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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR for storms - just one more night - should be QRV Saturday night!

Quiet geomagnetic conditions but high QRN from gulf coast storms; Trans-Pacific openings continue to produce results; Trans-Atlantic paths remain closed; W5EST presents ‘AUGUST 21, 2017, SOLAR ECLIPSE: BIG 630M OPPORTUNITY’

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for May 4, 2016 can be viewed here.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Neither 630-meters nor 2200-meters are open to amateurs in the US yet.  Please continue to be patient and let the FCC finish their processes.

As reported yesterday, John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, of MF Solutions will soon hold a drawing and giveaway for one of his 630-meter transmit downconverters.  Details and rules for submitting your name for consideration can be viewed here.

Fast moving, strong storms accompanied a cold front moving South through the central US during the afternoon and evening, significantly increasing QRN.  Accompanying winds kept me from transmitting out of an overabundance of caution.  Better local condition should return tonight.  It seems a number of stations were QRT overnight so its difficult to accurately evaluate domestic propagation.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions continue at quiet levels.  The Bz is pointing to the North and solar wind velocities continue at low levels but have decreased to an average of 345 km/s.  DST values remain at positive levels.




John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations and he was decoded by twenty unique stations while transmitting into wet foliage which can significantly contribute to absorption.

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported poor band conditions due to high storm noise levels.  He provided reports for two stations and was reported by thirteen unique stations.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he was reported by nineteen unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports much of the same through this session although slightly improved reports.  He provided these statistics and comments:

“WG2XSV had a “carbon copy” result from the previous session…in spite of running about 1.7 dB more power…


QRN was not bad. We had the hottest day since last September or October: well over 80*F and clear blue skies “

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded seven WSPR stations on a quiet night following the passage of a frontal system.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported “Only one decode from WH2XGP overnite at -25.  It was quieter earlier in the evening and the “racing stripe” AFSK signal around .635 was visible early on, but not visible by 0400 UTC. Six other stations decoded with best SNRs XXP (-11), XBV (-19), XKA (-8). WI2XSV (-15) and VE3CIQ (-7).”

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, posted links to two tables showing VK -> total JA DX  and VK -> JA peak S/N for the session.

Roger, VK4YB, reported “Nice sunrise peak of -17, after earlier peak of -13 from WD2XSH/20. Last report at 13:00.”  He received reports from JR1IZM, TNUKJPM, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7SL, W7IUV, WD2XSH/20 and two-way reports with WH2XCR.  He provided reports for WG2XXM, WH2XGP, and WH2XXP.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he heard four WSPR stations through high QRN.  He received reports from 47 unique stations including VK4YB.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he was reported by 32 unique station including VK4YB.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eight WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from fifty unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, EJTSWL, and ZL2AFP.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


South American 24-hour WSPR activity


European 24-hour WSPR activity


Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for three WSPR stations and he was decoded by five unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that his receiver was unintentionally set for JT9 overnight.  He was heard by  stations in the western portions of North America and WH2XCR in KH6.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced a similar session to the previous, receiving reports from EJTSWL, VK2XGJ, VK5ABN, and ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and provided reception reports for VK3HP and WE2XPQ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents,  “AUGUST 21, 2017, SOLAR ECLIPSE: BIG 630M OPPORTUNITY”:

“630m stations are likely to enjoy remarkable solar eclipse propagation Monday, August 21, a month before fall equinox and just when the 630m season will be revving up.  Calendar now for this 630m radio-astronomical event. Plan any prior station preparations of equipment and antenna you may decide would help.  Or just be there with the station setup you have.

Suppose noisy regional storm weather comes in. What then?  If the storms are far enough away to permit safe station operations, using your good judgment, then do operate your TX or RX even though RF storm noise may be significant.  Storm noise-affected SNRs can also reveal eclipse-related 630m propagation.

The solar eclipse will encounter the middle of the XCR-XPQ signal path 1600-1700z, a while after Alaska and Hawaii sunrises that Monday morning.  Meanwhile, Canadian and continental US stations will have about 3 hours 1630-1915z, I’d say. That’s 9:30am PDT to 3:15pm EDT.

The remarkably favorable eclipse track extends diagonally right across the continental USA with totality amounting to about 1 hour 33 minutes, 1715-1848z.  80% eclipse or better will cover almost all of southern Canada and continental USA sometime during that period.

Eclipse totality will move rapidly across the N. Pacific and slow down to average speed 43m/min  (4000km/93min) across N. America from PNW to SE:  nOR-sID-cWY-NE-cMO-sIL-wKY-eTN-SC. From NW Oregon to S. Carolina, 630m operators occupy several positions almost on that track of totality–not to mention 630m stations either side within a few hundred km. Point of greatest eclipse totality will be in wKY region lasting 2 min 41 sec.

Totality will begin several hundred km south of the Aleutian Islands, cross the lower-48 US, go out to sea halfway between the Bahamas and Bermuda, and speed up and end off the west African coast.   Spain will have 30-35% partial eclipse, and France will have 20%, both around W. EU sunset 1900z—an interesting radio time but low % eclipse.  Iceland, Ireland, UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, and southern Norway will see 10% or less partial eclipse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_August_21,_2017

Many 630m path distances and ray angles will be in play over North America’s 3 hours (1630-1915z),  even though any one RF path will get eclipse affected perhaps 40 minutes.   See animation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_August_21,_2017#/media/File:SE2017Aug21T.gif ,

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/   (Use left/right arrows to choose, then click Play for totality track.)


Among other things, the upcoming solar eclipse represents a worthy 630m TX/RX/antenna equipment challenge because of the short time intervals involved. Moreover, it’s a geophysical D-region scanning microscope!

Do we have some prior eclipse experience to go on? Yes! The March 20, 2015, solar eclipse track moved across the N. Atlantic and into the Arctic between Iceland and Scotland.  Animation shows that 630m stations were transmitting in the shadow roughly crosswise to the eclipse track of totality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_March_20,_2015 (Scroll 2/3 for color animation.)

If the UK and Netherlands ops could accomplish eclipse-related decodes, which they did, then N. America operators can hope for even more opportune conditions.  Even if stormy summer weather occurs in some regions of N. America, the 630m signals may be preferentially propagated near and along the eclipse track compared to storm noise farther off the eclipse track.

I look forward to blogging deeper background on the August 21 solar eclipse before long. TU and GL!”


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