The details for May 7, 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. Registration ends May 12 and the drawing will be May 13!
Noise conditions were quiet in North Texas overnight as most of the active storms in North America dotted the western third of the continent. Domestic conditions improved to levels not observed in several days and long haul openings, most notably trans-Pacific paths, continue to hang on in spite of elevated noise in Oceania. It’s evidently quiet in Japan as signals from Australia have been enjoying unimpeded access over this session and the last.
Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet but show signs of elevating through the session. The Bz is pointing to the South while solar wind velocities continue at low levels, averaging near 345 km/s. DST values, most notably the value reported in Australia, decreased significantly off of recent highs.
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported that he provided reports for six WSPR station and he was reported by sixteen unique stations as he continues to operate at near one-quarter power due to high SWR from weeds contacting the feed point of the antenna.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he was reported by twenty unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here. He adds that it was a night very much like the previous.
Dave, N4DB, indicates that he decoded eight stations with WH2XXP reported as his best DX for the session.
Ken, SWL/K9 (SWL/EN61), located in Indiana reported that he copied WG2XXM until 1158z. He also noted that his reports failed to upload automatically resulting in manual intervention.
Mike, WA3TTS, noted that the “racing stripe” near 475.635 kHz was visible overnight. This signal typically only appears on quiet, long nights when propagation is good.
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported moderate QRN, indicating that he is “still waiting for those QRN free nights. Mixed bag of reports tonight. A long deep opening to ZF1EJ, peaking at -23. By my calculation Eden would still have decoded with my Amplifier turned off. Then some sparse weak late reports from the PNW, and quite a few JA reports.” He labeled this session a ‘code 3’ as the band was more stingy in allowing signals to reach North America than in recent session. Roger received reports from 7L1RLL4, EJTSWL, JA1NQI, JH3XCU, JR1IZM, TNUKJPM, VE6XH, W7IUV, WH2XCR, and ZF1EJ. He provided reports for WH2XXP and WH2XCR.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicated that he provided reports for six WSPR stations and he was reported by 42 unique stations including ZL2AFP, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, ZF1EJ “and 6 VE stations.”
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 43 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and ZL2AFP.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he was reported by 35 unique stations including ZL2AFP. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB. Larry suggested in the late evening that this session was looking better than the previous.
Many of you that have known me for a while know that I don’t care much for band plans. Instead I prefer operators ‘do the right thing’ rather than being over regulated by authorities. On 160-meters a long standing gentleman’s agreement has largely prevented major skirmishes between operating factions in spite of an “anything goes” layout for the band. In response to a recent incursion in the 630-meters band, Frtiz Raab, W1FR, the coordinator of the ARRL’s 600-meter experimental group, asked me to develop, for consideration, what I prefer to call a “considerate operators guide” (ok, its a band plan…) for individuals that may be showing up on the band for the first time and have not done their own research or asked questions of active operators which would otherwise help them make good operating decisions and “do the right thing”. This first public draft is based on how the band is currently utilized and makes allowances for wider modes in certain band segments, in some cases based on whether it is day or night. NONE OF THIS IS SET IN STONE AND ITS NOT EVEN LEGALLY BINDING. I AM SEEKING CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS THAT MIGHT HELP US HEAD-OFF PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE! So please take a look at the chart and read the notes – look at all of it and understand before forming an opinion and commenting, please. This is not a black and white matter and there is always “wiggle room”. We simply want to make sure that a massive wide band signal does not set up shop adjacent to many weak signals. Doing so would likely kill band activity. So tell me what you think. Keep in mind that if we, the active band users, don’t set the standards someone else will and it might not be favorable in the real world. These results will be submitted to the ARRL for consideration at a later date. The chart can be downloaded here.
I probably ‘bit off more than I could chew’ yesterday as I decided to do an operating position rebuild primarily to consolidate some equipment that was rarely used and I desperately needed to do some cleaning. I’ve never seen “dust bunnies” like the ones that I encountered while moving hardware. I continue to have a digital operating position and a QRO CW operating position without “at the ready” redundancy which was taking up so much space. The receiver in both cases is now the FT1000. Some of you may know that the FT920 that I was using on the MF position had been giving me trouble for quite a while so I am removing it from service altogether. Its nice to recover some desk space and remove some clutter. It’s only a matter of time, however, before the clutter is replaced again with something else, I am sure.
I evaluated the Monitor Sensors transverter again overnight and it performed flawlessly. This time I was transmitting in addition to receiving (there was an ulterior motive to my operating position cleaning!) and set the output power so that I was at about 5W EIRP (about 20W TPO) and experienced a good night of WSPR at about 19% transmit cycle. Reports were good from coast-to-coast, many at or near CW levels and virtually all at JT9 levels. My transmission report details can be viewed here and my reception report details can be viewed here.
One additional item I wanted to share: I often see all kinds of switch-mode power supply noise living in a suburban environment but over the years I have seen a number of signals that follow repeatable patterns and exhibit symmetry. Below is an image of a noise I observed last night that was not a wandering noise but exhibited strong symmetry and was very long in duration. Any thoughts on what might be generating it?
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, experienced another strong night, providing multiple reports for VK4YB. Eden continues to operate in a “receive-only” capacity for a few days. He provided reports for nine total WSPR stations. Report details for Eden’s VK4YB reports can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to experienced what appears to be average-to-decent band conditions for May, sharing two-way reports with WH2XCR. The path to VK is cutoff once again as paths from Oceania to North America seem to be more favorable to lower latitudes.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced another spectacular session on his path to Oceania, receiving reports from EJTSWL in Tasmania, VK2XGJ, ZL2AFP, and sharing two-way reports with VK4YB. He also received reports from ZF1EJ on Cayman and he shared two-way reports with WE2XPQ and provided reports for VK3HP. Coverage of North America was typical for May with reports extending into the central US. DX report details can be viewed here.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).