All posts by Marshall Harrison

Senior Developer with over 30 years experience in all phases of software development with an emphasis on server side technologies. My current interests center around Wordpress, Cloud computing and devOps.

More Solar Activity to Affect Hams

Excerpt from SpaceWeather:

Active sunspot AR2975 erupted again on March 30th, producing its strongest flare yet–an X1.3-class explosion. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash…This CME will probably reach Earth during the early hours of April 2nd. (NOAA and NASA modeling, now underway, will soon refine the arrival time.) Its impact could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms, extending a period of geomagnetic unrest expected that began on March 31st with the arrival of a Cannibal CME launched by the same sunspot a few days ago.

News Alert: March 31st doesn’t look good for QRP

When working QRP it can be fun when everything falls into place but, sometimes it can be hard to make contacts such as when Mother Nature conspires against you. Tomorrow (March 31, 2022) looks like one of those days.

A strong G3-class geomagnetic storms are possible during the early UT hours of March 31st when a Cannibal CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. For those of us in the Eastern Daylight Saving time zone the “early UT hours” will start at 8:00 PM local time tonight so this evening may not be all that great either.

For more information check out Space Weather.

If you build it they will come

I’m reminded of that line from Field of Dreams – “If you build it they will come“. I believe that line was from Shoeless Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta) but I’m not sure.

It doesn’t matter who said it. I still feel like Kevin Costner did in the movie. I have a love for Amateur Radio and QRP field work especially. I have built QRPguy and now I have to see if anyone will come. So far I have been working on the look and feel along with the feature set for QRPguy.net. I have been fine tuning my radio setups, antennas and adding images to my gallery for use on the site. I am still adding features but I am also ready to add content and word is slowly getting around that the site exists. Encouraging? Yes, but I’m still nervous.

I am creating a community here and I hope to see it grow to become one of the best places on the Internet to obtain information about QRP operating. I’ve already gotten some positive emails from people about what is happening. I thought there was a need for something like this and hopefully I am right. Now if everyone will just participate I will be able to relax and sleep at night again.

If you have any suggestions for content or things you would like to see then please email them to marshall@gotspeech.net.

In the meantime, I’ll be setting here nervously waiting to see if they will come.

Introduction

Hams have a history of stepping up during emergencies or natural disasters and providing communications when other means such as cell phones and landlines are down and not operable. To do this hams need to know how to set up their equipment and get “on the air” as quickly as possible.

POTA is a program where hams setup in National or State Parks as well as wildlife areas and State forests etc. and make contacts (called QSOs) with other hams. The ham setting up in the park is referred to as an “activator” and the hams he makes contact with are called “hunters”. Setting up portable operations like this is great practice for emergency communications.

QRP is the term we use for operating with limited power. That means 5 watts or less for CW (think Morse code) and a maximum of 10 watts for other modes (think voice communications).

For more information you can check out the ARRL website or the Parks on the Air website.