Dorking & District Radio Society

Propagation Prediction Using the Chilton Ionosonde - 23rd February

Philip Miller Tate, M1GWZ

All radio amateurs are, to some extent, aware of the effect the ionosphere has on propagation and how it makes DX possible. But why does the earth possess an ionosphere? Why does it separate into layers which vary with daily, seasonal and solar cycles? How do we probe the ionosphere from the ground? And how can we use the results obtained to inform us about propagation on an almost real-time basis and to optimize our on-air experience, especially in the hunt for interesting QSOs? Hopefully, some or all of these questions will be answered in this presentation!

Philip M1GWZ was born in South-East Essex in 1959. At the age of nine, three important things happened: he was shown how to make a crystal radio and built his own; he read his first copy of Practical Wireless; and he was given his first slide rule. A career in physics and electronics beckoned. This plan was partially derailed in 1976 when a gifted chemistry teacher partially converted him to the Dark Side. Phil graduated with a BSc degree in Applied Physics and Chemistry in 1980, and his knowledge of chemistry secured his career for the following 36 years, beginning in industry and ending in academia, mainly in the wide disciplines of materials science and analytical instrumentation. He picked up a PhD in polymer chemistry and a teaching qualification on the journey.

His present life of leisure supports his hobbies of amateur radio and electronics, music (guitar and bass), target rifle shooting, and studying geography and history via vintage radio and electronics publications from the internet.