Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Typical Operating Schedule

Usually QRV CW most evenings, tuning between 472.5 kHz and 475 kHz with CQ's on or near 474.5 kHz. Occasionally QRV JT9, 474.2 kHz dial + 1000 - 1350 Hz. QRV some mornings starting around 1100z on CW. Sked requests are welcome. All activity is noise and WX permitting

Straight Key Night and the Grid Chase event get off to a great start as many operators take time to make first QSO’s of 2018 including first ever QSO’s on 630-meters for N1BUG and KR7O

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for January 01, 2017 can be viewed here.

The UTC amateur registration database is here.

The current band plan used on 630 meters can be viewed HERE

Operator lists detailing stations that are two-way QSO-capable can be viewed here.

Spot stations calling CQ on any mode here on DXSummit and help them find a QSO!


It was a lightning-free session in North America but there were periods of lightning crashes reported in the south central US during the evening whose source remains unknown.  Western Europe is currently inundated by strong storms and a few storms are dotting Japan but the surrounding sea storms are the real story, likely creating high noise levels for operators in otherwise clear areas.  Around the northern and eastern coastal regions of Australia, strong storms are making operating virtually impossible during this session.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions reached unsettled levels although a G1 storm watch remains in effect over the next 24-hour according to Solarham. The Bz is neutral this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 460 km/s.  DST values are trending downward, likely in response to the currently geoeffective coronal hole and subsequent solar wind stream.




Propagation was very good early for the eastern half of North America, opening in the West much later but quite solidly.  QSB seemed much slower than previous sessions.  Domestic openings were very good including transcontinental paths but trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific WSPR openings were down slightly, likely due to the number of stations that remained on JT9 and CW late into the night and early morning hours.

Reverse beacon network reports follow:


Jim, W5EST, submitted the following screen capture of his WSJTx console showing JT9 activity observed at his station in Little Rock, Arkansas:

courtesy W5EST


Roelof, PA0RDT, reported trans-Atlantic CW from VO1NA on 477.7 kHz, noting Excellent aural copy around 02:45 UTC and also a good read!

courtesy PA0RDT


The following stations provided reports of their two-way QSO’s and/or any additional activity that might have occurred during this session (this is not necessarily a complete list – only what was reported!):

Paul, N1BUG, reported that he “…ushered in the new year by making my first QSOs on 630 meters. Using a home built SDR receiver, transmit converter and 15 watt amplifier with a Marconi-T antenna for 1.5 watts EIRP I made 18 QSOs with 17 stations in 12 states and two countries using two modes. Best DX was VE7SL at 4048km. Much fun was had!”  While a comprehensive list of his QSO’s is not available, others reporting QSO’s with Paul include VE3CIQ and WA3ETD using JT9.

Eric, NO3M, completed an early CW QSO with W1FRV, which was operated by AA1A.  He followed that with CW QSO’s with W1TAG, W1XP and K4EJQ.

Matt, KA1R, reported that he “…completed JT9 QSOs with K8TV and N1BUG. I also had a JT9 QSO attempt with an even closer station but am not sure whether he ever received RRR from me.

Tom, WB4JWM, completed JT9 QSO’s with KC3OL and W7IUV.

Wayne K9SLQ, completed a JT9 QSO with AA1A.

Bunky, K4EJQ, completed CW QSO’s with W3LPL, K0KE, NO3M, K1RGO and KB5NJD (most of these were second hand reports that I observed through the evening.)  Sal, K1RGO, indicated that this was his first QSO with Bunky.   Here is a very brief recording that I made of Bunky calling W3LPL.  Note that I missed the beginning of his call to Frank, only getting K4EJQ:


Ted, KC3OL, completed JT9 QSO’s with WB4JWM and KR7O (initial QSO).

Keith, K0KE, reported CW QSO’s with KB5NJD, W0RW and K4EJQ.  He received an SWL report from W7HB located in Utah and he completed JT9 QSO’s with K8TV and KR7O.

John, W1TAG, completed CW QSO’s with AA1A, NO3M, and W1XP.

Mark, VA7MM, completed a JT9 QSO with KR7O.

Roger, VE7VV, reported that “Last night was a lot of fun on 630 as I popped into the shack in between watching movies with my wife. Prop was very good and there was lots of activity, but often with short peaks where stns never before decoded showed up for just one decode. I worked NO3M for a 2nd QSO and was one of KR7O’s 12 first night contacts. Robert sure picked a good night for his first time making QSO’s!”

Dave, AA1A, completed CW QSO’s with W1XP, N3FL, K2LRE, W8CDX, K4EJQ, N1BUG and W1TAG.  He completed a JT9 QSO with K9SLQ.

Paul, W0RW, completed CW QSO’s with K0KE and KB5NJD in spite of high SWR from winter weather conditions.  He was reported by NO3M at 0654z.  Paul reported calling K4EJQ but received no reply.

Robert, KR7O, completed his first 630-meter QSO just under the wire for his personal goal to be on the air by year’s end.  He offered the following comments and statistics:

Had a great first night to finish out the year!  Lots of activity and conditions similar to the previous session with stations in New England and the Great Lakes decoded.  Worked K5DNL, W7IUV, W0YSE, K9KFR, VE7VV, KC3OL, K0KE, VA7MM, KA7OEI, VE7CNF, N1VF and NO3M.  I heard/called the following stations with no luck KL7L, K9FD, K2BLA, AH6LE.  Also heard W5EMC, WA9CGZ, K8TV and ZF1EJ.  Saw/heard a few CW stations on, but was pre-occupied with the JT9 QSOs.  K0KE was the loudest by far.

Equipment:  Elad FDM-DUO,  BS170 driver into a QRP-Labs 5W amp (~3W TPO), so this is similar to a U3S, except using a transceiver.  Antenna is a 43 x 200 T.   Estimated 200mW ERP.

WSPR report.  Heard by 22.  Heard 22, including W8RUT, K4SV, K2BLA, W3LPL, W4BCX, W1IR, AA1A, ZF1EJ.  W1IR (49/-18), AA1A (10/-24), so very good cdx to New England.  I think the last two sessions were probably the best conditions experienced since 630M operation was authorized.

ZF1EJ 9 spots, -23

K9FD 18 spots, -12 (looks like Merv was not on overnight)

KL7L 50 spots, –6  plus many JT9, up to -11

VK4YB 4 spots, -24

Neil, W0YSE, continues to perform well at low power levels, even being detected on CW at my station in Texas.  Neil submitted the following comments and statistics:

Looks like it was a good night from what I am reading on the chat pages this morning. Wish I could have spent more time on the band…

I did manage to glean a -27 from Bob/K9KFR in Indiana. Bob was also -27 here, but I dont think he received my report. I was glad to see my 1w eirp reach out that far. 

On WSPR I was heard by only 28 this session, including Eden/ZF1EJ, but I was able to decode 13 including Roger/VK4YB. Here are my best RX-dx overnight:

I hope next weekend gives us another great night.

John, WA3ETD, completed JT9 QSO’s with K9SLQ, N1BUG, VE3CIQ, K2BLA, W9XA, K5DNL, K9KFR and VE7SL.

Ken, K5DNL, reported JT9 QSO’s with K9KFR, N1BUG, VE3CIQ, WB4JWM, WA3ETD, KR7O and K2BLA.  Using WSPR overnight, Ken reported 25 stations, noting that it was nice to see new transmitting stations.  He received reports from 82 unique stations including LA2XPA, EA8BFK, K9FD (/KH6),  ZF1EJ and ten Canadian stations.

Al, K2BLA, reported that he “…worked 8 stations on JT9 last night and one this AM. I don’t usually log QSOs with “regulars”, those I have worked many times before. (paper log book) But starting last night I will log QSOs that are “new grids for 2018”. They will be uploaded to LOTW periodically. I am participating in the 2018 “Grid Chase” and hope others will too. If you work me for the first time in 2018 please log it and upload it to LOTW.  WSPR: Heard 22 and heard by 43.

Roger, VK4YB, started the session with strong storms, which abated as the night wore on.  He reported that “QRN was very bad during most of the night but now eased off. Might hear JA if they are txing…”  Shortly after he indicated that he “got -10 from Tomi [JA3TVF] a short while ago. Best report ever from Japan. I guess those stations are unmanned otherwise 2x JT9 would be on the cards.”

It was a blast to work SKN from KB5NJD.  The evening started with me hearing a CW QSO between NO3M and AA1A who was operating as W1FLV about 30 minutes prior to local sunset.  Eric was loud so the path to the Northeast was strong early, resulting in a CW QSO with W8CDX at easy copy levels about 20 minutes prior to my local sunset.   The last portion of that QSO can be heard below:

After dinner I chatted briefly with KF5RY who was using a cootie key.  W5EST reported that I was RST 599 at the time.   A little later I worked W0RW, who reported high SWR, presumably from his local winter weather conditions.  While Paul was making an antenna adjustment, K0KE called in and we completed a brief QSO.  Keith was calling Paul originally but I responded to tell him that Paul was busy with an antenna adjustment and I was standing by for his return.  Paul was still loud on return and we exchanged RST 559/579 reports.  Keith was at RST 559 levels.  I began to wrap up the evening, completing a QSO with K4EJQ who was actually calling me on his frequency and I happened to tune by.  I had been waiting for activity to calm down a bit as there was a lot of activity in that region but this seemed as good of a time as any.  Bunky and I exchanged RST 589/599 reports.   A bit later in the evening I detected W0YSE calling CQ on CW.  He was just below copy limits which is remarkable given that he is operating at very close to 1-watt EIRP at the moment.

Activity during the evening was pretty high and I took a brief look at my grabber and this was what I saw –  a combination of CW, JT9, WSPR and possibly FT8:

Tuning across 474 kHz at one point late in the evening, I was hearing 3 or 4 CW stations at various levels within about 1 kHz of each other:

It was a fun night on 630-meters and I am quite hopeful for 2018.


Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:







Trans-Pacific WSPR summary follows:



Hideo, JH3XCU, provided two graphs, the first showing 472kHz WSPR-2, DX->JA Spots per Day (Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 2017) can be viewed here.  The second showing 472kHz WSPR-2, DX->JA Spots per Day (Feb. 18 – Dec. 31 2017) can be viewed here.  For his session, Hideo submitted this link detailing DX -> JA WSPR decode totals and DX -> JA WSPR S/N peaks for the session, as reported on the Japanese language 472 kHz website.


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR summary


European 24-hour WSPR summary


African 24-hour WSPR summary


Japanese 24-hour WSPR summary


Oceania 24-hour WSPR summary


Eden, ZF1EJ, reported twenty WSPR stations and he received reports from 55 unique stations including K9FD.

ZF1EJ session WSPR summary


Laurence, KL7L, indicated that he had a screen full of JT9 call signs from the Pacific Northwest but he only completed a JT9 QSO with AH6EZ.  He reported seven WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from eighteen unique stations. He shared two-way reports with KA7OEI, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF and W7IUV.  Laurence indicated that propagation was very different in Alaska compared to the lower-48 and indications are that the band didn’t open as it did elsewhere.

KL7L session WSPR summary


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), started the session on JT9, reporting that he “…worked VE7VV,  but only half QSO with KR7O and VE7CNF.   QSB took us out.  Copied K0KE and K5DNL…” Merv reported fifteen WSPR stations overnight including VK4YB, KL7L and ZF1EJ.  Due to a mishap the transmitter remained off air overnight, leaving Merv in receive-only mode through the session.

K9FD session WSPR summary


Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!