The details for March 10, 2016 can be viewed here.
From my perspective here in Texas, this session was the noisiest of 2017. That is not saying much as what we are observing will get a lot worse before it gets better again. As I’ve been busy and not paying attention to weather reports much lately, I had no idea that the storm system that created so many problems was going to push South over this session. With storms forecast here through the weekend, I suspect what we heard last night is only the prelude. If you are a new operator on MF or LF, just hang on and ride this out. Most of us remain QRV all year long in one capacity or another, only the start times get later.
The upside is that if one were able to manage the noise or maybe was located in an area with low or no noise, propagation was pretty good and a number of long-haul openings were reported. Maybe I’m getting soft but nights like this have made CW sessions almost impossible. I suspect most people would “punt” as well. Expect most CW to come pretty late in the evening and likely limited to weekends.
Geomagnetic conditions continue to show instability and elevated-quiet conditions have given way to unsettled conditions once again. The good news, perhaps, is that the Bz is not showing radical spikes, instead remaining very close to the centerline and varying to the North and South with relative stability. The solar wind velocities are improving as well, down to moderate levels this morning and averaging near 460 km/s. DST levels continue to display erratic behavior in negative territory.
Trans-Pacific openings were similar to the previous session although WD2XSH/17 returned to air after a few days away. It seems the path was open but noise in North America prevented decodes of Europeans. Southerly openings from the Caribbean continue. Report details can be viewed here.
ZF1EJ -> DJ0ABR, DL4RAJ
WG2XPJ -> G3XKR, G8HUH
WD2XSH/17 -> DK7FC/p, DL4RAJ, F1AFJ, F59706, G3XKR, G8HUH, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2
Joe, DF2JP, reported that he started his short antenna transmission test at 1800z using 250-watts TPO. His best DX at the time was to Finland some 1600 km away. As the night progressed a protection circuit tripped on the amp at 2258z. When running short antennas, impedance excursions seem to be “the norm” overnight as temperature and moisture conditions vary. Joe will investigate today but to that point his stations received reports from 86 unique stations with his SV1RV as his best DX at a distance of 1875 km and ten stations over 1000 km away.
Paul, N1BUG, reported that the session began with strong QRN which improved in the late evening and overnight period. He indicates that he decoded nine WSPR stations but had no real highlights to report except for the fact that he seems to hear ZF1EJ through even the worst band conditions. Hopefully that trend continues.
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported moderate QRN in Florida with signals that were weaker than normal. He provided reports for seven WSPR stations and received reports for 22 unique stations.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, had a pretty good night in spite of noise, indicating “I have to say it was a pretty good night for XJQ, not a lot of stations but the country was well represented. ZF1EJ made the path and was decoded here too. Good Job !!” Rick provided reports for eight WSPR stations and was reported by 24 unique stations and indicates that his noise was low. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported, “Tough night with regional storm QRN and generally higher background noise levels. A few XCR decodes and the path to PNW was there, but only one XJQ decode. XGP best at -10…”
For comparison here’s WG2XJM’s XCR decodes overnight some 80 miles to the North of my QTH. Eric’s tighter antenna pattern pattern handles the noise better than my NW EWE….interesting most of his decodes are later than mine…
Trans-Pacific openings returned in a big way on paths to Japan and Oceania. Report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported that, “Propagation was down a little from last night, with similar QRN levels. 630m/160m tests with VE6XH continue, 160m 4 spots, best -20, 630m 6 spots, best -23.” He received reported from JA1NQI, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7SL, and W7IUV. He provided reports from WH2XXP and WH2XGP.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 72 unique stations including 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JA8SCD5, JH3XCU, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and ZL2AFP.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and was reported by 52 unique stations including VK4YB, ZL1BPU, and ZL2AFP. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for six WSPR stations including VK4YB.
I started late during this session and noise was well established. I opted to listen with the rotatable multi-turn loop with the broadside to the storm system. Through the overnight period I checked the position of storms, adjusting the position of the antenna. Doing so gained three to four S-units, which is significant when static crashes are S9+. My receive numbers were down a bit but were improved significantly over listening with the transmit vertical. The vertical has been good through the Winter where the big aperture on quiet nights pulls signals in but the transition to seasonal quieter antennas is underway. Domestic conditions were good for my signal on a night that was probably challenging for many in North America. My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here. Once the time change is executed this weekend I can begin to start thinking about my operating schedule for the Spring and Summer. Everything will shift later and as I have said in the past, by Summer, openings really won’t begin to come into their own until about three hours after local sunset so I likely won’t get in a hurry about getting started. I do plan on operating through the Summer, weather permitting, and may plan on another Field Day outreach opportunity.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, experienced a second consecutive session with trans-Atlantic reports, this time from DJ0ABR and DL4RAJ. Eden provided reports for nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 26 unique stations including two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to be impacted by high absorption but provided reports for VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. Laurence’s coverage in the western portions of North America was normal. DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, is fighting through his own weather system but seems to be finding quite a bit of success including very late reports from JA1NQI at or shortly after sunrise in Hawaii. Merv also received reports from 7L1RLL4 and JH3XCU in Japan and ZL1BPU on the North island of New Zealand. Merv also shared two-way reports with VK4YB, WE2XPQ and ZF1EJ. On the North American mainland, western coverage was very good and even eastern reports were present in spite of high noise from storms on both ends of the path. Merv provided reports for WI2XBV and he was reported by K3RWR, WA3TTS, SWL/K9, WD0AKX, and K8PZ. That is a remarkable number of reports in spite of very poor operating conditions from storms in the central US. 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).