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(Slash Gear)   Sun unleashes massive solar flare that will disrupt radio. You know, radio. That thing in your car next to the USB port you plug your iPod into? Yeah, that thing won't work too well   (slashgear.com) divider line 38
    More: Interesting, solar flares, magnetosphere, Geomagnetic Storm, charged particles, USB, Chicago Mercantile Exchange  
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1946 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Apr 2013 at 12:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-12 10:31:52 AM
Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.
 
2013-04-12 10:49:31 AM
AWESOME:  Get ready for some auroral propagation on VHF!

I'm gonna start warming up the 6 and 2 meter all-mode rigs.  New grid squares, here I come!
 
2013-04-12 10:53:51 AM

factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.


That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those.  It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.
 
2013-04-12 11:02:29 AM
The Sun is here!
 
2013-04-12 11:11:48 AM

dittybopper: AWESOME:  Get ready for some auroral propagation on VHF!

I'm gonna start warming up the 6 and 2 meter all-mode rigs.  New grid squares, here I come!


I need to get a rig for my truck.  My VHF handheld isn't cutting it anymore.
 
2013-04-12 11:45:00 AM

RedPhoenix122: dittybopper: AWESOME:  Get ready for some auroral propagation on VHF!

I'm gonna start warming up the 6 and 2 meter all-mode rigs.  New grid squares, here I come!

I need to get a rig for my truck.  My VHF handheld isn't cutting it anymore.


I've got three in my car:

Yaesu FT-1900R 55 watt 2 Meter FM only
Yaesu FT-690RII 10 watt 6 Meter all mode (SSB, CW, FM)
Radio Shack HTX-100 25 watt 10 meter  (SSB, CW)

I've got the 10 Meter rig connected to an 8 foot long hamstick antenna that's on a 3 magnet magmount on the roof, and since I've gotten that antenna, from upstate NY I've made the following contacts:

HR9/WQ7R - Honduras
EC8AFM - Canary Islands
ZP6CW (twice) - Paraguay
ZL1BYZ (3 times) - New Zealand
K1HP/KP2 - US Virgin Islands
6Y5WJ - Jamaica
4A2I - Mexico
KW7D - New Mexico
CO8WZ - Cuba
LU5FZ - Argentina
PY2XC - Brazil
PY2NGN - Brazil
N7OG - Utah
HI3LFE - Dominican Republic

Now, I don't have a working microphone for that 10 meter rig, so all those contacts were me driving around, using Morse, but I know people who've been making a ton of sideband contacts on 10 meters also.  Get a 10 meter rig, put it in the car, and slap a decent CB magmount on the car and trim it to 10 meters.

Do it soon before 10 meters goes bye-bye for a few years.
 
2013-04-12 11:47:12 AM
I should also point out that if you let it be known you are looking for some older gear, you might get one for free, or on a long-term loan from another ham, instead of having to buy new or going to ePay.
 
2013-04-12 12:18:07 PM
Yeah, I noticed Diane Rehm's voice sounded a little shaky. That MUST be why.
 
2013-04-12 12:26:03 PM
If the sun is so bright why does it need to shoot flares?
 
2013-04-12 12:36:43 PM

dittybopper: I should also point out that if you let it be known you are looking for some older gear, you might get one for free, or on a long-term loan from another ham, instead of having to buy new or going to ePay.


That's some good advice, I'll have to try that.

/Currently in the Baltimore area, KE7QOM.
 
2013-04-12 12:36:50 PM
Damn it, Abrams.
 
2013-04-12 12:48:10 PM
factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby? Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface. Your smartphone, on both voice and data. Your alarm system. Your key fob.

None of the above matters to me ... but if I have to go dig a wired XBOX360 controller out of the closet I'm going to snipe someone.
 
2013-04-12 01:14:37 PM

RedPhoenix122: dittybopper: I should also point out that if you let it be known you are looking for some older gear, you might get one for free, or on a long-term loan from another ham, instead of having to buy new or going to ePay.

That's some good advice, I'll have to try that.

/Currently in the Baltimore area, KE7QOM.


I don't give out my call on Fark, generally, but if you participate in the next yet-to-be-scheduled Fark QSO Party, you'll know it.

BTW, I've gotten a bunch of gear that way:  my TS-700S 2 meter all-mode and my Yaesu FT-690RII 6 meter all-mode were both given to me by hams that thought the radios had problems, but it turns out that they didn't.

I've lent my spare 2 meter FM mobile (an old Radio Shack HTX-252) to new hams until they could get their own equipment.
 
2013-04-12 01:23:39 PM
Speaking of radio disruptions... I just realized that when I touch the wrought-iron frame of my end-table, it screws with the reception of the local NPR station on my stereo. Which is on the other side of the room.

Radio is weird O_o
 
2013-04-12 01:35:22 PM

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Speaking of radio disruptions... I just realized that when I touch the wrought-iron frame of my end-table, it screws with the reception of the local NPR station on my stereo. Which is on the other side of the room.

Radio is weird O_o


It's not that weird.

Put a decent antenna on your stereo, one out in the open and up in the air, and stuff like that won't affect it.

And by decent antenna, I mean something like a half-wave dipole.
 
2013-04-12 02:02:51 PM
iPhone?
how pedestrian..
Sat radio is where it's at.
new music, live talk and sports, much more content and varied content than my iPod.

My iPod is for the gym.. and .. (looks around and forgets that he's on fark).. never mind what a gym is...
 
2013-04-12 02:04:31 PM

dittybopper: That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those. It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.


Cell tower-to-handset ranges are too short range for disruption?  That's a new on... [carrier lost]
 
2013-04-12 02:04:48 PM
An M class flare? Wake me when we start getting into X class. Lets have another X21!
 
2013-04-12 02:05:15 PM
dittybopper:And by decent antenna, I mean something like a half-wave dipole.

Yeah I'm just using a 6' piece of 24 gauge wire taped to the wall. The reception is usually "acceptable" for the amount of indoor radio listening I do.

I just think it's hilarious that I can affect the signal enough to make it fuzz out just by making physical contact with an unrelated object.
 
2013-04-12 02:07:40 PM

Dr.Knockboots: iPhone?
how pedestrian..
Sat radio is where it's at.
new music, live talk and sports, much more content and varied content than my iPod.

My iPod is for the gym.. and .. (looks around and forgets that he's on fark).. never mind what a gym is...


I had satellite radio. After a year it had the same problem as radio: hundreds of channels with nothing on. A digital music player was much better because I didn't have to channel surf or put of with shiat songs to listen to what I liked.

Podcasts and streaming services fill any variety I may need
 
2013-04-12 02:07:45 PM
But my satellite radio and GPS will continue to work, right?
 
2013-04-12 02:14:31 PM

dittybopper: RedPhoenix122: dittybopper: I should also point out that if you let it be known you are looking for some older gear, you might get one for free, or on a long-term loan from another ham, instead of having to buy new or going to ePay.

That's some good advice, I'll have to try that.

/Currently in the Baltimore area, KE7QOM.

I don't give out my call on Fark, generally, but if you participate in the next yet-to-be-scheduled Fark QSO Party, you'll know it.

BTW, I've gotten a bunch of gear that way:  my TS-700S 2 meter all-mode and my Yaesu FT-690RII 6 meter all-mode were both given to me by hams that thought the radios had problems, but it turns out that they didn't.

I've lent my spare 2 meter FM mobile (an old Radio Shack HTX-252) to new hams until they could get their own equipment.


I'll have to keep an eye out for the next FARK QSO Party...thanks for the info.
 
2013-04-12 02:29:51 PM
Will this improve the Aurora Borealis tonight?
 
2013-04-12 02:40:12 PM
B-b-but how will the crazy old coot living on the end of the street listen to Rush Limbaugh now?.
 
2013-04-12 02:41:22 PM

schmidtybone: Will this improve the Aurora Borealis tonight?


Only in my kitchen.
 
2013-04-12 03:20:38 PM
Hmm I wonder if this'll mess up my digi-modes on 20 meters...

JT65 mostly at night.  Mostly.

+ PSK31, Olivia, Throb, Thor, RTTY, Contestia, and hopefully Lentus one day.
 
2013-04-12 03:37:45 PM

NEPAman: Hmm I wonder if this'll mess up my digi-modes on 20 meters...

JT65 mostly at night.  Mostly.

+ PSK31, Olivia, Throb, Thor, RTTY, Contestia, and hopefully Lentus one day.


What, no FeldHell?  Heathen.
 
2013-04-12 03:38:27 PM

schmidtybone: Will this improve the Aurora Borealis tonight?


Very good possibility.
 
2013-04-12 04:36:40 PM

Dr.Knockboots: iPhone?
how pedestrian..
Sat radio is where it's at.
new music, live talk and sports, much more content and varied content than my iPod.

My iPod is for the gym.. and .. (looks around and forgets that he's on fark).. never mind what a gym is...


If my Sirus goes offline I'm going to choke someone.

/driving to Albany in a few hours
 
2013-04-12 06:54:47 PM

dittybopper: factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.

That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those.  It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.


Ya, no. You see, because they're meant for short range, their transmission power is also orders of magnitude less than, say, a broadcast antenna or an FM station transmitter. So you're likely to get the same proportional interference.

Also, the voice and data service on your phone would likely be affected the most; and that's arguably the most important function -- well, the data service anyway.
 
2013-04-12 07:49:30 PM

dittybopper: factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.

That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those.  It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.


images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-04-12 08:10:18 PM

NEPAman: Hmm I wonder if this'll mess up my digi-modes on 20 meters...

JT65 mostly at night.  Mostly.

+ PSK31, Olivia, Throb, Thor, RTTY, Contestia, and hopefully Lentus one day.


KB9KRO!
 
2013-04-12 08:51:40 PM

CygnusDarius: schmidtybone: Will this improve the Aurora Borealis tonight?

Only in my kitchen.


cdn02.cdnwp.thefrisky.com

Linky  http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-08-17/the-aurora-borealis-cocktail-is-t h e-coolest-drink-ever/
 
2013-04-13 10:20:01 AM
According to a recent paper from the Hansen institute at NASA, these solar flares don't just interfere with radio on earth, they are actually increased by man-made radio emissions. The effect is large and has been conclusively confirmed by models. We owe it to our children to pass new laws that limit radio wave emissions.
 
2013-04-13 10:59:18 AM

imgod2u: dittybopper: factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.

That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those.  It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.

Ya, no. You see, because they're meant for short range, their transmission power is also orders of magnitude less than, say, a broadcast antenna or an FM station transmitter. So you're likely to get the same proportional interference.


I could accept that, but for a few problems:
1. Signal aperture.  An FM radio receiver operates at around 100 MHz so a half-wave antenna is 468/100 = 4.68 feet long.  Bluetooth headsets operate at about 2400 MHz, so a half-wave antenna is (468/2400)*12 = 2.3 inches.  That means that for a given antenna design, the smaller one is going to intercept much less signal.

2. Generally, line-of-sight communications won't be affected.  It will be communications that traverse the ionosphere that will be affected.  That means HF stuff (which is what hams often use), low and perhaps high VHF (you'll hear stations from far away that you wouldn't hear normally, but they'll be raspy  or watery sounding), and satellite communications could be effected.  But just your handset to cell tower won't, and neither will your car fob or Bluetooth headset.

Also, the voice and data service on your phone would likely be affected the most; and that's arguably the most important function -- well, the data service anyway.

Not really, unless the signal goes through a satellite, but providers try to avoid that when possibly, relying instead on wired links, because satellite introduces a delay that can be annoying when trying to talk.

The link between your handset and the local cell site is very unlikely to be affected, and indeed much of the network between cell sites is now fiber optic.  Since since glass is an insulator, it's pretty damn hard to induce a voltage on it ;-).
 
2013-04-13 11:01:52 AM

enry: Dr.Knockboots: iPhone?
how pedestrian..
Sat radio is where it's at.
new music, live talk and sports, much more content and varied content than my iPod.

My iPod is for the gym.. and .. (looks around and forgets that he's on fark).. never mind what a gym is...

If my Sirus goes offline I'm going to choke someone.

/driving to Albany in a few hours


You could always listen to 28.015 MHz, +/- a few kHz.  I send a few CQ's in Morse out.
 
2013-04-13 11:51:59 AM
So does this have anything to do with why I can't get into Facebook or Hotmail?
 
2013-04-13 06:26:20 PM

dittybopper: imgod2u: dittybopper: factoryconnection: Do you know what else uses radio waves, subby?  Your bluetooth remote and car/phone interface.  Your smartphone, on both voice and data.  Your alarm system.  Your key fob.

All sorts of things.

That's true, but they are so short-range that there will be zero disruptions of those.  It's not like you won't be able to use your Bluetooth headset or unlock your car because of sunspots.

Ya, no. You see, because they're meant for short range, their transmission power is also orders of magnitude less than, say, a broadcast antenna or an FM station transmitter. So you're likely to get the same proportional interference.

I could accept that, but for a few problems:
1. Signal aperture.  An FM radio receiver operates at around 100 MHz so a half-wave antenna is 468/100 = 4.68 feet long.  Bluetooth headsets operate at about 2400 MHz, so a half-wave antenna is (468/2400)*12 = 2.3 inches.  That means that for a given antenna design, the smaller one is going to intercept much less signal.


Yes and no. While larger antennas do attenuate more frequencies, it doesn't really matter for most radio designs as they filter out all but the frequency range they want. It's only when you have interference in the specific bandwidth that the actual signal is on that there's a problem. Now, granted, I don't think old-ass FM receivers actually filter that well or that much, so it may indeed be more susceptible to the various harmonics of the solar flare. But that's less to do with range and more to do with bad (or old) receiver design.

2. Generally, line-of-sight communications won't be affected.  It will be communications that traverse the ionosphere that will be affected.  That means HF stuff (which is what hams often use), low and perhaps high VHF (you'll hear stations from far away that you wouldn't hear normally, but they'll be raspy  or watery sounding), and satellite communications could be effected.  But just your handset to cell tower won't, and neither will your car fob or Bluetooth headset.

Aren't FM transmitters mounted on billboards? I know AM ones are. So the same applies.
 
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