The summary from February 5, 2016 can be viewed here.
How does one begin to describe a session like this one? In past events I’ve called them a “three-ring circus” and that’s probably as good as it’s going to get this time as well. There was a lot to do during the session, ranging from CW to JT9 to WSPR and what seemed to be different was the extremely high level of activity, particularly from stations listening for those of us that were on the air or seeking cross band contacts with Canadian stations. I’m basing all of this on reports, of course, and its possible that in the past we had a big turn out that simply failed to provide reports – that’s actually confirmed to have happened more than once through word-of-mouth and hearsay. What makes these activities work is the level of active participation and for that I thank you – we all do.
Today’s summary will be similar to previous special event summaries. I will focus largely on the event activities and finish up with WSPR, which had a number of highlights from this session. As typical, details will come in for a few days as participants find time to file reports while others will decide that their report IS important enough to submit. Keep in mind that no report is too small! To paint an accurate picture its important to have as many details as possible so I will do my best to describe what I observed, from my perspective, and from the reports submitted by other operators. If you have reports, please be sure to submit them.
So lets begin with band conditions. Here in Texas my noise level ranged from normal, quiet levels to hearing distant lightning crashes. I would say that the noise floor was more elevated than what I would consider normal for this time of year but the noise never seemed to imped my ability to hear stations. While British Columbian stations reported ice and snow impacting their antenna and PA matching, I never heard any of them mention precipitation static. Of course they were listening for cross band stations on HF so listening conditions may have been much different from what was observed by those in the region listening on medium wave frequencies. Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reported nearby storms that increased his noise level to S9 +20 dB, effectively removing him from his typical special event operating. The lightning map was very clear in North America and I can only imagine that the distant lightning crashes that I was hearing were the little blips in Mexico. I suppose its possible that I was hearing the storms that Merv reported.
Geomagnetic conditions reached unsettled levels during the evening which may have helped AND hindered openings. The Bz is currently pointing to the North and while solar wind velocities relaxed during the evening, averaging 530 km/s, this morning those levels have returned to near 650 km/s. DST values have been variable once again and the Australian measurement seems to have taken a significant dip. This dip seems to coincide with extremely depressed conditions in the southern hemisphere, as reported by the T-index during a number of overnight periods. Similarly there were a number of odd reports that seem to coincide with periods of enhancement that were reported by way of the T-index. I am starting to be a believer that this metric may be on to something. It can be viewed here.
The festivities really began with Kees, PE5T reporting Joe, VO1NA, on CW at RST 449 at 2138z while calling CQ and listening for European stations on 80-meters. One of the blessing and curses of living half-way out in the Atlantic ocean is that you get an early start. Kees reported that at this time Joe was not hearing him. By 2215z, the two had completed a cross band QSO with Kees receiving an RST 339 report and indicating that band conditions were not as good as they were in the November event. Kees also reported that he and Joe completed a two-way QSO on 630-meters at 2323z. Congrats to both on this fantastic achievement. My theory on the quality of openings was that they did not come into their own until later in the evening after instability from the transition from day to night had a chance to calm down but I will discuss that more when I am describing my own observations shortly.
David, G0MRF, reported shortly after the completion of the QSO between Kees and Joe that Joe’s signal was up to RST 569 with QSB while listening on a remote receiver:
“FYI. If anyone is up and around VO1NA is currently peaking 569 with QSB on the SWUKSDR 477.700 CW http://southwest.ddns.net:8073/?f=162.00amnz14“
Geir, LA6LU, reported that he was up at the time and heard Joe’s CW at RST 539.
Roelof, PA0RDT, posted comments and a screen capture of Joe’s CW signal on the RSGB-LF reflector:
“Attached last night’s Linrad propagation plot of your signal, which was easy to copy by ear. On the plot you can spot that the CW speed dropped later as the keying side-bands are closer to the carrier. 73, Roelof, pa0rdt”
I was slated to begin calling CQ at 0000z on 474.5 kHz CW and began about four minutes early. As it was still light out, I did not expect many calls this early but I was hopeful that I would receive reports via email. Mike, WA3TTS, reported at 0026z that he was hearing me at RST 449 while listening with the Northwest EWE. Mike added that Mitch, VE3OT, was RST 589, and Frank, K3DZ / WH2XHA, who is located just 20-miles away was 20 dB over S9. Drew, K3PA, reported in at 0036z that I was S3 in Kansas on his short beverage. He also indicated at the same time that Mitch was good copy.
At 0042z, I heard a station calling me in the clear. In fact I had just transitioned from my “good” headphones to my wireless head phones so I could go to the kitchen and start thinking about dinner as the CQ machine droned on at a predetermined interval (at this time of evening it was every minute). It was Mike, AI8Z / WD2XSH/12, located in the Denver area. Mike’s signal was peaking but it was obvious that the band was very unstable, with very fast QSB, and I could only hope that it was going to settle down while we were chatting. Mike has a unique situation in that QRM from a neighbor’s “grow light” dictates his listening schedule so Mike was getting in while he could hear me. The sun had barely set here so I suspect that it was quite sunny still in Denver. Mike and I made a few exchanges but his signal was headed back down after giving him an initial RST 449 report that peaked at RST 549. I *think* Mike had a piece of traffic for me to relay as I thought I heard him say “QSP” but he was gone and I never heard him again. I quickly signed and resumed calling CQ.
Back to what I was saying earlier – the band was very unstable early and I don’t think that openings really solidified at my station until at least 0200z. It seemed like a number of stations were experiencing similar band behaviors in the early portions of the local evening.
At 0058Z, Mike, WA3TTS, reported that WG2XSB, located in FN42 and transmitting on 471.0 kHz, was RST 589 after a report just minutes earlier at RST 339. Mike also reported VE3OT at RST 579 at 0140z with some QSB and he completed a cross band QSO with Mitch. This would be Mike’s sole cross band QSO for the event as openings never developed further to the West and VO1NA had transitioned to beaconing before band openings could really solidify in the East.
At 0129z, Mark, WA9ETW / WI2XHJ, reported that WH2XHA was RST 549 on 476.7 kHz with deep QSB. It was around the same time that Mark also reported that I was at RST 539. Mark had completed a cross band QSO with VE3OT around this same time.
At 0145z, Jim, W5EST, reported my CW at RST 599 with no QSB. It was at this time that, based on reports, the band seemed very short. I was not yet hearing VE3OT which seemed to add some credence to that observation. Mike reported around this same time that Iw as up to RST 549 so perhaps the band was beginning to lengthen a bit.
Steve, VE7SL, reported that he was beginning his activity on 473 kHz at 0158z. and it was around this time that I decided to transition to JT9 for an hour so I could let the CW PA’s cool a bit. This was probably a good time to make the transition as a number of stations, based on reports, were looking for JT9 signals. I received the following reports via email from W0OGH, SWL/K9, and K3SIW:
Mike, WA3TTS, reported at 0208z that I was up to -6 dB S/N and Mark, WA9ETW, reported that I was at -5 dB S/N. The other Mike, NR5O / WH2XAR, reported that I was at -12 dB S/N at 0210z. Phil, VE3CIQ, reported at 0223z that I was at -9 dB S/N.
It was during this same time that Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, was also operating JT9. He was decoding me and began replying to my CQ’s but I was not hearing him in spite of seeing a slight hint of a signal in the waterfall. I adjusted the DSP a bit to block some of the big WSPR signals and also adjusted the receive antennas to try to minimize the impact from WSPR stations. I really needed the big aperture of the vertical to see Neil’s signal but without a little directivity he was being masked by big signals. Neil did receive reports from a number of stations during the evening including Rudy, N6LF / WD2XSH/20 located in southern Oregon, Larry, W0OGH located in southeastern Arizona and Dan, W7OIL who is located 4.9 miles west of Neil’s QTH. It seems there was a wall located to my West, maybe over New Mexico, that represented the dividing line between hearing Neil’s JT9 consistently and marginal copy. T-index data also seems to corroborate this observation.
While calling CQ on JT9 I first heard VE3OT, who was easy arm chair copy, even off frequency. I was going to have to search for Mitch and complete a cross band QSO with him as he was slated to QRT around 0500z.
At 0300z I returned to CW for what would be the duration of the event. Larry, W0OGH, reported that both my CW and JT9 were during this transitional phase were “in the red”.
It was at this time that activity in British Columbia was coming into it’s own and stations like VE7CNF, who was operating as CG7CNF, reported that 40-meter QSX frequencies were in bad shape due to contest activities but 80-meter and 160-meter frequencies were OK. A number of operators reported that 80-meters was very long through the evening and not supporting many short hops in the Pacific Northwest to British Columbia. At this point none of the British Columbian stations were audible here but that was normal. I typically do not begin hearing them until 0400z or 0500z at the earliest. Steve, VE7SL, reported that neither his 40-meter nor 80-meter QSX were poor.
Things got a little chaotic at my stations at this point. While I had returned to CW, I was intermittently calling CQ while listening for VE stations, VE3OT, in particular. Mitch had apparently taken a break and it was difficult to determine whether propagation had changed or he was temporarily off air. It was finally revealed by WA9ETW and KG0VL, who reported Mitch at RST 579 at 0314z, that he was on the air again. Mitch’s signal was down some and he was alternating his QSX from one CQ to the next. I don’t work 80-meters much anymore so my antenna for that band is poor and I didn’t think I would have a chance. A few calls confirmed that fact. Mitch was also not hearing a lot of callers on 80-meters so during one period where he was QSX 80-meters, I called him on his 40-meter frequency on a peak and he responded. It seems he was transitioning and I was calling at the right time. We completed a two-way at 0415z.
While all of this was going on, I also received an email from Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, who is “land locked” on 480 kHz but indicated that he was hearing my intermittent CQ’s on 474.5 kHz (while trying to work Mitch on 477 kHz!) and that we should have a split frequency QSO. My grant permits me to operate on 480 kHz but why move. The split worked great and when I checked 479.9 kHz, Paul was calling me. I responded and we exchanged RST 579 reports. The band was surprisingly stable and his signal was quite consistent for several reports. But when it was done, it was done and much like earlier in the evening when I was working WD2XSH/12, Paul faded into the noise. Paul runs 100-watts to a 30-foot vertical so to have a nice rag chew was great. A bit later he posted on the 600-meter research group that he was hearing WD2XSH/20 and was seeking a QSO but it’s unclear whether that happened or not.
Through all of this, I received CW reports from KG0VL, who indicated that I was RST 579 at 0322z. Paul, N1BUG, reported that I was strong in Maine while listening with his 80-meter dipole.
It was now 0400z and reports were increasing at a dramatic rate. Ralph, W5JGV / WD2XSH/7, reported that the ARRL’s 600-meter research group reporting portal had a number of reports from this session, an incomplete transcript of which can viewed here. It’s good that this site is getting used as in the past a number of people have complained that it was too complicated and tedious to fill out, not realizing that they could include what information that they wanted and leave the remainder blank.
At 0425z I was still CQing and intermittently checking for VE stations. When I returned the receiver to my frequency I heard a “tuner-upper” so I sent “who dat?” and received the reply, “who dat?” It was Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, who had just completed the CW sprint and was tuning for stations. He and I chatted a few rounds as the band was very stable at this point, exchanging RST 579 reports. Eric has spent much of the season on 160-meters so this was our first QSO in a few weeks. We signed and he moved on, looking for VE stations. He found success when he worked VE7SL at 0458z and indicated that the contact was almost comfortable enough for a ragchew. That was a good sign as I was still looking for Steve, who had already made a number of contacts by this time.
There was a complication for all of the guys in British Columbia – ice and snow. It seems that a Winter weather event had taken hold of the areas, moving in land over the last 24-hours. CF7MM and CG7CNF reported changes in their PA loading and antenna matching and there was constant fear that ice on tree branches might cause a total antenna system failure. They pressed on which was good because band conditions continued to improve, at least on the path between Texas and British Columbia. At 0518z the wait paid off as Steve, VE7SL, was a strong RST 539 here and easy copy for a quick QSO. That was followed by a QSO with CG7CNF at 0535z. Like Steve, Toby was a strong RST 539 and easy copy but the 40-meter QSX was beginning to deteriorate as the band change. After a few repeats on my end, Toby had his report and we wrapped it up. The only remaining VE7 stations were CF7MM and VE7BDQ. Both stations peaked at times with a few “beeps” but it was largely ESP. Weather conditions were reportedly deteriorating at both locations and it was unclear how long each stations would remain on the air. I continued to check but WSPR harmonics were beginning to cover what little I was hearing.
After a bit more CQing, Mike, WA3TTS, posted a note on the ON4KST chat that he was hearing me at a true RST 589 and posted this short video:
Numerous additional QSO’s were reported between VE7 stations as they began to wrap up for the night. Steve, VE7SL, sent this “pre-breakfast” list of stations that he worked:
Conditions were anything but great here, especially on the east-west path. There appears to be a lot of interest and support out in the PNW which is a good thing to see. If only the Sun would co-operate for us as we are still feeling the effects of the coronal hole streaming here on the southern edge of the auroral zone. All crossbands QSO’s were easy, with no repeats.”
John, VE7BDQ, reported that he “…was only able to work about a dozen stations cross band, most were in the CN grid with one in CM and one in DO grid.”
I’m sure there will be more reports like this from other Canadian stations before the dust settles. Be sure to check Steve’s blog for additional breakdowns in the coming days.
These additional comments were submitted via email or posted on the 600-meter research group email reflector:
“Band is very noisy tonight with static and general band noise, so not the best of conditions. But I heard most of the listed folks, some at good levels, some just partial copy above the noise.
Steve AA7U near Sahuarita, AZ…R75; 750′ N/S longwire best for all these 630m stations.
(470.0 WG2XSV not heard. Poor freq choice since AMBC intermod appears on these 10kc channels (450, 460, 470, etc.) Even a slight 100 Hz up or down freq change would get away from the intermod. On the SDR I can see several carriers on 470.0; no sign of any CW.)
471.0 WD2XSH/20 of N6LF 0316 utc, strong signal
473.0 VE7SL 0215 utc and after, weak signal, best signal by far of the west coast Canadians.
474.0 VE7BDQ 0352 utc, poor
474.5 WG2XIQ of KB5NJD 0320 utc, medium
475.0 CF7MM 0406 utc, very poor/poor, fades up now and then, got call sign several times.
(475.67 WH2XXP near Reno, NV, not in the 630m event but sending wspr with single CW ident at end–extremely strong S5 level, can’t miss him when tuning the band, when he’s transmitting.)
476.5 CG7CNF 0219 utc, very poor
477.0 VE3OT 0343 utc, nice fade up briefly, very poor
(477.7 VO1NA, no sign, didn’t really expect to hear him!)
479.9 WA2XRM of W0RW, first noted at 0358 very poor but faded up to good signal by 0419 utc.”
“I actually started listening before 8 pm (0300Z) but for some reason nothing was in the WSPR log. Oh well….
I did hear both Neil(WG2XSV)and John(WG2XIQ) clg CQ on JT9 mode but no one else. I did not tune around to see who i might hear on CW other than XIQ. Got back to the WSPR mode, should have tuned around more.
0304Z WI2XRM -27 EL98
WH2XZO -20 EM85
0308Z WG2XXM +6 EM15
WD2XSH/15 -18 EM34
0310Z ZF1EJ -30 EK99, multi reports then gone, back at 1146Z, last time.
0316Z WH2XQC -23 EM13
0338Z WG2XPJ -27 FN34
0340Z WI2XJQ -26 CN87
0502Z WH2XCR -26 BL11, -16 @ 0844 & 1422Z gone
0640Z WG2XIQ -6 EM12
0904Z WE2XPQ -26 BP51 & gone @ 1052Z
0932Z WD2XSH/17 -26 FN42
1020Z WI2XBV -18 EL99
WH2XXP is 200 miles W/NW of here and like a local, copy him 24/7. This is just a summary of the different stations heard. Multiple reports not included. I think all of these listed above are the times i first logged them. Fewer stations than Friday night. Larry W0OGH DM52ba”
“W0RPK NC FM15hn RCV summary — DIY E-Probe TS-430S 474.2kHz USB (only)
WSPR (13-stations [Sorted by reception distance] 1033-spots)
WH2XCR (K9FD) HI BL11je 7770km 07:04-09:56z 7-spots -26 to -30dBsnr
WH2XXP (K7PO) AZ DM33nl 3246km 00:36-13:00z 120-spots +1 to -28dBsnr
ZF1EJ Cayman Is EK99ig 1852km 00:16-12:26z 63-spots -5 to -29dBsnr
WG2XIQ (KB5NJD) TX EM12mp 1829km 06:24-13:00z 53-spots -2 to -30dBsnr
WG2XXM (K5DNL) OK EM15lj 1778km 00:02-13:30z 174-spots +4 to -28dBsnr
WD2XSH/15 (W5OR) AR EM34rt 1379km 00:32-12:20z 65-spots -18 to -29dBsnr
VE3EFF ON FN15rj 1096km 01:12-11:52z 43-spots -7 to -27dBsnr
WG2XPJ (W1IR) VT FN34lp 1075km 02:08-12:08z 96-spots -7 to -31dBsnr
VE3CIQ ON FN15wc 1066km 00:10-11:26z 47-spots -9 to -26dBsnr
WD2XSH/17 (AA1A) MA FN42pb 925km 00:00-12:34z 144-spots +2 to -27dBsnr
WI2XRM (W4BCX) FL EL98pd 883km 00:40-12:16z 76-spots 0 – -22dBsnr
WI2XBV (K2BLA) FL EL99ia 815km 10:20-11:42z 9-spots +6 to -4dBsnr
WH2XZO (K4LY) SC EM85wb 435km 00:04-14:36z 124-spots +10 to -29dBsnr
WG2XIQ (KB5NJD) TX EM12mp 1830km 05Feb17 02:01-02:51z Repeated CQ -11 to -24dBsnr
WH2XHA (K3DZ) PA FN00dl 584km 05Feb17 11-12z Slow repeated CW ID Q5
— TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio W0RPK”
Jerry, K5PSH (via W0RW / WA2XRM):
“I remembered to listen and was rewarded–heard WG2XIQ calling CQ on 474kc +/- a bit–. also heard partial calls on two stations that seemed to be IDing after digital xmsn– Hrd …XXP on 475kc–assuming it is WH2XXP in Az. Hrd …XXC also on or about 475kc–assuming it to be WH2XXC in Md.”
“Well, it was a lively night last night investigating the historical and legacy band of 630 meters!
K6VK (northern California CM87) copied:
WD2SXH/20 5×9 Eugene Oregon
WH2XXP 3×6 Arizona
CF7MM 2×2 BC, CN
VE7BDQ 2×2 BC
CG7CNF 2×2 BC
VE7SL 2×2 BC
I did not copy my friend Joe Craig, VO1NA in Newfoundland (but I will send him tomorrow a copy of the *CHRS Journal* with our VLF/LF/MF adventures).
I could copy with some difficulty every west coast station on the band. A few nights ago I copied Ontario low power beacon YHD on MF @ 413 KHz. The Montana low power beacons at 515 (SAK) and 525 KHz (INE) come in well every night.
There were several WSPR stations I could see but no CW ID (that I could see at any rate) except WH2XXP.
Some antenna experimentation showed that the best (and quietest) signal-in as measured on the SDR came from paralleling the 43 foot vertical with the nearby 33 foot (+ 6 ‘ mount) Hustler 6BVT (both just E-field probes at these frequencies). The Very Kinky Loop of copper pipe, 8.5 square meter capture area, area did well. But when it rains it picks up electrostatic discharge from the rain drops — who knew? And it is highly directional (which was OK last night as most stations were to the North). The Very Large Loop seems to be beyond its resonance at these frequencies and was pretty deaf. Next I’ll try loops and the verticals in parallel; that ought to be interesting both as to signal strength and directionality.
So, all in all, my conclusion is that for everything from ELF to MF, the best antenna is wires as high up as possible, as many as possible,
paralleled. What has surprised me is the relative immunity from local noise of the vertical wires. There were atmospheric “static” crashes in on all antennas; I understand the frustration of the old wireless men with static!
I tried the Staples W6BM impedance improver (the ZII) but it introduced noise. I think that inasmuch as I have it in a partially unshielded box, it picks up local noise that way.
It was helpful to turn off everything and run from one heavy duty linear power supply (and the laptop battery). I’m setting up long term battery power for the SDR and laptop.
I ran the Icom 7000 parallel to the SDR. It imposed weird spurious signals on the SDR. On the other hand, it seems equally sensitive and selective. The SDR has no WSPR mode and I can’t see any easy way to get one, so for WSPR, the Icom 7000 will work fine but I need to get a good external card. Any suggestions?
For hard to copy Morse CW I tried the old HAL Telereader. No Joy unless the signal was loud and clear. It did help with WD2SXH/20 and gave me a clue about “Eugene.” It does work really well with KPH / KSM on MF, but that’s ground wave.
So, can K6VK (and maybe W6CF) get on the air on 630 meters? Maybe, at K6VK with both vertical antennas and a lot of inductance and maybe a capacity hat on the 6BVT.
At RadioCentral we can get a Marine Heritage license for MF like KPH (the callsign KRE is free!), and also an experimental license like WH2XXP and WH2XVN (David Curry). I’m really interested in 137 KHz. WSPR-15 is designed for that frequency. Maybe we can put up a 200 foot vertical on the old broadcast station ground insulator we salvaged from KRE — we already have the antenna top lights required!
So that’s the News from Lake Woebegone, where Grown Men Listen to the Radio!
73 de Bart, K6VK ##”
I never heard Rudy, WD2XSH/20, and he emailed me, indicating that he was not hearing me. He and I always seem to have trouble connecting in these events but I was happy that there was a solid opening to British Columbia. The T-index suggests that Rudy was in a region of depressed conditions during much of the evening while an opening existed in British Columbia.
I thought activity was good, particularly from stations providing reports. I would have liked to have had a few more active part-5 stations, particularly CW and JT9 operators but I know its a major time commitment and everyone is busy. I think the level of activity is a testament to what has been said many times before – 630-meters really has become a mainstream band and its not even open to traditional hams yet! That’s amazing.
A complete transcript from the ON4KST chat of the event period can be viewed here.
While additional reports for the special event are certain to continue to come in for a few days, let’s now transition to other activities from the session.
JR1IZM was reported on JT9 at 1049z at 1350 Hz. He was also active today at 1245z. Be looking for him in future sessions.
Jim, WB5WPA / WH2XQC, reported at 1749z a number of full sun reports of WH2XXP in the proceeding hours. Similarly Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he was decoding my WSPR signal prior to starting CW at 2230z with both ends of the path in full daylight. That’s typical behavior this time of year with hundreds or even thousands of miles being spanned even at local noon. In fact many JT9 QSO’s have been completed at noon between WG2XJM and my station.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR openings were present but less robust than the previous session. This may have had more to do with stations participating in the special event rather than running WSPR.
G8HUH –> WD2XSH/17
WG2XXM –> F59706
WG2XPJ –> DH5RAE, DL4RAJ, F1AFJ, F59706, G0LUJ, G0MJI, G3XKR
WD2XSH/17 –> DH5RAE, DK7FC/p, DL4RAJ, F1AFJ, F59706, G0LRD, G0LUJ, G0MJI, G3XKR, G8HUH, ON5TA, OR7T, PA0A, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA7EY, PE1RKT
Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations including WH2XCR and ZF1EJ and was decoded by 83 unique stations including F59796 and WE2XPQ.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that he decoded fourteen WSPR stations and received reports from sixty unique stations. Doug indicates that this session was a “top five all time result even with the high level absorption and complete lack of VE7s.” Doug also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, which has been ongoing for several sessions.
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 41 unique stations, which, as Al reported, is another record for his station. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR at his highest signal levels yet on that path.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported that his receive numbers were down, which makes sense given the special event, which limited the number of active, transmitting WSPR stations for much of the night. Rick provided reports for five WSPR stations and was decoded by 41 unique stations. His report details can be viewed here.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported, “I managed only one cross band QSO with VE3OT at 0132 to 0138 UTC. Nothing heard from VO1NA or the NW VE3s. I returned to 630M WSPR2 around 0800 and had a handful of XCR decodes and 15 or so WI2XJQ decodes through about 1100 UTC time frame running a single IF radio on 630m with my LF/MF converter to maximize whatever SNRs were obtained.”
“Given the best -24 from XJQ at his 10W level, the chances for a CW cross band QSO to the NW were small last night. ZF1EJ was at audible levels at times overnight in the 0300~0500 UTC time frame.”
Trans-Pacific WSPR activity was bizarre, most notably due to what happened to Roger, VK4YB, in a short time span, which is reported below. While the opening was limited, there were a number of very good reports. Report details for trans-Pacific openings, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported that, “In a remarkable 12 minutes from 11:46 to 11:58, I was spotted by WG2XIQ, VE6XH, KU7Z, N6RY, JR1IZM and decoded WH2XXP, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR. WG2XXM was a good trace at the same time. But the band was open for a good period with 25 spots from VE6XH, the best at -17. Still high QRN else more NA would have been spotted down here. I tried WSPR on 160m a few times but no TP joy there on either the 100ft vertical or the half wave sloper.” Roger also received reports from JA3TVF and JE1JDL.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 94 unique stations – a new record – with reports from VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK3ELV, JA8SCD5, JH3XCU, and JR1IZM. Ward added that the “VK path OK (just OK), mainly to Roger VK4YB with a weaker opening to JA.”
This session was exhausting but I have zero regrets except for not “rolling tape” on any signals here through the evening but there was simply too much going on and operator overload was setting in. At the end of the special event I gave serious consideration to just shutting down and calling it a night. I’m glad I didn’t because I was fortunate to receive Roger, VK4YB, for the first time ever. While I have been heard on the VK and ZL path on a number of occasions, this is the first time that signals reached my stations. Its rather remarkable because the geomagnetic field was seriously disturbed in the southern hemisphere overnight which may have given the necessary boost for signals to be reported. My WSPR transmission report details were high and can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details were down a bit due to the special event but can be viewed here.
As has previously been alluded, activity was very high. For WH2XXP to have had 94 reports suggests that the number of active stations was also very high. At 0633z I observed 145 MF WSPR stations on the WSPRnet activity page and I suspect its very likely that the total actually exceeded 150 again after I went to bed. I wish there was a better way to track this metric. There were a lot of new receiving stations during this session and I have lost count. I do not envy Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, who keeps those record now.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, filled in a lot of holes in the eastern half of North America due to the high number of active stations. He provided reports to twelve WSPR stations and received reports from 53 unique stations and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports continued high QRM from the power system on Maui, making his portable activities very challenging. I guess being a resort area I would have expected Maui to have underground utilities but not so, as Laurence shows us Maui’s version of a Marconi in this photo, which has been good for S9 noise:
Laurence managed a strong effort from the station in Alaska, however, sharing two-way reports with VK4YB, and WH2XCR and receiving reports from JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, and JR1IZM. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reported during the special event that storms were rampant, making listening tough. He managed a great session on WSPR, however, with two-way reports shared with JR1IZM, VK4YB and ZF1EJ. He also provided reports for VK3HP and received reports from JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, VK2XGJ, and VK3ELV. Coverage across North America was outstanding, with many two-way reports registered, many of which have been previously detailed in this report. Merv’s DX 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).