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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

Slightly weaker domestic openings compared to previous sessions but good trans-Atlantic openings at lower latitudes including ZF1EJ -> LA2XPA; Decent trans-Pacific openings including two-way reports between KL7L and VK4YB plus a few openings between JA and VK, KL7, and KH6; W5EST presents: ”At Your 630m Station, When Does Sun First Increase D-Region RF Absorption?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for January 05, 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!


North America was lightning free but noise was reported on both coasts.  Precipitation static was a major factor in the northeastern region.  Europe continues to cope with lightning related to “storm Elanor”.  Japan was relatively quiet but the remainder of the Pacific Rim was mired in storms, most notably northeastern Australia.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions remains quiet but not as quiet as recent sessions. The Bz is neutral this morning and solar wind velocities  are averaging near 350 km/s. DST values continue to exhibit stability at the centerline and into positive levels.




The band was open last night but probably a bit weaker than previous sessions.  Signals were either present at useful levels or they were completely absent.  Trans-Atlantic openings favored lower latitudes at levels similar to higher latitudes.  Trans-Pacific paths were open.  QSB continues to be a factor on the band.

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


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!):

Clint, KA7OEI, located in Utah, reported a CW QSO with W0RW during the evening with RST 559 both directions.  He add that he has “…Been seeing him on and off for weeks and missing him…

Neil, W0YSE, indicated that he was receive-only during this session but received VE7BDQ working NO3M using JT9.  Neil explains his situation, which is now resolved and offered the following statistics:

“I had a TX problem last evening. Went to bed without fixing it. I dreamed about the problem and a fix. Got up this morning and confirmed the fix. Since I had been using TeamViewer to remotely control my radio PC last evening, I had accidentally muted my speaker on the WSPR software but did not know it. All is well again, but I have no TX report for this session.  

However, 7 unique WSPR stations were spotted using my E-probe on second receiver this session (but AK and HI oddly are missing)…”

courtesy W0YSE


Al, K2BLA, reported freezing temperatures in Florida and indicated that he “…Worked WB4JWM and K1UTI on JT9. Also worked two new 2018 grids; K9MRI and K9KFR. All stations had good signals. WSPR: heard by 51 including YV5MAE and K9FD reporting -15. That’s not bad for7558 km. Heard 16 including K9FD. Relatively low noise.”

Ken, K5DNL, reported that he only operated WSPR during this session, reporting 22 stations and receiving reports from 84 unique stations including K9FD (/KH6), YV7MAE, ZF1EJ and nine Canadian stations.

Robert, KR7O, reported high noise levels and lightning crashes on the West coast which may have been originating from Central America.  He added that:

Only a handful of stations CQing on JT9 with only one QSO noted.  K2BLA, K4SV, W4BCX and W3LPL were the only WSPR stations copied over 2100km and there were only a few spots for each of those stations.

ZF1EJ 4 spots -25

KL7L 2 spots, -26

K9FD 68 spots, -7

Daniele, I55387FI, who is an SWL from Italy with reports previously on this site, indicates first time reports of EB8ARZ/1 in the Canary Islands.  Check out Daniele’s station and blog at http://www.scientific-notes.blogspot.com/

Operation at KB5NJD was brief, completing JT9 QSO’s with K9MRI, K9SLQ and WB4JWM.  Rod, VE7VV, indicates that he decoded my signal at 0118z but I was not seeing his response.  It was a quiet night so this was probably just the “diode effect” in practice.  I called CQ for a few minutes on CW, receiving a reverse beacon report from W3LPL but that was it.  As I am still  battling a head cold, I was not active for very long.

Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:







Trans-Pacific WSPR summary follows:






Hideo, JH3XCU, submitted this link detailing DX -> JA decode totals and DX -> JA 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 seventeen WSPR stations including K9FD and he received reports from 53 unique stations including LA2XPA and YV7MAE.

ZF1EJ session WSPR summary


Laurence, KL7L, reported six WSPR stations and he received reports from eleven unique stations including JA1PKG. He shared two-way reports with NU6O, K9FD, VE7BDQ and VK4YB.  Laurence added that “Although(so far) the path to JA and VK is just open, levels are not strong, same for L48 overnight – no path over pole – HF poor too.”   He called CQ with JT9 this morning with no QSO’s completed.

KL7L session WSPR summary


Laurence also submitted this image of the “Aces High” E-probe following six inches of new snow with a mountain backdrop.  Laurence indicates that this is the most productive receive antenna at his station.

courtesy KL7L


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), reported fifteen WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with AH6EZ, K2BLA, K5DNL, KA7OEI, KL7L, KR6LA, N1VF, NU6O, VA7MM, VE7BDQ, VK4YB, W0YSE and W7IUV. Merv received reports from 51 unique stations including 7L1RLL4, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM, VK2XGJ and VK3ALZ.

K9FD session WSPR summary



“In the 1/03/18 blog http://njdtechnologies.net/010318/   the minutes of time advancement of D-region “ionization sunrise” below its horizon are graphed relative to visual sunrise on the Earth’s surface beneath.  (I’m focusing our attention on any one place where RF signal ray crosses the D-region on its eastward-most hop.)

How does that information translate into sunrise SR time Zulu at your own station?  To do the adjustment, decrease the above D-region sunrise time advancement with an adjustment value representing difference of SR times between that visual sunrise beneath the D-region RF crossing and visual sunrise at the eastward station on the RF signal path. Finally, get SR time Zulu at the eastward station from a web site such as: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/  .  The adjusted advancement takes you to a time usually prior to SR time Zulu at the eastward station and you get the D-region sunrise time Zulu. (Endnote 1*)

Today’s first illustration shows values of a factor F (Endnote 2**) to multiply by hop distance D/Nhops for various path headings and times of year.  The calculation is more general, but the graph is confined to latitudes around L = 33° N. or S.  Many of the USA paths are single hop, so just multiply the factor by the great circle path distance in 1000 km units between the stations to get the adjustment in minutes of clock time. Latitude 33° is within a few degrees of many stations in the USA lower-48 and also covers some stations in eastern Australia.

Does D-region “ionization sunrise” timing assuming ozone layer shadowing as calculated match with actual commencement of SNR decline on 630m?  The answer is “No!” (Endnote 3***)   Last July 3-13, this blog ran an 8-part series on 630m SS & SR.  Sunrise SNRs on paths for WH2XXP-n6skm  http://njdtechnologies.net/070317/ and VK4YB-vk2xgj are plotted there. http://njdtechnologies.net/070617/    The SNR decline in late June on the WH2XXP-n6skm path starts at least a half-hour earlier than D-region ionization sunrise (Endnote 3***).

How could the explanation be improved?  Here are some ideas:

Idea 1: The altitudes of D-region and ozone layer aren’t perfect and so should be revised in the model.  http://njdtechnologies.net/041817/    However, adjusting those altitudes somewhat in the spreadsheet has not made enough difference to fit D-region “ionization sunrise” timing with actual commencement of SNR decline on 630m.

Idea 2: Solar ionizing radiation hits the E-region at 100-110km altitude much earlier than the D-region, balloons it, and reduces its altitude.  http://njdtechnologies.net/041217/  , http://njdtechnologies.net/080116/  However, on the one-hop 630m paths for which I analyzed SNR data, I don’t see why mere reduction in E-region altitude would matter much to SNR.

Idea 3: Solar visible light going as low as Earth surface and/or solar ionizing radiation scattering off the daytime ionosphere hits pre-SR D-region and dissociates deep nighttime negative ions, increasing D-region absorption early. Carl K9LA discusses ionization timing, visible light, and negative ions at p. 3 of: http://k9la.us/Jun15_When_Does_A_Layer_Ionize.pdf  Robert Brown NM7M, in The Big Gun’s Guide to Low Band Propagation, says UV is necessary to dissociate negative ions and such UV does not go below the ozone layer, see pp. 94-95 of: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0ahUKEwi43L_C5abTAhVNymMKHcyXBYwQFgg_MAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.okdxf.eu%2Ffiles%2FNM7M_The_Big_Gun_s_Guide_to_Low-Band_Propagation.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFIhbbLRiDtOyOgTkjLEiDHWTlqyQ&bvm=bv.152479541,d.amc   This matter seems unsettled, but it might offer a possible way to improve my time advancement estimates for 630m here.

Today’s second illustration assumes D-region visible light sunrise can increase D-region absorption by a considerably longer time advancement compared to time of Earth surface SR directly beneath.  Even if the underlying process in the ionosphere be debatable, the greater advancement provides a distinctly better match to the observed mid-latitude SNRs for 630m RF in both summer and winter. (Endnote 4****)

Explaining 630m end-of-night at all times of year in both hemispheres is still unsettled in my mind.  Can I explain all this consistent with sunrise enhancements on Arctic DX paths to LA2XPA from N. America, say?  I suspect some process involving visible and scattered ionizing sunlight in the ionosphere explains the earliest part of the SNR downramp, and then D-region “ionizing sunrise” pushes down SNR still further pre-SR at your station. Phasing QSB variations will further confuse the picture.  If you have a better explanation or other good article on these sunrise SNR topics, let us know so we can blog it.

TU & GL on 2200m/630m!

*ENDNOTE 1:  A D-region sunrise formula takes eastward station surface sunrise SR time Zulu and add to get a surface SR time farther west beneath the D-region RF crossing, and then subtract the advancement of D-region sunrise at altitude. That gets the Zulu time of D-region sunrise at altitude:
     tDregnSR,Zulu = tEstnSRZulu + ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSRΔtDregn
Advancement ΔtDregn is found from the 1/03/18 blog for D-region “ionization SR” and from today’s second illustration for D-region visible light SR.
The surface SR adjustment ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR depends on the path heading H clockwise from North at the eastward station and the distance to the D-crossing from the eastward station. Get heading H from WSPR database if eastward station is TX station, otherwise map it and estimate heading H, such as from https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htmL: Latitude of D-region RF crossing. D: Stn-Stn path distance.  Sigma σ: SR heading clockwise from North at eastward station.
ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR (minutes) ~= abs(sinH + cosH ctnσ) (0.3D(km)/Nhops)/(27.83km/min cos L)
Except for assuming 0.3 hop distance to a D-region RF crossing, the formula is analogous to the formula for duration between stations’ sunrises on one-hop paths discussed at: http://njdtechnologies.net/113016  You can also see  the same material in Your 630m Blog Book, Chapter 15 (scroll ¾):
**ENDNOTE 2:  A time adjustment factor F (min./km) to multiply by hop distance D(in 1000km’s)/Nhops is a function of headings H from 180°-360° (S-W-N, otherwise the station would not be the eastward station on the path.)
F = 1000x0.3abs(sinH + cosH ctnσ)/(27.83km/min cos L) and
ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR (minutes) ~= FD where path hop distance D =1.2 means 1200km, for instance. The cotangent of SR heading sigma σ is estimated from eastward station latitude LEstn =~ L, so that:   ctn σ = tanøcosα / [cosL sqrt(1-(tanø0 cosα tanL)2)]
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) .  You can also find SR sun heading σ on a web site such as: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/  and take its cotangent on a calculator.
All the formulas in these Endnotes lack astronomical precision but are believed close enough for radio purposes. The factor F formula should be checked carefully before attempting use at latitudes more extreme than, say, about 50°N or S.  The graph itself of factor F is customized to roughly 25-40 degrees latitude only.  If the heading H value for the path is in black, find the value on the curve beneath the applicable month that’s written in black. If the heading H value for the path is in blue, find the value on the curve beneath the applicable month written in blue.
***ENDNOTE 3:  For WH2XXP-n6skm SR 6/24/17, 925km, H=303°:
ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR = 6.5 min. adjust to XXP east stn SR gets us to surface SR beneath D-crossing.
ΔtDregn = ~30 min D-region advancement net of 6.5 min adjustment is about 24 minutes.
The SNR illustration at http://njdtechnologies.net/070317/ shows XXP SR time. Adjusted D-region “ionization sunrise” advancement 24 minutes previous fails to account for much of the XXP SNR downramp that has already begun much earlier.
Likewise failing is the calculation for VK4YB-vk2xgj D-region ionization sunset SS 6/30/17, 844km, H=193°. Since I don’t have SR data for 6 months later, I’m acceptably using SS 6/30 as a proxy. ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR = 7.5 min. adjust to VK4YB east stn SS gets us to surface SS beneath D-crossing.  ΔtDregn = ~30 min D-region advancement at mid-latitudes latitude net of 7.5 min adjustment is about 23 minutes.  23 minutes net fails to account for the much later upramp of SNR into VK nighttime.
By contrast, the SNR data is consistent D-region ionization SR calculations for WH2XXP-n6skm SR 11/30/16 http://njdtechnologies.net/070317/   and VK4YB-vk2xgj sunrise SR 6/30/17 http://njdtechnologies.net/070617/  .  However, that’s not good enough—considering the failure to predict the opposite part of the year.  My attempts at D-region sunrise simulation also could be improved.   http://njdtechnologies.net/081717/
****ENDNOTE 4:  Use D-region visible light SR advancement for WH2XXP-n6skm SR 6/24/17, 925km, H=303°. Visible sunlight passes beneath ozone layer to reach deep into pre-SR D-region.
Assume D-region altitude is 60 km and operate spreadsheet as if ozone layer height were zero.
ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR = same 6.5 min. adjust to XXP east stn SR gets us to surface SR beneath D-crossing.
ΔtDregn = ~42 min D-region advancement net of 6.5 min adjustment is about 36 minutes net.
The SNR illustration at http://njdtechnologies.net/070317/ shows XXP SR time. Adjusted advancement 36 minutes provides 12 more minutes this way, and it more nearly accounts for much of the XXP SNR downramp that has already begun.
For VK4YB-vk2xgj sunset SS 6/30/17, 844km, H=193° is a proxy for SR data for 6 months later. ΔtDcrossSR-EstnSR = same 7.5 min. adjust to VK4YB east stn SS gets us to surface SS beneath D-crossing. ΔtDregn = ~42 minD-region visible light SR advancement at mid-latitudes latitude net of 7.5 min adjustment is about 35 minutes net.  35 minutes net more successfully accounts for some of the later upramp of SNR into VK nighttime, which upramp may be slowed by D-region ion recombination time constant.
The SNR data remains consistent with similarly revised D-region SR advancement calculations for WH2XXP-n6skm SR 11/30/16 http://njdtechnologies.net/070317/   and VK4YB-vk2xgj sunrise SR 6/30/17 http://njdtechnologies.net/070617/  .”



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