For each country area linked to above, there are two tables. One is the PROBABILITY of the path to/from Malawi being open, the other the predicted FIELD STRENGTH, if the path is open. You will need to look at both tables to get a good idea of what signals should be like.

The probability is given as a percentage, ranging from ". ." for zero predicted probability, up to "99" for, in effect, a 100% chance of the path being open. Just because there is a low figure in the probability table, do not dismiss the possibility of being able to make a contact: for example, a figure of "20" means that the path should be open two days in 10. Since we will be active for two weeks there should be two or maybe three days on which it should be possible to make contact. Similarly, a figure of even "99" does not necessarily mean that signals will be strong: that's why you also need to look at the Field Strength table.

The field strength is given in dB above or below 1uV/m, assuming a transmitted power of 1kW and isotropic radiators at either end. Any gain from antennas at both the transmitting and receiving end should be added to these figures. In effect this means that a contact is quite possible even with a small negative field strength figure on the high bands, where combined antenna gain is significant and local noise level low. On the low bands, however, where antenna gain is less and static noise levels much higher (particularly in the tropics), a much higher field strength figure will be required for a good QSO.

In summary, you're looking for the highest figure in both the Probability and Field Strength tables.

18 April 0351 / 1536

25 April 0352 / 1532

1 May 0353 / 1529

You can create your own sunrise / sunset tables for your QTH.

Visit the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department.

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