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

Great trans-Atlantic propagation with elevated noise in North America as openings move back to the South; Average night of trans-Pacific openings; Below average domestic propagation in Western portions of North America but significantly better further to the East; Another night of very big returns between JA and WE2XPQ

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for March 20, 2016 can be viewed here.

Several stations reported elevated noise overnight due to a lightning-rich storm system in the Midwest.  Even QRN was low here in Texas and this morning QRN was limited to wide spaced lightning strikes but a number of stations reported a significant increase in noise over the previous very quiet session.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions continue at very quiet levels for persistent periods.  The Bz continues very near the centerline with many periods that were pointing solidly to the North.  Solar wind velocities continue at very low levels, averaging near 320 km/s.  DST values continue near the center line with numerous reporting periods located in positive territory.




David, G0MRF, clarified that all of the stations he reported in the previous session were, in fact, making two-way QSO’s with one another.  It’s even possible that he said that originally and I just missed it or misinterpreted his comments.  David added that the brevity of his original report was due to his marriage ceremony on Saturday and he somehow managed to briefly find some radio time.  That’s dedication!  Congrats to David and Victoria!

David also noted that the recent success and appearance of EA4GHB in trans-Atlantic reports may be the result of Alberto’s adding one of David’s class-D amplifiers.  Also noted was the fact that Alberto’s reports were limited to N1BUG who seemed to have no problem hearing him.  The problem seems to be the number of stations occupying or near 475.700 kHz, where Alberto was also transmitting.  This situation illustrates yet another reason why lower transmit duty cycle is necessary due to the number of stations on the air at the same time.

Joe, DF2JP, received first time reports from N1BUG using his 12-meter tall vertical but his activity overnight abruptly ended due to an insulator that failed because of high voltage breakdown.  This is a reason its a good idea to put a number of insulators in series with one another and is especially important when conductive supports, like trees, are used.  Joe has a replacement insulator that is much more robust and is waiting for a day with low winds to install.

Melted insulator at DF2JP


Trans-Atlantic reports were numerous again, with WH2XZO, in South Carolina, receiving reports from four different European countries while WI2XRM, located in Florida, received reports from six European stations.  The higher latitude paths in the western US were missing during this session but openings did extend into the central US.  Report details can be viewed here.






WG2XXM -> F1AFJ, F59706

WG2XIQ -> F1AFJ, F59706

WH2XZO -> DL4RAJ, F59706, G0LUJ, PA0O



Paul, N1BUG, reported low noise to start the evening session followed by moderate noise in the late evening and overnight.  He indicates that his trans-Atlantic reports were very good but transcontinental openings was less impressive.  Something appears to have been going on back West.  During one seventy minute period during the evening, Paul provide reports to G8HUH without missing any of Tom’s transmissions.  Paul also reported EA4GHB, DF2JP (new for Paul), DH5RAE, PA0O, and WH2XGP on the transcontinental path from Maine.  He decoded seventeen WSPR stations total.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, experienced a very nice night of trans-Atlantic openings, maybe even a record for a single night for his stations.  He provided these comments and statistics:

“Yesterday morning I wrote that the TA’s didn’t make it to the southeast, but they sure did last night with both XZO and XRM spotted by 4 different  European countries. There was, however, no path west to Hawaii for those two stations, and XZO’s 11 unique decodes with 54 decoding XZO were mediocre at best and probably not entirely due to QRN.”

Patrick, F59706, reported that he decoded WH2XZO for the first time last night, bringing his total of US experimental stations received to eight, making this a record season.  Patrick also notes that he is experiencing a record season on 160-meters.

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported a problem that he is investigating and may keep him off air for a few day.  He indicates that he was reported by twelve WSPR stations prior to the shutdown.

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported that he was hearing lightning during the evening but the QRN increased to a “full blitzkrieg” levels this morning.  Al was decoded by 34 unique stations including WH2XCR,  and was decoded by twelve WSPR stations including a few VE7 stations.  Not a bad haul from Florida.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 67 unique stations including WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, F59706, F1AFJ and 12 Canadian stations.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported a below average session from Northern California, receiving reports from 24 unique stations.  Joe indicates that West-to-East propagation was poor while East-to-West was good.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported another good night, providing reports for fifteen WSPR stations and receiving reports from 31 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Trans-Atlantic reports 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 that “WH2XCR and WH2XXP came in early, just before the QRN got going seriously. Tx spots were well spread but S/N was generally weak. Good to see some JAs in there.”  Roger statistics for his experiment with VE6XH follow:  160m 5 spots, best -15, 630m 2 spots, best -26.  He also received reports from JA1NQI, JA3TVF, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM, VA7BBG, and VE7SL.  Roger provided reports for WH2XXP.

Roger also indicates that he has been continuing his antenna comparison experiments between his end-fed wires and his tall verticals.  He offered these comments which he is struggling to comprehend:

“I have been continuing my antenna comparisons. I now have two verticals and three 900 ft wires to compare. One vertical is 90 ft high with 50 ft top loading and 100 radials. The other is 80 ft high with 60 ft top loading and no radials. It is connected to the mains earth and the metal shed, which in turn is connected to the other vertical’s earth mat by the outer braid of 120 ft of coax. The results for transmitting so far:

1) No difference between the verticals in any direction.
2) Both verticals out-perform the long wires to all VK and ZL areas, with the exception that the SW long wire is better than the verticals in the SW direction only.
3) At no time were the verticals heard in any DX location, even when the NNW and NE  long wires were being consistently heard in North America, Hawaii and Japan.”
One possibility is that the losses near the feed point are so high due to the limited number of radials on what is likely already poor ground conditions.  Another related option that I mentioned to Roger in a private email regarded discussions from the early 2000’s on the Topband reflector that suggested that many VK 160-meter operators favored dipoles rather than verticals due to poor ground conditions and possible magnetic anomalies that had some impact with power coupling to the ionosphere.  It was speculated that dipoles, which were poor in comparison to verticals in North America and most other points around the world, actually worked well because the poor ground conditions increased the effective height of the dipole.  Coupled with magnetic variations, the dipole offered better coupling and better long haul reports.  I don’t believe that this topic has not been discussed in a very long time as far as I know so I am not privy to any revised information on the topic.  I am sure Roger will have much more data going forward as the southern hemisphere transitioned to quieter conditions for the Fall and Winter.


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 71 unique stations including VK4YB, JA3TVF, ZL2AFP.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for five WSPR stations and was decoded by 59 unique stations including JA1NQI, JR1IZM, ZL2AFP.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for four unique stations.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


The band sounded great here with trans-Atlantic openings to F1AFJ and F59706.  Two-way reports were also shared with WE2XPQ and WH2XCR and band noise during the evening and even this morning was low.  I had planned on operating late evening CW but fell asleep and my mornings are complicated again so hopefully I will be able to operate CW in the late evening during the coming days.  My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.

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 thirteen WSPR stations including WH2XCR and he was decoded by twenty unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to receive reports for most of the active JA stations with several notable reports late in the session.  Those stations include 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, JR1IZM, and TNUKJPM.   Laurence provided reports for VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  Some of the late WH2XCR reports were in full sun for the entire path which is remarkable.  Laurence notes that he was running at 100% duty cycle and 250-watt TPO on final approach to sunrise.  Coverage of North America continues to be very good and Laurence’s reports have improved significantly compared to Winter when the band should have behaved like it is now.  Laurence’s DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR,  experienced another strong night to JA with reports from JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, and JR1IZM.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ and received reports from ZF1EJ but those reports were not reciprocated.  Also notable was that some of the reports with WE2XPQ occurred after the entire path was in full sun.  North America reports were down, likely due to elevated noise from storms in the Midwest.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


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