Front Page News

After eight short hours, the Solar Eclipse QSO Party has come to a close. Particpation was quite good. Although the final numbers are not yet in, preliminary reports show that over 670,000 spots were detected by the RBN, and over 542,000 spots were reported to PSKReporter during the SEQP. These numbers will increase as data is processed. SEQP participants are requested to submit their logs to hamsci.org/seqp. A PDF Certificate of Participation will be provided on log submission.

In just a few short hours both the Great American Eclipse and the SEQP will begin. Over 1300 stations have pre-registered, so activity levels are expected to be high. After a geomagnetically unsettled weekend, the solar activity appears to have calmed down. NOAA SWPC predicts this situation to continue today, with less than 1% chance of a major radio blackout, less than 1% chance of an S1 or greater Solar Radiation Storm, and no geomagnetic storm impacts. As such, propagation conditions should be good for HF radio operations.

With only 5 days remaining before the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), over 600 stations have already indicated that they are planning on participating. We have posted both a list and map showing the locations of all pre-registered stations. Stations are still encouraged to pre-register. Many stations have e-mailed asking for guidance as to what is the best band, mode, or antenna to use is. We recommend simply following the SEQP rules and enjoying this as you would any other operating event. We will be getting data from many, many different sources and need signals on all bands and modes. A link for log submission will be posted to hamsci.org/seqp by the end of the SEQP. See you on the air and good luck in the SEQP!

RBN activity screenshot

During the Solar Eclipse QSO Party, we'll be collecting data from the Reverse Beacon Network, a system which uses wideband SDR-based receivers called "skimmers" to decode CW and RTTY signals in large parts of the amateur HF spectrum and send decoded callsigns to a central server.

The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) is just a few short weeks away! The SEQP is a special operating event organized by the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) to study ionospheric effects caused by the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. During the SEQP, hams are asked to operate on the HF bands in a manner similar to contests or QSO parties. Systems such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN, www.reversebeacon.net), PSKReporter (pskreporter.info), WSPRNet (wsprnet.org), and participant logs will provide the QSO and spot data that will be used by researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech to study eclipse-induced ionospheric effects. Full event rules and operating procedures are available at hamsci.org/seqp. Let us know where you plan to be and what modes you plan to operate. To do this, visit the SEQP Pre-Registration page at hamsci.org/seqp-prereg. We look forward to hearing you on the air!

By Dr. Chris Fallen, KL3WX
Geophysical Institute - University of Alaska, Fairbanks
 
The next HAARP open house will occur on 19 August 2017 and include round-trip bus transportation from Fairbanks for $45 which will help bring costs down for individuals, particularly for those from out of town. Throughout the day there will be talks by Geophysical Institute researchers on-site about the HAARP facility and research, and other research topics pursued at the UAF Geophysical Institute. As in the previous year, tours of the main transmitter array, control center, and power generation plant will be offered throughout the day. Hams and radio enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their equipment for photo opportunities or even to make contacts from the site. 

By Dr. Chris Fallen, KL3WX
Geophysical Institute - Uniervsity of Alaska, Fairbanks

The Arecibo ionospheric HF heating facility will be operational for a research campaign from 24 to 31 July 2017. Because the facility transmits on the HF frequencies 5.125 and 8.175 MHz, it is possible that its signals can be heard world-wide. QSL cards are available for interested SWLThe new Arecibo ionosphere HF heater nominally transmits 600 kilowatts net power (100 to 200 megawatts effective radiated power) and has a unique Cassegrain dual-array antenna design that increases the gain of three crossed dipoles for each band using the signature 1000 ft spherical dish reflector.

I’ve received community feedback that people want more guidance on running JT-modes during the SEQP. As a result, we have revised rules. There are some also changes to provide guidance in other areas as well, including using SNRs or RSQs for digital mode signal reports. None of these changes affect the scoring procedure, but hopefully they will make the operating procedures more clear. Also, I’ve been made aware that there is currently a bug in N1MM+ that prevents SEQP signal reports from being saved to ECLIPSE Cabrillo files.

By Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

The real time packet communications system APRS will be used during the day of the eclipse as a national communications network for those involved in ham radio and eclipse observations to be able to track each other and see where other nearby ham observers are located.  Imagine the APRS map that day showing a clustering of mobile and portable positions all along the totality line.  Please use the station symbol SUNNY for this event so these stations will stand out among all others on the national tracking page http://aprs.fi.

The 2017 Great American Eclipse and the HamSCI Solar Eclipse QSO Party on August 21, 2017 are now just weeks away! This is a great oportunity to both enjoy ham radio and help scientists better understand how the ionosphere works. Are you ready? HamSCI member Ward Silver, N0AX is! He is shown here modeling his new SEQP tank-top and mug. We now have a variety of HamSCI and SEQP T-Shirts and mugs availble through the HamSCI RedBubble store.