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Last week was dominated by extensive Sporadic E openings that made 10 metres sound like 20 metres on a good day.

The openings were steady and stable, with lots of stations around Europe being very workable. These openings extended to multi-hop as well, with Chris VO1CH being heard on 10m FT8 at 12:40hrs on Monday the 18th for example.

Low-power beacons have also been heard – the IW4EIR beacon, running just 1.5W, was heard on 28.195MHz at 1600hrs on Monday as well.

If you are interested in monitoring 10m beacons, Martin G3USF’s 10-metre beacon list has been updated and is available on the RSGB web site under the Propagation section, using the link “Propagation Beacons” on the right-hand side.

Hopefully, the Sporadic E season will continue to improve over the next few weeks.

Other than Es, HF conditions have been average for this time of year. Late Spring and Summer are traditionally times when maximum usable frequencies decline during the day due to a change in ionospheric chemistry. However, the good news is that nighttime MUFs are higher, with bands like 20 metres remaining open long after sunset if there is sufficient ionisation.

The Sun remains very quiet. Two lighter plage areas have moved into view on the Sun’s surface, but are unlikely to turn into sunspots. A plage is a bright region in the Sun’s chromosphere.

As a result, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70. It also predicts that the Sun will remain stable geomagnetically, bringing a maximum Kp index of two.

So it looks like Sporadic E will continue to provide the HF fun on the higher HF bands.

VHF and up

Most of next week will be dominated by high pressure just south of the UK and hence Tropo will be a good mode to try. At this time of the year, the strong sunshine makes any nocturnal enhancement of conditions temporary and soon disappears after sunrise and the new thermals destroy the night-time cooling inversion.

However, the main high-pressure subsidence inversion is a different case and extends across the same region as the area of high pressure and will be present throughout.

This will mean paths across the North Sea, English Channel or Bay of Biscay should do well. Tropo contacts need not be rushed like Sporadic E.

A fairly strong Atlantic jet stream will push across the UK this weekend and when it reaches the near continent it will be in a good place for Es in a broad direction range from Scandinavia round through the Balkans to Italy and Spain.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic will continue to provide jet stream segments for openings across the pond. The association of Es with jet streams is useful since the charts show the meandering jet stream extending well east over Russia and could be used for paths to the Far East.

There is a hint that a region of showers may develop around the middle of next week to give an opportunity for some GHz rain scatter propagation.

The Moon’s reaches peak declination on Tuesday and path losses are falling all week. 144 MHz sky noise is low.

A number of small showers keep May and June an active time for meteor scatter operations, so keep looking for early morning opportunities before the Es.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week.

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Training is very important to NARC because we realise this is how new people come into the hobby and attain their Foundation, Intermediate and Advance Amateur Radio licenses.
We are pleased to offer courses which are based on demand and our programme of other events and activities. To register your interest for a course and exam please email your name and contact details, together with which level of training course you are waiting for,  to the Club Exam Secretary David Palmer G7URP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 CLUB MEETINGS - NARC Live!

During the current Covid-19 pandemic when the club cannot physically meet, the club now broadcasts its own magazine show NARC Live! every Wednesday with news, features and guests.
It is streamed online live from 19.30 BST at the following places:

• Facebook Live:
www.facebook.com/norfolkamateurradioclub/

• BATC Streaming service:
www.batc.org.uk/live/NARC

The club meets virtually every Wednesday throughout the year in the sixth form centre of the City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, NR4 6PP from 1900-2130.

We welcome anyone of any age, gender or ability and who enjoys experimenting with radio and electronics to come and meet us and see what we do in our hobby.

Please see above ONLINE tab for details of the club programme and below this piece for contacts of club official.

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