[CQ-Contest] Work Plan for CQ WW DX
g4fkh at btinternet.com
Sun Oct 19 05:01:46 EDT 2008
I have been asked to reply to your message that outlines your concerns about our usage of REC533.
REC533 is the prediction tool that is used to work out the ZoneProp predictions, as with all such computer programs some input is required by the user. This input we supply programatically.
We take the SSN from the SEC NOAA page which is indeed a smoothed SSN, but of course the figures we use are themselves a prediction. In reality the small changes made from time to time would make very little difference to the matrix.
I'm sure that you would agree that whether you did these predictions a year ago or they are done today, as long as the user input remains the same, exactly the same results would appear. This in effect is what we are doing and therefore we are in no way attempting to or actually changing the underlying nature of REC533.
Sylvan, runs this program once per hour mainly because that is the smallest time frame in which REC533 can work out the predictions, other reasons are because he does not have sufficient computer time in which to perform the predictions, etc. So once per hour users of ZoneProp can see a developing trend in their predictions. Every three hours a new K index is issued, we use the K index supplied by SEC NOAA. When a K index of 3 or greater is issued, the MUF is adjusted again programatically to reflect this. This adjustment may or may not make a difference to the matrix, it depends upon how close to the band edge the predicted MUF was in the first place. I have correlated the MUF change with the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) and feel fully justified in so doing.
General research into propagation predictions tools has almost disappeared off the face of the Earth, except probably for the military, who choose not to share their findings with the rest of humanity. This means that we are left with the older models and must find ways in which they can be enhanced, one way to do this is to apply add-ons. We Amateur's are best suited for this task and do our best as with ZoneProp for example. We have received many comments suggesting that what we are doing is actually quite consistently good, so again I full fully justified in so doing.
I hope that this helps you to understand our underlying philosophy and why we have done as we are doing.
Gwyn - G4FKH
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