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Last week represented a good example of how solar cycle 25 is progressing.

We started the week on Sunday 22nd with a solar flux index (SFI) of 88 and a sunspot number of 35. Just to recap, that doesn’t mean there were 35 sunspots as we count each sunspot group as “10” and spot as one. But by Thursday the SFI was up to 104 with a sunspot number of 40, with three large groups visible on the Sun.

As well as pushing up the SFI, the spots have been very active on the solar flare front with daily B- and C-class flares being emitted, although their effects on the ionosphere have been minimal luckily.

With the CW Worldwide CW contest occurring this weekend this SFI does bode well for HF propagation.

With zero coronal holes appearing, at least on Thursday, and the possibility that the SFI could rise even further in the coming days, this looks like a good combination for one of the best CQWWs we’ve seen for a few years.

An SFI of more than 100 virtually guarantees some F2-layer propagation on 10 metres. These openings may be short-lived as the MUF drops a little, but it is definitely worth keeping an eye on 28MHz at times, especially near noon on Noth-South paths.

If you are planning to take part it is a good idea to plan your activities using a tool like predtest.uk.

Typically, on the higher bands, such as 20, 15 and perhaps 10 metres, you will work stations to the east of the UK in the morning. As noon approaches, propagation will swing south. And the afternoon will be optimum for contacts with the USA.

For 40 and 80 metres the opposite is generally true, where you should be looking for a nighttime path between you and the station you wish to work.

Even if you hear this broadcast on Sunday it isn’t too late to take part as the contest runs until midnight. Do get on as there is usually a lot of activity and it is a great opportunity to increase your country score.

VHF and up

The background weather pattern is again looking like high pressure will predominate with a good prospect for Tropo. It will be a typical spell of November quiet weather with frost and fog overnight, perhaps lasting through the day in a few places.

This prevalence for cool moist air near the surface makes for good Tropo, since you will often find the high pressure has produced a layer of warmer and drier air above the inversion. It's the contrast that changes the refractive index of the air and can create ducts for VHF/UHF DX propagation.

I should point out that some models allow the high to collapse in the second half of next week, so it's worth following the daily forecasts as we go through the week.

Just one minor meteor shower this week. The Phoenicids peaks on the 2nd with a variable zenith hourly rate but it’s radiant is not visible from the UK.

The Moon reaches maximum declination on Wednesday, so we have long visibility windows all week with falling path losses. 144 MHz sky noise is moderate to low all week, but rising up to 500 Kelvin on Tuesday.

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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:
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• 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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