The details for March 19, 2016 can be viewed here.
Noise conditions generally remain very quiet across North America, which is very odd just days before the start of Spring. Storms off of the southeastern coast of the US did not seem to bring many reports of high QRN from the overnight period although a couple of lightning crashes were noted at WI2XBV in Florida. This is a bizarre situation and I think we can all agree that we would like quite conditions to continue. Something else that seems a bit anomalous for this session is the amount of late season activity. People seem to be taking advantage of the low noise levels and longer days and this session yielded quite a bit of varied activity. It could be that we now have so many stations that are on the air each day, more than twenty daily active stations across North America, that things appear to be busier than normal. As I indicated to someone recently, it was only a year ago that we reached one hundred stations active on 630-meters on a single night and now we are consistently seeing 120-140 MF WSPR stations active on the band each night. Roger, VK4YB, reported a noisy night in Oceania, adding that it was average propagation which is probably pretty good for late summer in the southern hemisphere. Change is coming so let’s enjoy the band while the openings and conditions remain relatively good.
Geomagnetic conditions were very quiet for several consecutive reporting periods and the Bz remained close to the centerline for much of the session and is currently pointing slightly to the South after several reporting periods. Solar wind velocities continue in the low category, averaging near 320 km/s. DST values are consistently as favorable as they have been in quite some time with Kyoto values riding the positive side of the center line with slightly more variation in the Australian measurement but still very good. I suspect these very quiet conditions account for many of the high latitude openings that were observed during this session.
This session marked the third and final night of the European MF QSO party “say good by the Winter” event. While reports have been somewhat limited for the first two nights which focused on QRSS and JT9/WSQ2, respectively, the final night of CW brought out quite a bit of activity. It helped that the final night was on a Saturday night which may be easier for late night activity for many. The following reports were sent to me directly or posted on the RSGB-LF reflector:
Graham, G8FKZ, located in IO83LK, reported G3XIZ on 473 kHz running a CW beacon at RST 555.
Dave, G3WCB, located in IO80EI, reported that G3XIZ’s CW beacon was RST 559 in South Devon and easy copy while listening with an FT857D and preamp connected to a 60cm tuned loop.
Jeff, F6CNW, also reported G3XIZ’s CW beacon from JN09tt at RST 559 at 1416Z during full sun. Jeff reports that his receiver is an IC756PIII and a 160-meter dipole 24-meters above ground level.
David, G0MRF, reported about an hour of MF listening time and produced this list of stations heard at his QTH:
IK2DED (589 very good signal for the distance)
Were there any QSO’s completed by anyone? I will continue to report these details as they come in and often reports continue for several days.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR openings were numerous and while those openings didn’t seem to push into the deep South as in previous session, they were present in the West and particularly the Pacific Northwest which is a challenging path due to location of the auroral zone. Fortunately it was a very quiet night, geomagnetically speaking, allowing some really nice openings. Report details can be viewed here.
WH2XGP -> LA2XPA/2
EA4GHB -> N1BUG
WG2XIQ -> F1AFJ
F1AFJ -> WG2XKA, N1BUG
G8HUH -> N1BUG, WD2XSH/17
WI2XRM -> LA2XPA/2, DL4RAJ
WG2XKA -> F59706, G3XKR, LA2XPA/2, PA0O, PA0RDT
WD2XSH/17 -> DF2JP, DF4UE, DH5RAE, DK7FC, DK8FTA, DL/PA0EHG, DL0HT, DL4RAJ, DM5HF, EA1FBU, EA7HPM, F1AFJ, F4KJI, F59706, F6GEX, G0LUJ, G0MJI, G3WCB, G3XKR, G4CPD, G4ETG, G8HUH, G8LCO, LA2XPA/2, LA3EQ, M0TAZ, M0XDK, ON5TA, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2, PA7EY, PE1RKT, PI4THT, SP5XSB
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, showed just how possible it is to run low power at 630-meters an still enjoy big openings. He provided the following comments and statistics:
“Another very strong session here, with 20 stations heard. WG2XKA was heard by 50 while running 22-25W TPO from a barefoot TX converter being ‘burnt in’. F1FAJ was spotted, and this station was spotted by PA0O, F59706, PA0RDT, G3XKR and LA2XPA/2. The PNW was well represented here, with both way spots involvingWH2XCR.”
Paul, N1BUG, had a huge session, taking advantage of very quiet geomagnetic conditions with some great reports on very high latitude paths. Paul explains:
“QRN low increasing to low/moderate late evening, then low. Heard 24 which is a new record number for me. Heard G8HUH, F1AFJ, EA4GHB… WH2XGP, WI2XJQ, VE7CNF… WH2XCR, WE2XPQ. First time hearing XPQ! Very tough path from here being so far north.”
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported good band conditions from Florida with just a few lightning crashes heard. He received reports from 47 unique stations which is another record for his station and included reports from VE2, VE3, VE4, VE6, and VE7. He decoded fifteen WSPR stations and also indicates that WI2XQU was loud. Al also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR in KH6. He is enjoying the good openings now but reports that the radials will have to come up in a month as the mowing season begins.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported “good activity and not very noisy for this time of year. The TAs didn’t seem to make it to the southeast.” Doug decoded nineteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 55 unique stations.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reports “An above average night, good prop W-E. Heard by 34, 8 2500km+. Heard 13, 8 2500km+.”
Toby, VE7CNF, started the session in the late afternoon calling CQ on 476.5 kHz CW looking for cross band QSO’s on 80-meters. I don’t think he had much luck that early in the evening and was not heard here (normally its 0500z or 0600z before those signals come “into their own”). At 0330z, he transitioned to cross band JT9, listening on 40-meters but later transitioning to 80-meters. Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, had been working on his setup after a PC failure and opted for the complicated two-PC / receiver / antenna approach to making a cross band QSO with Toby. Neil shared the screen shots from each PC from the QSO. Let me begin by saying that the mechanics of pulling this off with two separate setups can be very complicated so its great to see these guys go to this level of effort.
Toby added that he was seeing a few stations calling from California as well as W9 and VE3 and added a simplex JT9 QSO with CF7MM on 630-meters. Cross band is relatively easy on CW but takes on a completely different face when dealing with multiple PC’s and software packages attached to receivers that are connected to different antennas. Hopefully we will see more of this kind of activity!
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, also submitted the following WSPR activity report for his station from overnight:
“…The PC I worked on all day crashed around 1 AM or a bit earlier. My last outbound decodes were at 0734 UTC.WG2XSV Hearing these 11: VE7CNF, WD2XSH/15, WE2XPQ, WG2XIQ, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, WI2XBQ, WI2XJQHeard by these 29: CF7MM, K8PZ, KB0BRY, KK6EEW, KU7Z, N6RY, N6SKM, NI7J, NO1D, SWL/K9, VE4XC, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, VE7SL, VE7VV, W0AY, W7IUV, W7WKR, WA3TTS, WE2XPQ, WG2XIQ, WG2XXM, WH2XAR, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WI2XBQ, WI2XJQ, WW6D”
“…I am starting to work on a project that examines the variance of my received signal among a group of random stations from night to night. I look at the SNR on the “unique” WSPR report, the lowest SNR for the session and the highest SNR for the session. I will present data once I have about a week’s worth accumulated. I will also attempt to integrate some of John’s “Daily Report” space weather into this project. The project is in the very early early stages and not all has been worked out.Last night was my 2nd night of full operation. I was spotted by 37 unique stations last night (clear skies with some mixed clouds on occasion) as compared to the night before (intermittent light rain throughout the night). Here’s my map. 73 from Flat Rock, North Carolina…”
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported previously that it was a “noisy, average night” in Queensland but his 160-meter / 630-meter comparison experiment with VE6XH continues with this session data from VE6XH: 160m 2 spots, best -22 dB S/N, 630m 4 spots, best -20 dB S/N. Roger received reports from VE6XH, VE7SL, and W7IUV. He had no reports of mainland “lower-48” stations. Roger received reports from VE6XH, VE7SL, and W7IUV.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that decoded 22 WSPR stations and was decoded by 69 unique stations including JA1NQI/1, ZL2ZFP, LA2XPA/2, and ZF1EJ. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations including VK4YB.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 72 unique stations including JA1NQI/1, JA3TVF, JH3XCU, ZL2AFP.
I thought that this was a fantastic session where noise was low and it was anyone’s guess about what might happen overnight. I doubt many stations were disappointed! I started the session with a bit of CW shortly after local sunset on 474.5 kHz. The “phantom ditter” made a brief appearance but no additional QSO’s were completed. The band sounded great during this impromptu CW session. WSPR activity got off to a good start after my frequency stability improved following a few transmit cycles. These seasonal transitions are always tough on my frequency stability because my exciter is not capable of being interfaced with my GPS disciplined oscillator. My transmit converter does utilitze the GPSDO, however, so at least I have narrowed the situation down to one moving target. Stability will improve as we move into Spring and Summer when the shack is consistently warm. Over night reports were very good including decodes from F1AFJ and two-way reports from ZF1EJ, WE2XPQ and WH2XCR. WE2XPQ reports have been missing from my station in any capacity over the past few weeks and I attribute the two-way reports from this session to the improvements detailed by the session DST values. 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, experienced a return of two-way reports with WH2XCR after a few days of missing reciprocity or even any reports on this path that Merv had characterized as difficult on a few occasions. Eden provided reports for sixteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 39 unique stations. Coverage to the West seems to be improving a bit which may be a seasonal variation. Time will tell.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced a great session, with the previously mentioned high latitude reports from N1BUG in Maine on a very difficult path that only seems to occur on these very geomagnetically quiet nights. KB0BRY also reported Laurence from North Dakota. Great coverage from Japan continues with reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/1, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, and JR1IZM. Laurence also provided reports for VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. Laurence also reported that he was monitoring ionosonde data and notes that there “…was a little FoF2 here at appx 2MHz when Paul decoded but diffuse stuff above. A lot of the night it was blank with no returns then period of FoF2 – When I look at Ve7SL decode of XPQ at +12 (!) ionogram is virtually blank – go figure! That I cant explain….” That makes one wonder if we are looking at the right things. Clearly one of the “other” propagation factors has to be providing some influence. DX report details, including the N1BUG reports, can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced a fairly typical night with reports from Japan, including JA1NQI/1, JH3XCU, and JR1IZM as well as Australia where he received reports from VK2XGJ, provided reports for VK3ELV, and shared two-way reports with VK4YB. He also shared two-way reports with WE2XPQ and ZF1EJ. North American coverage continues to be very good with two-way reports shared in the East with WI2XBV and WH2XZO and he had many reception reports from stations like K4RCG, WA3TTS, and N1BUG. Merv’s consistency from one session to the next is just amazing. Something about his latitude and all the salt water just makes it work well seemingly all the time. 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).