Friday, September 1, 2017

Solar Eclipse Lights Up Airwaves

(Photo by Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB)
The total solar eclipse of August 21 proved very popular with hams, who participated by the thousands in various radio-related experiments and the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP). SEQP Coordinator Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, told the ARRL that hundreds of thousands of spots were recorded on both the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) and PSK Reporter during the eight-hour-long operating event. He says a scientific analysis of the paths that were (and weren’t) open before, during and after the eclipse will take months, but that preliminary results should be available by around the end of October.
In addition to the hams helping with ionospheric research during the eclipse, at least one group took part in a more traditional way. Oregon’s Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper reports that about four dozen hams from different parts of the state helped provide equipment and communications for the Grant County emergency management agency. The newspaper says that in addition to providing communications help, some of the visiting hams “repaired and programmed several radio installations for different government agencies…” The path of totality in the continental U.S. began in Oregon.