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Auroral propagation on VHF




This is slightly off-topic. But many of us have the equipment for it, and
it is a space-related phenomenon, so why not? 

Those of you in the northern half of the U.S., Canada, Northern Europe,
and Southern VK/ZL who have terrestrial VHF capability might try a little
CW tonight, starting just before sunset.  Point your beams North (South
Down Under), plus or minus 60 degrees. 

The recent solar storm activity have made for some nice auroral
propagation, even as it messes up HF and high-latitude satellite signals. 
I was working stations all over the Northwestern U.S. and Canada on
144.200 CW last night. I heard a station from one grid north of San
Francisco. People with 6 meters were working much farther.  If Auroral E
propagation sets in, 6 and 10 could really come alive.

Last I heard, the biggest activity is predicted for 05 May, UTC time. 
This means tonight, sunset to midnight, could be even more fun than last
night.

The nice thing about Aurora is that unlike other VHF propogation, a high
antenna isn't so necessary.  My 7 * 7 circularly polarized beam on a
1-story roof did just fine.  Signals sound weird, though.  On 2m, SSB is
distorted almost beyond recognition, signals fade in and out
unpredictably, there's doppler shift, and CW signals sound like a leaky
steam radiator.

The related poem below is for everyone's amusement.

73,
Peter - KD7MW (Seattle, Washington, CN87)
--
Peter A. Klein  (pklein@seattleu.edu)  :    -----==3==      ---      ---
Network Administrator, LAN/WAN/Novell  :   |    |  |  |    |   |    |   |
Seattle University, 296-5569           :  @|   @| @| @|   @|  @|   @|  @|

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 03 May 1998 21:16:37 -0700
From: Jim Bowlin <bowlin@sirius.com>
To: Cary Oler <oler@holly.cc.uleth.ca>
Newsgroups: rec.radio.shortwave, rec.radio.amateur.misc, sci.astro,
    sci.astro.amateur
Subject: Re: AURORA WARNING: Middle Latitude Auroral Activity Warning

Oh roar a roar for Nora,
lovely Nora in the night,
for she has seen aurora,
borealis burning bright.

A furore for our Nora,
and borealis seen,
oh where throughout the summer,
has our borealis been?

-- Walt Kelly





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