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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR for storms, probably for much of the week if the forecast holds

N9EGT returns to JT9, providing a new grid for several stations; Trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific openings reach into the south central US; CW from VO1NA reported by G0MRF; WSQCall in the British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest reported by W0YSE; W5EST presents: ”Image the Magnetosphere, Yes. What About the 630m Ionosphere?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for February 2, 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 generally lightning free and quiet during the evening but it was noisier this morning for some reason with lightning crashes from the East that are not supported by the lightning map data.  Southern Europe and the western Mediterranean experienced active, lightning-rich storms.  Lightning activity in east central Australia was higher than in previous sessions.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are quiet. The Bz is at unity this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 360 km/s. DST values remain near the centerline with only a few excursions.




Domestic openings were pretty good but subject to slow QSB.  Transcontinental openings were present but not as reliable as recent sessions.  Noise increased as the session progressed.  Trans-Atlantic and trans-pacific openings favored the central US.

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


Paul, W0RW, reported that he received his first ever reverse beacon network reports from W3LPL, located in Maryland, at 0800z during this session.

Joe, VO1NA, was reported on 477.7 kHz CW overnight at 0457z by David,  G0MRF, who provided a strong spectrum and recording:

click to enlarge – courtesy G0MRF



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!):

John, WA3ETD, completed JT9 QSO’s with K3MF and N9EGT.  He added that “W7IUV was copied here 3 times calling CQ, -27 -27 -26    No Joy!”  John also noted that Larry reported him at least once at -25 dB S/N according to Hamspots but they missed one another.

Wayde, K3MF, completed JT9 QSO’s with WA3ETD and N9EGT.  Wayde is using a new amp and indicated that it is “...using 3 IRFP250 FET’s in parallel. At 28VDC puts out 120w and barely gets warm. Same design as the GW3UEP.  I have pushed it to 160w out and gets warm.”  If you make this modification in your GW3UEP amp, be sure to scale the capacitors in the low pass filter accordingly.

Wayne, N9EGT, returned to operating JT9, completing QSO’s with K3MF, K8TV, WB3AVN and WA3ETD.  Wayne, K9SLQ, reported that “EGT” was using a long wire but no additional information about his station is available at this time.

Al, K2BLA, reported that he “…worked KB5NJD last night on CW and  K8TV and K9SLQ on JT9 this AM. Deep QSB both times. Low noise. WSPR: heard 18, nothing over 2000 km. Heard by 54 including LA2PXA. That’s a long one from FL.

Neil, W0YSE, reported last night that he would be monitoring and periodically “sounding” with WSQCall, whose beta version can be downloaded here.  Neil received two CQ’s from Mark, VA7MM, and indicated that his signal was seen in Oregon and British Columbia.  Neil provided this transcript showing the results and telemetry.

Robert, KR7O, reported that he has been on the air for a month with his “modest station”, indicating that in that time he has

…21 Unique stations worked in 3 DXCC, 10 states and 17 grids.  Most worked grid squares CN88 and CN89 with three each.  Best DX KL7L and (inland) NO3M.  Still looking for HI, OR and AZ to return to the air for new states.  Not bad I guess, for 3-4W TPO into a 43 x 200 Marconi T on the west coast.”

For this session Robert reported,

The evening started off quiet, but became quite noisy by 0400Z.  On JT9, copied K2BLA and WA9CGZ On WSPR, I was copied by 13, including 3 in the Great Lakes area.  Copied 13.  Since conditions seemed decent, but noisy, I decided to give QRSS a try for the first time.  Had a possible reception of VO1NA from about 0631-0840Z.  Returned to WSPR around 1130Z.

ZF1EJ 2 spots, -25

VK4YB 2 spots, -26

Ken, K5DNL, had a big night on WSPR, reporting 23 stations including VK4YB.  He received reports from 89 unique stations including EA2HB,  EA1KV,  G4ZFQ,  PA7EY,  DL4RJA,  OR7T,  2E0ILY,  M0NKA, EA8FBK,  F59706,  PA0RDT,  F6GEX,  ON5KQ,  YV7MAE,  ZF1EJ and seven Canadian stations.

It was a successful session at KB5NJD.  I spent a lot of time monitoring as I worked in the ham shack, making a few calls on 474.5 kHz CW through the evening.  I worked K2BLA who also made a few calls on frequency.  We exchanged RST 589/579 as signals were very stable until the end when QSB sent Al’s signal into the noise.  It was a good evening.  This morning I briefly called CQ prior to sunrise and heard W3TS calling me although at the time, elevated noise to the East and QSB only allowed me to hear “W3” briefly pop out of the noise.  We will get it done on a peak, I am certain.  There have been harder QSO’s completed from my station.

Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:






LA8AV ->  AA1A, KA1R







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


Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR summary


Japanese 24-hour WSPR summary


Oceania 24-hour WSPR summary


Eden, ZF1EJ, reported fourteen WSPR stations and he received reports from 45 unique stations, including YV7MAE, 2E0ILY and LA2XPA.

ZF1EJ session WSPR summary


Martin, YV7MAE, reported twelve WSPR stations, including G0MRF.

YV7MAE session WSPR summary


Laurence, KL7L, remains off air as poor weather conditions and high winds continue.  He indicated that his JT9 and WSQCall receive windows were clear.  Using WSPR he reported three stations, including VK4YB.

KL7L session WSPR summary


Roger, VK4YB, reported that this was the “Coldest February day for 20 years in Brisbane. Light rain all day. QRN was bad from storms in Central Queensland. No hint of any signals on the band. No reports of my JT9 calls. Some TP WSPR reports, best from K5DNL, and 7 JA stations reporting.”  Roger reported sixteen WSPR stations including JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA5AEA, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU and TNUKJPM.

VK4YB session WSPR summary


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), was off air during his session.


“Australian scientific researchers a few years ago imaged high altitude plasma, arched tubes or ducts of ionization in the magnetosphere. The tubes follow Earth’s magnetic lines. Think of altitudes reaching up to roughly 1000 km  high, mostly far above the ionosphere.  The ionosphere down below–especially the reflecting contours of the E-region at LF/MF—how could its contours ever be imaged? What do you think?

To show how different from LF/MF imaging the Australian imaging methods might be, today I try to distill their description into radio amateur language.  Better yet, read their article for the scientific description. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL063699/full

In western Australia, the Murchison Wide Field Array has dozens of VHF antennas at about 183MHz feeding receivers with 30.72MHz bandwidth. http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=15052

MWA does radio telescope work over its field of view near-zenith covering sky area 30°×50° (NS×EW). The radio telescope can locate celestial sources within about 1/30 degree resolution.

In their work, MWA’s sampling was 100x more complete than the instruments called Very Large Array VLA west of Socorro NM and equipment at Los Alamos NM.  It’s said MWA is the first radio telescope to visualize regional-scale, field-aligned plasma density structures and their spatial periodicity without need to presume their shape nor Earth’s magnetic field. The technique is not time-limited like orbiting satellite receptions nor depends on whistler propagation that the tubes or ducts only sometimes support. (Note: By “ducts” is meant magnetospheric whistler ducts, not ionospheric ducting of DX radio propagation.)  MWA can assess plasma distribution both along and across magnetic flux tubes.

How was the imaging accomplished?

The scientists used the MWA as a whole and in halves, like using your two eyes to look at apparent position variations in celestial sources. That way, whole-array imaging could not only determine position but also in halves “see” stereo depth of structures in the magnetosphere traversed by the celestial RF emissions on the way to the MWA. To do this imaging, computers executed image reconstruction software on the radio receiver information. The image reconstruction revealed tubular surfaces in the magnetosphere laterally and vertically.

46 radio data sequences during 1.5 hours prior to local midnight were each integrated 2 minutes in sets of sequences from many antennas in the array. That way signal strength versus angular position in the sky showed peaks for the celestial RF sources telling their position. Celestial sources “move” with the apparently revolving sky through the night. But because magnetosphere structures would be shaped by Earth’s own magnetic field (GMF), such structures can be expected to stand almost steady above the earthbound MWA.  Speaking of GMF, during one 1.5 hour MWA run the GMF condition was mildly unsettled at Kp=2 during observations in a moderate storm recovery phase, Dst = −45 nT, with 24 hr maximum Kp =4.

The celestially sourced rays of 2 meter RF pass through a total amount of electrons in ionized parts of the high atmosphere–called the total-electron-content (TEC). The TEC gradient, or spatial variation along the way through the magnetosphere, refracts the RF rays slightly. The equipment measured refractive shifts in apparent position for about 1000 celestial sources as vectors (angular offset magnitudes and directions) away from time-averaged sky positions of those sources.

Thanks to the vastly numerous source offset vectors over the field of view and the 46 times they were measured as “snapshots” in the 1.5 hours, that massive data could be image-reconstructed. Their method applied a mathematical method called “divergence” (del-dot) to the numerous vectors at their positions in the field of view.  Divergence is significant where nearby vectors differ considerably in magnitude and/or direction.  Areas of significant divergence came in bands, with about 2° band separation and aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field.

In 3D, their work displayed a high altitude duct structure by using MWA a stereo camera detecting altitude, motion, and orientation.  To do this, its array of receiving antennas over a 3km-wide area was divided into two groups east-west (37 in east half, 35 in west half, 56 central ones excluded). Parallax shift characteristic altitude was 570 km ± 40 km, averaged over the 1.5 hr interval and field of view.

“Parallax” means that directions differ from separate antenna array-halves of the MWA to the same celestial source. Structures should be not-too-different in altitude to lend themselves to parallax analysis by software. Clear bands in the divergence-analyzed TEC gradient vector field exist out to 20°. That means these bands do not extend vertically more than about 3 times the separation between the bands horizontally, (cotan 20°=2.75). Otherwise, the imagery would become indistinct at such larger angles. So, the vertical and horizontal cross-sectional widths of the band structures are comparable–like cylindrical ducts and not vertical sheets.

Why would such magnetospheric ducts form at all? The scientists ruled out three alternative explanations and sketched out a fourth.  For more, do delve into their paper. Please excuse any imperfections in my “translation” into ham radio language.

OK. Meanwhile, here we are on 630m and 2200m operating beneath a mysteriously dynamic reflecting ionosphere that’s probably about 100 km altitude.I suspect quite different methods would be needed to image MF/LF ionosphere reflecting surface contours, if such imaging is possible at all.  Do you have an idea how that might be done?

TU & GL in today’s 630m operations and who knows what MF/LF fun in the future!”

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