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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR for storms, probably for much of the week if the forecast holds

Geomagnetic conditions sending mixed messages but terrestrial weather leaves the band with more seasonal noise; A few transcontinental openings in North America; W5EST presents, ‘AZ-WA 630m PATH SIMULATION FOR 8/21/17 SOLAR ECLIPSE’

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for May 24, 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.  Click here to view the proposed “considerate operators” frequency usage guide for 630-meters under Part-97 rules that was developed with the input of active band users.

This session was relatively average for late May.  It was noisy but not a complete washout and seasonal variations in activity are apparent.  The bulk of continental storm noise has pushed into the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic but continues to impact a significant number of stations, at least in and around the Midwest and southeastern US.  WI2XBV reported that his noise level in Florida was 20 dB over S9.  He indicated that he heard no stations overnight.  A few storms were present in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are confusing as the magnetic field is quiet and has been for several days but the Bz has persistently pointed to the South with solar wind velocities averaging near 460 km/s.  DST values are generally improving for both presented indicators as they trend closer to the center line.  These flat band conditions remind me of the late Winter and early Spring of 2013 when the band experienced more than a month of generally poor performance in spite of numbers that suggested that propagation should have been OK.




Phil, VE3CIQ, reported that his session was improved as he received transcontinental reports from WH2XGP and VE6XH. He noted that he continued to hear WG2XPJ at -30 dB S/N two hours after local sunrise.  He provided the following comments:

“It’s interesting to see signals make their way out west, while 99% of decodes were under 1,000kms.

After the abundance of rain this spring, I pulled the 15 meter inverted L off the pine tree and replaced with a short 8 meter Marconi with three top wires(75 meters worth) New antenna is in the center of the yard and can make full use of the existing 3000′ of ground radials.
If I can be heard by XGP in summer conditions, this is going to be an exiting winter”

VE3CIQ session WSPR activity (courtesy VE3CIQ)


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that “the session was not much better than the last.”  Neil was decoded by nine unique stations with his reach extending from KH6 to Utah and into Alberta, Canada at VE6XH.  He provide reports for WH2XGP and WI2XBQ.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that noise was not too problematic for him during this session and propagation was better than it has been in a few weeks as he provided transcontinental reports for VE3CIQ.  Larry notes that while listening omni-directionally he has been unable to hear VK4YB, however, and he is fighting a Windows failure on his SDR that seems to have taken out his ‘W7IUV’ receiver.  He provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from 22 unique stations.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported that he provided a report for WH2XXC at -20 dB S/N and a distance of 616 km.  Ernie indicates that storms have been and continue to be a major impediment to his activity.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded four WSPR stations overnight noting that a few more were likely before sunrise.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported “More weather QRN overnight than prior evening. SE direction was worse than SW so I ran with the SW direction from about 0200 to SR with split IF for 630/2200m wspr2.”  He provided the following statistics:

Mike added:

“Also 27 WH2XND decodes overnight between -24 and -30.  No WH2XZO decodes overnight but one visual fuzzy line on 137.538 khz at 0316 was likely XZO… QRN was limiting factor…”

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, provided this link detailing VK -> total JA DX and VK -> JA peak S/N for the session.

Roger, VK4YB, reported that “Storms have moved out into the Tasman Sea but are still a nuisance. They are babies compared to the ones battering Eastern USA and Eastern Europe. Hawaii, Alaska and Japan are relatively clear and those are the only places I am getting reports from.  Difficult to judge propagation with this amount of QRN around.  Roger received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, TNUKJPM, WE2XPQ and he shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

John, VK2XGJ, reported the following results after last night’s test:

“Well after last night’s experiment re the R5000 or the R8500 the Icom R8500 wins.  On a radio that receives from 100 KHz to 1.9 GHz and it beats a radio that covers only to 30 MHz.  Anyway she is on duty tonight along with the 600 KHz LPF.  Noisy as all get out meter needle swishing from sig 3 to sig 9.  We’ll see what happens John.”

It was good to be back on the air after several days of storms in spite of continued high noise.  As we are transitioning to a “skeleton crew” on the band for the Summer, I opted to only have a presence with WSPR for the session.  Reports were mixed and numbers were down for my low transmit duty cycle (17%).  My transmission report details can be viewed here.  Receiving was down, as expected, but it was good to report ZF1EJ.  Reception report details can be viewed here.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


South 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 one WSPR stations and he received reports from four unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for four WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from one unique station.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for VK3HP and he shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  He received a report from ZL2AFP.  Unlike the previous session, the lead up to sunrise in KH6 brought a few openings to Oceania.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “AZ-WA 630m PATH SIMULATION FOR 8/21/17 SOLAR ECLIPSE”:

“Today’s illustration eclipse-simulates relative SNRs for a radio path 1633km between WH2XXP  in Arizona and W7IUV’s RX in central Washington State.  WSPR database tells us the 2-week peak SNR for 35w XXP-w7iuv was +16dB. In reverse, 5w WH2XGP-no1d receptions peaked +3dB last two weeks which is not too different, considering the 8.5 dB TX power difference.

As you know, yesterday’s blog simulated relative eclipse SNRs for WI2XBQ-ve7bdq–a shorter path farther northwest.  I was surprised to find that the relative SNR results were about the same for one hop XXP-w7iuv– just delayed about 10 minutes due to the eclipse’s eastward motion across the different XXP vs. XBQ radio path lines. Why so similar results under eclipse conditions?

The simulation assumes that what remains of the unobscured Sun at the respective D-region crossings of the TX signal ray is what ionizes the D-region  And that the signal power density watts/area is reduced in proportion to lower ionization during the eclipse.  For instance, it assumes half the ionization cuts whatever absorption of signal power density in half.

The dB increase in signal strength goes as a logarithm which seems to be a great equalizer of these two paths under eclipse conditions.  One D-region crossing of the XXP-w7iuv TX signal ray sees 97% maximum partial eclipse but the other one sees only 80% maximum eclipse, much less percentage than on the XBQ-ve7bdq path. By the end of the dB calculation, that doesn’t amount to much effect.

The longer path distance itself is a second equalizer. Due to the curvature of the earth, the D-region crossings happen at 1/3 and 2/3 of the way along XXP-w7iuv path compared to 1/4 and 3/4 for XBQ-ve7bdq, says the simulation.  When one station lies relatively far from the eclipse track and the other station is the same or closer to the eclipse track but lies on the opposite side of it, the D-region crossings tend to bunch somewhat closer to the eclipse track and benefit from greater partial eclipse percentages than the stations’ own positions would suggest.

Timewise, the illustration shows nearly simultaneous peaks contributing the half-as-much dB by each eclipse-affected D-region crossing.  Purple means zero assumed time constant, and brown means 30 minute time constant.  The northwest orientation of percent partial eclipse ovals across USA geography and the similar northwest orientation of the XXP-w7iuv radio path account for the near-simultaneity.

We will see what happens on various partial-eclipsed paths when 630m mystery band gets its chance to set us straight!”

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