Besides a few storms in the eastern US over night, I have no complaints about band conditions. It was a good session with strong reports after 0500z. The band is opening later and later but once propagation stabilizes, most paths continue to be open. Its not abnormal to have distant open paths all year long but noise often prevents the paths from being realized in the middle of summer. So far the worst noise has only teased us for a few sessions. Band activity continues to be quite good, with 81 MF WSPR stations observed during the evening.
The long-haul paths over night from North America were plentiful with trans-Atlantic openings into the southern US at WH2XZO and very early, pre-sunset reports of WH2XCR at VK2XGJ. While Doug has experienced the trans-Atlantic path in the past on a few occasions, we have never observed the pre-sunset opening in Australia.
The geomagnetic field was generally quiet once again with a North-pointing Bz and low solar wind velocities. Proton levels have been elevated over a variety of periods during the session.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded twelve WSPR stations and was decoded by 38 unique stations with WH2XCR as his best DX at -5 dB S/N.
Phil, VE3CIQ, reports that he decoded six WSPR stations and was decoded by 14 unique stations but that wet snow detuned his antenna over night by 8 kHz.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, notes that the session was not spectacular but still very good, with reports by Andy, KU4XR, who is presumably using the tree-tenna! Neil provides the following comments and statistics:
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, got a rude awakening overnight but being on the air paid off with trans-Atlantic reports. He offers these comments and statistics:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was the lucky recipient of trans-Atlantic reports during the session even while using a low transmit percentage.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded eleven WSPR stations including VK3ELV and VK4YB and he was decoded by 31 unique stations but that included reports by VK2XGJ and VK4YB. Larry has been fighting a seasonal noise source that has made hearing a recent challenge. During this session he used a E-probe which resulted in lower than normal noise. Many of us have experienced similar results with E-probes and it almost defies logic how they can work so well. In this session, Larry decoded two VK stations and a full compliment of stations in North America.
John, VE7BDQ, was reported by John, VK2XGJ:
Steve, VE7SL, reported Roger, VK4YB, a remarkable five times during the session from British Columbia:
Joseph, NU6O / WI2XBQ, also reported Roger, VK4YB, during the session from northern California:
Toby, VE7CNF, reports that he decoded eight WSPR stations and was decoded by 15 unique stations, including his usual best DX of ZF1EJ, WE2XPQ, and WH2XCR.
Two new or newer WSPR stations were observed receiving during the session: SWLW7 and N4AAA. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path. UA0SNV was present from Asiatic Russia but no WSPR reports were found in the database.
Trans-Atlantic reports were almost as plentiful as those on the trans-Pacific path and are detailed below:
Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, reported a number of stations around North America from the Cayman Islands. Eden also provided reports for WH2XCR in Hawaii.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, received a nice surprise this morning, with reports from JE1JDL and JE1JDL/1. There were additional reports from the western coast of North America and Hawaii. Laurence reports that there has been a large amount of “chorus” and daytime hiss observed recently.
In Hawaii, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced another strong night to Australia as the path to JA continues to be closed. John, VK2XGJ, sent this note and report about a very early opening that was not uploaded to WSPRnet:
The path to the mainland US and, previously mentioned, the Cayman islands was very strong and two-way reports were observed with VK4YB, one-way receptions of VK3ELV and reception reports from VK2DDI and VK2XGJ.
Additional DX WSPR reports for Australia, not previously detailed, follow:
Jim, W5EST, put to paper some thoughts on ionograms in hopes of bringing to light more information in this discussion entitled, “MF/LF IONOSONDES & IONOGRAMS: WHERE TO FIND THEM”:
“Today’s blog post is about what I DON’T know–Finding MF/LF ionograms and what to do with them that would matter to our station operations. You are cordially invited to tell us what you DO know about this topic.
I can start the conversation easily enough. An ionogram is a graph of height of ionospheric layers versus frequency in MHz, usually starting around 1 MHz. An ionosonde, or near-vertical incidence sounder (NVIS), does this job. Layer height generally rises with frequency up to a limiting frequency called the critical frequency at which the signal penetrates the ionosphere without returning. View F2 layer critical frequency contours MHz worldwide and updated every 5 minutes:
To get current UK/EU ionograms, go to http://www.ukssdc.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wdcc1/userreg.pl Registration required, but it’s very easy. When you have given brief information, the registration site tells you a user name, and you don’t need a password. Browse some theory on critical frequency for O/X waves and interpretation, and see pictures of ionosonde antennas.
http://www.ukssdc.ac.uk/ionosondes/chiltonpiccys.html Chilton, Oxfordshire, UK pic
Get the ionograms from http://www.ukssdc.ac.uk/cgi-bin/digisondes/cost_database.pl On that web page, select a time interval at right—like the last six hours of today’s date. Click on the ionosonde station name at left– I suggest Chilton, UK, because straight up overhead Chilton is the sky reflection on a first hop from DK7FC in Germany to the USA. Click “Ionograms” at bottom on Results Type. Then at top, click the “Retrieve data” button.
Now scroll down and see the last six hours of ionograms. As you scroll from day into evening (Chilton SS 1853z) you can see the ionogram curves getting compressed toward lower frequencies and then expanding from night into morning (Chilton SR 0525z).
Some amateurs receive chirp sounders from remote distances, and therefore at a slant, and make their own ionograms. http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/chirps/article/ .
Our HF-originated amateur radio mental reflexes make us look at the middle of ionograms and think about HF MUF (maximum usable frequency). MUF is about 3x the critical frequency of NVIS. But 630m/2200m isn’t HF! Presumably for our MF/LF work we are better off to focus on the extreme left of each ionogram near 1 MHz.
When I searched “ionogram low frequency” the links took me to decades-old articles at pay-money web sites. But perhaps the more important question is how can we use up-to-date MF/LF ionograms even if we can find them? Tell us your insights!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!