The details for February 22, 2016 can be viewed here.
It was generally a quiet night on the ground in North America with great domestic band conditions in spite of a reporting period of unsettled geomagnetic conditions. Paul, N1BUG, reported very fast and deep QSB around the time of this increased geomagnetic activity and noted that numerous signals were observed on his WSPR waterfall that did not decode. The common thinking is that there was a major enhancement and these signals were European in origin. How amazing would it have been for those weak signals to have been reported, in fact a few were reported at Paul’s station. There were a few storms in the North Central US and Northern California as well as a cluster of storms in the Gulf but I never heard any real impact to the noise floor during my brief listening during the evening. I’m sure someone was impacted, however.
Geomagnetic conditions have generally been at quiet to elevated-quiet levels although one period during the early evening was observed to be at unsettled levels. The Bz has been relatively stable and while it has generally been pointing to the North there have been a few very minor excursions to the South. Solar wind velocities are now below 400 km/s, currently average near 395 km/s. DST values peaked near the time that geomagnetic conditions reached unsettled levels followed by a relatively minor decrease which looks similar to textbook observations for a coronal hole that has become geoeffective. Fortunately storm levels were never achieved and operators were able to take advantage of some type of enhancement.
Trans-Atlantic openings were very robust once again from the central US and to the East. David, G0MRF, reported that EA4GHB was reported in North America for the first time during this session with early reports. Report details can be viewed here.
EA4GHB –> N1BUG
F1AFJ –> N1BUG
WI2XRM –> DL4RAJ
WG2XIQ –> F1AFJ
ZF1EJ –> LA2XPA/2
EA5DOM –> N1BUG, WH2XZO, K4RCG, WD2XSH/17, WG2XPJ
WG2XXM –> F1AFJ, F59706, F6GEX, G3XKR
WG2XPJ –> F1AFJ, F59706, G0LUJ, G3XKR, PA0O, PA0RDT
WG2XKA –> DJ0ABR, DL4RAJ, DL4RAJ/2, F1AFJ, G3XKR, LA2XPA/2, PA0O, PA0RDT
WD2XSH/17 –> DF2JP, DG3LV, DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, DK7FC, DK7FC/P, DK8FT, DL4RAJ, DL4RAJ/2, EA5DOM-1, EA8/LA3JJ, EB3FRN, F1AFJ, F59706, F6CNI, F6GEX, G0LRD, G0LUJ, G3WCB, G3XKR, G4ETG, G4HDS, G4KPX, G8LCO, LA2XPA/2, LA3EQ, M0XDK, ON5TA, ON5TA/1, ON7ZO, OR7T, PA0A, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ANG, PA7EY
Joe, DF2JP, reported that high winds and rain were going to keep his kite antenna on the ground during this session. Look for his return as soon as the weather allows.
David, G0MRF, reported that G8SCU was monitoring WSPR from Turkey and providing reports to a few European stations. Middle Eastern stations have strict prohibitions on transmitting at MF and LF but its nice to see a station providing reports from there.
Paul, N1BUG, reports that his latest receiver changes have contributed to improved listening conditions and he notes that he is hearing better than ever. His recent antenna repairs and modifications likely did not hurt either. Paul reports “Very little QRN. Heard 18. TA F1AFJ, EA5DOM, EA4GHB (new for me). Several TC WH2XGP, WI2XJQ, WG2XSV, VE7BDQ. 4 decodes of WH2XCR.”
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded twelve WSPR stations and was decoded by 67 unique stations including F6GEX, F1AFJ, F59706, G3XKR, and WE2XPQ. He also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported great band conditions and activity during the session. He provided reports for ten WSPR stations and was reported by 37 unique stations. His unique report details can be viewed here.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XPO, had a nice night of trans-Atlantic reception and provided these comments:
“The five decodes of EA5DOM make him the European most often decoded here. Twelve other unique decodes including VE7, but not Hawaii on the northeast favoring delta antenna used all night because I didn’t switch over to the loop around 1- 2 AM local like I usually do. The 51 decodes of XZO was better than recent nights.”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported good transcontinental openings and provided these comments and statistics:
“I had two new listeners last night, K4RCG, and N1BUG. My map shows a lot of eastern states receiving me. I had 30 unique spotters of my 2w EIRP.
….and I spotted these 9.
Nice to see John/XKA in my RXing list this morning….Conditions must have been very good ahead of the coming magnetic storms.”
Mike, WA3TTS, also reported strong transcontinental openings: “Good path to XCR and PNW but no EU here, likely my NE noise situation…was NE ant to 0600 then NW antenna and single band 630m overnight.”
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported that the band opened late in Queensland. QRN was low at sunset but Roger indicates that there were no reports in the first 90-minutes. As propagation began to appear, so did the QRN. Coincidence? Maybe because if the band was closed noise might not be propagated to Roger’s receiver. Roger adds that “In the end, not too bad a session. Best DX was VE6JY at 12682 km. Still no sign of JA from this QTH.” He received reports from CF7MM, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, and W7IUV.
John, VE7BDQ, reported that as of 0933z, he decoded twelve WSPR stations. While transmitting three times each house, he received reports from 34 unique stations with 21 of those stations at a distance exceeding 2000km. John received report from WH2XCR in Hawaii at +4 dB S/N and a distance of 4320 km at 0704z. He also provided reports for VK4YB.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 67 unique stations including VK4YB.
Joe, WA9CGZ, has been assigned WI2XSV and hopefully his application will pass quickly through the NTIA process so he can be on the air before noise gets really bad. Similarly, Carl, N4PY, has filed an application and has been assigned WI2XSX.
It was a very good session here in Texas. I had planned on operating a bit of CW at 0130z but opted out after rapid, deep QSB was reported. Those can be very difficult CW QSO’s and while I was not experiencing that fade behavior here it was likely for higher latitudes that might be able to hear me. WSPR reports were solid with CW and JT9 levels commonly reported while my receive numbers were also very good. I shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and received reports from WE2XPQ and F1AFJ. I admit that I didn’t know what to expect from the trans-Atlantic path with the conditions presented during the evening but I’m glad the band produced results. My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and was reported by 41 unique stations, including LA2XPA/2 and WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that a power problem kept mind from transmitting during this session. He was receive-only and provided reports for VK4YB and WH2XCR. DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a normal session with reports from VK3ELV, JR1IZM, WE2XPQ and two-way reports with VK4YB. Coverage in North America was very good and Merv provided reports for a number of eastern stations although two-way reports along the East coast were far less prolific than recent sessions. Merv’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Jim W5EST, presents, “DAYTIME QSO POTENTIAL? WH2XXP PROBES 630M DAYTIME WSPR2 QSB”:
“Ward’s WH2XXP daytime 630m WSPR2 signal lets us use 35 watt Part 5 experimental high-power to probe daytime QSB. Even though amateurs would be far more limited in their power, the QSB sequence of their 630m SNR would presumably be the same shape on a same path except for 10 dB-or-so lower SNR.
The information suggests that this time of year 5 watt EIRP amateurs with well-performing RX antennas on reasonably storm-free paths would be able to do 1500km 630m daytime digimode QSOs until mid-morning, and from mid-afternoon on. The digimode should reach to -30 dB SNR. Please tell us any contrary interpretation or experiences you bring to the table.
Today’s illustrations assemble daytime hours-long intervals I was able to find on the WSPR database for Feb. 17 and Feb. 20. Ward’s WH2XXP Arizona transmissions overlapped with hours of receptions at either John WG2XIQ (1495km W-E, green) or at Larry’s Washington state RXs designated W7IUV (1633km S-N blue) and WH2XGP (1633km S-N ditto). The flow of time is right to left. The two days were reasonably storm free for the paths in question. I’ve repeated the XIQ receptions in green for comparison on each illustration.
As you can see, the 630m daytime on both paths, S-N and W-E, featured an approximately bowl shaped daytime SNR pattern declining from the teens into the deep -20s dB SNR and then rising in strength with the approach of sunset. Significant midday reception gaps show up in most of the SNR graphs. Only the RX system designated WH2XGP on one day Feb. 17 provided all day decodes of XXP.
In my opinion, we could interpret the bowl-shaped SNR behavior either of two ways: 1) reflection from the D-region itself was diminished by absorption in the D-region responding to the arc of sun elevation establishing the solar flux density there, or 2) reflection from the E-region was diminished by absorption in the D-region responsive to the arc of sun elevation. The bowl shaped daylong trends lend credence to a 630m sky wave interpretation instead of 630m ground wave at 1500-1600 km path distance.
On a timescale of every 10 minutes, one can additionally perceive about 6-10 dB of spread of random SNRs, as suggested by the “thickness” of the SNR bowls. Since WSPR2 does its averaging across 110 seconds to estimate SNR, I surmise the random SNRs are caused by daytime QSB executing seconds-scale SNR variations inside many of the WSPR2 time slots. The limited information doesn’t tell us whether those short-term variations are random walk, or instead are phasing type variations such as were detected and graphed for the 630m nighttime path XXP-swl/k9. http://njdtechnologies.net/010417/ (scroll ¼ down)
Just as storms might do at night, regional storms near a 630m receiving station may significantly erode daytime WSPR2 SNRs and contribute to SNR randomness and trends through any particular stormy day’s 630m daytime.
On the illustrations, I’ve superimposed dashed lines at -20 dB high power WH2XXP SNR. Those dashed lines suggest where a -30 dB digimode threshold might position relative to weaker SNRs that a 5 watt transmitting station would deliver. In all the graphs, above-threshold SNRs from a 5 watt station do happen but not during several midday hours.
If these daytime 630m SNRs do generally respond negatively to sun elevation, then daytime 630m QSOs would presumably become scarcer in spring and summer, and more frequent in fall-winter months. Additonally, 630m QSOs would be scarcer at lower latitudes, and more frequently available at higher mid-latitudes. GL, let’s hear more about 630m daytime QSOs!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).