Went up to Concord , NC to visit the Charlotte Hamfest, to meet two ham radio friends, Mike, NF4Z, and Jim, W4YDX, and to see if I could find something ham radio related I could use. Lots of stuff for sale by other hame, but didn’t really find anything interesting. What did Mike do? He proceeded to give me a FRS/GMRS set of two radios, including charger, free of charge. Thanks, Mike, you’re a kind man.
Had a great time, and took a few shots while walking around.
This is very exiting. Solar Cycle 25 is ramping up. That means excellent High Frequency Radio Propagation,
This is good news for Amateur Radio DX operations (long distance propagation and communication on the Amateur Radio HF bands)
Solar Cycle 25 Predictions
The start of a new Solar Cycle (25) means there will be increasing activity and more sunspots until roughly July 2025.
The initial extended forecastis that Solar Cycle 25 will below average, quiet, and cool. This is very similar to its predecessor Solar Cycle 24—the weakest cycle since record-keeping began in 1755.
“According to NOAA/NASA and international experts: “Cycle 25 will be similar in size to Cycle 24, preceded by a long, deep minimum. Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.”
Specifically, the experts predicted: a peak in July, 2025 (+/- 8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number (SSN) of 115.
The panel agreed that Cycle 25 will be average in intensity and similar to Cycle 24, and its peak will be similar as well.
Additionally, the panel concurred that solar minimum between Cycles 24 and 25 will occur in April, 2020 (+/- 6 months).
Contrary to NOAA/NASA’s models, there have been more recent studies with models which suggest that Solar Cycle 25 could be one of the strongest since record-keeping began.
Digging a hole for the first DX Engineering 80 meter 1/4 wave vertical. Hopefully this will be the first dig out of 4 for a 80 meter 4-square phased vertical array. Each antenna requires a huge radial field, as seen from the short cut circle around the dig. 60 radials, each 65 feet long, for a total of 3840 feet of radial wire.
The vertical is currently on backorder, so I’ll have time to dig the 300+ feet trench back to the shack. We’ll use “Betsy” to make the trench. 1 1/2 inch pvc will house the LMR-400 coax line, to keep it from the critters. More to come.
A piece of art. DX Engineering radial ground plate. First class parts, and first class service. Great company. Waiting for the concrete to cure, and continue to get some 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe in the ground to pull the LMR-400 Coax through. Then the real fun starts. Stretching out radials. A lot of them.
Betsy doing the trench work for 1 1/2 pipe out to the antenna site
Pipe done, and LMR-400 pulled through about 270 feet of pipe. Installed the radial plate and feed line pigtail. Ready to lay down radials.
Cranking the generator up to solder the PL-259 on the coax.
Testing coax length and connection. Next: Mow the grass all the way to the ground, then lay radials.
60 radials, each 65 feet long, installed. A lot of work.
No the wait for the arrival of the antenna begins.