Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

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

Generally quiet geomagnetic conditions result in another night of solid trans-Atlantic openings; Blizzard conditions in the East have impact on activity, particularly in the Northeast; Trans-Pacific openings more depressed than previous sessions but another big night at WE2XPQ and WH2XCR

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for March 14, 2016 can be viewed here.

Propagation and QRN were both very favorable during this session for much of North America.  The largest limiting factor seems to be the time change and the subsequent later start for quality openings.  It won’t be long until even mediocre openings begin at bedtime.  Precipitation noise will no doubt be a player for many in areas that are ‘snowed under’ due to the most recent blizzard that extends from New England through the Midwest and into parts of the Southeast.   Fortunately there were  limited lightning-bearing storms impacting the bulk of North America.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions were primarily very quiet although the Bz has pointed to the South for many persistent periods.  Those values have been stable.  Solar wind velocities are low, averaging 330 km/s.  DST values  continue near the centerline, in many cases pushing to positive levels.




Trans-Atlantic openings continue to be relatively widespread although elevated noise levels in North America limited reports of Europeans.  Many reports, particularly in the Northeast came early in the session with a relatively brief opening.  This behavior is a departure from recent sessions where trans-Atlantic reports have occurred over a wider time scale. Report details can be viewed here.



WG2XIQ -> F59706

WG2XXM -> EB8ARZ, F1AFJ, F59706



Paul, N1BUG, indicated quiet band conditions, providing reports for sixteen WSPR stations including F1AFJ, G8HUH, WH2XGP, WI2XJQ, VE7BDQ and WH2XCR on trans-Atlantic and transcontinental paths, respectively.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded sixteen WSPR stations including first time reports for WI2XQU and VA3VVV.   He was decoded by 44 unique stations.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded  twelve WSPR stations and was decoded by 62 unique stations including WE2XPQ, EB8ARZ, F59706, and F1AFJ.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported good band conditions with coverage around North America plus KH6.  He provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations and was reported by 33 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report detail can be viewed here.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported, “The path to KH6 holding up and better propagation to the PNW overnight…”:

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported good openings to the East but he had no reports from W1 or ZF1.  My guess is blizzard and storm noise in and around W1 and ZF1, respectively.  Neil provided these comments and statistics:

Neil, added that he “…also had a screen full of JT9‘s from VE7BDQ who is still coming in at 1402z this morning. John’s best SNRs were a couple of +3 dB decodes. He was calling CQ, but no answers apparently. “

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, posted links to two tables showing NA/VK -> JA DX totals and NA/VK -> JA peak S/N for the session.

Roger, VK4YB, reported, “Another night of heavy static, improving slightly by midnight with perhaps a chance of decoding WH2XCR near his dawn.  630m/160m tests with VE6XH continue. 160m 10 spots, best -14, 630m 14 spots, best -18.”  Roger ultimately shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.   Roger also received reports from 7L1RLL4, WE2XPQ, VE7BDQ, and W7IUV.

Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JA1NQI and JH3XCU from late in the previous session.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 62 unique stations including 7L1RLL4.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for sixteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 49 unique stations.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations including VK4YB.  Larry also reported VE7BDQ on JT9 at 1242z.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


The session was very quiet with good domestic coverage although there were fewer stations in the Eastern areas likely due to the impending blizzard.    It was nice to receive reports from Patrick, F59706, and share two-way reports with WH2XCR and ZF1EJ.  Patrick indicates that he was also reporting stations local to me on 160-meters at the same time.  WSPR Reception report details can be viewed here and transmission report details can be viewed here.  I called CQ this morning on 474.5 kHz CW prior to sunrise.  QRN was very low and I suspect  any calling stations would have been heard.  No additional QSO’s were logged.  I am expecting, at least right now, to be back in the morning if QRN remains low.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


European 24-hour WSPR activity


Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity


Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 32 unique stations.  Storm QRN between southern Florida and Cayman likely prevented reports for WH2XCR on Cayman.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to enjoy solid openings to Japan with reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JE1JDL and JH3XCU.  He also decoded VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, also experienced another strong session with reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JH3XCU, JE1JDL, and JA1PKG.  Merv provided reports for VK3ELV, VK3HP and ZF1EJ and he shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  Coverage around North America continues to be strong including reports from a number of newer stations.  Merv notes that QRN continues to make listening tough in KH6.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“The best ground wave paper I’ve read so far for 630m purposes is an NTIA report by N. DeMinco. (1999).* The author not only displays practical knowledge of MF stations and propagation but also describes advanced difficult math modeling of ground wave propagation in comprehensible terms.

Here are a few main points about ground wave GW and sky wave SW, as I understood them:

–“Ground wave” includes line of sight RF, ground-reflected RF, and Norton surface wave. Norton surface wave is the RF that more or less hugs the ground surface.

GW=SW at approximately 150-180km (93-111 miles) at night on 630m. That’s where SW will constructively and destructively phase-interfere with GW because the amplitudes are about equal.  Nearer in, GW will predominate.  At medium distances farther out, such station self-interference can occur when D-region partially absorbs SW. That happens when day fades into evening, and as dawn brightens into morning. Example: KTLK Denver 760 KHz, 4-vertical phased array. GW/SW graphs at pp. 49-50 (paper’s page #’s).

–GW accounts for a significant proportion of total GW+SW energy radiated at launch by a TX antenna at MF, p. 29, 35. Compare today’s illustration that I’ve adapted from a different source. (Most of the TX power output TPO at first delivered into the TX antenna is dissipated in the ground.)  Example modeling determined equivalent gain +3.2dBi launching surface wave including 53% efficiency factor (-2.75dB). NEC modeling was based on DGPS TX station in Appleton, WA at 300 KHz, 91m tall monopole tower, 120 copper 3.2mm diameter radials each 100m long forming a ground screen, and 12 copper 0.95cm dia. top load elements 138m long extending downward above and outward to edge of radials. VSWR < 1.5:1.

In another blog post, I’d like to discuss more FAQs about what the DeMinco report might imply for our MF/LF operations.

*N. DeMinco. (1999). Medium Frequency Propagation Prediction Techniques and Antenna Modeling for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Broadcast Applications.  NTIA Report 99-368. 65 pages.

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