Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives Advertising Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Alliance Test Equipment Centric RF Empower RF ISOTEC Reactel RF Connector Technology San Francisco Circuits Anritsu Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Berkeley Nucleonics Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies everything RF Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products KR Filters LadyBug Technologies Lotus Systems PCB Directory Rigol Temwell RF Components TotalTemp Technologies Werbel Microwave Windfreak Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Withwave Sponsorship Rates RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines RF Cafe Software RF Cafe Sponsor Links WhoIs entry for RF Cafe.com Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!
Berkeley Nucleonics Vector Signal Generators Radar Simulations - RF Cafe

ConductRF Phased Matched RF Cables - RF Cafe

Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

RF Cascade Workbook for Excel

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF Workbench  (shareware)

T-Shirts, Mugs, Cups, Ball Caps, Mouse Pads

These Are Available for Free

Espresso Engineering Workbook™

Smith Chart™ for Excel

Werbel Microwave (power dividers, couplers)

Sunspots Aid Radio Signals
July 1957 Radio & TV News

July 1957 Radio & TV News

July 1957 Radio & TV News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Sunspot cycles repeat approximately every 11 years, so there had only been six solar maximums from the beginning of long distance radio communications (Marconi in 1901) up until this article was published in 1957. That year ('57) had the sun experiencing an extremely high number of sunspots (see chart below), as had the previous few years, which caused communications to be profoundly affected during the period. Under ideal conditions, high energy electrons typically ejected from the sun (coronal mass ejection, CME) cause the Earth's ionosphere to become an excellent reflector of RF energy at certain wavelengths, resulting in phenomenal long distance contacts. Under the worst conditions, extreme levels of "noise" are injected into radio signals, thereby severely degrading or even eliminating communications. This story reports on a comprehensive study on the effect of such activity on long distance communications, ultimately disproving the claims of many that no good ever comes of solar flare activity. Fortunately - or not according to this article from Radio & TV News - for Marconi, sunspot activity was at a minimum when he made his first successful transatlantic transmission in 1901.

Sunspot cycles (1850 - 2014) - RF Cafe

Sunspots Aid Radio Signals

John H. Nelson, radio weatherman - RF Cafe

John H. Nelson, radio weatherman, studies sunspot activity at skyscraper observatory.

Radio weather forecasts improve the reliability of overseas circuits.

Results of a 10-year study of solar radio disturbances released recently by John H. Nelson, of RCA Communications, Inc., relegated to the scrap-heap the popular belief that sunspots are always bad for overseas radio communications. Of course, severe sunspot activity can cause sudden ionospheric disturbances that may result in poor or no signals, but by knowing in advance possible sunspot activity, it is possible to maintain reliable service. This usually involves an increase in operating frequency to prevent signal loss. At the same time it is possible to even reduce operating power.

Radio hams and TV DX-er's have long known that during periods of peak sunspot activity, such as exists at the present time, some very long distance contacts may be made. RCA Communications is taking advantage of this knowledge, coupled with Mr. Nelson's observations and forecasts, to maintain reliable radio contact with its overseas stations. Ordinarily, the bulk of such traffic is carried on 13 or 14 mc. or lower. When Mr. Nelson gives the word, the frequencies are shifted upward to 18 to 24 mc.

The National Bureau of Standards also supplies, over station WWV, a continuous forecast of ionospheric conditions. These forecasts, however, are only for some 6 hours in advance while the forecasts used by RCA are for 30 hours in advance. These latter forecasts are also unique in that they take into account the positions of the various planets since Mr. Nelson believes these have an influence on radio conditions.



Posted June 22, 2021
(updated from original post on 10/10/2014)

withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe

About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

Copyright  1996 - 2026

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website:


Copper Mountain Technologies (VNA) - RF Cafe

PCB Directory (Manufacturers)

everythingRF RF & Microwave Parts Database - RF Cafe