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

Average domestic propagation as geomagnetic field relaxes although storms dotted North America; W5EST presents ‘WHAT ABOUT AMERICAN NORTHEAST 630M DURING 8/21/17 SOLAR ECLIPSE?’

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for May 30, 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.

Numerous storm systems covered North America, particularly the eastern two-thirds of the continent.  Most noise reports indicate moderate QRN which improved as the night progressed (unless you were under a storm!)  Propagation seemed a little better but a major contributor may have been slightly improved noise conditions by morning.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions were mixed as quiet levels were observed following storm levels from the previous session, only to be replaced by elevated-quiet to unsettled levels during this session.  The Bz ranged from strongly South-pointing during the evening  to slightly North-pointing this morning.  Solar wind velocities have increased above 500 km/s and currently averages near 535 km/s.  DST values were strongly variable but both measurements presented below continue at negative levels.




Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported moderate QRN this morning with reports for two WSPR stations including WH2XXP and WG2XIQ.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for four WSPR stations and he received reports from fifteen unique stations.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Al, WD4AHB, indicates that he decoded five WSPR stations including WI2XRM,  WH2XXC,  WG2XIQ,  ZF1EJ and WH2XXP.  Al indicates that he has been working on a U3S for use on 630-meters in the future.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he only decoded WH2XXC but he added that he was listening with a 6-meter Yagi fed with 275-foot of coax so all bets are off.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was only listening overnight with the E-probe.  He provided reports for WH2XGP and WH2XXP.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported, “With lightning in the Carolinas, just six unique decodes last night on 630M plus two decodes of XND on 2200M.  After downloading some new virus protection, for some reason, I could not get my Elad DUO to key the Monitor Sensors transverter so will try and fix that today.  Here are the 630M unique decodes:”

Mike, WA3TTS, reported “…A bit less QRN than the previous night, but no decodes from WH2XGP or other PNW stations. Seven unique stations decoded.  First few hours of the evening on SE EWE antenna, then an hour or so on SW antenna, then NW EWE antenna about 0430 overnight to SR.  Split IF output from LF/MF converter for 2200m/630m reception.”  He provided the following statistics can comments:

“WH2XXP 43 decodes, best -14, min -24.  Minimum SNR seems to be from TX pwr and propagation, not QRN limited…”

“WI2XUL 56 decodes, best, -4, min -28, Joe seems to have his antenna working well now….min SNRs post sunrise”

“Also 61 WH2XND decodes overnight on 2200m band, best -21 at 0808 utc and three decodes at -33 SNR limit  (0536,0608, 0936 utc)”

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 “This session was very forgettable. QRN was low for the most part but only a 2-way exchange with Merv, WH2XCR was achieved. Ward, WH2XXP has a good and long opening to ZL, but his signals fell disappointingly short of VK. There was no visible trace of his signals nor those of Larry, WH2XGP.”  Roger indicates that he is using the JA beam as his North American antenna welded itself to a support tree.  The change has yielded reports from JA1NQI and JA3TVF.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, returned to air, receiving reports from 33 unique stations including ZL2AFP.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


I started the session on CW prior to sunset for additional ground wave transition tests by calling CQ on 474.5 kHz.  No additional QSO’s were completed but I did gather some additional local data that may prove useful in the future.  I transitioned to WSPR early, before full dark, and noted early, short reports from W5EST which expanded to WI2XFI  shortly after dark.  At 17% duty cycle I would argue that my numbers were improved from recent sessions although the data has been somewhat disjointed due to recent weather QRT’s.  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, returned to air, provided reports for three WSPR stations and he received reports from nine unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, had no reports for the session and indicates that he had no noise but poor propagation, high absorption and light are likely the biggest contributors.

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for VK3HP and VK5FQ and he shared two-way reports with VK4YB.  Merv received reports from VK2XGJ and ZL2AFP.  several reports from VK2XGJ were occurring through sunrise.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“Today’s simulation considers the 700km paths between New England and  W. Pennsylvania.  WG2XKA, WD2XSH/17 and WE2XGR/3 can TX/RX from the New England end.  WG2XJM has TX/RX, and WA3TTS does RX.  Other stations at both ends may get in the RX action as well.  In Ontario and western Quebec, VE3CIQ, VE3EAR, and VE3EFF among others may be in similar eclipse circumstances relative to New England and W. PA path ends.

The eclipse will obscure 65%-80% of the Sun along the various paths.

The first illustration suggests the challenges posed by such paths this far from the eclipse track.  Expect any WSPR decodes to be down in the deep -20s dB.  If any decodes occur on these Northeast paths, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT with sweet spot 2:30-3:00pm EDT will be the brackets.

In the middle of each illustration, two negative SNR curves (path losses of 1st and 2nd D-region ray-crossings) sum to get the simulated path SNR at bottom.  Like earlier blog days, I’ve shown zero and 30 minute time constants for simulated curves.  These SNRs are relative SNRs.  Various effective levels ofWSPR2 decode threshold (black dashed lines) are higher or lower depending on TX power and TX & RX antennas and noise conditions..

Full powered stations on these short paths less than 800 km  in this Northeast region will be favored for reception with best possible RX antenna.   The eclipse enhancement may be as little as 4-6 dB over ordinary daytime signal levels.  These Northeast paths will be a stretch. Paths with WPA at one end and VA, NC, TN, OH, IN, or IL at the other end will probably have somewhat better eclipse prop.

To assess the plausibility of the simulation, the second illustration extends the time duration of simulation out past sunset.  With the eclipse gone, the main driver is declining sun elevation, which lessens the daytime dB deficit.  Sunset SS around 7:52 p.m. EDT (~2352z) really gets improvement in SNRs underway, as you would expect.  The purpose of simulation is not to be right, but to provide a point of reference so that the real results of 630m activity can correct it and teach us.

With that in mind, the early-mid-afternoon daytime challenge of  the solar eclipse seems comparable to the challenge of achieving pre-SS decodes.   Stations in this region can pre-test  paths before Aug. 21 by activity on earlier days during the hour or so before sunset those days.

If decodes can be obtained pre-SS, you have a shot at Northeast region success during the solar eclipse earlier in the afternoon in the 2:00-3:30 EDT time frame of Aug. 21 on these paths.  Even if you can’t receive pre-SS on Northeast paths, eclipse success may come your way in other directions.  If you are in ground wave range, the ground wave signal may overwhelm the eclipse sky wave, so paths long enough for ground wave to be weak or absent will more likely offer an eclipse effect.  TU & GL!”

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