[CQ-Contest] Its not the Sunspots folks

Steve London n2icarrl at gmail.com
Mon Oct 31 22:00:57 EDT 2016

In my experience from the western USA, I see this....

On exceptional nights, 160 and 80 conditions to Europe are better at the 
sunspot minimum. However, on average nights, it is no better at the 
sunspot minimum than at any other time in the sunspot cycle.

Steve, N2IC

On 10/31/2016 05:50 PM, kr2q at optimum.net wrote:
> Sorry for the reposting, and hate to rain on your parade, but.....
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:52:53 -0400
> From: Carl Luetzelschwab <carlluetzelschwab at gmail.com>
> To: topband at contesting.com
> Subject: Topband: what's in store for 160m
> About a week ago Wolf DF2PY posted a message here commenting on the recent
> adverse levels of geomagnetic field activity and how it will now change for
> the good - giving us good 160m propagation.
> We'll certainly see less geomagnetic field activity as we move into winter,
> but there's another issue we should be aware of. The Sun's magnetic field
> is weakening - probably to the lowest levels in our lifetime. With a weak
> solar magnetic field, more galactic cosmic rays will be able to get into
> the Earth's atmosphere. We are now seeing unprecedented high neutron counts
> (neutrons are one of the by-products of cosmic rays)
> Since galactic cosmic rays are mostly *very energetic* protons, they can
> get down to low atmospheric altitudes, causing collisional ionization in
> the D region (and lower E region). A cursory estimate using cosmic ray
> ionization rates confirms more ionization in the lower atmosphere. 160m is
> not very tolerant of more absorption, so we may see an adverse effect of
> the weakened solar magnetic field.
> Many of us think that "solar min is solar min is solar min". But maybe a
> solar minimum can be too deep for 160m. A good question to ask in the early
> 2020s will be "how was 160m?" So stay active on 160m and let's see what
> happens.
> Carl K9LA
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