It was an amazingly quiet night here at my station in Texas but reports from around North America and the globe suggest that I was in the minority during this session. By morning drizzle had set in here and even so static levels remained acceptably low. I suppose it all depends on local environmental conditions. Many areas continue to feel the impact of Winter weather which often manifests in the form of elevated static levels.
Were geomagnetic conditions too quiet once again for good propagation? Several stations reported degraded signal-to-noise and quantities of received stations. A number of stations are QRT for the moment due to Winter weather but its difficult to gauge whether conditions are actually poor over a wide area or good propagation is simply manifesting elsewhere (spotlight theory). At the moment I am inclined to think the latter.
The geomagnetic conditions were quiet once again with a Bz that was mostly at unity and solar wind velocities averaging near 360 km/s. DST values look great with both indicators shown below in positive territory. Auroral coverage was very minimal. Geomagnetic conditions only describe one element of propagation (yet seemingly a big one!) so other elements may be causing weaker propagation.
Tom, G8HUH, was the centerpiece of trans-Atlantic activity during this session, receiving reports from N1BUG and K4RCG. Tom provided reports for WG2XPJ and WG2XIQ. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Paul, N1BUG, reported that in spite of two reports of G8HUH, propagation was down with limited and affected transcontinental reports as well as decreased reports from ZF1EJ.
It might be easy to say that seemingly poor propagation observed at Paul’s QTH in Maine was just a function of his high latitude but Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, located in South Carolina, also reported that QRN was elevated and that “fairy dust” was in short supply, limiting his reception reports to nine WSPR stations while being reported by 41 unique stations.
Curiously, John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, experienced a number of reports on the transcontinental path with pretty good coverage around North America.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and was decoded by 32 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Mark, WA9ETW / WI2XHJ, indicates that he provided reports for nine WSPR stations. Two of those stations were in excess of 2000 km.
Roger, VK4YB, spoke about the continued lack of trans-Pacific openings. He indicates that a heatwave is in progress in Brisbane with temperatures at 40 degrees C (104F!) and even hotter in his non-air conditioned tin shed ham shack. Roger does not believe that a chance exists for reports tonight under the current conditions and indicates that the current weather pattern has likely set in for the next week. Roger added that “At almost 10:00pm the shack temp is down to 32 C (90 F) and humidity is 88%. The line of storms has stalled, so no rain relief. The Elecraft P3 shows a completely red waterfall.” This should be a reminder to all of us in the northern hemisphere that Summer will be here before we know it.
For the last two nights I have been somewhat in limbo, dodging storms and trying to remain on the air as much as possible. Last night probably would have been a good night for JT9 and CW but I was effectively “spent” after the full load of the week so I opted to only operate WSPR and get a nap. Later in the evening I checked the WSPR statistics and the session was average but respectable and this was prior to the report from G8HUH which automatically prohibits me from calling the session poor. That path does not open daily for my power level and latitude. A few more days of this weather pattern exists before we clear out for a few days. My WSPR reception numbers were consistent with other recent sessions and I have concluded that a number of stations are missing, likely due to weather conditions and due so much less to poor propagation. My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.
Activity was very high early in the evening session, in fact, I’ve never seen so many stations active prior to my local sunset. 115 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 2253z.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, had a good showing for his second night on the air. KA9CFD, WG2XKA, and I reported that Eden’s signal was being reported very early and near detection limits. As with his first session on the air just two night ago, the reporting pattern of his signal shows a primarily northern component. Eden did not receive a report from WH2XCR during this session although Merv noted extremely high QRN overnight, impacting all of this receiving activities. Eden provided reports for nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 29 unique stations.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported heavy snow overnight but indicated that his antenna system continued to function as late as 0700z. Laurence shared two-way reports with WH2XCR (detailed with Merv’s reports) but like other higher latitude stations, his reports were generally limited to the West coast region of North America. I feel certain that precipitation static from the heavy snow had a significant impact on Laurence’s receiving which may have contributed to the disparity in his receive numbers.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reported very high QRN in Hawaii with peaks reaching 20 dB over S9. Even so he managed to share two-way reports with my stations. His signal was propagating well, with reports into WA3TTS, KU4XR, WB0VAK, WA9CGZ, and ZF1EJ. Reports were rampant through the western US and Alaska as well. Merv’s most significant reports for the session were from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, and JH3XCU, a few of which that were reported on the approach to sunrise. Report details can be viewed here.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).