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VE3ZT & VE3BBH
that are Open / Closed
Number of Sunspots,
Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) Locations
What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio is many things...
A form of communication;
A community service.
It could be a truck driver near Thunder Bay talking to another amateur radio operator in Toronto
a 16-year-old girl in Hamilton communicating with a ham radio operator in England using Morse code
a teenager living in Edmonton talking to another teenager in Calgary using her 2-meter handy talky and a repeater link
or it could be a Radio Amateur making over 1000 contacts in 95 different countries during a weekend Amateur Radio contest.
There are many
reason why people of all ages
become radio amateurs.
Some are interested in talking to other Radio Amateurs in other countries,
while others communicate from their vehicles to others in their cars via
repeaters. Many enjoy the technical aspects. Others get involved to
provide communications in areas that
have been devastated by hurricanes and tsunami.
Amateurs all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology, regulations and operating principles. We all have passed an examination which allows us to communicate on what are called, "Amateur Radio Bands." These frequency bands are reserved for use by Radio Amateurs all over the World at intervals from just above the AM broadcast band, VHF frequencies just above the FM radio band, and all the way up through the microwave frequencies.
Here's a link showing the Canadian Amateur Radio frequency allocations.
Amateur Radio, or "Ham Radio" as it is commonly called, is basically two-way communication, in any of several modes, between other Radio Amateurs. Some of the various "modes" of communication are AM and FM, ssb or "single side band," teletype, and by Morse Code, or "cw" as it is commonly called.
It is not unusual for amateurs to speak with astronauts on space missions. In fact, many astronauts are ham radio operators. Many hams enter the hobby and become fascinated with building their own radios, fashion and erect antennas and accessories.
"DX contests" are for those with a competitive streak where the object of the contest is to see how many distant Radio Amateurs they can contact—usually over a weekend. These days, many combine Amateur Radio with the Internet in various ways. Some amateur radio operators enjoy voice communication on a hand-held transceiver. Others prefer Morse Code through a low-power—commonly called QRP—transmitter/receiver (transceiver) while hiking. Communicating through satellites is very common.
Administered in Canada by the Industry Canada, through Industry Canada, Amateur Radio has grown over the years to more than 60 thousand ham radio operators.
Radio Amateurs of Canada
If you are interested in becoming an Amateur Radio operator,
or would like additional information on the subject, here is a
link to the RAC
or Radio Amateurs of Canada website.
Link to the Canadian Amateur Radio bandplan
The Cormac Propadex
- The Cormac Propadex provides Current Ionospheric Conditions
- Propadex is updated four times per hour
- Eight hours of history is shown on the graph
- When the Propadex is high, it means the F2 maximum usable frequency is higher than average for this time of day
The Cormac Propadex is based entirely on the latest government reports for f0F2. This is the maximum usable frequency for the F2 ionosphere layer. Some government stations are updating this value 4 to 6 times per hour.
The Propadex value is the DIFFERENCE between the latest reported f0F2 value and the 60 day average FOR THIS SAME TIME OF DAY.
For example, if the Propadex shows as +110 at time 1700 Z, it means means the government monitoring station is reporting a maximum usable frequency 1.10 MHz higher than the 60 day average for this exact same time of day.
Currently, data is being obtained from the U.S. Air Force Radio Solar Telescope Network (RSTN) site at Wallops Island, Virginia. This site appears to be updating data several times per hour.
The Cormac Propadex is explained in more detail here: Cormac Propadex.
F2 propagation change from the 60 day average
Contest Club of Ontario (CCO)
Go to this informative website for regarding Amateur Radio Contesting in the Province of Ontario. Contest Club of Ontario.