The details for March 21, 2016 can be viewed here.
Noise was on the increase during this session for some stations as a number of weather systems made their way across North America. In the Northeast another Winter weather event is expected for late this week and precipitation noise is expected to increase. Severe weather is expected in the central US by week’s end so it seems there is no relief in sight. Spring is here.
Geomagnetic conditions changed abruptly from the very quiet conditions observed for several sessions to unsettled levels as a new coronal hole became geoeffective. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain quite active for several days. The Bz has pushed firmly to the South for many reporting periods and the solar wind velocity currently averages 590 km/s with a few reporting periods reaching above 600 km/s. DST values peaked before decreasing significantly and the timing seems to have been advantageous for trans-Atlantic openings.
Chris, G3XIZ, reported QSO’s with thirteen different stations during the MF QSO Party weekend. He indicated there were several stations that he was unable to work this time but the QSO’s he completed follow:
DL6II (QRSS, JT9, CW)
Also reporting was Ian, G4GIR, who also had a nice activity weekend. He indicates that he was listening with WSQ2 signals as well but never heard anyone. His reported stations follow:
Olaf, DL4HG, reported CW QSO’s with five stations during the MF QSO Party weekend, including:
Olaf indicates that he heard DL0ABT, PA0LCE, and ON5TA but no QSO was completed with these stations.
Trans-Atlantic openings were plentiful for yet another day as the transition to unsettled conditions seems to have been favorable with respect to many of the openings. Stations reported during this session were reshuffled from the previous sessions with a few holes developing in reported stations. Report details can be viewed here.
DH5RAE -> N1BUG
G8HUH -> N1BUG
ZF1EJ -> DL4RAJ
WG2XIQ -> G3XKR
WG2XXM -> G3XKR, F59706
WG2XKA -> F59706, G0LUJ, G3XKR, PA0O
EA5DOM -> WH2XZO, K4RCG, K3RWR, WB3AVN, W2XOR, N2NOM, N1BUG, WG2XKA
WD2XSH/17 -> DF2JP, DF4UE, DF6MK, DH5RAE, DK7FC/P, DK8FTA, DL/PA0EHG, DL0HT, DL4RAJ, F1AFJ, F59706, G0LUJ, G3XKR, G8HUH, G8LCO, LA2XPA/2, LA3EQ, M0TAZ, ON5TA, OR7T, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2, PA3ANG, PA7EY, PE1RKT
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported more changing weather conditions plus good trans-Atlantic conditions. He provided these comments and statistics:
“Another very good session at WG2XKA, with 57 hearing and 19 heard in very damp conditions. I ran about 100W TPO out of respect for possible rain. Again the entire USA was well represented. WH2XCR spotted but was not heard here. However, XKA spotted EA5DOM for the southernmost EU TA RX of the season. Rounding out the DX were F59706, G3XKR, G0LUJ and PA0A.”
Paul, N1BUG, reported decreasing QRN through the evening, overnight and the approach to sunrise allowing him to decode 22 unique stations by morning. Notable decodes include EA5DOM, G8HUH, DH5RAE, WH2XGP, WI2XJQ, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, WH2XCR, and WI2XSV, who was reported by Paul for the first time.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded twenty WSPR stations which tied his single session reception record and included WH2XCR and EA5DOM. Doug reports that he was decoded by 48 unique stations including WH2XCR and indicates that this total is down from where it should be.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded twenty WSPR stations and was decoded by 68 unique stations including WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, F59706, and G3XKR.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported good coverage across North America, providing reports for fourteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 37 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Joe, WA9CGZ / WI2XSV, reports that he operated WSPR at +32 dBm with his best DX at 2500 km.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported a strong night, even encountering his doppelgänger, Joe, WI2XSV, located in Illinois. Neil explains:
“Wow, I was heard by a whopping 35 different stations last night !! Here are the ones over 1900 km…
Had 12 hits from the new XSV (Joe, WI2XSV, welcome to the fray) at 2822 km. Only 1 hit from Eden, ZF1EJ and K3RWR ….and I heard 13 with these being the ones over 2000 km…nice to see XBV and XKA this session.”
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported that he presented a talk on 630-meters at the Daytona Beach Amateur Radio Association meeting last night that was well received. On the session, Al indicates that he was one the air for only a few hours this morning and notes that the noise level was very low. With close to two-hours of operating, he decoded fourteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 47 unique stations with seven reporting stations in excess of 4000 km away. Al shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported that QRN started early during this session so no DX was received. Roger’s comparison experiment yielded the following statistics from VE6XH: 160m 5 spots, best -11 dB S/N, 630m 4 spots, best -21 dB S/N. Roger also received reports from VE7SL and W7IUV. During yesterday’s report Roger submitted comments about his other ongoing comparison experiment between his end-fed and vertical antennas and there was quite a bit of discussion including the following comments:
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported that a document, BBC Research Department Report, 1973-27, Polarization coupling losses with horizontal transmitting antennas which can be found in this list may have the answer and is paraphrased below by Joe:
“I think this report will shed some light on what is occurring. At MF the ionosphere has a characteristic polarization, which is vertical at temperate latitudes. Near the equator it’s horizontal. The ionosphere will only “accept” it’s characteristic polarization for long or multi hop paths. This is caused by the ionosphere being a conductive medium, under the influence of the earths magnetic field. The coupling losses for cross polarization at MF can exceed 20db.Adding to the mix is the fact that the polarization can flip after a pass through the ionosphere, which can enhance or impair multi hop paths. This is why magnetic disturbances are usually a good thing for MF DX.”
Related comments were offered by Rod, VE7VV:
“On 160 mtr, vertical polarization works much better near the magnetic poles (certainly for VE7 and pretty much for all of the US) as the flux lines become vertical and coupling in the ionosphere works much btr than horizontal. Near the equator this is not the case and horizontal may well be better. I recall meeting with ZK1AA who had a low dipole on 160, and a good signal from Cook Islands to VE7. He said he had tried verticals and they did not work for him.I am not enough of an expert on this to know if the same is true for 630 mtrs.Also, VK4YB’s “horizontal” wire is actually sloping down a hillside if I remember his drawing, so maybe it is radiating in a “sweet spot” angle of polarization.”
Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JH3XCU.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 68 unique stations including JA1NQI, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, and JR1IZM.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported great conditions to JA and the transcontinental path to ZF1EJ. He provided reports for nineteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 69 unique stations including JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JE1JDL, and JR1IZM. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for fifteen WSPR stations including VK4YB. Larry reported yesterday that his Internet was intermittent or down for an indeterminate amount of time during the previous session.
John, VE7BDQ, provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations and was decoded by 46 unique stations including JR1IZM.
Joe, K9MRI, was assigned WI2XUL following his filing this weekend. There are currently four applications, all assigned call signs, in the bullpen awaiting action. I really expect a couple of those to move maybe this week or next but thats only a guess at this time.
I started the session at 2346z, receiving WSPR reports from WH2XZO within a half hour. Noise was definitely up from the previous session but openings and reports appeared to be pretty good, both for domestically and DX. I received a near detection limit report from G3XKR and was heard by WE2XPQ. I shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. This morning was relatively noisy and I got into the shack too late to call CQ on CW. 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 seventeen WSPR stations and was decoded by forty unique stations including DL4RAJ. Eden also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported visual aurora 30-degrees above the horizon at 1330z this morning but his session was quite similar to the previous, with another banner night of JA reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD5, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, JR1IZM, and TNUKJPM. Many of these reports came near sunrise while operating at 100% duty cycle. He also provided reports for VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. DX report details can be viewed here. Also be sure to carefully check W5EST’s section below as Laurence has provided some very interesting observations of how RF is impacted by the surrounding terrain and also has “part two” of his Winter antenna field review.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received reports from JA1NQI, JH3XCU, JR1IZM, and ZL2AFP. He provided reports for VK3ELV, VK3HP, VK4YB and he shared two-way reports with ZF1EJ and WE2XPQ. The lack of reciprocity with VK reports may be the result QRN in Oceania. North American coverage was strong, with two-way reports shared with WI2XBV and WH2XZO in the eastern US as well a many reception reports. The East seems to have dominated reports during this session. Report details can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “GET A GRIP ON 630M GROUND WAVE: PART 8, MAILBAG!”:
“Thanks to Laurence KL7L WE2XPQ for responding to the recent blog post on ground wave shadowing: http://njdtechnologies.net/031117/ . Being alert with his mobile RX when driving north not far from Anchorage to the Wasilla-Palmer area, he monitored KGTL-AM 620 KHz while driving past some nearby mountains.
KGTL-AM lies 230km SSW near Homer, Alaska, (Figure 1) and delivers 2.5-5 KW, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KGTL KGTL radiates at 30 dB above the power level of most 630m experimental stations. 1.0 λ, one RF wavelength, at KGTL 620 KHz is 1588 feet, 480m. At 475 KHz it would be 2088 feet, 630m. The 4500 foot Chugach Mountains are about 3 and 2 wavelengths high respectively to 620 KHz and 475 KHz. That’s potentially high enough to shadow either frequency.
To see if the mountains actually do such shadowing, Laurence took KGTL strength readings in S-units at successive places along the highway and posted the information to the ON4KST reflector for us. Using Google Earth software (Endnote 1*), I’ve inserted graphical path lines from the remote KGTL location to those successive highway places for Figures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 provided in the same order.
As Laurence drove by the 4500 ft high Chugach Mts., the 620 KHz signal dropped from its initial S9-S8 down to inaudible S0 behind the mountains. Then signal strength recovered to S7 level after he drove about 8-9 km further down the road.
Laurence says, “I do see a null about 1 mile out some days for a short distance – only a few times have we had sky wave fill in or something massively diffracted as it was still around 1730 Alaska time and sun up so D layer would normally be there – this is rare – like once this year. Winter to summer variation over the path daytime is just a few dBs.”
You can see Laurence’s YouTube videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irxhnflHVM0 1st video
(1st video introduces mountains 3:00-3:30, 4:05-4:30. Daytime 23° F, -5°C 4:45. Standing waves, power lines: 5:00-6:20.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmyGetCHaQc 2nd video, continuation
(Standing waves from power lines in 2nd video, 0:00-0:20; power lines end, signal inaudible 0:20-0:38 as road bends left. This afternoon’s strength has a few exception dB when normally no signal, 0:38-0:45. Shadowing behind mountains. After the mountains, signal returns subject to a few dB of standing wave cancellation. 2:03-2:08. Overpass stops signal 5:23-5:32. Signal peaks 5:45-6:00 and again 6:40-7:05 past a road turnoff. See rear antenna in mirror, minutes 9:28-9:32.)
The terrain profiles (Endnote 2**) for each signal path line are consistent with RF shadowing where the road curved behind the mountains. Strong signals predominate where the signal path skirts along and avoids one side of the mountains before and after the curve.
Recognize that ground wave does notnecessarily follow a straight path line from a TX station to any particular destination as viewed downward from high above. That said, I think the information here at least plausibly demonstrates an example of mountains 3-8km distance away and one to two wavelengths high shadowing 480m wavelength RF (620 KHz).
That’s shadowing out to as much as 6 to 15 wavelengths. Would the physical distance shadowing effect go out an extra physical distance (6 to 15) x (630m – 480m) for our longer wavelength 630m RF encountering the same mountains that high? I suspect a tradeoff would largely limit any such extra physical distance of 630m shadowing because the same mountains would be “less tall” in 630m wavelength units.
The RF shadowing Laurence reported reminds me of a fun post a while back about 630m RF photons being like 2000-foot diameter underinflated oily beach balls. They’re rolling along, over, around and even jumping between and beyond mountains! http://njdtechnologies.net/051116/ .”
*Endnote 1: How to use Google Earth. First download Google Earth from https://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html For example, I located Homer AK and Wasilla-Palmer AK and a cloverleaf of the highway behind the Chugach Mountains. Using the Google Earth toolbar I put a yellow stickpin into KGTL Homer and into various points before, at, and after that cloverleaf of the highway to Wasilla-Palmer area. Then one uses the menu’s ruler button, and mouse and then click to establish a yellow path line between the stickpins. Then click the Save button at bottom of a window that opens to let you save the path line, which turns red to indicate it’s more permanent. Access “Edit” pulldown on main toolbar and click “Show Elevation Profile” to obtain the terrain profile below the path display.
**Endnote 2: The displayed slopes or grades up and down the terrain profiles are greatly exaggerated due to each greatly magnified vertical scale. The vertical scales indeed also have different magnifications, and the graphs likewise have varying horizontal scales and legends. So I’ve superimposed notes to more easily compare KGTL’s wavelength 480 meters with estimated meters of the rises and declines, as well as to indicate how far mountains lie from the mobile RX. TX is at left, RX is at right on the graph.
The TX ground wave initially works its way northward on inclined terrain, which somewhat extra-attenuates the signal strength along the way from the originating end. At the right, the signal strength behavior convincingly responds to stark contrasts of terrain over which the signal crosses to finally reach the mobile RX. Comparison of Figures 5 and 6 indicates the inclined terrain near the TX end is not responsible for the different received signal strengths at the successive highway locations.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).