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51Newbie questions (tons of them)

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  • digitaleli
    Apr 27, 2004
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      Please forgive me, but I have alot of questions. Don't think I'm
      stupid, I just need to ask so I know. Ok so I have DX Atlas
      (registered), Ionoprobe and HamCAP installed and all configured for
      my QTH. My question is how do I understand what it all telling me?
      There is nothing in the help file about what your actually viewing.
      The help file explains alot of the terms and what you can see/view
      with the applications, but there is nothing that actually tells you
      what you are seeing. Sorry for the stupid question but I am a total
      newbie. Ionoprobe is grabbing the latest data just fine, DXAtlas has
      updated my map with info that I put into HamCAP. The questions are:

      1) What do the light and dark areas mean on the map? Does dark mean
      that that area on the map is a dead zone? Or does it mean ionization
      is highest there and thus the best chance of contacting a station?

      2) What does SNR mean? What is SNR? Why do I need to know this?
      How does it affect QSO's?

      3) When I move my cursor around the map in DXAtlas, I see the MUF
      change in HamCAP. Is that the MUF for me trying to reach that
      location (the location where my cursor is)? Or would I put the
      cursor over my QTH and go off what it is telling me the MUF is?

      4) The MUF is the maximum (ie. highest) frequency that, based on the
      SSN, etc, is best to reach the station?

      5) The critical frequency is the highest frequency you can use before
      the radio waves start going through the ionosphere?

      6) How do critical frequency and MUF differ then?

      7) From what I understand, you would find a place you would like to
      work, then find out the MUF and stay below that and the Crit Freq?

      8) When I have the 3 apps open at once, there is a little yellow sun-
      like icon down on the bottom of DXAtlas that displays a number like
      8:33-21:15. What does this mean?

      Again, please forgive the stupid questions and please refrain from
      telling me to go read a ham book. I am reading but I don't really
      understand all of this and would just like someone to explain some of
      this to me. I have a feeling that once someone explains this, a big
      lightbulb will go on in my head and it will all 'click'. Thanks in
      advance!

      73,
      KC0RDG