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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Decent band conditions reported in North America as storms keep many stations QRT; First 630-meter JT9 QSO from a condo; ZF1EJ gets a step closer to transmitting; DL0IL/p operation is a success

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

WSPR reports suggest that the band was good during the session with transcontinental decodes for stations that have not seen them in a while.  Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, was one of those stations and provided the following comments about activity from the Pacific Northwest:

WG2XSV 051616


Propagation has been interesting for sure and I would say the only draw back  is that it complicates making plans for scheduled QSO’s.  After 0700z the band seems to be consistently strong.  I’m sure most of us are asleep by then given the recent variability.

Like several stations, I had to QRT near bedtime due to approaching storms.  Sadly, after they passed through, it was a quiet night.  I’m not in the habit of being happy about persistent storms but this turned out to be a wasted session at my station during a week which will likely be hit or miss due to more bad weather.

Geomagnetic activity continues at quiet to unsettle levels ahead of forecast storm levels.  Solar wind velocities have exceeded 500 km/s with a South-pointing Bz.  As they say, if you don’t like the band conditions, wait a minute because it is going to change.

planetary-k-index 051616


Kyoto DST 051616


Australia 051616


Phil, VE3CIQ, reported good conditions from Ontario with improved propagation to the West.  Phil decoded four WSPR stations and was decoded by ten unique stations during this session:

VE3CIQ 051616b

VE3CIQ session WSPR activity


Terry, W8ARE / WI2XHK, made his first QRPpp QSO using JT9 from a condo this morning.  This is a remarkable story of overcoming adversity to get a 630-meter station on the air.  Terry reports his details below:

WI2XHK 051616


Activity in Germany at the portable field day site with Vinny, DL0IL, was successful during the weekend operating sessions and numerous CW QSO’s were made with Wolf, DF2PY, including some during the day in addition to reports from Clemens, DL4RAJ, Stefan DK7FC, and Andy, F6CNI, all detailed below:

DF2PY 051616


DL4RAJ 051616


DK7FC 051616


F6CNI 051616aF6CNI 051616b


Geir, LA6LU, reports that his CW beacon is active as he tests his new ATU:

LA6LU 051616


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 051616

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 051616

European 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 051616

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 051616

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no WSPR reports from the trans-Atlantic or trans-African paths.  UA0SNV and ZF1EJ were present but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.

Eden, ZF1EJ, is getting closer to being on the air as Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, reports that he and Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, have recently finished building and testing the ATU that will be used.  Pictures can be seen here on Ron’s Google plus social media page.

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported WH2XCR and WG2XSV during this session:

WE2XPQ 051616

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WG2XSV WE2XPQ 051616

WG2XSV, as reported by WE2XPQ


WH2XCR WE2XPQ 051616

WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


In Hawaii consistency continues for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR.  The path to Australia, Alaska, and the western US continues to yield WSPR reports, including two-way reports with VK4YB.

WH2XCR 051616

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR VK3ELV 051616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK3ELV


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 051616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCr VK4YB 051616

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


VK4YB WH2XCR 051616

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR


Jim, W5EST, continues his previous discussion with “PART IV: 630M N. AMERICA-VK/ZL LONG PATH CHALLENGE MAP”:

“What areas of North America may offer 630m VK-ZL opportunities at power levels hams use in countries with a 630m allocation and likewise power levels used by USA Part 5 stations?  A map can suggest regions where N.Am.-VK/ZL propagation appears possible but has not yet been demonstrated.  Experience tells that these 630m paths open for two 630m propagation mini-seasons several weeks before and after each equinox.

Criteria for such N. America regions call for a month in at least one such mini-season to offer low monthly rainfall at the receiving end–to  increase chances of low-noise nighttimes for long-path.  For reception purposes, use a web site to see monthly storm levels for your selected state or city, such as http://www.usclimatedata.com/ .  Or simply use your own personal experience in your locality.  In some localities monthly rainfall is a poor indicator of 630m storm noise, so you are the best judge.

For Australia and New Zealand storm information, google on keywords like “monthly rainfall annual Brisbane” or “monthly rainfall annual Auckland”.   During the 630m mini-seasons, storms in some VK/ZL locations are low after Sept. equinox and before the March equinox.  In other VK/ZL locations, the storms may instead be lower before Sept. equinox and after the March equinox.

Saltwater-only paths can add several dB advantage compared to a path with one or more ground reflections.  This matters to paths exceeding 12,000km where the SNR is skirting a threshold of detectability for WSPR or your selected mode. Access to a saltwater-only path calls for regions within about 2000-2700 miles of a coastline.  Particular 630m paths define a vertical angle geometry that controls the skip distance.

Use a great circle distance calculator to compare the criteria with a path from your QTH to a particular N.Am.-VK/ZL endpoint, such as https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm  Using that site, I’ve entered path-lines indicate some great circles in red. (Map data © 2016 Google).

Afterwards, I cropped the map and then painted in rough, dark gray lines to indicate North America regions south of a line and Australia regions east of a line that may satisfy 630m propagation constraints in at least one of the miniseasons.

For example, North and South Carolina may have a saltwater path to ZL and VK7 (Tasmania) but perhaps not to the Australian mainland.  Saltwater access to and from parts of N. America encompasses over half of Australia–roughly Darwin to South Australia including Adelaide and points east.

Stations elsewhere west in Australia and north and east in North America can aspire to 630m N.Am.-VK/ZL as well, because these predicted regions of possibility beg to be extended!  GL.”

W5EST 051616


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