The latest ARRL Propagation Bulletin, Feb 22, tells us that there have been no sunspots yet, and the Sun has been blnk for seventeen days. For a week, one sunspot was visible prior to the spotless period, and that followed a twenty-day spotless run. Sunspot numbers for Feb 14 through 20 were 0, 0, 0,0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0.
ARRL also reports and discusses some unusual propagation effects on 160/75 metres as experienced by North American AROs.
See the full report at
HF BROADCASTING NEWS
NEW HF TRANSMISSION SEASON
The A08 transmission season starts on Mar 31, and runs for seven months. The HFCC meeting in Singapore has developed an initial master schedule, but this is now very difficult to achieve due to propagation predictions not conforming to classical theories, as we are in limbo between Sunspot Cycles23 and 24. It may well be that there will no more sunspots at all, ever, which would certainly put spanners in the works!
Preliminary assessment of proposed A08 schedules affecting broadcasts intended for Australia is that there will be large reductions in daily hours. I would anticipate that many remaining services to Australia will be abandoned completely during 2008. This steady reduction is an outcome of many broadcasters' beliefs that HF broadcasting is not worth the effort or money, concentrating on other exciting new platforms to inform and entertain us.
From Feb 28, CVC-Darwin is scheduled for these new transmissions:
11650 1500-1530 11995 1430-1500 13725 1430-150013725 1500-1530
The Overcomer Ministry has announced special test transmissions from the 250 kW facility at Pori, Finland, from Feb 20 until Mar 31, 2008. These are for Eu/ME in English: 9595 1500-1700 160 deg1900-2100 6060 220 deg
See further details at: http://www.overcomerministry.org/
Eff Feb 20, RN in Spanish 0200-0400 is now on 9430, via the Sines relay, replacing 9895
A recent frequency change for BBC via Kranji is: 6080 2300-2330 Vietnamese (M-F) ex 6100
Eff Feb 25, VOT plans these new frequencies:
9705 1600-1700 Pashto
11750 1200-1300 Mandarin (ex 12050)
A February frequency change for KBS (Seoul) is: 5935 1900-2000 via Skelton (ex 7180 Rampisham), Arabic to NAf/ME
AUSTRALIAN DOMESTIC RADIO
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTERS INVESTING BIG IN DIGITAL RADIO
Australian radio broadcasters are investing tens of millions of dollars inthe initial rollout of digital radio by Jan 12009, with hundreds of millionsmore expected to complete the national rollout over the next few years.
Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) Chief Executive Officer Joan Warner said commercial radio broadcasters have joined forces with public broadcastersABC and SBS to establish the necessary infrastructure to deliver digital radio. She said manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are planning to havea wide range of digital radio receivers available before the end of this year in anticipation of public demand.
Digital radio is scheduled to begin next year in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.
“This is one of the most significant milestones in Australian broadcasting history,” said Ms Warner. It is a re-positioning for the 21st century ofAustralia’s most used form of electronic media and places Australia at theforefront of world broadcasting trends.”
The digital radio broadcasts will be free-to-air as stipulated by legislation passed last year. Australia has adopted the DAB+ broadcasting technology to maximise the use of spectrum and influence the type of services that can be delivered to the listener. (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Feb 21)
DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE TRANSMISSIONS
There are only two DRM services currently operating on MF from Australia:
1431 Gunchlin, ACT, MCS, 50 Watts, authorized 0000-0100
1386 Woolongong, NSW, ABC, 3 KW, authorized 24 hrs
SHORTWAVE AUSTRALIA by Bob Padula
(Source: Antonio Schuler SW World)