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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

Probably QRT tonight and in the morning due to storms in the area

Quiet geomagnetic conditions continue but VK4YB reports ‘near collapse’ of trans-Pacific propagation while path from VK to JA continues to buzz; Weak signals reported around North America;W5EST presents ‘PART 5: 630M ON-TRACK vs. CROSS-TRACK IN AUGUST 21, 2017, SOLAR ECLIPSE’

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for May 10, 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!

High noise levels were reported early in the session in the Midwest while noise conditions deteriorated overnight for the central US as another storm system progresses to the East.  Domestic propagation started out decent although reports from this morning suggest propagation deteriorated overnight.  Long haul paths apparently also deteriorated on the approach to morning in North America.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet.  The Bz is pointing to the North and solar wind velocities are averaging near 360 km/s.  Both DST measurements presented in this report suggest more calm band conditions from the previous session.





Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported low QRN with weak signals this morning.  Al continues to operate at low power (one-quarter “normal” TPO).  He decoded five WSPR stations and he was decoded by seventeen unique stations.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports that decoded four WSPR stations and was decoded by seventeen unique stations, all of which were on a North / South line from Alberta, Canada to Arizona.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from seventeen unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Ken, SWL/EN61 (SWL/K9), located in Indiana reported that his last decode of WH2XXP was at 1118z.

Dave, N4DB, reported some QRN but good conditions otherwise, decoding nine WSPR stations overnight.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported, “…11 stations decoded overnight. I used my NE EWE antenna until about 0230 and then my SW EWE antenna the rest of the evening… best DX WH2XGP with only one decode…..If I had switched to my NW EWE antenna there is a chance I would have had a few more XGP decodes…best SNRs below”:

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported, “Having no real success with my current transverter.   I borrowed David N1DAY Monitor Sensors transverter. Had 24 stations spot me. Though the report shows 50 watts out at the transverter, monitoring I saw that it averaged 37 watts into my usual variometer and inverted 3 ele L cut for 160. Still, never got further west than your QTH.”  One note about the power output that Ernie is reporting:  With any transverter that is taking drive from a secondary source (like an HF rig), there is often a very delicate balancing act between the RF drive power setting and the “mic gain” when required drive power is very low.  If you are observing lower than expected output from the transverter, look at the input measurement  on the transverter itself (its a menu item).  5-6 watts input will consistently provide 50+watts on the Monitor Sensors transverter without overloading the input.  The same applies to the MF Solutions transmit converter although it is even more delicate because it requires such a very low level input which can result in unstable and varying output from HF rig exciters.  Ernie provided the following statistics:

Al, WD4AHB, reports, “I’ve been lurking on 630m WSPR Rx for a couple of months now.  Equipment here is SDRPlay RSP-1 fed by a homebrew PA0RDT mini-whip mounted at about 30’ AGL passing through a homebrew MW bandstop filter. I got interested in 630m helping Ernie, WI2XQU (KC4SIT) test his transmitter coverage to the south. Current Tx plans are based around using a QRP-Labs U3S with 5W amp into a 135’ Inverted “L” on 630m when FCC allows US hams access to the band.”

WD4AHB session WSPR activity


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, “…Only 2 NA spots tonight, one in (WH2XXP) and one out (W7IUV). High QRN from the Ex Tropical Cyclone in the Coral Sea. Altogether a forgettable session.  Only consolation was a good opening to Japan, but weaker than yesterday.”  Roger received reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, JR1IZM, W7IUV, and WH2XCR.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 46 unique stations including VK4YB.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that his transmitter “tripped-off” overnight at some point, impacting his reports.  He provided reports for six WSPR stations and he was reported by 21 unique stations.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


I got a late start but noted relatively quiet band conditions for May.  These conditions, of course, deteriorated over night as a system in New Mexico progressed into West Texas.  Propagation was down although there were a few decent openings observed.  My transmit numbers were down significantly, even for reduced transmit duty cycle (17%).  Those report details can be viewed here.  My receive numbers also suffered significantly but with increasing noise through the overnight period I am not surprised.  Those report details can be viewed here.  Summer band conditions are here.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North 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 six WSPR stations and he received reports from twenty unique stations including WH2XCR.  The Northwest region was completely absent.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that the electric dog fence that makes so much noise and impacts his reception was QRT during this session.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and those report details are included below with Merv’s details.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for ZF1EJ and shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  He received reports from VK2XGJ and ZL2AFP.  Merv’s DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “PART 5: 630M ON-TRACK vs. CROSS-TRACK IN AUGUST 21, 2017, SOLAR ECLIPSE”:

From USA Southeast to upper Great Plains Midwest 630 m stations stand about 1200 km along the August 21 solar eclipse track.  The USA Southeast and East Coast regions straddle the solar eclipse track crosswise about 1200 km.

Today’s illustration sketches path orientations as if the eclipse bull’s-eye were stationary and the stations themselves were moving WNW. If noisy weather stays out of the way, what comparative 630m WSPR2 SNRs may the on-track path versus cross-track path display?

Whatever happens, it’s going to happen between about 1-2 p.m. CDT, 2-3p.m. EDT. RX stations in Nebraska, Iowa, Eastern Kansas, Missouri, and southern Illinois can promote the 630m on-track effort by activating that Monday, August 21. TX stations in South Carolina and Florida can make the receptions possible by launching the 630m RF.  RX stations in Eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware can capstone the 630m cross-track afternoon.

Turning specifically to the illustration, the SSW-NNE cross-track 630m RF ray path will intersect the D-region on ascent and descent (white circles) either side of eclipse totality.  These D-region intersection places will have had just a few minutes to become somewhat reduced in absorption as they “move” relative to the eclipse bull’s-eye.

Compared to that, from ESE to WNW an on-track 630m D-region intersection (double concentric small white circles) may spend perhaps 15 minutes progressively plunging into darkness and then becoming somewhat illuminated once again after totality.  Trailing after, the other on-track D-region intersection will enter and spend perhaps a minute before on-track SNR peaks out with mid-path E-region in totality.

Will on-track path SNR outperform cross-track SNR because that double concentric circled spot was plunged into darkness?  Or will cross-track path SNR do just as well or better because both its two circled places enjoyed some eclipse dusk?

Maybe the differences between station antennas and equipment will make comparison uncertain. Or maybe storms will mess up the whole thing.  Then the question will just have to wait.*  TU and GL Monday, August 21!”

*April 8, 2024: On that day seven years from now, a solar eclipse will again cross North America, SW to NE from Mexico, then Texas to Maine, and to the maritime provinces of Canada.  https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/


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