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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

CQ 474.5 kHz CW and alternately tuning 472 kHz - 475 kHz for signals.

Pretty good propagation as openings get later and QRN grows through session; WG2XXM –> VK2DDI; WH2XES surfaces after long hiatus; High activity continues in Oceania

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The session was very quiet for many stations during the early portions of the session.  Because of limited WSPR decodes early on I’m starting to wonder if the quiet conditions were the result of slow-to-start band openings and no propagation to regions where storms were raging.  There were quite a few areas around North and Central America with lots of lightning and by the time of my morning CW sked the noise level was peaking at S9 but was remedied by using one of the other receive antennas.  It was certainly louder than it was during the evening last night.

Geomagnetic conditions were quiet however the Bz was pointing to the South and solar wind velocities were elevated to the moderate category, above 400 km/s.

planetary-k-index 042616


Kyoto DST 042616


Australia 042616


Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded four WSPR stations during the session and notes QRN was present and likely impacting his hearing.  He also notes that he was decoded by 31 unique stations during the session including VK2DDI.

WG2XXM VK2DDI 042616

WG2XXM, as reported by VK2DDI


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports cold weather and improved antenna base current.  He provided the following comments and statistics for his session.

WG2XSV 042616


Larry. W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that his WSPR software locked up around 0730z and he was subsequently absent after that time.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that he has been busy with his teaching schedule but plans a modification to his antenna system that will increase his antenna height and allow antennas below to rotate without getting tangled in top loading wires.

Phil, VE3CIQ, reports a slow session, decoding three WSPR stations and being decoded by “a whopping five” unique stations.

Al, W5LUA / WH2XES, reports that he has renewed his license and hopes to be more active this Fall, hopefully as W5LUA.

WSPR activity dominated as many stations transition to “auto-pilot” for the summer.  68 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0130z, however, so activity is still relatively high.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 042616

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 042616

European 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 042616

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 042616

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic or trans-African path during this session.  UA0SNV and UA0SNV-1 were present during the session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.

The Caribbean was well represented once again, with reports from Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC.

ZF1RC 042616

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1EJ 042616

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Stronger band conditions were in order in Alaska for Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, with reports of WG2XXM in Oklahoma.  KL7L/KH6 continues to have a nice opening to VK4YB and VK3ELV.

WE2XPQ 042616

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ WH2XCR 042616

WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR


KL7LKH6 042616

KL7L/KH6 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ KL7LKH6 042616

WE2XPQ, as reported by KL7L/KH6


VK4YB KL7LKH6 042616

VK4YB, as reported by KL7L/KH6


VK3ELV KL7LKH6 042616

VK3ELV, as reported by KL7L/KH6


Post-sunrise reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, continue in Hawaii.  The band continues to perform well on the path to Australia and Tasmania in addition to Alaska and the US mainland.

WH2XCR 042616

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR WE2XPQ 042616

WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


WH2XCR VK7ZL 042616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK7ZL


WH2XCR VK4YB 042616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 042616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCR VK2DDI 042616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2DDI


In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB, continue to receive reports from WH2XCR.  Roger and Merv also exchanged two-way reports.  Phil received additional reports from Japan, a few of which were from late in the previous session.

VK4YB WH2XCR 042616

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR


VK3ELV WH2XCR 042616

VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XCR


VK3ELV JH3XCU 042616

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU


VK3ELV JF1LKS 042616

VK3ELV, as reported by JF1LKS


VK3ELV JA3TVF 042616

VK3ELV, as reported by JA3TVF


Jim, W5EST, presents a discussion entitled, “COMPARE 630M ANTENNAS WITH MODELING SOFTWARE”:

“Yesterday’s blog described how to set up a free antenna modeling program for different antenna geometries.  Today let’s compare some of them.

Before I get started, though, the EZ-NEC demo apparently states antenna resistance as the resistive part of the antenna impedance when you click “SWR.”  That antenna resistance value may include wire losses but importantly excludes the ground system resistance.  I’ll get to that later.

The illustration shows four 630m antennas E, F, G, H overlaid on hypothetical property lots.  All the antennas I discuss today are no more than 50’ high. In the TABLES Antennas A-D are provided for reference.  Antennas E and H each occupy 100’ x 140’. Antenna F extends no more than 100’ diagonally and fits a 70’x70’ square footprint.  Antenna G fits diagonally on a narrow deep lot encompassing a 70’x140’ footprint.

TABLE 1A lists various geometries using comparable total lengths of wires. Frequency is 475.700 KHz.  For modeling, I’ve entered real ground conductivity 20 milliSiemens per meter with dielectric constant ε = 13.

TABLE 1B shows the modeling results for antenna impedance R+jX, respective gain over isotropic (dBi) for real ground and perfect ground, dB zenith-null depth, and f/b ratio.  The four illustrated antennas E, F, G, H either outperform the reference antennas A-B or perform almost equal to reference antennas C-D at least twice their size that could not fit on the property lots shown. (For details, see endnotes*.)


Identifier   Description

A        50’ vertical

B        50’ x 100’ inv-L

C        50’ x 240’ inv-L

D        50’ T-ant. with symmetric hat 240’ long (two 120’ halves)

E        50’ x 100’ & 140’ end-tee for inv-L hat (two 70’ end-tee halves)

F        50’ x 100’ & 2×70’ “arrow” 45° back  (diagonal hat to arrow on property corner sides)

G        50’ x 100’ & 2×70’ oblique end-T (diagonal across to oblique T-end near lot line)

H        50’ x 100’ & 140’ end-L for inv-L hat (one 140’ full end)




Geometry    Impedance     dBi           dBi       dB zenith      Front/back ratio

                        Ohms       20mS/m  Perf.Gnd                      @ 10° elev.   

A                 0.24 –j3482   3.61         4.77          -40                  0  dB

B                 0.67 –j1205   3.79         4.74          -15                  0.4dB

C                 0.86 –j 501    4.05         4.50            -7                  1 dB

D                 0.79 –j 639    3.65         4.77          -45                  0  dB

E                 0.83 –j 553    3.91         4.67          -11                  0.7dB

F                 0.80 –j 612    3.86         4.71          -13                  0.5dB

G                 0.82 –j 582    3.91         4.67          -11                  0.7dB

H                 0.84 –j 512    3.89         4.60          -10                  0.8dB


RESULTS: Compared to antennas A and B with their shorter total length, antennas C-H all have less capacitive reactance and need less loading inductance. Lower inductance means lower Q, easier QSY on 630m, and less voltage multiplication KV on the wires, as discussed April 3, this blog.

Compared to each other, the five antennas C-H each have 50’ height and 240’ of top hat conductor length. They all have favorable radiation resistance 0.79-0.86 ohms for high overall radiative capability and less required transmit power TPO.

But these antennas C-H occupy different spaces and orientations on a person’s land property and perform somewhat differently.  Antennas C and E-H may have somewhat higher performance on shorter one-hop paths because of their moderate zenith null that is less pronounced than vertical antenna A or symmetric 240’ top hat D.

Antennas E, F, G, H fit well in smaller properties because of their 100’ length and 140’ ends. Antenna G fits into a narrower property because of its 100’ diagonalized hat length.  Antenna F can be installed or hung near a 70’x70′ property corner to reach its 70’ end-arrow hat perpendiculars at an opposite corner.  Of these antennas E-H, antenna H calls for the least loading inductance and provides the highest radiation resistance among them.

Antenna efficiency involves the ratio of radiation resistance to total antenna system resistance including ground resistance.  Ground resistance often far-outweighs the wire resistances in a 630m antenna system.  The “Wire Loss” button in EZ-NEC can choose various wire compositions and add the wire resistance to give you a combined resistive part of the antenna impedance when you click “SWR.”  That EZ-NEC antenna resistance value includes wire resistance but importantly excludes the ground system resistance.

Since I don’t see a menu item or output datum for ground system resistance in the EZ-NEC demo, let’s explore that topic in an upcoming blog post.  Tomorrow, let’s estimate RF antenna current and figure TRP, EIRP and TPO.  GL & 73!

 *NOTES: Applicable setback requirements, zoning restrictions, neighborhood homeowner agreements, and informal visual requirements will vary.

The distribution of ground system radials may alter displacement current and E-field distribution modeled for uniform “real ground.”  Put down several ground rods deep near the vertical antenna base.  If radials are used at all, run them underneath and parallel to the entire top hat.

EZ-NEC divides the antenna into user-specified numbers of current segments.  To avoid an error message, the total number of such segments must not exceed 20 in the free demo.  Try specifying different combinations of numbers of segments for different wires to assess variation in the R+jX impedance output and the estimated dBi gain over real ground.

The modeling ignored possible displacement current leakage to any HF antennas, tower, gutters, nearby power lines, and phone and cable TV feeds, home electrical wiring, and metal garage or shed. Such modeling is useful and justifiable for comparative purposes.  Displacement current may also induce 630m RF currents into those conductive structures, so be alert for RF interference from 630m antenna installation on small lots.

Intelligently separate 630m antenna conductors from any such structures to prevent 630m high antenna voltage from sparking over to them.  Optionally put less loading inductance in the ATU and suspend the remaining inductance higher up to reduce and reposition the 630m antenna voltage.”


W5EST 042616


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