Our home!
Sunlit part of Earth
Sunlight/Darkness Clock
HSMS Bulletin Board
"HOT NEWS" and Bulletins concerning MS, HSMS, FSK441, JT65 EME, VHF DX, etc.

Thanks to Rein, W6/PAØZN, for setting up this HSCW Bulletin center! Also to Al, K3TKJ, for QSL.NET!
ALWAYS click "RELOAD" or "REFRESH" to try to get the latest version, as an older copy may be CACHED by your ISP.
These Announcements are updated whenever there is new information for HSCW/MS operators.
HSMS Procedures
MS, VHF Papers
Archived News
"Real Old" News
Some Antenna notes

QUICK LINKS to other sites of interest
Real-time VHF Propagation Maps
Links to visual and other meteor pages
Aurora Sentry
Space Weather
K1JT's WSJT page - and - (European mirror site)
Solar Terrestrial Activityr
Sun and space environment, updated often
Hepburn Tropospheric Ducting Forecast
US Weather Map
NWS Doppler Radar images
Meteosat5 image of Europe
OSWIN, ALWIN Radio Meteor studies
HSMS/JT Registration
DK5YA's Es & propagation page
OH5IY's MS-Soft program, etc
APRS propagation map
Last updated - 2009 May 18 (UTC):

What conditions are being reported right now?
Status Status Status

  Band data from the DXRobot
Click here for WWV Geophysical Alert Message

 144 Es in N.A.:

 Aurora in Europe:

 144 Es in Europe:

 (Click on boxes for current logs).
Today is  (UTC)
ON THIS PAGE:  -  Archive Page - 144 MHz Es - Ice Storm - What's happening? - DXpeditions - Real-Time Prop Maps - Accessory programs - HF JT65 - WSJT and MAP65 - Hurricane Katrina - Meteor rates - Jupiter via radio - FSK441 Procedures - "Old News" - Meteor Shower table - Meteor Web sites - Other URLs -

NOTE - A number of older items are now on the Archive page.

   Es Season
The 2009 Es season has started in Europe! The sun seems to have forgotten how to create sunspots, but Es should still be available this summer. How much? Nobody knows. But now is the time to get ready because the season is upon us!

The 144 MHz Es season in North America was interesting in 2008 There were a number of very small, very short openings reported, involving only two or three stations. How many of these were actually sporadic E openings? This is unknown, but at least some, possibly most, appear to have been Es.
There was a larger opening on May 29-30, followed by a very large opening for North America on June 15.
This opening, along with several others, is covered in the October 2008 QST, pp. 86-87. It is well worth your time to study these maps and see what propagation was like this summer.

And if you were home but still missed the openings, be sure to sign up for PE1NWL's Es Alerting system. Read the details, get sign-up info on the ESAlerts page. And see below for some other alerting pages.
   Here in Kentucky....
Personal note - things have been hectic here in Kentucky. A major ice storm caused significant damage statewide. Tree cean-up from it will take many months. Many antennas were damaged (the main VHF array seems OK here, but lost 2 others). Heavy use of Amateur Radio communications, especially in areas west of here. I had just accepted the position of ARES Emergency Coordinator for the county, so the ice storm, plus trying to organize and begin ARES training, has kept me overly busy recently. And during ice storm I slipped & broke my leg. So everything is behind here....

I have finally replaced the TV antenna (used for propagation studies more than for TV), repaired the G5RV (one leg had stretched an additional 6' (1.8 m), and replaced the destroyed multi-dipole with a low-HF trapped dipole. The yard is still a mess, the garden hasn't been planted, and I'm still behind....
   WHAT is HAPPENING? Right now?
What is happening right now - for VHF propagation, solar conditions, the space environment, meteors, atmospheric weather, etc?
Check the Quick Links above for Web sites that have all kinds of information!
(You may want to bookmark a few of these pages for immediate reference).
   VHF DXpeditions - For a list of current and upcoming DXpeditions, including late information that may not be on this page, check http://www.mmmonvhf.de/latest.php.
   REAL-TIME VHF Propagation Maps
Gabriel, EA6VQ, has a real-time set of VHF Propagation Maps to his Web site. Once on the map page, you can choose the band and map (Europe, North America or World) you want to watch.
If you leave the window open, it will refresh automaticall every 3 minutes, so you'll always have an overview of the band activity and conditions in real-time. Go to http://www.vhfdx.net/spots/map.php to see this great tool.
(Also, don't forget to check http://www.xs4all.nl/~amunters/eskiplog.htm to see a log of what has happened or is happening over there).

For tropospheric openings on two meters:
You can check Hepburn Tropospheric Ducting Forecast Maps to see his predictions.

Another very useful resource is the APRS propagation map which shows real-time reception of 144 MHz APRS signals and thus can give an indication of both tropo and also Es propagation. These maps are updated every few minutes, so they show what is being received right now. (See May 2005 QST, p. 86, for more information).
(Both of these Web sites are also included in the "Quick Links" box at the top of this page).

   JT65 on HF
From Rein PA0ZN - If you listen on 14075/6 you will hear various digital signals, as well as WSJT JT65A. At busy times you might see signals stacked against each other in frequency, even overlapping each other partially, without too many bad effects. There is activity from 160 meters all the way up to 6 meters, with most of it at 14076 =/- 500 Hz. at present. It is world wide and growing. Many of the users run <25 W with vericals from balconies or magnetic loops in living rooms. It is not VHF, but certainly is a form of weak signal communications, such as some of the other new digital modes.
Check the JT65 Terrestrial link at: http://www.chris.org/cgi-bin/jt65talk.
(Thanks to PA0ZN and WB8IMY [July 2007 QST p. 85] for bringing this to our attention. It isn't very often that some mode or type of operation spills over from VHF to HF. I had heard some JT65 signals on 20 meters recently but had not realized that it had become a "whole new mode" for HF operators).
   Accessory programs. Do you need a clock-setting program? A program for quickly changing your computer's mixer (volume control) settings for different programs? A screen-grab program? Or other "accessory" programs to help with your VHF, MS, or WSJT operating? Check out the Accessory Page for links to these and a number of other helpful programs. Several of these are necessary for efficient VHF DX operation.

Win XP Users - The popular timekeeping program Dimension 4 won't run? Information on two simple but necessary changes can be found here.
(Dimension 4, lots of other helps including QuickMix, are available from the Accessory Page.
   The current version of WSJT - 5.9.7.
(And MAP65 v0.8 is now available for Beta Testing).
The V. 5.9.6 had a significant improvement to the JT65 Deep Search decoder resulting in a big reduction in the number of false decodes. The decoder is also faster. V 5.9.7 includes several enhancements to make operation easier.

Joe has made a few additions and corrections to the new "WSJT6 User's Guide and Reference Manual".
)The User's Guide is available now in a number of other languages, thanks to the help of many people. See Joe's Web site for what is available).
He has also added the new User's Guide to the file that you download and execute to install WSJT. To download WSJT (the program is free), go to the K1JT home page, http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/ or the mirror site at http://www.vhfdx.de/wsjt/.

Thanks to a number of generous volunteers, CD-ROMs of the WSJT installation and tutorial files are now being made available at very low cost for those without high speed internet connections. If you have problems downloading WSJT over the internet, use the link http://pulsar.princeton.edu/~joe/K1JT/WSJT_distrib1.JPG to find the volunteer in your region, and then send an email to enquire about details.

A tutorial on the use of WSJT 5.9.x has been placed on the WSJT web site, http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/.
Be warned, though, that the necessary package of sample wave files is about 22 MB in size. You will need a fast internet connection to download it.
And don't forget the Manual for the older versions, available in a number of languages. While the new version has some changes, most of the features are explained in the Manual. If you are new to WSJT, be sure to read it when all else fails!

If you are running W98, have a processor whose speed is 500 MHz or slower, or otherwise cannot run the latest versions, note that the older version, WSJT 4.9.8, is still available and is fully compatible with the latest versions.

Also - MAP65 is a new (July 2007) computer program designed to provide the "back end" of a semi-automated, wideband, polarization-matching receiver for JT65 signals. In works together with Linrad (by SM5BSZ) and suitable RF hardware to receive and decode all detectable JT65 signals in a 90 kHz passband. MAP65 runs under Windows or Linux. Its principal intended application is EME or "moonbounce" on the amateur VHF and UHF bands.
      Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Following Hurricane Katrina, I was at Long Beach, MS, for communications with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Some pictures and brief description at the link (above).
While in Mississippi, I missed the big auroras. However, all HF communications were completely blanked out two afternoons, so we were very much aware of the events! -- W8WN

The 2006 Hurricane Season is nearly here, and predictions do not sound very good! Are you QRV????
   What have meteors been doing today? Some meteor observations in near-real-time:
Radio Meteor Observatories on Line - http://radio.data.free.fr/main.php3
SKiYMET - http://www.iap-kborn.de/radar/Radars/Skiymet/sky_main.htm
See also http://www.iap-kborn.de/radar/Radars/Skiymet/index_eng.htm, click on Latest Results, then choose a date. Try some shower dates, see if you can see the radiant in the angular distribution, etc.
NASA/MSFC forward scatter meteors 67.25 MHz, graph - http://www.knology.net/%7Esuggs/bigradar2.gif
Live audio streams from Marshall Space Flight Center - http://www.spaceweather.com/glossary/nasameteorradar.html. (Sometimes not available).
Also, see the Virgo Meteor Sky View for more information on current meteor shower radiant location, direction of maximum effectivity, etc. (Be sure to enter your own call and grid square befor using!)

   At the other end of the spectrum -
Giant Jupiter is a source of strange-sounding radio noises. Listen to them, live, via an audio stream on the Internet.http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/20feb_radiostorms.htm?list920577.
Click on one of the links in the paragraph just above the antenna photo. If real-time reception is not available, try one of the samples.
Also click on the "Samples" for some interesting sounds from Jupiter, and also for earth's own "dawn chorus."
   The North American Meteor Scatter Procedures are available at http://www.qsl.net/w8wn/hscw/papers/hscw-sop.html. But almost no one in North America now operates HSCW or slow CW MS, and SSB MS is used only during major showers. FSK441 has become the standard daily mode of MS operation. Thus, a condensed version of the Procedures paper, covering only FSK441, is now available at http://www.qsl.net/w8wn/hscw/papers/fsk-sop.html.
   If you're looking for some news or information, expecting it to be here but you can't find it, it has probably already been moved from the Hot News page to the Archived News page or the Really Old News Page.
(many are minor showers)
Source - International Meteor Org. (& other supplemental sources).
NOTE - Except for the sharp peaks of the Leonids and Quadrantids, the exact time of the peak is usually not as important as the location of the shower's radiant (the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to originate).
If the radiant is below your horizon, you will experience few if any shower meteors.
If the shower is above your horizon, its location (and thus the geometry of the meteor trains) will determine which direction is best at a given time.
These things can be determined with OH5IY's MS-Soft or similar programs.

But if you're on HSCW, don't wait for even a minor shower. You can make HSCW QSOs any morning with only sporadics! Get on and make those skeds!

ShowerDate, Time (UTC)RateShower Data, ZHRNotes
UrsidsDec 22, 073010occasionally up to 50Two major outbursts in past 60 years.
Quadrantids (Bootids)Jan 3, 125060-200, variablePeak(s) normally short-livedUseful after local midnight. Peak asymmetrical. Fainter objects may reach max up to 14 hours before brighter ones. In 2008 there seemed to be two radio peaks, the first about 6 hours before the visual peak.
Parent body 2003 EH1
Cap/SagittaridsFeb 01, 0900medium rateDaylightMax possibly 2-3 days later than this date?? Daylight shower.
X-CapricornidsFeb 13, 1000lowDaylightPeak may fall a day later. Daylight shower.
April PiscidsApril 20, 0900-Daylight-
LyridsApril 22, 11001519-90 - rate variableDate of peak may be variable, ▒8 hours. Comet Thatcher, parent body
pi-PuppidsApril 23, 1600 to 40periodic, up to ~40Evening. Best in S Hemisphere. Comet Grigg-Skjellerup
delta PiscidsApril 24, 0900-Daylight-
During May & June most activity is during the daytime, with 6 shower peaks expected during this time!
eta AquaraidsMay 6, 000040Major Southern Hemisphere showerMay be good May 3-10. Periodically variable. High velocity. Stream is complex, several submaxima. Morning shower.
epsilon ArietidsMay 09, 1100- DaylightSmall particles.
May ArietidsMay 16, 0900- Daylight-
o-CetidsMay 20, 0800mediumDaylight-
ArietidsJune 07, 1100High rateBiggest daylight shower of the yearHigh velocity shower
z-PerseidsJune 09, 1100High rateDaylightTends to blend in with Arietids for several days.
June Bo÷tidsJune 27, 0830variable, 0-100Unexpected return in 1998.Dynamics poorly understood. Comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke
B TauridsJune 28, 1000medium-Daylight
Southern delta AquaridsJuly 2820Long durationMultiple showers? Radiant drift.
alpha CapricornidsJuly 304-Southern Hemisphere shower
PerseidsAug 12, 1730-2000.
Earlier pk about 0900?
100The year's favorite shower.Shower usually produces meteors Aug 7-24. (Huge in early '90s with passage of comet, but only "traditional" peak expected now). Radiant circumpolar for north, but best after 2300 local time. For MS work, the proper time for maximum "effectivity" is much more important than the peak time
September PerseidsSept 9?minor-In 2008 this minor shower produced a large display, including fireballs
SextanitidsSept 27, 1000medium-Daylight. Peak possibly a day earlier
DraconidsOct 08, 1640Other small peaks possible
periodic, to storm levels
-Periodic, with brief, spectacular storms twice last century & lower rates other years.
OrionidsOct 2120Several peaks over several days. Periodic?May be nearing its peak? Best in Southern Hemisphere
Debris from Halley's Comet
LeonidsNov 18, 151010-50Several peaks possible
Esp. watch Nov 17, 2100-2200 Z
Radiant rises around local midnight. 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
alpha MonocerotidsNov 21, 15255variableoutbursts to ~400, 1995, lasting only 5 minutes.
PhoenicidsDec 06, 09303Usually 3variable. May reach 100. Southern Hemisphere.
GeminidsDec 14, 0510120Major showerParent body, Apollo asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Radiant rises around sunset in north.
UrsidsDec 22, 1330
also watch 0715
10occasionally up to 50Two major outbursts in past 60 years.
Many of the above are minor showers (with low rates); but some can cause surprises. There are many other minor showers, but too small to be noticed in forward-scatter communications.
* Data for this shower may be updated later.
Many of the above are minor showers (with low rates); but some can cause surprises. There are many other minor showers, but too small to be noticed in forward-scatter communications.

REMEMBER that this list of showers and these notes are not complete nor exhaustive. They are simply a reminder of some of the upcoming events. For more details, see some of the special visual meteor Web sites.

Some meteor Web sites:

OSWIN, ALWIN Radio Meteor studies
Virgo Meteor Sky View
The International Meteor Organization (IMO)
The American Meteor Society (AMS)
Nine Planets Web site
Sky and Telescope
the Cosmic Mirror of Daniel Fischer
Emil Neata's "Night Sky" page

To download OH5IY's MS-Soft program, go to http://www.kolumbus.fi/oh5iy. While there, take the time to download his papers on MS. This is the best information on meteor scatter theory that is easily available.

EME - Except for an occasional note, a little concerning JT65, and some of VE7BQH's antenna charts, there is little on this Web site concerning EME. This is due both to lack of time and also because there are already a number of good EME Web sites. For EME information, it is suggested that you start with W5UN's Web site. And for another very good moon-tracking program, see N1BUG's Z-Track.
For satellite tracking programs, start with the AMSAT Web site. (Also try a search for STSPlus and Traksat).
Still more URLs elsewhere on this page, and on the URLs page. And lots more on the other HSCW/MS/VHF DX Web pages linked from this URL page!

These Announcements are updated whenever there is new information for HSCW/MS operators.

Go to the W6/PAØZN Main NA HSCW Web Site, the largest collection of HSCW information on the Web.
Back to the W8WN HSCW Home Page (if you started there).
Go to the W8WN HSCW Home Page (if you did not just come from there).
Go to the Archived News Page
Go to the W8WN and WD8LPN Home Page.
See W8WN/5's work following Hurricane Katrina.
Go to W8WN's Living Christmas Tree Home Page.

73, Shelby, W8WN - E-mail, or

Reset 2000 Feb 13

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.