Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Es - Sporadic E season

In the past week we've seen some increased solar activity; solar flux peaked at 74 and that led to some interesting band openings. I worked LY1000A in Lithuania late last night (20-May-2009) on 20 meters -- an opening to Europe near midnight local time certainly qualifies as "interesting".

The summer sporadic E season (often referred to as "Es") kicked in today with reported 10 meter openings from the west coast to the east coast. I worked KJ7OX in western Washington state just before midnight local time; solid copy on him and after I signed off he was still going strong.

Given that 10 meters was pumping I also listened up on the 11 meters CB band. As expected they were going strong too; I was hearing a lot of AM stations down below channel 23 and I also learned that apparently CB channel 38-LSB (aka 27.385 MHz) is the popular sideband DX calling channel. It was good to see the hams having as much fun as the CBers for a change.

There was an interesting study done on Es propagation by Art KA5DWI; compiled over four years of PropNet monitoring data it shows that "sporadic E" may not be so sporadic after all. One noteworthy finding; Es propagation during ARRL Field Day weekend is typically poorer than the preceding and following weeks.

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