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60 kHz WWVB and 24 kHz SID Receivers in Austin, Texas (Solar Flare Detectors)

These SID detectors mostly respond to increased ionization in the ionosphere due to solar flares during daylight hours. Plots include data from yesterday and today. Check the time (select UTC, 24-hr) to see where the new data is being recorded. There is usually a noticeable discontinuity where the new data ends and the old data remains. Four traces  indicate that I had to restart the computer and two of the traces will clear in a day.

Points are plotted every 10 seconds for 24 hours and the chart is updated every 5 minutes. There are a total of 8,640 points on the graph. (See the new Dataq spreadsheet) 

Graph Date and Time:

(Based on your computer's clock. Chart displays yesterday's data after time above.)

Red: WWVB, 60 kHz, Magnetic (loopstick)
 Black: NAA, 24 kHz, Electric (roof-mounted whip)

The plot is from the newer Oddball Sid Receiver using a loopstick antenna and the SID Seizer using a roof-mounted whip. SIDs will cause spikes between about 12:00 and 0:00, where the plot is normally low. The high portion between 0:00 and 12:00 is nighttime sky wave. The width of the useful SID window is a function of the season, being longer in the summer.

To confirm a flare, see http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/goes-x-ray-flux .  To investigate a possible Gamma Ray Burst (GRB), see http://grb.sonoma.edu

If the red trace drops to zero suddenly WWVB may have gone off the air; Check the NIST website to confirm. NAA is unpredictable.


These SID charts are most useful during the daylight hours. Below is a plot made on 10/25/2013, ending at 23:00. The plot between about 22:00 and the next day at about 12:00 is dominated by nighttime effects and is not very suitable for SID monitoring. Note the signal actually drops before it rises in the fall, winter and early spring here in Austin. That usually doesn't happen during the warmer months.


I'll post a few interesting captures here:

         Lots of "area under the curve!"

  This is about as quiet as the sun gets.

This flare started one hour before and ended one hour after
the solar eclipse (8/21/2017), totally obfuscating my view
of the effect of the eclipse. Some timing, huh? Eclipse
reached maximum 10 minutes past 18:00.
 

 
Here's a weird series of flares 1 hour apart.
The bottom is NOAA data.
Note how well the SID plot tracks the actual
X-ray data.
This powerful X-class flare reached for the top of my plot!
(9/10/2017)
 


 
 

Regarding that large flare to the right, notice how much better 60 kHz works in Austin for flare detection (red trace). Also note that the 24 kHz signal turns off right at a critical time. WWVB is a much more reliable signal.


Super-Simple Infrasound Microphone

This spectrogram updated every 5 minutes (hold shift and click refresh). It displays 0 to 80 Hz (unless power fails and it defaults to 116 Hz). The vertical dotted lines are 5 minutes apart. This is my front yard microphone with the transistor preamplier (the back yard mic. was destroyed by water). The amplifier boosts the sensitivity below 10 Hz giving a useful response to below 1 Hz. I've seen energy at a fraction of a Hz so I'm hoping to be able to see thunder long before I can hear it. That's assuming we ever get rain again.

Graph Produced by Spectrum Lab 

 Hurricane Harvey generated quite a lot of infrasound, making the bottom of the chart light up well before landfall. (My location is Austin, Texas.) Here's a snap of the bottom of the chart Saturday morning:

Previously I've seen thunder before it could be heard but nearby highway construction cast doubt. This is clearly the hurricane! When I first saw this low-frequency noise on the spectrum it was quiet outside, at least to my ears.

 


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