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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

Fantastic session with quiet band conditions and strong, consistent transcontinental propagation; Good trans-Pacific openings reported including KL7, KH6, VK -> JA; W5EST presents: ”Does 630m Night End with Sun Ionizing the D-Region?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for January 03, 2017 can be viewed here.

The UTC amateur registration database is here.

Working grids for the first time in 2018? Be sure to upload your logs to LoTW so the 630m operators participating in the 2018 Grid Chase Event can receive credit. Details on LoTW can be viewed here.

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

WAS operator list 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!


A few storms were present off of the west coast of North America as well the south coast of Florida into the Atlantic.  Central Europe was active with lightning-rich storms as was the Pacific Rim.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions were quiet. The Bz is pointing slightly to the South this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 360 km/s. DST values peaked during this session and have been trending downward but are generally above the centerline at positive levels.




Propagation and activity was outstanding, particularly for the eastern two-thirds of North America.  Signals were generally strong as QSB lacked depth and was slow enough to not create major problems although a few transcontinental QSO’s were caught in deep fades.  I think this session surprised a lot of people, particularly after the slow previous session.  The path between the ‘lower-48’ and Alaska was good this morning and trans-Pacific paths, most notably to Japan, returned.  Trans-Atlantic paths were present but only favoring the eastern portions of the continent.

Reverse beacon network reports follow:

courtesy Reverse Beacon Network


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

courtesy W5EST


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!):

Al, K2BLA, reported a strong session, completing QSO’s with “…W3XY, ZF1EJ, WB4JWM, KB5NJD, KA9OKH and AA1A on JT9; all new 2018 grids for the Grid Chase. WSPR: heard by 49 including EA8BFK and heard 17. Cold rain most of the night. (Actually a few snowflakes not far from my QTH; made it to the TV news.) Insulators and guy ropes all soaked and elevated SWR so operated reduced power this AM. Still managed 2 ways with K9FD with half my usual power.”

Ken, K5DNL, completed a JT9 QSO with WB4JWM.  Using WSPR overnight Ken reported 23 stations and he received reports from ninety unique stations including KL7L, K9FD (/KH6),  ZF1EJ and eight Canadian stations.

Phil, VE3CIQ, completed JT9 QSO’s with KA9OKH and KB5NJD.

Stephen KA9OKH, completed JT9 QSO’s with K2BLA and KB5NJD.

Tom, WB4JWM, completed JT9 QSO’s with W3XY, KC3OL, K5DNL and KB5NJD.

Ted, KC3OL, completed CW QSO’s with W0RW, K8RYU, NO3M, K9MRI, K4EJQ and KB5NJD.

Eric, NO3M, completed CW QSO’s with W0RW and KB5NJD.  Eric reported both stations quite early in the session.

Robert, KR7O, completed a morning JT9 QSO with KL7L and submitted the following comments for the evening and overnight:

Decent JT9 activity last night but no new QSOs.  Heard KB5NJD, NO3M, KC3OL, K9KFR, KL7L and K2BLA.  Called AH6EZ last night and WA9CGZ this morning with no reply.  KB5NJD copied on CW up to 549 around 1215-1232Z.  Heard by 29 on WSPR, best DX K8RZ, VE3OT, K9FD.  Heard 23, including WD8DAS (6/-26), K4SV (91/-14), W3LPL (10/-24), W4BCX (17/-20), W1IR (14/-21), AA1A (-29).  W1IR seems to be a regular for me lately.

ZF1EJ 1 spot, -29

K9FD 90 spots, -4

KL7L 48 spots, -13

VK4YB 5 spots, -25

Keith, K0KE, reported a flame-out on his NDB PA on New Years but rather than going QRT until the situation could be resolved, he put the driver on the air and had a very good results.  He explains:

…last night I hooked up one of the driver stages to the antenna for WSPR to see what I could do.  I started out at 200mw (which is all I can muster at the moment until the new transistors arrive) and tried WSPR.  To my amazement the best copy of me last night was WB0IQK in EN90 (OH) at 1953 km -29.  I forgot to change it from 2w in wspr but I really have only 200mw)  With that success I pushed the envelope a little more and backed down to 100mw.   Boy those VE6 boys sure do hear good!  Best distance was VE6XH at 1777km and best signal -19 from VE6JY.   Maybe I will try 50mw tonite.   I was copied by quite few others at closer distance KR7O, KA7OIE, KC3OL, K5DNL.  Those guys are probably all that will hear me with 50 mw tonite.  If that goes well maybe will shoot for  25mw.  My HP8640B puts out 100mw.  Blows my mind that a VE6 can essential hear an 8640B…”

This was a record night at KB5NJD.  The band opened very early with SWL reports from NO3M about 35 minutes before sunset in North Texas while I was checking the antenna match.  Eric reported my CW at RST 559.  My next activity was after dark and having not operated any JT9 this year I decided I better start there.  I was not disappointed as I completed JT9 QSO’s with K2BLA, WA3ETD, VE3CIQ, KA9OKH, WB4JWM, KC3OL, K9KFR, W3XY and W7IUV.  I completed CW QSO’s with K3MF, K8RYU, KC3OL, NO3M and W0RW.  The CW QSO with NO3M and W0RW was interesting.  Paul began calling CQ on 474.5 kHz and Eric and I commented simultaneously in the chat that we were both hearing him well.  Eric called Paul and they exchanged reports quickly as signals were fading.  Once they were done I decided to call both at the same time as both were RST 599.  I  rapidly exchanged reports with both simultaneously and I went on my way.  Bring on the roundtable QSO’s!  I made a few calls later in the evening, receiving reports of RST 529 from KR7O and a late report from VE3OT as I was beginning to wrap up the evening.  Mitch indicated that he heard me at RST 569 – 579 as he was setting up WSPR for the night.  Thanks Mitch!

This morning I made a few calls after 1200z, receiving a few reverse beacon reports AND I heard either a caller or someone else calling CQ after my first CQ on 474.5 kHz but there was no response to my initial ‘QRL?’ or subsequent ‘QRZ’ after I had heard the signal.  I called CQ for a bit longer, with long pauses between calls in case QSB was in play but never heard the station again.  This was a great session and one of the reason that we fight through the noise every Summer to get here.  Let hope we get a few more nights like this one.  Don’t forget to upload your logs regularly to LoTW through 2018 even if you are not participating in the Grid Chase event.  Doing so will allow those of us who are participating to claim credit.  If you are not an LoTW user, the process is a lot easier than it used to be and details can be found in a link at the beginning of today’s report.


Trans-Atlantic WSPR Summary follows:





W1IR -> EA2HB, F59706, G0LUJ, G0MRF, LA2XPA, ON5KQ



Trans-Pacific WSPR Summary follows:






Hideo, JH3XCU, 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


South 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 nineteen WSPR stations and he received reports from 58 unique stations including K9FD.  Eden also reported receptions of WH2XND on 75 kHz using his Inlogis loop and FT-991.

ZF1EJ 630-meter session WSPR summary


Martin, YV7MAE, reported WSPR from K4SV:

YV7MAE session WSPR summary


Laurence, KL7L, completed a JT9 QSO with KR7O this morning at -29 dB S/N at 1326z.  Using WSPR overnight, Laurence reported eight stations including VK4YB and he received reports from seventeen unique stations including JA1PKG. He shared two-way reports with AH6EZ, K9FD, KR6LA, N1VF, VE7BDQ and W0YSE.

KL7L session WSPR summary


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), indicated that propagation was good on 160 meters so he decided to check for JT9 on 630 meters before starting WSPR, noting that he heard NO3M, K9KFR and VA7MM  in the “…-20’s.  did not try and call anyone as they were busy at the time.”  Merv reported nineteen WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with AH6EZ, JA3TVF, K2BLA, K4SV, K5DNL, KA7OEI, KC3OL, KL7L, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF, VE7BDQ, VK4YB, W0YSE and ZF1EJ. Merv received reports from 53 unique stations including JA1PKG, JE1JDL, JH3XCU and TNUKJPM.

K9FD session WSPR summary



“We know that 630m signal strength can start decreasing prior to sunrise at your LF/MF ham station.  The main reason for low signal strength in daytime comes from RF signal absorption in the D-region. So I did a geometric analysis (Endnote 1*) of length of night in the D-region, first illustration. It shows that the length of night in the D region is significantly shorter than at the surface, especially at higher latitudes.

I assume the D-region on the sunlit side of the terminator allows some solar ionizing radiation through it to somewhat ionize the D region at 60km altitude on the opposite “night” side of the terminator before surface sunrise beneath. By contrast, the ozone layer at 30km lower altitude absorbs almost all solar ionizing radiation and presumably blocks or “shadows” much of the D-region. Enough of the D-region remains exposed to solar ionizing radiation on the “night” side of the terminator to time-advance the onset of RF absorption where your RF signal crosses the D-region–compared to the sunrise time on the Earth’s surface directly beneath. The amount of this time advance is estimated in the second illustration. (Endnote 2**)

The amount of D-region “ionization sunrise” time advance, shown the second illustration, is about 30 minutes at lower-48 USA and VK/ZL mid-latitudes.  The advance becomes about 45 minutes farther north in Canada and UK/EU.  Compared to your own MF/LF station sunrise, the advance could be adjusted by the difference in surface sunrise time at station relative to the sunrise time at the geographic positions beneath the RF D-region crossings at altitude.  That’s for another blog post.

Dramatic seasonal dynamics in D-region sunrise advancement take over at roughly 55°-65° latitudes.  In the northern hemisphere, that’s in Alaska and far northern Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, and much of Russia. As you know, nights are short in summer and long in winter.  The effect in the D region shortens the nights both in summer and winter. The green line in the second illustration shows that the D region  altitude even more drastically shortens the short nights in summer—by 2 hours, 20 minutes diminishing each of evening and predawn (total 4hr 40min decrease in night length) in Alaska—twice as much as it shortens the winter nights there.

Timings get really wild at 70° latitude and above, see gray curves.  The paths between VE/KL7/USlower48 and Scandinavia cross Greenland. And much of Greenland occupies such latitudes. Above 75°N mid-Greenland, both Arctic D-region night and surface night occupy a full 24 hours for at least a few days or weeks around winter solstice.    Conversely, around summer solstice, both Arctic D-region daytime and surface daytime occupy the 24 hours.  Transitions happen fast around equinoxes in those regions.

TU & GL on LF/MF!

ENDNOTE 1: The night length in the D-region at the latitude and longitude of RF crossing at one place in the D-region is computed as follows:
TnightD = 2x(24hr/2π)arccos{tanL tanø0  cosα + sqrt[1+(tanø0 cosα)2] sqrt[1-((RE+hOZ)/(RE+hD))2]/cosL }
L: Latitude. Phi ø0 = 23.43695° tilt of Earth axis. Alpha α: day d of year relative to June solstice, given as angle α  by: α = (2π/365.25)(d-171)
Earth surface night uses the first part of the above formula as follows:
TnightSurf = 2x(24hr/2π)arccos{tanL tanø0  cosα}
These formulas are not astronomically precise but believed close enough for radio purposes.
ENDNOTE 2: The time advance is half the difference between Earth surface night length and the shorter D-region night length above.  Δt =60min/hr (TnightSurf –  TnightD )/2.



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