It was a much quieter night during this session, at least as far as lightning activity is concerned. The advance of a Winter storm has likely increased precipitation static for some and in other cases stations are forced off air due to icing on antennas and high winds. Propagation appeared to be much like the previous session, perhaps slightly less robust due to the current geomagnetic activity.
Geomagnetic conditions reached unsettled levels overnight. The Bz was variable again but the maxima and minima were more extreme than previous sessions. Solar wind velocities have peaked in the high category, approaching 700 km/s. DST values are bouncing around as erratically as the Bz. Solarham reports that a coronal hole is currently geoeffective and it is possible that we reach G1 storm levels in the coming session. The roller coaster ride continues.
Paul, N1BUG, reports good success with his new Softrock lite II receiver. He indicates that he is using additional front end filtering but is so far impressed. Using this receiver last night, Paul provided reports for DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, EA5DOM, and F1AFJ. Paul indicated recently that deep snow has made it difficult to keep the beverage antennas working and even in good repair but judging by reports from last night, things seem to be working ok. The trans-Atlantic report details can be viewed here.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports, “Despite lowered QRN, only 7 and 33 decodes. I’ve been DXing NDBs past few evenings which is a way to observe the apparent random walk ok of QSB which seems to support the data the data that James, W5EST, has graphed.”
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ reports 15 degrees F and better transmit conditions over night. Rick decoded six WSPR stations and was decoded by 26 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, Plans to be QRV tonight with his CW beacon from Colorado and posted this notice on the 600-meter research group email reflector:
“WA2XRM will be back on CW tonight from 1900 EST until 2300 EST, 5 Jan. 2017, on 479.9 kHz. (That is 0000z until 0400z, 6 Jan. Zulu Day). The Thunder Storms have moved off of the East Coast and there should be less QRN. CW is at about 15 WPM. Put your cans on (ear buds in) and your narrow filter on and see if you can copy my CW. The snow is building up and heading east. New WA2XRM SWL QSL will be sent. Paul wa2xrm Colorado”
Mike, WA3TTS, reported yesterday about the improvements on the path to KH6. This was a different session. Mike provided the following statistics:
Trans-Pacific report details for this session (excluding KL7 and KH6) are aggregated here.
John, VK2XGJ, reported from the previous session that he had decoded VK6QA, another new stations that has become active in a region that has begun to flourish at medium wave. John anticipated a good session after early reports of WH2XXP. John notes that he had decoded Ward two additional times after making this screen capture:
Roger, VK4YB, compared this session to the previous session, indicating ” Another almost identical night, but TP not quite long enough to decode Ken, WG2XXM, although his trace was visible at times. Increasing QRN makes hearing a new station unlikely.” Roger received reports from JA1NQI, JA3TVF, W7IUV, and shared two-way reports with WI2XBQ. Roger provided reports for WH2XXP and WH2XGP.
Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JH3XCU.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received WSPR reports from 62 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and ZL2BCG.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, received reports from 48 unique stations and provided reports for ten WSPR stations. As W7IUV and listening with the western receive antenna, Larry provided reports for seven WSPR stations.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, received reports from 28 unique stations and provided reports to seven WSPR stations. Joe shared two-way reports with VK4YB.
I briefly called CQ on 474.5 kHz CW in the early evening as I was testing some receiver functionality but did not transition to WSPR due to obligations in the later evening. The band was very quiet. No additional QSO’s were completed.
James, W4BCX, was assigned WI2XRM although OET is requesting additional information before they will proceed with the evaluation of the application.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for VE3CIQ, WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, and WI2XBV. Report details for these stations can be viewed here. As ZF1EJ/1 and utilizing the new transmit antenna, Eden provided reports for WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, and WI2XBV. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced a similar although slightly less robust session compared to the previous night. Reports did no extend as far South and East and S/N numbers may have been down a bit, which is only logical considering the current unsettled conditions.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received reports from JA1NQI, JA3TVF VK2XGJ and two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ. Merv also reported VK3ELV. Coverage in the eastern US included reports from WA3TTS and ZF1EJ’s stations and Merv decoded WI2XBV and WH2XZO. DX report details can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “COMPUTER SIMULATION OF 630M QSB”:
“In the Dec. 12 blog, I wondered if 630m QSB might include a roughly 6 milliHertz component from 1-hop propagation, as well as a 12 mHz component resulting from 2-hop propagation. Suppose two sky reflections independently apply QSB “amplitude modulations” at 6 milliHertz and get their QSB contributions multiplied together.
I assumed that the multiplication would give both sum and difference frequencies like a simple mixer. If the QSB rates (frequencies) were only slightly different at two different hop reflections, then there could be a difference frequency at less than 0.001 Hz. Now I no longer think there’s a simple mixing picture, but the 1-hop/2-hop idea does yield such a low frequency another way.
Thanks to Ken SWL/K9 we have Echo mode receptions at several different headings and distances from these stations: WD2XSH/17, WG2XKA, WH2XXP, WH2XGP, WG2XIQ, WG2XXM, WH2XZO. Data available on request. At W5EST, I’ve received WG2XIQ this way also. All the paths show the same QSB basic waveform shapes, just in different occurrence proportions and different strengths. These waveform shapes, rates of occurrence, and relative strengths are profoundly important information for better understanding 630m QSB in my opinion.
Full complete QSB waveforms would include the data segments of 3-second samples that Echo mode sampling of regular WSPR transmissions provides–and much more. But how to ascertain those full QSB waveforms? Since we’re not likely to see 100% TxPct WSPR available, I tried to simulate 630m QSB using a spreadsheet model that would show an entire QSB waveform in simulation. Then one can simulate noise and combine all the information into a graph as if it had been sent as WSPR transmissions in WSPR time slots too.
Instead of trying to derive a full QSB waveform from the data in the received WSPR slots themselves, this simulation method works in reverse to start with a model that generates a full QSB waveform in simulation and from there produces simulated noisy data in WSPR time slots.
Today’s illustrations show an as-if 8-hour 630m QSB simulated waveform from this spreadsheet simulation method that depends on particular model parameters. The parameters may change somewhat from path to path and night to night. Do you think the results bear some similarities to real 630m QSB? What problems do the curves reveal in the simulation model and what improvements can be made?
The upper part of the first illustration shows a full eight hours (10,000 points) of simulated nighttime 630m QSB slotted as if 30% TxPct WSPR constituted it. Peak simulated signal strength varies somewhat irregularly, the peaks ranging about 6 dB or so. The lower part shows the full prior results of the simulation before artificially slotting it and logarithmically adding noise to get the upper part.
The second illustration provides a magnified version of the third simulated hour 04-05z. The top curve represents magnified prior results of the simulation for that hour, see both 6 mHz QSB and higher frequency wiggles around 12 mHz. The curve for the same hour below the top curve shows noisy simulation results in the fictitious 30% WSPR timeslots. The remaining further two curves in the lower half of the second illustration show similarly slotted 630m QSB in simulation for two further nighttime hours.
Unlike a geophysicist trying to derive propagation based on a physical model of the ionosphere, the simulation here merely tries to generate plausible 630m QSB waveforms based on plausible assumptions about radio signal waveforms based on our amateur and experimental station operator reception experiences. QSB plainly varies the strengths of radio signals, which have electric field strength and phase. Then I assume that each sky reflection on either 1-hop or 2-hop varies the strength of whatever RF ascends to get reflected. From the model there then emerges–by phasor formation and addition–a variety of simulated waveforms in two minute time slots that I believe at least somewhat resemble the variety of shapes of actual waveforms of real 630m QSB in their real two minute time slots.
Nothing comes for free, and here one must remember that even if a simulation model produces plausible results, one can’t be absolutely sure the full QSB waveform is one that 100% TxPct would deliver on the real 630m band, nor that the equations behind these results are the right ones for 630m. That said, I think it’s remarkable at least that this model can deliver any curves resembling what we’ve seen from Ken’s receiving setup for Echo mode and mine as well.
Why do we care about doing any of this? 630m QSB is not only one of many 630m mysteries—it’s specifically the persistent environment in which any medium-path and long-path 630m CW operator lives. Will we ever be able to predict in advance–even a few minutes ahead–the upswings (fade ups) and downswings (fades) of 630m QSB? We certainly can’t do that right now. And even if we never can predict 630m QSB, at least we may better understand what we’re up against and how it works and enjoy the mystery that much more!
Stay tuned for more about this 630m QSB subject in another blog post. Readers can access earlier posts about actual 630m Echo mode receptions, on the blog dates 11/21-23,25, 28, 12/13-14/16, and 1/3-4 /17 in this KB5NJD blog. TU & GL!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).