2016-04-14

Small indications of ES, and a small solar flare

10m sporadic E is slowly warming up. The last few days have seen a single spot on several days, of European stations, and today spots from Italy, the Chech Republic and France have appeared on my WSPR screen. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days.
Until now my 10m WSPR activity has been receive only, but I think it is time to build or mount an antenna capable of transmitting, too. I gather that there are probably other stations also just listening, and listening to the other fellow listening is a poor way of monitoring propagation, yes, I know ...
I have been thinking of using a 10m version of the DCTL antenna, not 100% efficient, but the receive sensitivity can be improved with a preamp, and it is, after all, possible to send a bit more TX power into the antenna, in order to compensate for losses in the antenna. After all, the band noise on 10m is quite high, compared to a modern receiver preamp's sensitivity.

A small surprise today was a small solar flare. It was only a C2 flare as reported on Solarham , but I noticed the increased noise level on my 10m receiver, and a bit of waves of noise on the band, audible, and also visible on the spectrum waterfall display. Nice to notice such a small flare in the HF radio spectrum. Maybe I should make myself a solar noise monitoring system, monitoring a few different frequencies in the 20-80MHZ range. All that is needed is a few direct conversion receivers and a wideband antenna, like my active receiver antenna.

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