Overnight weather systems continue to make operating tough but the band continues to support communications for a number of stations fortunate enough to be under storm-free skies.
Geomagnetic activity was very quiet as solar wind velocities eased closer to low levels below 400 km/s. The Bz hovered close to 0 nT. DST values have returned to values indicative of improved conditions.
Roger, VK4YB, reports average band conditions in Australia with deep QSB on otherwise strong signals from WH2XCR.
Phil, VE3CIQ, reports less than optimal conditions from his location noting that the central US was missing during this session. I suspect the primary factor was storm activity, which will be in the long term forecast for the next 2 weeks.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports less favorable band conditions during this session including a single phantom callsign:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports summer-like band conditions with storm noise and reports to and from local stations only.
Rik, ON7YD / OR7T, posted a NASA study on the RSGB LF reflector that indicates planet Uranus emits signals near 630-meters: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19760008920.pdf
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no WSPR reports from the trans-Atlantic or trans-African paths. ZF1EJ and UA0SNV were present during the session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, successfully operated his station remotely after difficulties during the previous session. Laurence shared two-way reports with WH2XCR while receiving WH2XGP and WG2XSV.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received reports from western North America, Alaska and Australia for what was a relatively average session. John, VK2XGJ, reports ten decodes for Merv prior to 1242z. Two-way reports were shared with VK4YB.
Jim, W5EST, presents part one in a series of discussions entitled, “630M LONG PATH PROPAGATION: HOW?”:
“Let’s try to “connect some of the dots” and do some 630m winter 2016 long path propagation interpretation. By “long path” I mean any path longer than one E-hop, roughly 2700km assuming a 150 km region altitude.
This topic understandably is a “don’t care” if you want to know your signal has reached a distant point, but the question “Why?” remains. What’s the pattern? How do the year-round miscellaneous experiences on 630m paths we’re developing fit together?
Since many of us have background in 160m and HF, it’s helpful to review what we already know and compare it with our evolving 630/2200m experiences. On 160m and HF propagation, see “An Introduction to HF Propagation” (undated, ~2010?) by Sean Gilbert, G4UCJ.
We amateurs and experimenters are not professional scientists nor are most of us professional radio engineers. We don’t have much money, and our equipment is less precise and reliable. On the other hand, in our favor, there’s less paperwork and project funding delay to suffer. Choosing our projects, we can be more nimble and flexible and not quite so rigorous analyzing and defending results. More fully among friends even when mistakes happen, we can admit them and learn that way too.
There’s a kind of luxury entertaining uncertain hunches and perhaps repeating old experiments in the process of doing new ones. Doing so is fun and indeed honors the memory of the early experimenters in whose footsteps we follow. And less well-known discoveries or even unexpected new discoveries may come to our attention!
630m poses so many mysteries, as we know. Information about peak or increasing SNRs importantly bears on a first group of questions like, “What ionospheric layer reflects most of my signal on this path?” and “Why do 5-10 watt WSPR signals reach between Australia and North America?” On the other hand, we depend on information about low or decreasing SNRs to consider a second group of questions like, “Why is 630m propagation less favorable in summer compared to other seasons?” and “What causes QSB on such and such time scale?”
Let’s focus on peak SNRs for now. Considering how propagation happens at all on some path yields clues to answers for the first group of questions. Moreover, the clues may then help us unravel the second group of questions why propagation can be unfavorable on that path as well.
Regarding peak SNRs, if a seemingly good concept can’t explain how SNR can get that strong, then we need to look for another approach. If two distinct concepts can both explain the peak SNRs, then a deeper understanding calls for some way of distinguishing them or combining them.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue this post and consider some 630m paths and their peak SNRs from the recent season. See you then!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!