Propagation Summary Conditions continued to improve during March, and the Solar Flux has continued to rise but the predicted CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), which was forecast for 17th March had no noticeable affect on conditions. Another minor Solar CME is forecast for 4th April.
The Boulder A index should stay at a steady 5 during most of April except on the 7th and 8th when it will rise to 5. The K index is forecast to remain at 2 for this period again rising by just one point on 7-8 April. The Solar Flux will start out at 85, rising to 90 by the 3rd and dropping to 80 by April 19th. (http://www.wm7d.net/hamradio/solar/27d_forecast.shtml)
Solar activity is expected to be very low with possible isolated periods of low levels during the forecast period. Quiet conditions are expected to prevail for the remainder of the interval from 09-19 April. Updated forecasts are available at: (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/WKHF.txt)
Maximum Useable Frequencies for Western Europe should be around 7 Megs during daylight hours.
Further details and other regional data can be found at: (http://hfradio.org/fot_7.html)
Improving Shortwave Conditions. At Last we seem to be emerging from a Long 'Low Sunspot' Period. A combination of this, with longer hours of Daylight should see some overall improvement, especially on higher frequencies. (With thanks to Glenn Hauser, Higher Solar Flux reported, BDXC-UK and George Jacobs WRTVH 2010) Ken Fletcher
2010 Lyrid Meteor Shower Activity
The Lyrids are active from April 16 through the 25th. Peak rates for this shower occur on the 22nd when rates can approach fifteen Lyrids per hour. Five Lyrids per hour can appear on the 21st and the 23rd. Away from these three nights, the Lyrids are weak, only producing 1-2 each hour.
At the time of maximum activity the Lyrid radiant is actually located in eastern Hercules, seven degrees south west of the brilliant star Vega (Alpha Lyrae). This area of the sky lies below the horizon during the early evening hours. Therefore no Lyrid activity can be seen until the late evening hours. The radiant attains a decent elevation between midnight and 0100, depending on your latitude. It is best situated high in a dark sky just before the start of morning twilight. Your best rates will occur during the last dark hour before dawn. (http://www.amsmeteors.org/showers.html)
AM Interference“The radio noise problem is as old as radio itself. Unfortunately it is getting worse as technology steadily progresses and more man-made electronic products hit the shelves. This is a direct result of mainly consumer products that generate an increasingly higher noise level. The technology behind the AM broadcast signal is very out-dated as far as current technology is concerned, not to mention that the AM broadcast band is located in the very vulnerable medium wave frequency band.”
This article by Chris Justice about AM interference explains some of the sources of interference such as Fluorescent Lights, Dimmer Switches, Computers and TV's. Various solutions to eliminate these problems are included as well as some inexpensive antenna solutions. The full article can be found at: (http://www.radiolabs.com/Articles/amnoise.html)