Sunspot cycle dangers

expat42451

Active member
For those of us familiar with it, the 1859 Carrington event was a harbinger of what is possible from the sun. For those not familiar look here
Imagine if one will in today's culture what such an event might cause. In 1859 there were no satellite constellations, no national power grid, no radios or computers with delicate circuitry. The telegraph system was pretty much brute force. Today our comms depend on a lot of vulnerable equipment. A Carrington event is arguably worse than an thermonuclear exchange in the possible wide spread destruction wreaked on power grids and infrastructure. I say arguably because we do not have empirical knowledge of a thermonuclear exchange (although we do have some information from single weapon testing detonations) and we have very limited knowledge of the 1859 event. Either way my purpose here is not to argue which is worse. BOTH have similar effects. My objective in this thread is for us to consider the effects of a Carrington event, CME or thermonuclear exchange would have on what our objective in this sub section of DEFCON is about- communicating by radio. The sun and nuclear detonations directly affect how successfully we do or dont communicate. We have been through several solar cycles of comparative quiet. New ops may not remember earlier more severe solar cycles because they either were not ops at that time or they are too young. Depending on which forecast(s) you have read---and each op that contemplates doing Health and Human Services comms or any type of comms during disaster is well served to become familiar with different predictions and consider- and discuss with other ops in the various groups and networks one is involved with, how different possibilities might effect the ability of the group to communicate ----particularly when comms that may be vital for survival on any scale are involved. As an op participating in disaster communications it is well to remember that you will hold the lives of other people in your hands.

Today may well be a case in point. As of my writing this at 0136Z 5/22, looking at the SWPC site
the GOES X Ray Flux page here
shows that we have had, since 1930 Z on 5/21, 5 C Class events and 2 low M class events. So what one might wonder. These are LOW intensity events. On the Radio dashboard
https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/communities/radio-communications
look at D Region absorption. Play the movie in the pane on the left hand side of the page. This updates fairly frequently and you will see the maximum attenuation OBSERVED with each event. Note that these are observations NOT predictions.....the minor M Class event on 5/22 at 2140Z caused a 12 dB attenuation at 5 MHz, 8 dB on 40 M(7MHz) 4 dB at 10MHz...... consider if you were an op working a 75 M traffic net, what it would be like to experience this.......suddenly a 25 dB signal loss for everyone on the network.
Today has been an active day at comparatively low levels but at higher levels than many ops have experienced. Going back to forecasts, one article recently from NatGeo
and a prediction released in October of last year is here
again consider and discuss what might be the eventualities and how one might deal with them.

SWPC is excellent, stable site, lots of information.
The Solar Dynamics observatory
has occasional stability problems. For part of the day today when I wanted to look at what the sun was doing here
the site was down. Browser timeouts. Did not respond to pings or traceroutes. So be advised.
Additionally the STEREO site
was having trouble providing images. Stereo is important in that the two satellites involved in their way of looking at the sun will show whether an X Ray event causes a Coronal Mass Ejection and whether it is earth directed.

What I have done here is to scrape the surface of a somewhat involved and (to me) fascinating subject that affects how successfully we are able to communicate. Those of us that are experienced ops will already be familiar with most of what I have posted. For those of you that are newer to the hobby, this is only an introduction. Anything I am able to do to help anyone understand this please feel free to ask.

There is also this site
with good information and background on what I have mentioned here.


73
 
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Obreid

Power Poster
I have also heard that the severity on earth to sunspots fluctuates with the earths own magnetic field.
To what degree I’m not sure, nor do I know or if anyone does for sure.

it makes sense though. Two independently generated fields would fluctuate with each other’s separate strengths.
I don’t believe their is much published data on this which could either mean it’s a new theory or bunk.

It’s inversely indicated though during solar minimums when exposer to to cosmic rays increases because more are able to reach the earths surface.

Does our own floating magnetic pole effect DX transmissions any?
 

expat42451

Active member
Obreid
Your questions about the earth and its now weakening magnetic field are explored a lot more at spaceweathernews.com and suspicious observers.com·. I am sure that our floating magnetic poles do effect DX but to what extent I do not know. Currently our magnetic field is weakening so this makes us more vulnerable to the bad effects of sunspots.
73
 

Obreid

Power Poster
Obreid
Your questions about the earth and its now weakening magnetic field are explored a lot more at spaceweathernews.com and suspicious observers.com·. I am sure that our floating magnetic poles do effect DX but to what extent I do not know. Currently our magnetic field is weakening so this makes us more vulnerable to the bad effects of sunspots.
73
Puts a whole new perspective on all those little transformers we have inhabiting out lives doesn’t it?
All kinds of “invisible” forces at work in our lives.
 

expat42451

Active member
Puts a whole new perspective on all those little transformers we have inhabiting out lives doesn’t it?
All kinds of “invisible” forces at work in our lives.
Great point. Makes one rethink a lot of areas. Good grounding, good shielding, disconnecting pretty much everything when not in use. Faraday cages. There is lots that can be done to mitigate the direct effects on equipment. I am concerned that most of what we have done with equipment and systems design has been done during a long period of quiet and most of what is currently in use in a lot of areas isnt designed to cope with say a Carrington like event.
 

expat42451

Active member
Hypothetical situation. Heavy damage to infrastructure due to a Carrington event. Some broadcast stations are intermittently on the air, less as time past the event passes. Most of the power grid is down. Forget the internet. There have been intermittent attempts to establish HF Comms nets or continue existing ones but like we have seen with the last 36 or so hours of solar activity with repeated flaring and the associated CME's (but MANY orders of magnitude more intense)---some of the ops that have appeared on the air on the different nets have disappeared. Caught with things connected on impact of another CME, equipment damage and depending on the type of equipment no spares or any way to effect repairs... they are possibly permanently out of the game.

So what do YOU do. You are a good practitioner. You have prepped reasonably well. You have augmented your station antenna system and ground and one antenna option you have is here
which is a DC grounded antenna. Ohmmeter shows a direct short circuit to your ground system. Whats called a shunt feed. You have put this antenna up and have set it up to use on multiple freqs. You also have good suppressor equipment installed on your transmission lines to try to protect your equipment when you are on the air. A good ground system provided for everything.

How do you know what propagation is going to be or whether anyone is getting "killed" ...SWPC and the pretty movie of magnetosphere impacts of sunspots are gone. No internet. ..so how do you know....one possibility is beacon stations. You have an older tube type or early transistor Rx that you have the parts and ability to repair- examples are a Collins 75A4 or a JRC NRD 515. Both of these radios were designed to be used in commercial or multi op multi transmitter situations where they were used in high RF environments. SAC used derivatives of the 75A4. Many coastal maritime mobile stations used the NRD 515. First thing you do is listen. First place you want to listen is in the shortwave broadcast bands. Second place is here
You have already hard copied the beacon lists and have them in a bound notebook for reference, yes?? Who can you hear. Where are they??
Your shunt fed antenna in most situations isnt 800 feet high like in the vias.org plans. What you have done is put lumped inductance at the base of the antenna to increase its overall electrical length. You have also used the antenna to experiment, t o listen for beacons and other traffic and to work other stations on your different networks so you know its propagation characteristics. For example in your location given the geography, you know that signals from south through Sw on your shunt fed vertical are 3-5 dB down from signals received in other directions on 20 M..... You know for example how its radiation characteristics compare with the reference...a half wave dipole suspended over perfectly conducting earth
for more information for those so curious....
The objective is to be well enough prepared and knowledgeable enough through your own good practices and SHARED practices by others in your group and on your net.... where you do NOT get taken out in the first few "waves" of any disaster.

73
 
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expat42451

Active member
And finally......this occurred to me earlier this afternoon....... as a further assist in avoiding damage to equipment..... during a civilization ending solar cycle, you can observe the sun to check for earth facing sunspots yourself with the following methods.....
wont help much in a thermonuclear exchange.
73
 

Obreid

Power Poster
What an emp detonated at altitude would look like.
detonated at 400km in low orbit.
And viewed 1000 miles away in Hawaii.


Just so you will know what turned off the lights
 

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megalos

DEFCON Staff
Staff member
On October 2nd, the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) will be participating in a Simulated Emergency Test. The excercise will be based around solar flares disrupting communication and electrical distribution. Primary operation will be on VHF (147 mhz) but will also be using 80M frequency yet to be determined. Modes such as APRS, WINLINK, and a few others will be utilized. Operations for Gloucester County will be on 147.180 Mhz (W2MMD repeater) which is linked on Echolink if anyone wishes to listen in. will be starting around 0900 hrs, and over by noon (EDT).
 
D

DucknCover

Guest
This "Carrington Event" is overdue, in 2012 it almost happened but the CME just didn't hit the Earth.
Everybody can research that. If it hit's in the winter for example it would be a global catastrophe,
billions could freeze or starve to death and there would be no power for many months or even years.
The technology-dependent society would collapse, it's a revival of the time around 1800 without electric machines.
You can't feed billions of people without harvesters, chemical fertilizers and refrigeration systems.
The food production would be only manual and much too slow without automation.
Only pre-industrial states have a chance to survive.
This is an end time scenario.
 

Travis The Dragon

Well-known member
This "Carrington Event" is overdue, in 2012 it almost happened but the CME just didn't hit the Earth.
Everybody can research that. If it hit's in the winter for example it would be a global catastrophe,
billions could freeze or starve to death and there would be no power for many months or even years.
The technology-dependent society would collapse, it's a revival of the time around 1800 without electric machines.
You can't feed billions of people without harvesters, chemical fertilizers and refrigeration systems.
The food production would be only manual and much too slow without automation.
Only pre-industrial states have a chance to survive.
This is an end time scenario.
If an event like this happened, would we know ahead of time that something was on the way or would all of a sudden be without power?
 

DarkNoon

Power Poster
If an event like this happened, would we know ahead of time that something was on the way or would all of a sudden be without power?
It takes 8 minutes for the light to reach earth. So logical guess bare minimum 8 minutes? Somewhere in that ball park I assume bare minimum if they somehow miss a sunspot or miss the chance of severity and caught with our pants down. In that case the government isn't going to warn us. Don't think 8 minutes is enough to get the EAS rolling nationwide with a custom message.

Note I am in FL with a bug out boat. I'd be fine, though not sure if my gutt can take nothing but a seafood diet. Know all the good netting spots in the deep blue.
 
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