Saturday, August 26, 2006

Comparison of SID Monitor Results for 8/20/06

In reply to Mike, but in hope that we can share some observations on our observations, I am posting our TLU results with a comparison to the Utah State observations of NML on 8/20/06.

Mike's post of this day should be referenced to the above. The USU data, taken from their website (thank you for sharing), has a flare response almost a factor of 7 larger than ours! Mike's is a couple of times smaller than the TLU data. The noise looks to be roughly the same on these systems (+- 50% at least). Don't really use the TLU data in the above jpeg. It is given for comparison to the USU data. A better scale is used in the earlier post in response to Mike's question.

What did others see? To what extent is the magnitude of the flare response a function of antenna design and to what extent is it a function of antenna locale?

Also in response to Mike's worries, notice that the nighttime measurements, night noise, are greatly different between the two stations. Even the relative location of night to day on the scale is different. I don't even see a strong correlation of ups and downs in the two night noise plots. That might be a neat question to ask for a couple of stations looking at the same xmitter.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stanford SID Monitors

Stanford SID Monitors


Same here....I could not get my image to post in the Comment Section.

Here is my data for 8/20/06. I can see signals in the graph, but the noise is still high. I may need to re-locate the antenna, or build the larger antenna to improve sensitivity. What size antenna do you use for sid monitoring. BTW...I monitor NAA in Maine. My location is Bowling Green KY 65 miles north of Nashville TN.

Mike, kw4mac

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

With apologies to Mike, KW4MAC, I could not figure out how to get a jpeg file into a comment on
an existing blog item. Our first decent day gave us some sid events, I believe. I checked the bumps against the noaa reports for XRA events on 8/20. If anyone took data that day, I would appreciate a response comparison. I think that my signal is a bit low still. The Stanford Wilcox data is a lot prettier, of course.

We're still setting up our sidmon, so comparisons would help. We're due S of NML, our transmitter in ND.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stanford SID Monitors

Hello SID group.

I'm new to SID monitoring. I installed my antenna and sid monitor August 1 and have been recording data daily. I think I see the sunrise/sunset signals and the daytime signal looks like what I've seen with other sid graphs, but my nighttime signal is consistenly low.

Also...I've seen reports of a couple of flares in the last two weeks....Aug. 18 approximatelyh 16:00 UT, for example, but do not see anything on my graph. I'm including the graph I recorded on Aug. 18 to see if this group can help me understand the low nighttime signal and why I might not be seeing flares.


Mike, KW4MAC

Friday, August 18, 2006

Attention all SID monitors!

Last May a significant meteor fireball fell east of El Paso, Texas. The
event was witnessed by dozens of people and was captured by several
video cameras making up part of the North American All-Sky Camera
Network. These cameras are designed to detect meteors entering the
earth's atmosphere and measured the brightness at greater than magnitude
-13.7 (a full moon is only about -12). A quick time video of the event
can be found at
. Recent
investigations have suggested that the main mass and terminal explosion
were considerably larger than previously estimated and thus might have
caused ionospheric disturbances. I have also learned that some
eyewitnesses may have heard electrophonic sounds. This is a real long
shot, but those involved in investigating this event would appreciate it
if the members of this group would check their archives for anything
unusual on May 5th around 2150 MDT (0350 UTC, May 5th ). Thanks for
your help.

Ernie Iverson

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Backward sunspot heralds start of new cycle?

NASA Science News for August 15, 2006

A strange little sunspot noticed by astronomers on July 31st may herald the coming of an unusually stormy solar cycle.


Predictions for next solar cycle

Here's an item from SolarNews you might be interested in:

"Submit your solar cycle 24 prediction, both serious and ‘fun’ Douglas Biesecker
27 Jul 2006

Request for solar cycle 24 predictions, both serious and ‘fun’
Please submit by September 9, 2006 to guarantee consideration.

The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel is issuing an invitation for you to submit your prediction for the strength and phase of Solar Cycle 24. There’s even a ‘fun’ component for you non-serious predictors.

As for the previous two solar cycles, the NOAA Space Environment Center is convening a scientific task force of international experts to examine differing forecast scenarios for the amplitude and phase of solar activity during Solar Cycle 24. This task force, with the aid of NASA support, is charged with determining a consensus forecast for the coming solar cycle. The consensus forecast will be published to provide guidance for a myriad of scientific, governmental, and industrial concerns. The panel expects to issue a preliminary prediction by the time of the 2007 Space Weather Week (April, 2007).

For those without a specific prediction model, we’d still like your prediction. The chair of the panel promises to do something fun with the predictions. Fun for a physicist, that is. There might be a prize in it, or at least some notoriety. The chair will just need a long memory.

E-mail predictions, no later than September 9, 2006 to
Douglas Biesecker

All predictions, both serious and fun, must include the following information:
Institution (if applicable):
Mailing Address:
Work Phone Number (include country code if outside USA):
Category of prediction (Fun, Precursor, Spectral, Climatology, Recent Climatology, or Neural Network, other (please specify)):

For those submitting a ‘fun’ prediction (one prediction per person)
Prediction for the peak, smoothed sunspot number for solar cycle 24
Prediction for the month and year of the peak, smoothed sunspot number
That’s it for you.

For those with model derived predictions
Submit a prediction for any of:
Peak sunspot number for solar cycle 24 (in units of sunspot number or F10.7 flux)
Time of maximum (absolute date or time (in months) after minimum)
Duration of cycle 24
Prediction for time of minimum between cycles 23 and 24

A maximum two page summary of your prediction technique.

Other things we would like to see, but not required:
A skill score from a prediction of prior cycles (show how computed)
Error bars on your prediction (show how derived)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Solar Activity Alerts!

For those of you not already on an email alert system for solar activity her are some options you might like:
This is the homepage, you can subscibe to the email list here:
A great sun monitoring site!
This is the Max millennium list

If you use other email alert's sites or other solar monitoring sites please post your suggestions!



Thursday, August 10, 2006

A SID Antenna Design

The above two pictures are of the antenna that I put on line last week. Students will return in another week, so I wanted to have something of interest already started. We will worry about data analysis after we resolve some issues with the noise that we seem to have. Our "TLU" SID uses the NML radio station almost due north of us , about 1200 mi along US Highway 281, in central ND. So we see the vast Midwest storm corridor.

Here is the parts list to make our antenna:

TLU Antenna Parts List

1 1/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe, two 10' stands
1 1/4" PVC pipe cross
1 1/4" PVC pipe Tee, four
1 1/4" endcap, eight

80 lb sack of concrete
large plastic dishpan
2x4" 8' length, three
a few small scraps of 3/8" plywood to shim the support 'V' blocks
assorted wood screws & some spray paint
one long 1/4" lag bolt ( serves as axle during the wire wrapping)
1/4" nylon rope, to be tied in tautline hitch knots
two plastic electrical boxes with covers
some white electrical tape and two crimp connectors

1000' of solid 24 AWG hook-up wire
three PL-259 coax connectors
Times Microwave LMR-400UF low-loss coax cable (a ham radio favorite)
OPEK model LP-350 UHF coax lightning surge protector (a ham radio favorite)

The antenna is quite sturdy and should be able to handle a shielded coax antenna wire (RG174 for small size). The double arm might also be able to accomodate a second pickup antenna in a two-antenna design. I recently discovered a techie VHF reference in "RadioScience Observng, Vol. 1" by J. J. Carr. It's a ham oriented Sams publication that covered lots of the earlier designs I have seen on the web.

If you have interest in this antenna design, I could email or post a whole series of jpg exhibits of the system. Alas, no vacation slides are available. ;)

Many thanks to Shannon & Ray for recently looking at my noise data!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Attention all SID monitors!

Hello SID monitor groups!

We are making a web page devoted to pictures of your antennae! If you would like your design displayed on our SID site please email us a picture of your set up (multiple angles if you wish).

This will be a great way to show off your pride and joy and also help new builders with your great ideas. No antenna is too small or too simple! We are interested in showcasing all ranges of designs from the most basic to advanced.

Please email your pictures to

Looking forward to seeing everyone's design!

Thank you,

Shannon Lee