K8DO at K8DO at
Wed Aug 23 14:48:36 EDT 1995

I have been roundly, thumped about the head and shoulders for my long post on
the multi-tasking thread...
Let me apologize to the list for a (long) non-contesting related post... It
was unintentional... A 'vapor lock of the frontal synaptic pump'  caused me
to press one hot key too many, during the 17th hour of my day, appending the
cq-list-server to the TO: header, in addition to the two _intended_
recipients - who were part of a non-server conversation... 

Mea Culpa....

Denny   k8do at

>From oo7 at (Derek Wills)  Wed Aug 23 19:00:00 1995
From: oo7 at (Derek Wills) (Derek Wills)
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 1995 13:00:00 -0500
Subject: new spot cycle

What we really need to know is when the first opposite-polarity
spot was, er, spotted last time around, and how long after that 
it was before hearing Europeans on 10m became boring (in CONTESTS).

Still, it's encouraging to know that the sun is still doing its
thing - it would be awful if it seized up and stayed like this.

Happy Birthday to our fearless keeper of the reflector!

Derek AA5BT, G3NMX
oo7 at

>From David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629 at>  Wed Aug 23 19:42:00 1995
From: David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629 at> (David & Barbara Leeson)
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 95 13:42 EST
Subject: FT-1000/OMNI VI
Message-ID: <40950823184204/0005543629NA2EM at MCIMAIL.COM>

On the subject of phase noise, having a quiet receiver is only half the get any benefit, the loudest signals from other transceivers
must also be low noise!  However, I think there is another issue, which is
the effect of receiver nonlinearity on a very large number of inband
signals.  In the microwave radio game, this is measured by a parameter
called Noise Power Ratio (NPR).  NPR is measured by generating high level
broadband noise, then notching out one 3 kHz channel with a very fierce
filter, then seeing how much of the broadband noise is mixed into the
quiet channel.  I've been meaning to make some measurements of various
rigs with an NPR test set, but haven't done it yet.

I believe that this effect is the source of the "crunchy" background noise
you hear during a contest (you know, the noise that suddenly disappears at
0000z).  Without testing, it looks like the OMNI VI may be very good in
this respect as well as in phase noise.  Also, it doesn't weigh too much for
travelling.  However, the RIT clear is no good for serious contesting, and
it looks like a software/firmware change is required to fix it (you have to
hold the RIT button down for an awfully long time before it clears).

A couple of years ago I tried to use one at Dayton, but some officious
type barrelled into their motor home and announced "we're closed...out!"
so I never got to try it.  The same thing had happened to N6TJ and N6AA the
day before, so I guess they need some marketing lessons.  I think that if
Ten-Tec were a little more responsive to real contesting needs, they could
offer a variant that would become the standard of comparison, but what do I
know about running a business, anyway?

73 de Dave, W6QHS

>From David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629 at>  Wed Aug 23 19:44:00 1995
From: David & Barbara Leeson <0005543629 at> (David & Barbara Leeson)
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 95 13:44 EST
Subject: Trey's Birthday
Message-ID: <51950823184415/0005543629NA2EM at MCIMAIL.COM>

With the addition of yet another year, our fearless Computer has become the
eminence grise of young contesters.  How does it happen so fast?

The Old Guy

>From n2ic at (LondonSM)  Wed Aug 23 19:49:00 1995
From: n2ic at (LondonSM) (LondonSM)
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 1995 12:49:00 -0600
Subject: good news for contesters
References: <30950823125203/0006489207PK3EM at MCIMAIL.COM>
Message-ID: <9508231249.ZM13397 at>

On Aug 23,  7:52am, Douglas S. Zwiebel wrote:
> Here is a tidbit I pulled from the QRP reflector.  Thought we could
> all use some good Doug   KR2Q at
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 22 Aug 1995 14:47:51 -0600
> From: Paul Harden <pharden at>
> To: qrp-l at
> Subject: [2735] NEXT SOLAR CYCLE BEGINS!
> Message-ID: <199508222047.OAA06258 at>
> There is not much an observatory has to offer ham radio, but
> this is too pertinent to ignore.
> As we all know, we are sitting at dead bottom of the solar cycle ... a
> period of extreme solar "quiet" (minimum) conditions.  From a
> communications standpoint, you plot solar activity (various indexes or
> sunspot counts) to determine when the next cycle begins, but this
> method identifies the next solar cycle months after the fact.
> >From an astronomy and observational standpoint, there are two distinct
> conditions that identify the end of one cycle and the beginning of the
> next:
> 1. During a solar MINIMUM - sunspots are rare and when they do occur,
>    are located along the sun's equator within +/- 7 degrees.
> 2. During a solar MAXIMUM - sunspots become numerous and are located at
>    much higher latitudes on the solar disk, above 30 degrees.
> 3. The magnetic polarity of sunspots reverses from one cycle to the next.
> The first sunspot above the equator since early 1994 was observed
> Saturday, August 12, 1995 at the Big Bear Solar Observatory, operated by
> Cal Tech.  The sunspot was observed at 21 degrees north latitude and was
> of OPPOSITE magnetic polarity from all sunspots since 1984 ... identifying
> the start of the new solar cycle.
> Thus, the next solar cycle began August 12, 1995, a bit ahead of most
> forecasts. This suggests that improved HF propagation could be evident
> as early as next spring and summer, depending upon the rate of increase
> in solar activity.
> You heard it here first ... from the world's largest radio telescope
> in Socorro, NM (humbly referred to as the *center of the universe*).
> Good DX, Paul NA5N

Before anyone gets excited about the prospects for the 1995 and 1996 contest
seasons, keep in mind there is a multi-year overlap between "old cycle"
sunspots and "new cycle" sunspots.  My recollection of the previous sunspot
cycle was that the first "new cycle" spots appeared in 1985.  However, there
was no significant "uptick" in the solar flux until mid-1987. "Butterfly"
charts show this effect quite dramatically (A butterfly chart is a scatter
plot, with time on the x-axis, and solar latitude on the y-axis.  Each point on
the chart represents a sunspot group).

In addition, the definition of the "start" of the new sunspot cycle is based on
an increase in the smoothed sunspot number, NOT the appearance of new-cycle

I'll stop spilling sour milk now.

Steve, N2IC/0
n2ic at

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