The summary from January 28, 2017 can be viewed here.
It was a very quiet night here in Texas with no lighting crashes or buzz heard during the evening. Judging from the lightning map and a number of reports, my experience is consistent around North America.
Geomagnetic conditions have returned to generally quiet levels. The Bz is pointing to the North and while solar wind velocities decreased overnight to moderate levels, value have returned to above 500 km/s this morning. DST values have returned to near the centerline, in some cases pushing to positive levels.
The evening had some unconventional activity as Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, and I spent some time assessing sub-audible CW that might not be as obnoxiously slow as traditional QRSS CW. Jim, W5EST, describes the concept at the end of this summary from mid-January. The basic idea is to operate at one to two words-per-minute, using Argo in QRSS3 view mode. The approach should gain several dB of improvement, much like traditional QRSS without the significant time component. Our goal was to ultimately complete a QSO but Neil and I didn’t really know what to expect so we spent much of the evening assessing the band at different times. Propagation was sufficiently unstable with lots of fast QSB on Neil’s signal and while WSPR reports from recent sessions suggested that by 0600z the band should improve, it is my opinion that the band started stronger than it ended. Fortunately there was zero noise. I settled “into a groove” where my assessment transmissions were at 2-wpm, then 1-wpm, and finally at 0.6-wpm. Eden, ZF1EJ, reported that I was S6 to S7 on Cayman and noted that the signal was consistent. Its also interesting to see the improvements as the speed is slowed down on these captures from Phil, VE3CIQ:
Ken, SWL/K9, located in Indiana, submitted the following very strong captures of my signal at one point in the evening. My signal almost always seems to be heard well in the Midwest:
Jim, W5EST, submitted two captures of my signal, both at 1-wpm, although the earlier capture is in a fade, the latter capture was strong and goes a long way to show the variability in the band through the evening:
As I mentioned earlier, Neil’s signal was viewed here better early in the evening but part of that may have been the adjustments that I made to Argo after the initial reception reports. There seems to be an optimum value of contrast and sensitivity and I’m not sure if my adjustments helped or hindered what I was seeing. Initial views of Neil are very light but the signal can distinctly be seen:
This last capture was a late test to determine which viewer mode was best for a given transmission speed. I believe that Neil was transmitting at QRSS10 at this point as the path was deteriorating while I was viewing in QRSS3. Neil sent a series of letters for me to ID in order to determine the feasibility of a QSO but with fades, QRSS10 made it difficult to determine.
It was at this point that we determined that a sub-audible two-way QSO was not going to happen tonight but Neil submitted these captures of my final transmissions at various speeds. I expect we will try this again on a better night. It was a tremendous amount of fun and it was something different to break up the monotony of life on 630-meters. Thanks for the fun Neil!
On WSPR, a few trans-Atlantic openings were registered, as WG2XXM was reported by G3XKR while WD2XSH/17 received reports from F59706, F6GEX, G3XKR, G3XKR/7, G8HUH, PA0O, and PA0RDT. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports good coverage in the Southeast, including ZF1EJ. Rick provided reports to six WSPR stations and was decoded by 31 unique stations. His unique report details can be viewed here.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, returned to WSPR after our evening CW adventure with transcontinental reports at ZF1EJ. Neil provided the following comments and statistics:
“Conditions to Cayman Islands were good from WA with 3 decodes from Eden. The earliest at 0510z, which was a surprise !!”
Paul, N1BUG, reported an average night from Maine although he decoded WI2XRM in Florida for the first time.
Jay, KA9CFD, reported that he had “…several decodes from XCR in Hawaii overnight. Nothing out of the ordinary. No Alaska, no TA, no VK.”
Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported:
“Weather remains clear and cold. Scratching the phantom TN spot left me with 15 unique spots. I did hear the very end of a CW transmission on 480.08 (CW mode) that was an S7 in strength, however the station did not return. Screenshots below. 73 Ernie KC4SIT/WI2XQU”
Mike, WA3TTS, reports improved propagation after the most recent geomagnetic activity and provided these extensive details from activity at his station near Pittsburgh:
“XND continues to be received here in daylight on 2200m. I switched to my 300kHz LPF and single IF radio on 2200m to maximize receive performance…XND decode reacquired at 1456 UTC…”
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported, “Summer static reduced allowing reception of Ken and Ward. There was sufficient gaps to allow the base noise to be measured at -89 dBm in 1.74kHz BW. Propagation was fair with decodes from W7IUV, JE1JDL and JA1NQI.”
Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JH3XCU.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 66 unique stations including VK4YB, WH2XCR, and the previously noted G3XKR reports.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 72 unique stations including ZL2BCG, VK2XGJ, VK4YB, JH3XCU, and JA1NQI.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, received reports from fifty unique stations and provided reports to fifteen WSPR stations. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports to eleven WSPR stations including VK4YB.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports to fifteen WSPR stations and was reported by forty unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, took advantage of JA and very long VK openings with receive reports from JA1NQI and VK4YB, respectively. Laurence received a few reports from stations along the West coast and Alberta, Canada. Laurence’s receive system, designated as KL7L, provided reports to WH2XCR and WH2XXP. His JA, VK, and KH6 report details for both call signs can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reports good conditions overnight with a return of numerous JA reports coinciding with a recent weather system which is typical for this time of year and brings good propagation to 160-meter Asian signals as well. JA reports include JA3TVF, JE1JDL and JA1NQI. Merv indicates that weather patterns this year have been very different from the past so this return to some normalcy is welcome. He also shared two-way reports with VK2YB and ZF1EJ and reception reports from ZL2BCG and VK2XGJ. Merv also reported VK3ELV. The eastern US also had good coverage with two-way reports for WI2XBV. Merv’s JA, VK and ZL 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).