The purpose of this experimental website is to provide 24-7-365 actual ( REALTIME ) band condition information to CW QRPp, QRPe and CW / SSB Contesters interested in increasing their scores. It can also be of benefit to other Radio Amateurs to determine band condtions for Nets and casual QSO's. This information is NOT based on any software predictions or any kind of satellite based readings. It's is based on a new Ionospheric sounding method called "HF Ionospheric Interferometry" which operates very similarly to the PolSAR system used by NASA.

 


INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE ...


REAL TIME CONUS BANDCONDX

This pages shows the ACTUAL REAL TIME conditions of the 80 to 15 meter bands across the Continental US ( CONUS ), with the exception of Alaska.

Reports are generated and uploaded to the web server every 30 seconds. Header information includes a Date, Time in GMT and a REPORT number in sequencial order. A web browser refresh command is also sent so the user does not have to hit the refresh button for the latest report. The web browser does it automatically for them. The display shows the Meter Band in RED and the BAND QUALITY INDEX ( BQI ) as a BLUE number at the bottom of the band scale.

BQI STANDARD

This standard is based on a 1 watt transmitter connected via RG-8X coax to a halfwave dipole 25 feet high with the major lobe facing East/West. A band condition that provides a minimum of a 3 hop circuit i.e. 3 reflections, 3 landings and 3 skipzones is assigned a value of 100. This is just a minimum as band openings often provide much better propagation but these conditions are not indicated past the 100 scale. All Scales are adjusted to the individual propagation characterstics of each band. The BQI values are the same across all bands.

USAGE GUIDE

100 = Best for 1 Watt or less QRP, QRPp, QRPe - Band wide open

70 -100 = Reliable SSB QSO's 100 Watts or less - Any ANT

51 - 69 = SSB requires AMP - Best DX for ANTs with main lobes 30 to 60 degrees from horizon

36 - 50 = SSB requires AMP - Best DX for ANTs with main lobes 0 to 30 degrees from horizon

19 - 35 = NVIS type ANTS work best here - Typically single hop circuits - Regional QSO's only

0 - 18 = Groundwave ONLY - typically 25 to 35 miles - Vertical ANTs work best here

 

MESSAGES

A number of messages are also broadcasted on the web page - Messages last for 3 minutes.

 

Propagation message is broadcasted on the hour and half hour

Additional propagation links will be only available only during this message time

CW Contest Message is broadcasted at 10 minutes past

SSB Contest Message is broadcasted at 15 minutes past

RTTY Contest Message is broadcasted at 20 minutes past

Operational Forecasts Message is broadcasted at 45 minutes past

 

The system also monitors NOAA SWPC bulletins as it receives them. If everything is normal, then the background color of the main page remains WHITE. If something is occurring (Like a X or M class flare or CME) then the background color will change to a light YELLOW to caution you that something is going on that "may" affect propagation. If something major is going on that "is" directly affecting propagation, then the background page color will turn to a light RED to warn you to check the bulletins for further information. In this manner, you ONLY have to read the propagation bulletins when something important is going on. This feature is only implemented in the main "CONUS" page at the present.

 


BANDCONDX LAST 10MIN / 1HR / 24 HRS

These 3 pages display the band trends (Rising, Falling, Stable) and is based on the BAND STABILITY INDEX ( BSI ). The BSI is based on the "flying" average of the BQI at the START and END of each time period. The START BQI is then subtracted from the END BQI to generate the BSI for each band.

 

BSI MEANINGS

-6 to +6 the band is fairly stable with little or no change during this time period

+7 to + 25 the band is getting better - the higher the number the faster the rate of change upward

-7 to - 25 the band is getting worse - the lower the number the faster the rate of change downward

+/- 25 is the highest/lowest indicators - band change maybe occuring faster but this is not shown.

 

Pay particular attention to the 24 HRS display - this display will indicate future ( next 24 HRS ) band conditions for each particular band. This indicator has been in use for the past 4 years and has been proven to be quite accurate.


YESTERDAYS BANDCONDX 160 -15

These web pages show the 24 hour BQI record of each band within a this time period - ( Yesterday ), Numbers in RED indicated hours in GMT with numbers in BLUE indicating the BQI for each hour. Hours 00 = 24 GMT and 00 hour is the start of a new day - Hence a new date at 00:00 GMT - NOTICE: THIS HAS NOW BEEN CHANGED TO LOCAL CST TIMES. WILL CHANGE TO CST/DST (DAYLIGHT SAVINGS) TIME WHEN NEEDED

 


KNOWN PROBLEMS

 

"WHITE OUT"

Web page suddenly blanks out - Answer: Hit the browser refresh button.

This is the Yahoo Server people doing this - they add some javascript to my HTML to count visitors for load balancing and web site metrics as well as making sure there is enough web server resources for all. The more times you check this website the higher your user ranking and the less you have to hit the refresh button. Also making this website your home page seems to increase your ranking but I have seen this only in new browsers. Older browsers like I.E. 6 or 7 makes no difference.

 

"ACCORDIAN"

Looks like a fan or Accordian everytime it down loads - Answer: Depends on many factors

HTML is sent to your browser - your browser then requests 4k JPEG files to display the scales. Since this is repeated over and over everytime you visit this web site your browser stores these JPEGS in a web cache. There are 101 JPEGS, so you have to visit the site a number of times to have them all downloaded to your cache. Sometimes these are stored in proxy servers for faster response. The more you visit the less "fanning" you should see unless you flush your web cache in which case you start at square one.

 

"REPORT DROPOUTS"

Report number suddenly skip ahead - Answer: Reports arriving at different times

Reports are always sent out in sequential order every 30 seconds - Sometimes these report numbers suddenly skip ahead. This happens from time to time - packet transit times and paths are usually pretty stable between the office and web server but occasionally they arrive at the webserver in the wrong order. No sense in showing them out of order so a simple script drops the wayward reports so the webserver shows only the ones arriving in sequence.

 

"BROWSER NOT UPDATING"

Report numbers not advancing automatically - Answer: Depends on the browser

Refresh clockis controlled by the META Refresh command located on the top of the <BODY> HTML statement. Some older browsers do not recognize Meta Data/Command statements. Some do, but stop the refresh clock when the window loses focus i.e. user goes to another page and returns. The user MUST ALWAYS hit the refresh button to restart the refresh clock. For modern browsers, this not a problem but it's a good habit to get into when returning from another page. Report numbers are also shown on the tabs. If the user knows the propagation report will be broadcasted in five minutes, he/she simply adds 10 to the number on the tab and goes off to another pages while checking the tab once in a awhile.

 


K5BIZ - "BIZ" - DALLAS - TEXAS