The band was good overnight but it was very different from the previous session where domestic paths were strong and noise levels were very low, almost like it was Winter in North America. Instead this session presented with a significant increase in noise level, several S-units here in Texas, but signals remained relatively strong. Trans-Atlantic reports were limited to reports at WG2XKA from DL4RAJ and DH5RAE, two stations that consistently hear North American stations when the band seems unable to support this path. Both reports arrived during the 0338z transmit cycle. Curiously, John’s path to the western US was non-existent.
Geomagnetic activity is attempting a recovery with fewer sSth-pointing Bz periods and solar wind velocities that have decreased to low levels below 400 km/s.
Similar to WG2XKA’s cut-off western reports, reports for Phil, VE3CIQ, were also cut-off to the West but he did have one bogus report that got the blood pumping this morning. Even though the report was not real, phantom reports can often be a good indicator that band conditions are good since many result for the mixing of strong signals in the sound card. A good session was had in eastern Canada. Phil offers the following comments and map:
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that he decoded seven WSPR stations and was decoded by thirty unique stations including VK4YB and VK2XGJ. Larry also notes that local noise conditions are preventing him from decoding VK4YB.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 41 unique stations including VK2DDI and VK2XGJ. Ken also reported that he decoded WH2XCR ten times and was decoded by Merv 53 times with a best of -8 dB S/N.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, started his session early with 200 mW daytime reports from John, VE7BDQ.
These reports led to a question about the path to John and whether it was a significant salt water path. Apparently the path is between one quarter and one third distance over salt water but Neil notes that the similar path to VE7SL often yields several dB improvement which may involves the location of Steve’s antenna, which is very near sea water. Neil provided the following two maps showing the path to VE7BDQ and VE7SL.
Neil also reports that his PA is now running and his ERP is now 500 mW. He provided the following statistics for the overnight session:
WSPR activity dominated the session once again but activity was decreased during this session with 61 MF WSPR stations observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0230z.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
No trans-African reports were recorded during this session. UA0SNV was present from Asiatic Russia but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported stations across North America in addition to WH2XCR in Hawaii.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, appears to have only been receiving last night, providing reports for WH2XCR.
The JA path to Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, is open again, with reports from JA1NQI-2 and JH3XCU. The path to Australia remains strong with reports by VK2DDI, VK2XGJ, and two-way reports with VK3ELV and VK4YB. John, VK2XGJ, notes that his best report for Merv was -16 dB S/N, almost CW levels. Because its possible to hear CW that falls outside of the normal -10 dB S/N barrier when then band is quiet, it might be wise to turn up the volume and listen to the noise a bit in hopes of hearing Merv’s CW ID.
In Australia, two-way reports continue between WH2XCR, Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB through the session. Reports right up to Merv’s sunrise were observed with these stations. Phil also received a multitude of reports from Japan, a few of which were from late in the previous session so they are included here today.
Jim, W5EST, compares the trans-equitoral and trans-Atlantic paths in this discussion entitled, “EU-FR5 2015-16 SEASON COMPARED WITH TA (UK/EU – N.AM.)”:
“Remember the FR5ZX 630m excitement Oct. 30 – Jan. 30 activating Reunion Island reception?
DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, DF6NM, DK7FC, EA5DOM, G8HUH, IW4DXW, IZ7SLZ, PA0A, SV3DVO, SV8CS — these were the successful TX players at the north end of this path. Kudos to all!
At 8800km, EU-FR5 starts at latitude 51°N and crosses the equator to Reunion Island 21°S.
Shorter but arduous TA arcs to 57°N and travels 6700km between N.America 40°N and EU 51°N. The longitude span of TA is about 80° while EU-FR5 spans 55° of longitude eastward far south.
I’ve graphically superimposed the EU-FR5 activity (dark brown) on a background showing transatlantic (TA) activity of the season (faint purple). Notwithstanding its transequatorial character, EU-FR5 activity surprisingly mimicked the one-month periodicity of transatlantic decodes for as long as the EU-FR5 activity lasted.
Given the one-month EU-FR5 repetition period, and not a two week period, I presume the explanation involves solar rotation and space weather. However, I include a Date Table of Lunar Phases for good measure.
Considering the similarity of EU-FR5 peak timing to TA timing, I surmise that the chain of causation of both behaviors is linked to the Northern Hemisphere and not regions farther south.
In a later blog post let’s consider 630m Pacific paths that join the Southern Hemisphere with Northern Hemisphere latitudes less northerly than those Europe occupies.
DATE TABLE OF LUNAR PHASES 2015-2016 SEASON
Full moon: 8/29 9/28 10/27 11/25 12/25 1/24 2/22 3/23 4/22 5/21
3rd quarter: 9/5 10/4 11/3 12/3 1/02 2/01 3/01 3/31 4/30 5/29
EU-FR5 peaks* 11/6 12/6 1/03 1/30
XCR-JA peaks 10/8 11/6 12/4 1/04 2/04 3/04 3/27,30
2015-16 TA peaks 10/5 11/1 12/4 1/01,10, 20,28 3/06 3/27,30
New Moon: 9/13 10/13 11/11 12/11 1/10 2/08 3/09 4/07 5/06 6/05
1st qtr.: 9/21 10/20 11/19 12/18 1/16 2/15 3/16 4/14 5/13 6/12
XCR-JA peaks 12/21 1/21 2/16
*Dates of more EU-FR5 peaks were 11/1, 6, 8, 9, 11; 12/6, 9, 10; 1/3, 8, 10, 30.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!