The details for February 6, 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.
It was noisy in the south central US due to Gulf coast storms. A few storms were present in US Southwest. Southeastern Europe into the Mediterranean hosted active storms again and central Japan and surrounding areas received isolated storms through the session. While a few isolated storms were present in southeastern Australia, central and northwestern portions of the country were mostly lightning free. New Zealand was also lightning free.
Geomagnetic conditions remain at elevated-quiet to quiet levels. The Bz is neutral this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 420 km/s. DST values have been more erratic than in recent session.
Once again QSB was the name of the game as deep fades dominated much of the evening and overnight. The band was open but operators had to catch a peak in order to be successful. Trans-Atlantic openings were solid during the late evening but early evening in the North American was not nearly as good on this path. Transcontinental openings showed promise during the later evening with JT9 signals. Trans-Pacific paths were typical for this time of year but propagation in Oceania was reported to be down compared to the previous session.
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:
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!):
Wayde, K3MF, reported JT9 QSO’s with N1BUG and K0KE. Using CW, Wayde completed a QSO with K4EJQ at RST 599+ on a peak.
Tom, WB4JWM, reported JT9 QSO’s with K3MF, N1BUG, WB3AVN, KC3OL and WA1OJN. Tom also has been using a new amplifier which he has allowed me to share. Details are available here.
Al, K2BLA, reported that he “Worked K3MF and N1BUG last night on JT9. Activity seemed light. On WSPR, heard by 53 and heard 17. No DX, no TA, nothing interesting. Heard by YV7MAE but that is now commonplace.“
Paul, N1BUG, reported JT9 QSO’s with K3MF and K2BLA. Paul is seeking trans-Atlantic JT9 QSO’s and submitted this report for his first night of organized attempts:
“I called CQ from 2250 to 0100z. No signals seen from EU.
Murphy’s law in action ! The one night we stir up interest, propagation failed ! WSPR signals were down a good 10 to 15 dB from recent nights.
I will continue to call CQ on JT9 during this time frame for the next few nights… 2300 – 0100z. I will be transmitting odd/second, 474.2 dial, audio somewhere between 900 and 1300 depending on local noise and other JT9 activity.“
Mal, G3KEV, reported that “Propagation reasonably good last night, managed several reports from the USA and the best DX was FR5DH/9915 Km at –22 dB.” In addition to WSPR, Mal also operated JT9 looking for North American signals.
Ken, K5DNL, operated WSPR, reporting 23 stations including KL7L. He received reports from 99 unique stations including F6GEX, G0KTN, F1AFJ, F59706, G0LUJ, 2E0ILY, KL7L, ON5KQ, PA0RDT, G0VQH, YV7MAE, ZF1EJ, ZF1RC and eight Canadian stations. Ken added that “Propagation seems much better this year and I’m running ¼ the power.“
Robert, KR7O, reported “…Very high noise. TC was there, but not at amateur power levels for the most part.” Robert also reported JT9 from VK4YB three times, best report -25 dB S/N: 2018-02-06 13:36 VK4YB 0.475787 -25 0 QG62ku
Neil, W0YSE, posted a message on the 600 meter research group email reflector entitled, “QSY announcement for WSQcall operations tonight…” That message transcript can be viewed here. Neil submitted these comments for the session:
“On WSQ last evening I saw VE7CNF’s call one time, then later had QSO’s with VE7VV and VE7BDQ.
Dick, W7WKR was trying to see us, but no luck. He and I were exchanging emails back and forth.
This morning I decoded KL7L’s CQ’s on JT9 but he did not see me.
Dont know if anyone else is watching for our WSQ signals, but I will continue to beacon nightly for awhile, dial at 475.6 kHz at .5 baud until further notice.”
Arliss, W7XU, reported:
“Nothing too exciting overnight. I copied KL7L on WSPR for the 2nd time ever, though — he previously told me that he doesn’t have a very good path in my direction. No trans-Pacific for me this morning.
Feb. 6 — KL7L, BP51, was copied at 1048 (-26 dB), 1136 (-28 dB) and 1142 UTC (-27 dB) using WSPR here in EN13lm.”
It was noisy at KB5NJD due to storms in the Gulf of Mexico but the band was very open if you could catch a peak. Reverse beacon network reports were higher than typical for the evening but QSB meant that the openings were very inconsistent. I received a call from K9KFR at 0215z, who was a true RST 569 and armchair copy but just as soon as I responded, signals were headed down again and he was gone. K3MF noted that during this exchange I simply disappeared. QSB like this made JT9 challenging, requiring repeats for many. Nights like these can be frustrating but also fun since you never know what might happen.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:
W3LPL -> G0LUJ
N1BUG -> G0LUJ
EA4GHB -> N1BUG, VE1YY
WB3AVN -> G0KTN, G0LUJ
DH5RAE -> W1IR, NO3M, AA1A
ZF1EJ -> 2E0ILY, G0LUJ, LA2XPA
DL6TY -> W1IR, N1BUG, VE1YY, AA1A
PA3ABK/2 -> N1BUG, NO3M/3, VE3OWV, W1IR
G8HUH -> N1BUG, NO3M/3, VE1YY, W8AC, ZF1EJ
AA1A -> 2E0ILY, G0LUJ, G0VQH, LA2XPA, ON5KQ, PA0RDT
G3KEV -> N1BUG, N3FL, NO3M/3, VE1YY, VE2PEP, VE3OWV, W1IR, W8AC
K5DNL -> 2E0ILY, F1AFJ, F59706, F6GEX, G0KTN, G0LUJ, G0VQH, ON5KQ, PA0RDT
W4BCX -> EA1FBU, EA2HB, F59706, G0KTN, G0LUJ, G0VQH, LA2XPA,ON5KQ, PA0RDT
G0MRF -> AA1A, K3MF, N1BUG, N2HQI, N3FL, NO3M, NO3M/3, VE1YY, VE2PEP, VE3OWV, W1IR, W8AC, WA3ETD, WB3AVN, YV7MAE, ZF1EJ
W1IR -> 2E0ILY, DG3LV, DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, DL4RAJ, DL4RAJ/2, DL6TY, F1AFJ, F59706, F6GEX, G0KTN, G0LUJ, G0MJI, G0VQH, G3WCB, G4DBN, G4FGJ, G4ZFQ, G8TTI, LA2XPA, LA3EQ, ON5KQ, OR7T, PA0EHG, PA0LSB, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2, PA7EY, PI4THT
Trans-Pacific WSPR summary follows:
KL7L -> JA1PKG, JH3XCU
VK4YB -> JA1PKG, JA3TVF, K1YQP, K6SRO, KK6EEW, KL7L, KPH, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF, TNUKJPM, VA7MM, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, WB7ABP
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Pascal, FR5DH, experienced a strong session as he returns to regular listening, reporting nine WSPR stations in Europe.
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported 21 WSPR stations including KL7L, G0MRF and G8HUH. He received reports from 61 unique stations including YV7MAE, 2E0ILY, G0LUJ and LA2XPA.
Roger, ZF1RC, reported eight WSPR stations.
Martin, YV7MAE, reported fifteen WSPR stations, including G0MRF.
Laurence, KL7L, indicated that medium wave was weak in Alaska this morning, but during a JT9 operating session around 1400z, he received reports from W0YSE, best at -24 dB S/N. Using WSPR overnight, he reported six stations and he received reports from 26 unique stations, including ZF1EJ, JA1PKG and JH3XCU. He shared two-way reports with K5DNL, KA7OEI, KR6LA, VA7MM, VE7BDQ and VK4YB. Laurence also noted that the multiturn receive look that was destroyed in the woods is not going to be repaired. He added that the “Aces high” probe hanging in a tree also failed yesterday, first mechanically, leading to an electrical failure. The good news is that he has replaced the U3S that burned up a few months back and is looking forward to Merv’s return so he can test it on the path to KH6, which is probably the easiest for just one watt applied to the antenna.
Roger, VK4YB, operated JT9 this morning, receiving reports from KR7O. Using WSPR overnight, he reported KL7L and he received reports from eighteen unique stations including JA1PKG, JA3TVF and TNUKJPM. He shared two-way reports with KL7L. Roger also reported that “From early observations this session was never going to reach the heights of yesterday. Propagation was well down and QRN was high, coming from small cells that barely showed on the Blitzortung screen. Nevertheless 2way WSPR was exchanged with KL7L. Only VE7SL and VE6XH reported my JT9 on the PSK reporter. There were the usual West Coast WSPR decodes but nothing further East.“
Merv, K9FD (/KH6), was off air during this session.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “CAN YOU RE-USE EXISTING STRUCTURES AT YOUR QTH TO GET LF/MF ANTENNA?“
“LF/MF antennas—TX or RX antennas–may fit into relatively small lots by re-using structures. Tell us some of your successes, or even just good ideas, for this blog!
I live on a small city lot and am only willing to consider a minimum of outdoor antenna visibility. I’m not ready to put any holes through a wall, nor route new wires under concrete that’s unfortunately located next to already existing walls.
Re-use designs are likely QTH-specific. It so happens at my place that two 12 VAC transformers run two sets of yard lights on two cables. Each 12V yard light connects across its stranded wire insulated pair that’s strung like a cable along the ground. Home & yard store stuff.
Today’s illustration shows my untested design for an outdoor QRP 630m TX/RX loop that would reuse the existing yard light hardware while keeping the yard lighting usable when not operating TX nor using the sensitive electronics of a 630m RX. I would just unplug the transformers from the house power before connecting 630m TX/RX. Conversely, disconnect the 630m TX/RX from the system before plugging in the transformers for 12 VAC to run the yard lights.
Two pairs of 0.01 uF RF duty coupling capacitors (acting as 60 Hz blocking capacitors) connect the loop onto the wire pair of each of the two yard light cables. I’d install loop antenna wire to go up tree #1 and then cross to reach tree #2 and go down there. The newly installed loop antenna wire would connect at ground level to the RF coupling capacitor pairs.
Inside the garage where the yard light cables come in to their 12 VAC transformers, the design provides two more pairs of coupling capacitors connecting to an RF transformer and MF/LF receiver RX and possibly a 630m transmitter TX.
The coupling capacitors partially cancel loop inductive reactance. Stray shunt capacitance between the yard light cables and to earth should be small and present high impedance compared to the rest of the 630m system. Likewise, capacitive shunting from up/down wires to tree #1 and #2 needs to be minimal.
Unplugged, the 12VAC transformers for the yard light system would present virtually open circuits to 630m RF, while the capacitors would couple the two cables to opposite ends of the RF transformer antenna-side winding.
No doubt this particular idea is imperfect. What’s interesting is that it’s never previously even occurred to me that a lot of electrical conductor length is already installed in my yard and already enters the garage.
Do you too perhaps have particular other structures where you live that are capable of successful re-use for 630m? It’s a challenge to rethink structures that have been taken for granted, and safety and equipment protection are paramount. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your creative re-use design and any performance info! TU & GL on 630m.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!