Tag Archives: radio

Geomagnetic Superstorm?

From a recent edition of [CQ]() I was reading today…

Projecting the Impact of a Geomagnetic “Superstorm”
Posted: Jan 23, 2009

As the sun begins to rouse from its prolonged quiet period at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, hams around the world are looking forward to the next solar peak and the big band openings on HF and VHF that will accompany it. But a big solar peak can also result in big solar flares, followed by big geomagnetic storms here on Earth. And that has some researchers working for the National Academy of Sciences very worried. Their report, funded by NASA and released in mid-January, looks at the potential impact of a “super solar flare” followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. According to NASA, the researchers looked at a huge geomagnetic storm that took place in 1921 (estimated to be 10 times stronger than the 1989 storm that left six million people in Quebec without power for nine hours). They then modeled its likely effects on the modern power grid.

Conclusion: the electrical power distribution system is likely to collapse across the eastern one-third of the U.S. as well as the Pacific Northwest, leaving more than 100 million people without power! Projected economic impact is some 20 times greater than that caused by Hurricane Katrina.

So enjoy those sunspots, but just hope the sun doesn’t get carried away with itself!

Source is [here](http://newsvc.cq-amateur-radio.com/) if you go to “View All.”

That’s scary stuff! Let’s hope it doesn’t cause too much harm.


I got my callsign today:



Now, to actually buy a radio. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I think I might be happiest with a home base station after all, even though I live in an apartment. I may buy a little portable station kit to build, but that will be secondary to the large fixed station. Now, I just need to figure out exactly what I want. Power is a pretty big deal since I think I’ll be in a pretty suboptimal antenna situation. I am going to probably purchase a HamStick antenna for the balcony as I’ve seen some evidence that it may perform pretty well out there, and it’s pretty stealthy.

I’ll probably be testing for my General license on December 6th in Reisterstown. That should be fun…