Once again a black cloud sits over Texas and Oklahoma creating headaches for many across North America. Poor weather conditions not only impact S/N but also the number of operators transmitting and receiving. This too shall pass, after all it is April. Geomagnetic activity was elevated through much of the early session but moderated as the session progressed. Unsettled conditions continue to be reported but the Bz is pointing to the North now and solar wind is below 400 km/s in the low range. Elevated protons were reported during the daylight hours in North America.
It was reported that the IARU Region 1 beacon plan has been rejected after overwhelming opposition was voiced. Its my opinion that this result is for the best. Over-regulation rarely helps matters and it seems logical that Region 2 should follow suit. Gentlemen’s agreement has generally worked well in the past as we experience growing pains. That’s not to say we won’t find conflict but we have always found a peaceful resolution in the end.
Some chatter has made its way onto various email reflectors about the WSPRnet outage from the Saturday night / Sunday morning session. I’ve not seen any specific details about what happened but I suspect the outage was related to the server location and either a power or Internet outage. Stuff happens and there is no need for large scale saber rattling in this instance. Bruce, W1BW, has done a great job keeping the system running after increasing the system capacity in January. Remember that period? We were in the peak of our season and the system was limping along for weeks. This incident was one night and the system appeared strong yesterday and continues to be strong this morning. Kudos to Bruce for providing a great system that brings us a tremendous amount of value for FREE!
Phil, VE3CIQ, notes that it was either a rough night or fewer active stations as he decoded five WSPR stations and was decoded by eleven unique stations.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports a new station during the session with reports that were largely from the West.
Neil also notes that CW levels were observed this morning. Its been my experience that the mornings are very productive if one is successful at getting out of bed early enough and can find someone to QSO that can follow suit.
Mark, WA9ETW, experienced an abbreviated session where he decoded four stations, all of which were East of the Mississippi river.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports strange conditions, decoding only three WSPR stations, and being decoded by 22 unique stations. Larry exchanged two-way reports with VK4YB and received reports from VK2XGJ.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic or trans-African path. UA0SNV was present during the session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
Eden, ZF1EJ, was active for the session and reported WH2XZO in South Carolina. Much of the central and eastern portions of North America were QRT for weather. Thanks for being there Eden!
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, is operating WE2XPQ as normal from Alaska but is also operating a remote receiver from KH6 as he is on a work assignment. Laurence reports, as he has in the past trips to the same location, that the path to North America, at least the central and eastern portions, is obstructed by a volcano. The path to the Pacific Northwest, however, was good, with reports for WH2XGP. Laurence also received Roger, VK4YB.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was reported by stations along the western coast of North America in addition to Laurence, KL7L/KH6 across the channel. Two-way reports were completed with VK3ELV and VK4YB and reception reports were provided by VK2XGJ and VK2DDI. John, VK2XGJ, also noted that Merv’s first decode was about ten minutes after local sunset. This session was relatively typical for Merv when storms are creating big noise on the mainland US.
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB, both continue to experience two-way reports with WH2XCR. Phil continues his dominance on the JA-path, with numerous reports from today’s session and late in the previous session.
Jim, W5EST, returns with a discussion entitled, “2014-15 AND 2015-16 TA & TP LONG PATH SEASONS”:
“Today’s illustration compares the TA decodes from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons–to the extent of WSPR database data I captured. (See endnote.*) Presumably the WSPR central database has the complete set. The relatively fewer decodes from paths between N. America and VK/ZL are also shown.
The early October spike and an April first-week cluster essentially match date-wise as between the two seasons. Since late 2015 TA activity spiked monthly, the missing Nov.-Dec., 2014, data would be important for comparison and assessment of periodicity, if any.
2015-16 was a stronger 630m season for TA than 2014-15. In their early Octobers, the peak decode numbers were 32 and 134 for these two 630m seasons. That 1:4 ratio suggests that peak SNRs for TA paths were improved by a median amount of roughly 6 dB this 2015-16 season compared to last. That’s consistent with peak SNR -20 of WG2XJM to G8HUH 10/7/14 and peak SNR -13 of DK7FC to VE1HF both on 10/5/15 and 10/7/15.
Regarding N.Am.-VK TP, last August’s activity was stronger than 2014 and now this year we’ve experienced an actual second miniseason on these paths.
What methods or concepts can help one compare 630m paths in different years? Even if we amateurs may find it difficult to consistently accumulate and analyze long path data every year for many years, at least we can understand some basic principles or points of departure for doing the process. Probability and statistics offer helpful tools.
Introductory statistics usually assumes that probabilities are stationary, which means they don’t change over time. For instance, the chances of rolling double-sixes on a pair of fair dice is 1/36, no matter what time it is– day, month or year. The 630m band, of course, is much more challenging than that! The chances of receiving TA strong enough for decoding does vary with day, month, and year. So we are talking about non-stationary censored 630m probabilities. If you’re interested, more information about a multi-year analysis is available on request. For blog posting, let’s leave it at that.
This series of blog posts has displayed 630m long path performances for which I have any information. If you have information for other years, share it with us and let’s see what else we can say. Until then, I’ll segue to explore some station-oriented 630m topics!
*Note: October 2014 600mrg shows the Fall 2014 information in my post there. It includes the number of decodes day by day for TA up to the day of that post. In the April 2015 600mrg, I posted summary info from Jan. 1, 2015 for the rest of that season.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!