While many stations are QRT for bad weather, antenna maintenance, family activities or traveling, this session seemed to be OK. This fact reinforces the idea that the band is open for stations that can hear through noise or be lucky enough to have quiet local conditions. One thing that seems to persist is that this time of year “quality” sky wave openings of any real distance occur later in the evening. As I have mentioned before, the magic number at my station seems to be three hours after sunset for the summer, which is a far cry from the all day propagation experienced during the Winter. We will fight through the late Spring and Summer as we always do and hopefully experience an even better 2016/2017 season as we get closer to solar minimum.
Geomagnetic activity continues at quiet but elevated levels ahead of expected storm levels in the coming sessions. The Bz points to the South and solar wind velocity now exceeds 400 km/s.
Phil, VE3CIQ, also reports better conditions as he experiences transcontinental propagation for the session:
Vinny, DL0IL, reports success through the early weekend as he operates from his portable field day site using a small vertical. Clemens, DL4RAJ, reported the operation at RST 599 around 2200z on 472.2 kHz CW. Stefan, DK7FC, also noted big signals for the portable operation. While a detailed list of stations worked is not available at this time, Vinny reports many CW QSO’s have been completed and a final push with JT9 will begin around 1900z Sunday, near sunset in Germany.
Roger, VK4YB, reports a similar session to the previous with a weak but steady path to WH2XCR in Hawaii. Roger also notes that VK6IM was QRV again and represents DX from Roger’s QTH in eastern Australia at 3000 km.
Larry, W7UIV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded five WSPR stations and was decoded by 14 unique stations during the session, which included many stations on the East coast plus ZF1EJ. Larry also commented that band conditions were better than they have been recently.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports more of the same in this session but local rainy wx conditions may have had a bearing on the session:
Significant WSPR data pollution was observed during this session due to a receive station’s poor band selection so the North American WSPR map will be excluded for this session because it does not represent an accurate picture of band activity.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdown’s follow:
There were no WSPR reports from the trans-Altantic or trans-African paths during this session. UA0SNV was present but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported North American stations on a line from the Cayman Islands to Washington state:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, decoded WH2XCR during the session and reported that he expected to turn on the transmitter remotely during the evening if the control processes were working properly. Its possible that Laurence was transmitting and was a victim of poor high latitude propagation overnight.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, appears to have shut down early during this session. Conditions to and from KH6 have been interesting recently. This is really the first time we have had a chance to consistently observe paths (or lack there of) to and from Hawaii during the late portions of the season. Its safe to say that while salt water does not hurt anything, something more is clearly having an impact on propagation. John, VK2XGJ, reports noisy conditions over New Zealand and with a compromised path, WSPR decodes have just not been seen at his coastal location during this session. Roger, VK4YB, did share two-way reports with Merv during the session, however. I should also note that even with quiet conditions here in Texas overnight, the path was not open in either direction.
Jim, W5EST, is taking Sunday off but will return tomorrow with more discussions and commentaries.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!