YAF - as Jim Miller AB3CV put it - Yet Another Flare. And boy, is he right! Ol' Sol is not sitting there quietly as we approach the dead bottom of the sunspot cycle. Sunspots, flares, Coronal Mass Ejections .... our yellow Sun is a happening place right now! In fact, this solar storm is SO intense that NASA had the astronauts aboard the Shuttle and the International Space Station retreat to the most shielded parts of each vessel.
What does that mean for amateur radio? Well, I was not home to witness it; but several of the e-mail reflectors had posts from guys who reported that 10 Meters was alive and doing quite well today. Several other have posted seeing intense Aurora Borealis tonight.; so that means 2 Meters and 6 Meters must be hopping like mad!
On the other hand, for the 40 Meter Foxhunt tonight, all the signals I heard were weak, fluttery and watery. Typical of signals that propagate over the North Pole that are most affected by Aurora. I finally worked Jerry N9AW ay 0316 UTC; but even his signal was not its normal healthy self. Jerry was anywhere from 449 to ESP. The QSB was deep; and I didn't think I was going to work him. However, persistance paid off this time around. I heard the other Fox, Randy K7TQ early in the hunt also; but he was VERY weak into NJ; so I went to search out Jerry first. After working Jerry, I went back to the frequency where I had heard Randy and he was gone. Actually he wasn't as I heard the hounds calling him; but for me, since I couldn't hear him anymore, he was gone.
So by working N9AW tonight; that puts me at 4 pelts out of 12 hunts. A .333 batting average. If I was in the Major Leagues, I'd be earning beaucoup bucks for that average. For Foxhunting, that stinks! In the 2004-2005 season, I batted .475, and in 2005-2006 I batted .225 (I had terrible local QRN problems last Winter on 40 Meters). So I guess I'm doing better than last year, so far.
In the 2005-2006 80 Meter Foxhunt, I batted .650; and so far this year, I am batting .583 in the 80 Meter Foxhunt. Slightly worse than last year; but still lightyears ahead of my 40 Meter batting average. (Can you tell I'm a big baseball fan?)
73 de Larry W2LJ