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Propfire - Ham Radio Propagation in Firefox

HF propagation info on your web browser status bar for Ham Radio/Shortwave

 

Propfire is a web browser extension that allows users to view HF propagation conditions on their web browser status bar.  Ham Radio operators and other shortwave radio enthusiasts will be able to monitor propagation conditions using this Firefox extension.
 

You should notice the solar propagation information circled in the image above.  This data is retrieved from the NOAA website and is periodically updated in your browser as you surf the web. (assuming you are using Firefox).

Note: If you are using Firefox v2.X then you should use Propfire 0.73.12

If you are using Firefox v3.X then you should use Propfire 0.73.18

 

Additionally, by right-clicking on the Propfire values, a menu will appear. This menu includes a chart of the current k-index:

 

From the menu, you can also display the latest full WWV propagation report.

 

 

Why use Propfire? Know when the ham radio bands are active.

Ham radio operators monitor radio propagation conditions in order to determine possible openings to work DX (long distance radio contacts). To HF operators, this means world-wide QSOs (contacts) with very little power and with minimal antennas/equipment under the best conditions.  When the solar flux numbers are high (many sunspots), and the A-index and K-index numbers are low (or zero), HF conditions are great for ham radio. VHF ham radio operators monitor these numbers (and others) to determine possible openings for other radio propagation modes such as aurora-skip.

Both Ham Radio operators and SWL (short wave listeners) should appreciate this Firefox extension. By keeping an eye on propagation conditions, I hope that you'll be able to know when it might be a good time to go to the ham shack, turn on the radio, tune the antennas and work some good DX!

 

Getting Propfire

The latest version of Propfire is version 0.73.18. It is available here: Propfire

Propfire has been tested on Firefox v1.0.6 and later versions, but may run on other Mozilla products. Just like other Firefox extensions, it will NOT operate with Internet Explorer.

 

A good resource for learning more about propagation and using these values can be found on the ARRL website. An introduction to HF radio propagation is a good place to start if you would like more information on hf propagation forecasts. If you would like to display HF propagation on your website, check out Propstats - a flash utility to display propagation on your site.

 

Propfire Versions

0.73.0 27 Sep 2005 Initial version
0.73.3 14 Jul 2006 Updated to support future versions of Firefox (2.0)
0.73.4 18 Jul 2006 Initialization improved. Automatically loads current HF radio propagation index information on browser startup.
0.73.5 26 Jul 2006 Automatic installation script added. Should reduce questions about installing Propfire.
0.73.6 31 Jul 2006 K-Index Graph added to popup menu.
0.73.7 15 Jan 2007 Cache issue resolved.
0.73.8 22 Jan 2007 If the link is down, will no longer display long garbage message. Clicking the small image displays the large image from NOAA/GOV.  
0.73.9 23 Feb 2007 Updated to include sunspot number (SSN)
0.73.10 24 Feb 2007 Bug fixes for sunspot number SSN
0.73.11 25 Feb 2007 Added: polling interval option, minimode
0.73.12 01 Mar 2007 Changing options now refreshes. New menu.
0.73.15 18 Jul 2008 Major source code rewrite (thanks to help from Trevor Hobson!) - Propfire should now support FF3.0.
0.73.17 30 Jun 2009 Update for Firefox 3.5
0.73.18 23 Jan 2010 Update for Firefox 3.6

 

Installing Propfire

  1. Download Propfire
  2. Choose to allow software installations from n0hr.com.
  3. Foxfire opens a Software Installation window to install propfire.xpi. Click the Install Now button.
  4. Quit Firefox and restart it to complete the installation.

Alternatively, Propfire may be downloaded from the Mozilla Addons site.

Note: It's called Firefox - not foxfire.

30-Jul-2008

   
 

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