Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Domestic openings outshined long haul DX overnight as QRN levels decrease some by morning; Trans-Atlantic path remain cutoff; A few trans-Pacific openings but comparatively poor night

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for April 7, 2016 can be viewed here.

It was a much better night for QRN in the central US as storms pushed further into the Atlantic.  Noise was high for many stations along the East coast and into New England but it seems propagation was the greater limiting factor to elevated noise for the region on longer-haul paths.  A few storms were reported in the Northwest but there have been no reports to suggest that these caused hearing problems.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions remain variable and generally at elevated-quiet levels as the Bz skirts the centerline this morning.  Solar wind velocities have decreased again, averaging near 410 km/s and DST values continue to show a lot of variability but unlike other recent sessions the values have generally remained at negative levels.  Something remains wrong with 630-meters and it goes beyond geomagnetic conditions and seasonal QRN.




Joe, VO1NA, reported that he would be QRV on 477.7 kHz overnight.  No reports have been received for Joe at this time.

There were no Trans-Atlantic WSPR reports for the session.

Paul, N1BUG / WI2XTC, reported high QRN for most of the session, decreasing to moderate levels overnight and reaching low levels by morning.  He decoded seven WSPR stations.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported that the Mississippi river “wall” continues strong so this session was more of the same.  He provided reports for eight WSPR stations and was decoded by 23 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Dave, N4DB, reported high QRN, decoding nine WSPR stations, with only one late report for WH2XGP in Washington state.

Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations during this session while listening to the Northwest with the modified K9AY loop.  He indicates that he will listen to the Northeast tonight.

NI7J session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


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 that “After a promising start, the band faded away. VE6XH stats: 160m 3 spots, best -13, 630m 1 spot of -26.”  Roger received reports from JA3TVF, JR1IZM, VE6XH, and WH2XCR.  He provided reports for WH2XGP and WH2XXP.  Roger operated a bit of CW this morning in hopes of establishing a pattern of operating that hopefully will ultimately  result in a QSO with Steve, VE7SL.  Steve had no copy this morning but waking up for early morning radio is a good start.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded ten WSPR stations and was decoded by 56 unique stations including VK4YB, KL7L/XE, WH2XCR, and ZF1EJ.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 57 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, ZL2AFP.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for eleven WSPR stations and was decoded by 47 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and ZL2AFP.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eight WSPR stations.  Larry indicates that there was “Heavy QRN here, resulted in poor RX overnite, TX path to VK/ZL there but marginal.”

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


The session began in full sun with ground wave WSPR reports from K5DOG near Austin, Texas.  It was definitely quieter on approach to sunset and darkness although a few lightning crashes were observed during the evening.  My transmission reports were normal and very numerous with many CW-level reports and even more JT9-level reports through the night as domestic paths seemed to be in very good shape.  Those report details can be viewed here.  Steve, VE7SL, noted that he had 51 reports of my signal, best at -5 dB S/N, which would make for an easy CW QSO.    My reception reports were improved over the previous session and while QRN was improved it seems that a number of stations may be off-air, contributing to reduced numbers of overall reports.  Those details can be viewed here.  This morning I called CQ on 474.5 CW for about an hour with no additional QSO’s to report.  Noise conditions were very quiet.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


South 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 six WSPR stations and he was reported by 22 unique stations including WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicates heavy QRN, reporting southern stations plus ZF1EJ during this session as he continues his work in Mexico.

KL7L/XE 24-hour WSPR activity


Back in Alaska, Laurence indicates that WE2XPQ was brought online at 0438z.  He received reports from WH2XCR and a few others in western North America.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, continues in a receive-only capacity and may remain so for several more days as he troubleshoots a few issues.  He provided reports for VK4YB, VK5FQ, ZF1EJ and WE2XPQ.  Report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“Roger VE7VV:  Let’s say it is my sunrise so the ionosphere is becoming illuminated just to the West of me. If my transmit ray is sent West into the newly illuminated region, what kind of tilt does it encounter? “Downward” so that the skip distance is shortened, or “upward” so that the skip is longer (or perhaps fails)?
Jim W5EST: Upward because it’s still night toward the west. Toward the east the sun is ionizing the layers and driving them downward. So, from east to west the slant is upward.
Roger VE7VV: Can you say more about skew as well as tilt?
Jim W5EST:  If the sun heading at horizon is not aligned with the path heading, which is the usual situation, then I’d expect a slight skew angle because the signal ray bounces a bit sideways off the slanted ionosphere. To an MF station operator it may be undetectable except by its result, namely a prop enhancement even when horizon is unaligned with path.
Roger VE7VV:  I have always assumed that there will be angles where a ray will encounter a “tilt” at an oblique incidence such that rather than only deflecting down at different angle there will also (or only) be skew off the normal great circle path. Is this correct according to your understanding?
Jim W5EST: Yes. Presumably the plane of reflection includes TX and RX and lies perpendicular to the E-region reflecting contour at the point of reflection. For that plane to be perpendicular to a tilted E-region and still get signal from TX to RX, reflection leads to lateral skew.
Roger VE7VV: Re blog April 5, you said “Depending on the season in your N. or S. hemisphere, the direction of slant of E-region’s upward tilting reflective contour surface near the SR terminator varies from SW-upward to West-upward to NW-upward in hemispheric mid/high latitudes.” Which months give the NW upward tilt, which months for the SW upward tilt?
Jim W5EST:  E-region in darkness is higher up than in sunlight. So, the slant is upward directly away from sunrise azimuth, downward directly toward sunset azimuth.
For sunrise the NW upward tilt happens in December in both N & S hemispheres. N Hemi late fall, early winter; S Hemi late spring, early summer.
For sunrise the SW upward tilt happens in June in both N & S hemispheres. S Hemi late fall, early winter; N Hemi late spring, early summer.
For sunset the SW downward tilt happens in December in both N & S hemispheres. N Hemi late fall, early winter; S Hemi late spring, early summer.
For sunset the NW downward tilt happens in June in both N & S hemispheres. S Hemi late fall, early winter; N Hemi late spring, early summer.
Roger VE7VV:  I was hoping this E layer tilt might provide an explanation for the well known skewing observed on 80 meters for the greyline longpath at our west coast sunrise to EU. [Elsewhere in Roger’s e-mails but omitted here, is discussion of 80m long path great circle ducting between E & F regions along the terminator.]
Jim W5EST:  My understanding is 630m generally reflects from the underside of the E-region and at 80m the E-region would be more penetrative and transmissive subject to refraction on the way. On 630m I’d expect reflection instead back downward from the E-region into the night side away from the sun side of the terminator.
Roger VE7VV:  Yes, I have been assuming that 630m propagation is normally all E layer. However, the signal strengths sometimes observed make me wonder if there are not other modes possible, with lower absorption, like F hops, e.g. for the signals from VK4YB.
Jim W5EST:  Thanks for mentioning. I’ve been wondering the same thing, especially for path portions near the equator.  http://njdtechnologies.net/051416/  (scroll 1/5)
Roger VE7VV: Are you an ionospheric physicist?
Jim W5EST:  Actually I’m a retired electronic patent attorney. I’ve been hamming on and off starting 1958 to around 1971 and have resumed 2011 to now.  Best wishes to you and all of us trying to plumb these enhancement mysteries!”

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