Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

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

Average propagation with a few transcontinental and trans-Pacific openings; W5EST presents ‘REMARKABLE OR-SD 630m PATH TO E-REGION: 8/21/17 SOLAR ECLIPSE’

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for May 26, 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.

Noise was considerably lower for much of North America but propagation has settled into the “Summer average” and the timing is about right when comparing to the previous year.  On the transition from Winter / Spring to Summer we tend to experience roller coaster band behavior where we get excited by simple openings that we often take for granted during the Winter only to be disappointed again when the band dips down for several days.  In my experience the lows help make the highs feel that much better so enjoy the wild ride.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions continue to be very quiet with a Bz that continues to point slightly to the South.  Solar wind velocities are down slightly, averaging near 330 km/s.  DST values have reached positive levels again.




Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, provided reports for three WSPR stations and he received reports from thirty unique stations including WH2XCR, ZF1EJ, and six Canadian stations.

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported, “WI2XQU was back to transmitting last night. I had 15 unique stations spot me but none west of your QTH John. One problem I’m experiencing is that the Transmit button in the WSJT-X program will toggle off on it’s own. This happens always between 01:00 – 02:00 EST (05:00 – 06:00 Zulu). Wonder if anyone else experiences this problem as I lost half the night.”

WI2XQU session WSPR activity (courtesy KC4SIT)



Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported an average night and included these comments and statistics:

“…Merv/XCR in HI was my DX, and it was 2-way for us. Merv copied me 12 times with best of -12, while I decoded Merv 6 times with a best of -25….almost the diode affect at times….like the ionosphere was tilted.

WG2XSV reports Hearing only these 5

…and Heard by 10: KO6KL, N6RY, NO1D, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7VV, W7IUV, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WI2XBQ”

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded six WSPR stations including WH2XGP in Washington state.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded four WSPR stations during this session.

Al, WD4AHB, indicates that he experienced good receiving conditions after several days of high noise from storms.  He decoded four WSPR stations.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported  that he “…ran split receive 2200m/630m overnight, mostly on the SE EWE antenna to target WH2XZO on 2200m…also ran the SW EWE antenna for a bit attempting to minimize noise.  Only 2 XGP decodes explaimed by having the SE antenna in use and the cardio pattern null to the SW…QRN was moderate…..5 stations  decoded….”  He provided the following statistics for the session:

Mike added,

“Also 5 decodes of WH2XZO overnight (-28 > -31 SNR) on 2200mm and several XZO light trace sequences noticed in the 0300 ~0500 time period that were not decoded. Chance there could have been more XZO decodes if I ran single band without the hybrid splitter loss on IF port of the LF/MF converter.  For WH2XND there were 76 decodes with the antenna pointed SE….”

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, indicates that a “Heavy branch has fallen and entangled itself with the main 100ft vertical wire in a Gordian knot about half way up. The wire is tight against the tree. When I transmitted it burnt the wire into the trunk. It is a complete mess, and will not move in any direction. I will continue with lesser antennas for the time being.”  Roger added “Low QRN, propagation shifts a little toward the PNW. VE6XH decodes return on 160m but not 630m.”  He received reports from W7IUV, JA3TVF, JA1NQI/2 and he shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from nineteen unique stations.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


It was a much quieter night here in North Texas and I had the good fortune to have a CW QSO with my neighbor across town during the evening as he operated under my second station license.  I transitioned to WSPR just before 0200z and noted a few short reports, with distances expanding significantly by 0300z.  Areas of the Midwest were less lucky when it came to noise so I suspect that was a driving factor in those reports being later in addition to my lower power and lower transmit duty cycle.  My transmission report details can be viewed here and my reception report details can be viewed 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 two WSPR stations as he continues in a receive-only capacity through the weekend.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for four WSPR stations and he received reports from three unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for VK5FQ and VK3HP while sharing two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  Merv received reports from VK2XGJ and ZL2AFP.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“Today’s first illustration attempts a visualization of 630m RF rays “looking” to complete one or more paths 1579km between 20w WD2XSH/20  in Oregon and W6YQin South Dakota.  Forget great circle! Skew propagation will be the order of the day.
The eclipse will move fast. The two-minute time slots of WSPR are slow. To probe the E- region where it’s distorted by the eclipse calls for some way of slowing down the action.  In my opinion a signal path that is oriented nearly parallel to the eclipse track, and angles across it near midpath, will indeed give WSPR a slow-motion chance.
Where in the USA might such a path exist that special solar eclipse day Monday, August 21? Among the constellation of stations that have been active on 630m, the path between these two stations WD2XSH/20 and W6YQ seems to be the most favorable for probing the E-region.
Less perfectly oriented paths may nevertheless also provide important information about eclipsed E-region reflections on 630m.  5w WG2XXM (OK) to WH2XXC (MD) midpath is wKY, a bit off eclipse track, 1842km.   WH2XZO (SC)-W0JW (IA) 1200km likewise has midpath wKY.  WG2XXM (OK)-W0RPK (NC) 1804km has central TN midpath on-track at a wider, somewhat larger, less favorable angle between the path and the eclipse track.  WH2XGP (WA)-K7UZ (UT) is favorably short at 977 km with on-track midpath in Idaho, albeit still larger, less favorable angle.  That said, any stations that can TX and/or RX on that solar eclipse day will add to 630m seasoned experience in some way, whether it’s about the E-region, or D-region, or simple demonstration of path success in eclipse daytime!  Take a bow!
In the E-region, I expect the eclipse to stretch its 630m-reflective electron concentration contour surface into the shape of a Japanese hat (grey ovals), see: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/fe/f1/07/fef107603a246d807781bb2b2df3e745.jpg  At any given moment along the eclipse track, the hat-shaped contour surface altitude (grey ovals) peaks up into the dark region of eclipse totality. And totality itself is moving at about 50 km perminute across the American West.
Straight-line 630m RF rays (dashed black) from WD2XSH/20 to W6YQ in my picture emanate from western Oregon’s XSH/20 up through D-region (brown circles) to points of reflection (red circles) in the E-region and back down through D-region (brown circles) to W6YQ RX in western South Dakota.  In the E-region, 630m rays from XSH/20  would probe the reflective hat-shaped contour surface.
All paths of any one same RF path length from WD2XSH/20 to W6YQ have their points of reflection (red) on a Zeppelin-shaped ellipsoid (prolate spheroid, yellow dashed lines) where its surface coincides tangently with that hat-shaped contour surface (grey ovals).   See a spheroid image at:  https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiaqMq4rIvUAhVms1QKHeExCb4QjBwIBA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FMiguel_Silvestre%2Fpublication%2F270763545%2Ffigure%2Ffig22%2FAS%3A295068075347974%401447361119477%2FFig-22-X-Z-cut-section-of-61-prolate-spheroid-for-skin-friction-coefficient-plots-The.png&psig=AFQjCNFGYBgDW5_cpBmQNOiN_Uszh43y0Q&ust=1495811971583959&cad=rjt
Whatever combination of vertical skew and lateral skew that works must put a 630m RF ray at a 3D place on the ellipsoid matching tangently with that sloping hat shaped contour in E-region. I intuitively imagined the red circles on the illustration are three such places around 10:30 PDT, 11:30 MDT.
A 3D imaging program such as Pyramid 3D suggests a different outcome in the second illustration.  There, the tangency occurs in one or two reflection spots or streaks depending on how many path lengths different size ellipsoids might define by points of tangency. To image various such reflection places, one can use the 3D app itself directly to move the hat-shaped eclipsed E-region contour in position relative to the ellipsoid.  Likewise one can stretch the ellipsoid to represent different path lengths on the XSH/20-w6yq path.
Anyhow, the places of reflection will shift geographically at altitude over time. WSPR may be able to probe the E-region for a magical 8-16 minutes on this special path.  We’ll hope and see.   TU & GL!”

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