The good news is that the band was quite open during this session but southern US storm noise has been ruining the fun for almost everyone. WSPR participation was extremely high and dominated the session with 97 MF WSPR stations observed at 0400z. I briefly called CQ on 474.5 kHz CW to no avail but the noise was worse at that point than I expected. Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, and I had plans of meeting up at 0700z but it was not meant to be during this session as the noise continued to rage onward. Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, and Joe, WI2XBQ / NU6O, tried a transcontinental JT9 QSO but either the noise or propagation at that moment was not going to allow the two to connect. Other reports suggest that the transcontinental path was open during the night, however.
A quiet geomagnetic field and North-pointing Bz with somewhat reduced solar wind velocities didn’t hurt anything. These quiet conditions seem to be a precursor to active conditions in the coming week as a geoeffective coronal hole moves into position to elevate solar wind on Earth.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was able to operate an entire session and offers this report from his station in Vermont:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded thirteen unique stations and was decoded by 45 unique stations, including WE2XPQ.
John, VK2XGJ, reports that his new broadband was less than stellar during the session so he had no uploaded reports overnight. He provided this screen capture of his console showing reports for a number of stations in Australia in addition to Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR:
Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, reports that he decoded twelve unique stations and was decoded by 41 unique stations. Ron also had a direct email report from K2WH, who provided the following screen capture:
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports that he decoded nine unique stations and was decoded by 15 unique stations at 0.5-watts ERP.
Neil recently completed a rebuild on his amp and experienced a failure on his FET during the session following the completion of the rebuild. We had been talking about the failure in the ON4KST chat/logger during the evening session and I had commented that I was due for a FET failure as both combined PA’s now have in excess of 12000-hours of RF emissions. I said this in jest and didn’t think anything else of it. This morning waking up late after a late night, I came into the ham shack and found one of the PA power supplies in current limit. The other amp was making full power but half of the power was being dumped to the reject load in the combiner due to one PA being off line. Further examination suggests that the screw and shoulder washer holding the FET against the heat sink had loosened, possibly a result of thermal cycling over the last few years. Curiously enough. Neil speculated that his FET may have failed due to a thermal issue related to the interface with the heat sink. The FET here at WG2XIQ has been replaced and the station is running at full power again on both PA’s. I was very pleased at how well the combiner maintained 50-ohms for the functional PA in spite of the shorted PA that remained in circuit. With Neil’s FET failure and mine last night, the count is at two. Since these things happen in “three’s”, whose FET will fail next? Will I lose the other PA tonight or will someone else wake up to a failed PA tomorrow? Stay tuned!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports on the trans-African path, however, ZS1JEN was present during the session. UA0SNV was present during the session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
The following trans-Atlantic WSPR reports were provided during this session for DK7FC and WG2XJM by WD2XSH/17 and DL4RAJ, respectively:
EA8/DL9XJ has returned to providing reports for stations located in Europe.
Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, provided a number of reports to stations in North America. Eden provided additional reports for WH2XCR as ZF1EJ/1.
Laurence, KL7L, has been travelling for work recently and has been able to set up a receive outpost while in VE6, providing reports for numerous stations during the evening.
At Laurence’s station in Alaska, WE2XPQ continues to provide reports for Hawaii, the west coast of North America, the American southwest and the added treat of the south central US during this session. The latter has become relatively rare so when these opening does occur its a good indicator about the quality of band conditions.
In Hawaii, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reports 30-over S-9 noise during the late evening, scuttling any attempts for a QSO during the overnight session with his station. Still the band supported WSPR reports as far east as WG2XJM in western Pennsylvania, and ZF1EJ/1 in the Cayman Islands. The path to Australia was also open, with two-way reports with VK4YB and one-way reports of VK3ELV. The western path to Japan was closed during this session from KH6. Merv provided a few comments on the session and some observations about 160-meters compared to 630-meters, appended below:
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB, both receive reports from WH2XCR. As with previous sessions, Phil received reports from Japan, some of which were from late in the previous session and are thus included in this report.
Jim, W5EST, is taking Easter weekend off but will return with content on Monday.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!