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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Comet Hits Sun, SFI up, Report from San Vito

The SOHO spacecraft caught some great images of a comet crashing into the sun. The YouTube clip above is from July. Here is NASA video of one that took place just last week:


Coincidentally I'm sure, the solar flux has increased significantly and the upper HF bands are working again. My 17 meter rigs still need final amps -- I am ordering parts for Farhan's JBOT circuit. (I plan to build three or four.) But because I had the 2B on 15 meters for the Sputnik event (still no Sputniks heard here) I noticed that DX was coming on that band. Using my HT-37 and a 40 meter dipole I easily worked several Europeans on 15 meter SSB. Especially nice was a long rag chew (using my rusty Italian) with Gianfranco, IZ4NPE, in beautiful Ferrara, Italy (a bicycle city).

Somehow tying this all together, I got an e-mail from Walter in San Vito, Puglia (the heel on Italy's boot). Walter has one of those "dream jobs" for a radio amateur: He tracks sunspots!

Hi Bill,

Walter here from San Vito, Italy. Just wanted to drop a note to say hi and let you know that I'm enjoying your book. Thanks for making it available as a Kindle version. While reading, it brought back similar experiences with me as a youngster. I too was fascinated by airplanes and would ride my bike to the local airport and watch for hours as the planes would take off and land. My mom gave me my first airplane ride as a birthday present when I was 11. I have to admit that I was scared when we made our first airborne turn. I didn't realize that a plane banks in the turns. I was also fascinated with shortwave radios and my best Christmas gift was a Radio Shack Globe Patrol (regenerative... hi hi) receiver kit. The gift from by grandparents was a Weller soldering gun (140 watts) to put it together with. Again, great job on the book.

The Sun has been keeping us busy at the Solar Observatory. I'm monitoring anywhere from 4 to 12 flares a day, 2 regions popped out of nowhere yesterday. The radio bands have been favorable with all the activity. I've got several projects in the works, a Genesis G3020 SDR rig is about 1/3 completed on the workbench now. It's probably me when you see Puglia show up on the website spinning globe. Take care and keep the podcast's coming. Ciao for now.
- Walter

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