stations from the USA, that came riding on a high intensity sporadic E layer opening… The signals showed the typical severe fading, and what makes this report more interesting is that the two DX FM broadcast band stations were heard on our kitchen AM/FM and cassette tape set that is placed on top of the refrigerator… No external antenna …. just the telescopic whip was used, telling clearly that the sporadic E signals were very strong… By the way FM broadcast band Dxing is one of the more than 93 ways that you and I can enjoy this wonderful hobby amigos !
Also received several comments about the vanishing of the JT65 digital communications mode signals from the 20 meters amateur band…. It is quite clear now that the much faster mode, known as FT8 has captured the attention of many operators that found out about the much faster turnaround time for the FT8 digital mode contact…. Anyway, let me add that both JT65 and FT8 digital modes are totally automatic, the machines, the computers do all the job, and the operator just sits watching what happens…. And that is why I refuse to use both JT65 and FT8 digital modes…. A two way contact with someone listening at the other end of the communications link is in my opinion a much better way of enjoying this wonderful hobby … Your valuable opinions about the ongoing controversy between the use of FT8 and other digital automatic modes versus single side band voice, CW Morse Code radiotelegraphy or keyboard to keyboard modes like Olivia, PSK31, PSK63 and PSK125, will be most appreciated…. send them to inforhc at enet dot cu, againg inforhc at enet dot cu or Via Air Mail to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba….. and don’t forget to listen to our weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited next Sunday and part of Monday UTC days just after the top of hour newscast.