Posted by James Watson on 01 Jan, 2017

Happy new year to you all. I've just posted the first SSN update of 2017 predicting the continued decline in cycle 24. 2016 saw a step up in the number of spotless days (10%) over the typically <1% values observed over the previous five years, causing some commentators to predict the onset of a prolonged period of low activity. Some may see this as a threat to HF, I'd prefer to see it as a time in which we can restore 'art' of HF, using the challenging conditions to bring out the best of operating practices.

One of my new year's resolutions has been to spend more time on the blog. I'm currently working on a review of the RSGB's 5MHz experiment as a benchmark for the P.533 method. This will be of interest to military and disaster relief workers who require reliable links over (relatively) short range operation. Most of the benchmarking performed to date has employed the D1 database, comprising data for longer, more conventional links. (Spoiler alert: P.533 is good...)

2016 was a great launch year for the site, with the number of visitors steadily increasing throughout the year and I'd like to thank everyone for their support and interest in the project. Your feedback has been amazing and is always welcome, as are suggestions for improvements to the site which I aim to implement in the coming months.

Happy 2017 to you all...

   SSN    CYCLE 24   

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