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Oops! Someone left the door open and let geomagnetic storm levels return!; Trans-Atlantic propagation more depressed than previous session but trans-Pacific openings are significantly enhanced

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for April 4, 2016 can be viewed here.

The storm system that made so much noise for the eastern half of the US finally pushed out to sea  but that didn’t mean that the noise was going away.  Also strong storms in eastern Canada and New England are creating elevated noise floor conditions for many stations.  Aside from a few stray showers, conditions here in Texas should be clear for the next seven days so don’t blame me for the noise!

11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Geomagnetic conditions took a step back as storm levels surprised us after very quiet band conditions during the previous session.  The Bz was pointing strongly to the South for a couple of reporting periods but has since turned around strongly to the North.  The NOAA screen capture below was gathered early this morning and has since been updated to include a second consecutive reporting period at storm levels so this was not a “one-off” event.  Solar wind velocities are actually lower than at this time yesterday, averaging near 410 km/s although DST values have decreased significantly, approaching -100 units.  M-class flaring conditions and R2 storms conditions are possible.  X-ray flux values have been elevated for a few days.

 

 

 

Trans-Atlantic openings were once again depressed.  The only report during the session was of a lower latitude European stations at an inland station in the Northeast.  Report details can be viewed here.

EA5DOM -> N2NOM

Paul, N1BUG / WI2XTC, reported moderate QRN during the evening that decreased to low levels by morning.  He provided reports for eight WSPR stations including WH2XGP on the high latitude transcontinental path from Maine but indicates a noise that he believes if related to DSL which dissipated early but that had returned by morning.

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported slightly improved QRN conditions this morning in Florida in spite of storms “in the area”.  He decoded four WSPR stations and was heard by 24 unique stations.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported, “…patience is playing a large part in the band recovery. Small improvements were shown in this session.”  Rick provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from 27 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported, “Plagued by thunderstorms most of the daylight hours Monday which turned to rain about 4 hours before my listening begin in last nights session. Around 22:00z my A/B printer cable, which connects the Icom 7200 with the computer and WSJT-X failed, which ended the session for me. In my time spent listening I decoded zero stations; noise levels were running S5-S7 through the night.”

Mike, WA3TTS, reported some transcontinental activity but may have been impeded by the return of less favorable geomagnetic conditions.

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

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

Roger, VK4YB, reported, “Very good DX session. QRN was low early, building to moderate, then lower at midnight (14:00z).  Heard VE7BDQ(-23), WG2XXM(-22), WH2XCR(-17), WH2XGP(-17), WH2XXP(-16). Heard by 7L1Rll4, CF7MM, JA1NQI/1, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, KR6LA, N6SKM, TNUKJPM, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, W7IUV, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WI2XBQ, of which KR6LA is a new one.  I think we can say the VK mini-season has started in earnest. VE6XH stats: 160m 4 spots, best -15, 630m 13 spots, best -18.  VE6XH stats: 160m 4 spots, best -15, 630m 13 spots, best -18.”

John, VK2XGJ, provided early reports for WH2XXP during this session.

WH2XXP early at VK2XGJ (courtesy VK2XGJ)

 

John, VE7BDQ, provided reports for eleven WSPR stations and was reported by 32 unique stations.  John shared two-way reports with VK4YB.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he provided reports for seven WSPR stations and was decoded by sixty unique stations including VK4YB, KL7L/XE, WH2XCR, ZF1EJ and new station K5DOG.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported at 0501z that propagation in northern California was improved.  He indicates that his first transmission resulted in reports from thirteen stations.  He only had reports from twelve station for the entire previous session.  At 1253z, Joe reported that, “Conditions much improved, including hearing vk4yb. Still below average heard by 23, thirty is normal. W-E paths depressed.”

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 62 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, JA1PKG, and ZL2BCG.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from 54 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, ZL2BCG, ZF1EJ, and KL7L/XE.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations including VK4YB.  Larry added, “Still some hi-lat absorption noticeable but not bad condx overall here…Noise a bit lower last night but still approaching summer time levels rapidly.”  Larry also commented to VK4YB, “…some days u r best on small tuned loop connected to XGP RX, some days u r best on large terminated loop connected to IUV RX, no apparent rhyme or reason for which is best.”

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Propagation at my latitude here in Texas was OK.  Reports began prior to sunset which has not been the case recently.  My transmission numbers look great in spite of only a handful of longer-haul CW-level reports.  There were many JT9-level reports.  Report details can be viewed here.  My reception numbers were down for the session but I have been trying to listen omnidirectionally in order to not exclude stations that would not be heard on one coast or the other due to the use of directional receive antennas.  Those 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

 

Oceanic 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he was reported by eighteen unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced a much better night from Mexico with reports for the the northwestern US.

KL7L/XE 24-hour WSPR activity

 

At WE2XPQ in Alaska, this situation was a bit less optimistic after the return of storm conditions overnight.  Laurence provided reports for VK4YB and shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  Report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced big openings with Asia and Oceania on the approach to sunrise.  This session was very good in Hawaii with Merv receiving reports from 7L1RLL4, EJTSWL, JA1NQI/1, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, VK2XGJ, ZL2BCG and VK2EIK.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and ZF1EJ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, presents, “PART 1: SUNRISE/SUNSET ENHANCEMENTS:  TILT ANGLE VERSUS DISTANCE”:

“Today’s illustration at upper right shows propagation arrows for a single-hop or multi-hop signal path when conditions may permit a second RF ray to reach the RX.

Reflection requires that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection in one single plane including both the TX and RX coordinates and a line perpendicular to a reflecting contour surface in the ionosphere.

Ordinarily when propagation is single-hop E, for instance, a signal ray would reflect off the E-region at midpath.  Due to a westwardly upward slant of the E-region near the oncoming terminator at right, an additional signal ray may reflect off the slant around sunrise SR.

Around sunset SS, the slant would be westwardly downward with diagram reversed.  For MF multihop, enhancement involves the easternmost hop for sunrise SR or westernmost hop for sunset SS.

In the illustration’s graph* at left, the degrees of tilt angle needed to establish a second ray are graphed versus geographic position x of the tilted E-region surface along the path from its mid-hop point.  The position x where a given tilt reflects also depends on hop distance D, so a family of curves is provided.

An inset on the graph suggests a distribution of surface tilt angles.  Such a distribution may arise from curvatures (illustration, lower right) of the 630m reflecting electron contour surface of the E-region because of its surface complexity.

As the terminator moves west, the slanting part of the E-region has a width W that lengthens a 630m enhancement.  At longer hop distances D, according to the graph, less tilt can still maintain an enhancement over a given range of distance x.

Why do some pre-SR enhancements occur well before sunrise at the eastward station?  Why do some post-SR enhancements or bumps occur well after sunrise at the westward station? This discussion would suggest such instances would be relatively rare and random.  Maybe so, but I suspect the questions are not entirely answered.  Perhaps you can tell us more from your experiences!

This blog post discussed just one piece of a big puzzle of sunrise/sunset enhancements. I’ve illustrated the situation when a particular path heading aligns with sun heading at the horizon. On another day, let’s discuss other examples when neither SS nor SR aligns with a given RF signal path.  TU & GL!”

*ENDNOTE: Essentially, tilt angle is equal to half the difference of the RF ray elevation angle at the eastward station minus that at the westward station. For an Excel spreadsheet, I used this formula for negative x distances only:
=(90/PI())*(ATAN(100/(1200/2 – F101)) -(PI()/2) + ATAN((1200/2 + F101)/100)) where hE = 100, x = F101,  D=1200.
Excel formula for positive x distances only:
=(90/PI())*((PI()/2) -ATAN((1200/2 – F201)/100) – ATAN(100/(1200/2 + F201))) where hE = 100, x = F201,  D=1200.
Column F has values of x distances -1500km to +1500km every 10km.
Corresponding angle formulas for each “D” distance were entered in columns G, H, I, J, K.  I graphed the family of curves by using the mouse to block out columns G, H, I, J, K, clicked the Insert Menu and chose the line graph option to get the curves.

 


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