The Lack of Sunspots

I’m a ham operator and all of us in the worldwide community of amateur radio are sad because of a very low sunspot number lately. Today it is 13. The people on HF frequencies can’t use the ionosphere layer to reflect their RF signal very well. The general term for this phenomena is called Radio Propagation. Many factors are involved and the Sunspot Number is important. The higher the number, the more ionized this layer becomes, the more reflection of radio waves.

I’ve been reading about the L band we use to receive Outernet. It too is moderately affected by solar weather, So if you have noticed your SNR is a bit low the last few days, I would think the low sunspot number may be a big factor. Here is a reference:
Do a find on L-band (no spaces). BTW the Ku band is not affected by sunspots.


We are on the downward trending side of solar cycle 24. Nothing to be sad about, as it is not a big surprise. It happens every 11 years. Plenty of communications to be had using CW or digital modes right now.

As for the lack of sunspots creating low SNR, it seems if there are few sunspots, then there is little ionospheric disturbance, therefore more stable satellite signals.

Scintillation may very evident in my location. Like clockwork, beginning in late afternoon, early evening, signal drops a couple of dB or more for a few hours them comes back around 9pm or so.

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