Dxers Unlimited weekend edition for Sunday 27 January 2019

By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados,, hello radio hobby fans… yes, you are now listening to the weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited, coming to you from Radio Havana Cuba. I am your host Arnaldo, Arnie , Coro and here is now item one of the program….

The annual 160 meter band worldwide contest began at 00 UTC Saturday under very interesting propagation conditions. Several Cuban amateur radio stations participated by joining efforts from several experienced low bands Dxers. In Mayabeque province two stations were on the air, one from the Santa Cruz del Norte radio club and the other one organized by the Cuban CW Operators Club that was able to set up a very nice station at a farm near the town of La Salud.

Other 160 meters band contest participants went on the air from locations in central and eastern Cuba. The annual CQ World Wide CW 160 meters band contest provides a unique opportunity for radio amateur operators to add new DX entities to their logs. Due to the low frequency wavelength operation on 160 meters requires a lot of space to install the large size antennas needed to transmit efficiently on that band…

Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, a half wave dipole cut for the low end of 160 meters, say to one thousand eight hundred and fifty kilohertz has an overall length of seventy seven point three meters and in order for that antenna to produce the low angle radiation essential for working DX it must be installed at no less than 25 meters from the ground…

If you install the half wave dipole as an inverted V, the center of the antenna must be at no less than 35 meters from the ground, and the ends must be anchored to masts of no less than 10 meters length. Now you realize why 160 meters band as well as 630 meters and 2200 meters band are so challenging for the average city dweller that does not have enough space available to install even a minimum size end loaded dipole at the home QTH,

Si amigos, yes my friends, this is the weekend edition of your favorite radio hobby program heard via shortwave and also via our streaming audio feed from http://www.radiohc.cu…

Now here is our next item: Friday evening local time, just after 0100 hours UTC I started to monitor the 160 meters band for contest activity, and sure enough lots of CW stations calling CQ Test…. it was very interesting to monitor the segment between one thousand eight hundred and twenty to one thousand eight hundred and thirty kiloHertz, also known as the 160 meters band DX window…. Using my 88 feet overall length dipole fed with open wire 450 ohms feedline reception was rather good at my residential neighborhood location, where the background noise level rarely exceeds the S 4 level…

Then Saturday morning I woke up early as usual and found signals at the low end of 160 meters from the southern and central USA states and several Caribbean islands, that simply vanished shortly after sunrise, as expected.

Sad news , long time CW operator CO2EX Professor Eduardo Perez passed away recently. Ed was among the best CW operators on the air from Cuba, and listening to a two way QSO between him and CO7EH , also named Eduardo who passed away last year was a really amazing experience, as both could hold a two way contact at no less than thirty five words per minute producing clean perfectly sent characters…. CO2EX was a long time radioman aboard several Cuban merchant marine ships, and when he retired from ocean going adventures the Cuban Naval Academy, Academia Naval Granma of the Cuban Navy, hired him as the head of the CW training program.

Coming down to Earth for repairs, the Amateur TV module used by the International Space Station is now undergoing tests in order to find out if it can be fixed. If the ATV unit is beyond repair the funding to buy, test and send up a new module must be found. Voice communications with astronauts and cosmonauts of the ISS continue on 145.800 simplex FM mode.  A new packet radio module was sent aboard a cargo ship and will soon be installed and tested.

And now a short form solar activity report and HF bands propagation conditions. A new Sunspot group numbered as  2733 appeared on Tuesday, 22 January after many days of a spotless Sun. The sunspot number went to 18, and on Wednesday it increased in size with a sunspot number of 19, which was also the sunspot number on Thursday, January 24.

By the way, active region 2733 is for sure a remnant of old Solar Cycle 24.

Average daily sunspot numbers increased to 5.3, from 0 the previous week. Average daily solar flux increased slightly from 69.4 to 69.8.

Average daily planetary A index increased from 4.9 to 5.9, while mid-latitude A index was unchanged at 4.

Predicted solar flux is 72 on January 25-29, 70 on January 30 through February 4, 69 on February 5-16, 71 on February 17-28, 70 on March 1-3, and 69 on March 4-10.

Planetary A index is predicted at 18, 10 and 3 on January 25-27, 5 on January 28-30, 8 on January 31, then 15, 12 and 8 on February 1-3, 5 on February 4-18, then 18, 25, 18 and 10 on February 19-22, 5 on February 23-26, then 10 and 15 on February 27-28, 12 and 8 on March 1-2, and 5 on March 3-10.

Of interest to AM broadcast band Dxers is the  geomagnetic activity forecast for January 25-31, 2019: “Quiet: Jan 27-30 Unsettled: Jan 25-26, 31 Active: Jan 31 Just to give you an idea of the tail end of the solar cycle, here are the Sunspot numbers for January 17 through 23, 2019 that were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 18, and 19, with a mean of 5.3. 10.7 cm flux was 68.6, 68.8, 69.7, 69.2, 69.9, 70.7, and 71.5, with a mean of 69.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 6, 4, 4, 4, 3, and 13, with a mean of 5.9.

See you all at the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited on the air Tuesday and Wednesday UTC days just after the half hour RHC news bulletin.

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