Sunspots? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Sunspots!

Last night, at the ARROW meeting, George K9TRV was a last-minute replacement for our scheduled speaker, who, apparently, had gotten into a poison ivy patch over the weekend. George showed us a couple of websites and demonstrated some propagation software he’s been using. I’d say the results speak for themselves. George has worked 120 countries in little over a year.

Here are the links to the websites and software:

  • William Hepburn’s Radio & TV DX Information Centre. Most interesting for 50MHz and 144MHz sporadic E skip prediction. Got this one from Steve Andre, WB8WSF. Free.
  • DXWatch.Com. You can submit your own spots as well. Catches the packet cluster DX spotting data for internet use. Has stock and custom filters. Free.
  • DX Atlas. Home for the DX Atlas software, including DX Atlas, BandMaster, IonoProbe and HamCap. BandMaster will control your radio. IonoProbe fetches the current sunspot data, Ap, Kp, auroral data, Proton and Xray intensity, and feeds to HamCap. HamCap uses IonoProbe data and the VoaCap engine to predict HF propagation, MUF and other data. Shows sun location, greyline and propagation forecast. Propagation data can be pushed to DXAtlas. You can specify your antenna situation to get more accurate info. Can specify your own antenna with EZNEC output data. DXAtlas shows either ITU or CQ regions of the world, can show the spots and spotters from BandMaster, as well as the short or long path. Can show beam headings for short or long path. Has a UTC clock built in. 30 day trial version. $60 for package of all 4 programs.

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