Friday, March 11, 2011

Aurora Invasion

Aurora at the QTH of KL8DX & KL8SU
We have been blessed with clear skies over most of Alaska for at least the last week or more. Couple this with the high solar activity and you have one great light show potential. It also brings the potential of the sweet sound of those unique aurora signals on 6 meters. I heard my first AU signals on that band this week as it has been ages since I heard that raspy CW sound on 6 meters! But, my attention was drawn to the great outdoors as I drug my Olympus to the front yard to snap a few photos of the event. And as any proud ham would do, I situated myself in such a way as to capture my trusty 4 element Mosley TA-34-XL in the foreground. With a warm cup of coffee and a fully charged battery, I stayed outside last night for over two hours taking various photographs of the aurora overhead.
Auroral Propagation

These events reminded me of the days when we lived in Northern Ohio, when I would race home and turn on 2 meters (144 MHz) along with 432 so I could work Auroral CW. That unique sound was mesmorizing to say the least and I could almost always work a new grid square by bouncing my signal off the aurora. The display would have to be pretty intense to visibly make it down to my old location so it was easy to play radio when the auroral activity peaked but here, you just want to head outdoors and watch the light show directly overhead. It may be cold outside but watching the green lights of winter will always warm the heart.


  1. Beatifull photo's Phil. I'm sure every HAM outside Alaska is jealous. Did you ever try 10m on Aurora. I can remember a lot of Aurora contacts on 11m more then a decade ago when I did not have a license. I recently spotted a youtube video from a guy here in the Netherlands who did make a Aurora QSO on 11m a few weeks ago.
    73, Bas

  2. Bas, thanks for the comment! I can't say that I have tried 10 meters, always UHF/VHF. Thanks for the link! When the day comes we decide to head to warmer climate, I do plan on getting back into UHF/VHF as I miss it greatly.