MDSR is now recording in two locations – still looking for more participants during the eclipse on Aug 21.

Alex Schwarz

The RF-Seismograph is steadily increasing in popularity as amateurs realize that propagation and celestial events are strongly connected together. Even though the sun is the source direct or indirect for most of the phenomena that causes radio waves to bend in the ionosphere, it gets way more interesting when we look at the issue closely. As the sun spews particles into space and the earth magnetic field turns and twists during these events, the background noise that everyone hears in the speaker of any receiver changes. This is especially noticeable in the shortwave bands. The RF-Seismograph records these changes and displays 6 bands over a period of 24h. It even has the capability to estimate propagation while listening to JT-65 broadcast. It is capable of monitoring the HF bands during times when the operator is not using the station.

In the upcoming total eclipse for most of the USA on Aug. 21st. we have the opportunity to measure and record this effect. As the moon blocks the sun for 2min following the line of totality across the continental United States, it also creates an ionic canyon that has severe impacts on radio propagation. This will happen even if the sky is overcast and the sun is not visible. Clouds will not affect the propagation. If the ionic canyon is off to the side by about 1000km (600mls) the effect on the radio waves will yield the longest propagation. This is the case for Mexico, Central America and most of Canada.

The RF-Seismograph has already changed the way we look at thunderstorms. Measuring noise levels on all bands that are available to amateurs we can reveal even more interesting connections between propagation and science. This will not only increase our understanding of our complex world but also lead to better models for predicting space weather.

Please join our effort!

Check out the noise level and propagation here:

All the best and 73;

Alex – VE7DXW