The details for June 18, 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.
There is a rumor that has been circulated somewhere on the Internet that claims to allegedly know the UTC notification procedures. These rumors are lies and seriously jeopardize this process! DO NOT CONTACT UTC TO NOTIFY THEM OF YOUR INTENT TO OPERATE on 472 or 137 AT THIS TIME! Official procedures are forthcoming – please be patient. If you find a website or social media post that is perpetuating this bad information, please let me know so action can be taken to rectify the problem. We can still screw this up!
FEDERAL REGISTER PUBLICATION OF FCC 17-33 which created the 630-meter allocation in addition to rules for both 630-meter and 2200-meters has occurred. This does NOT mean that the band will open under part-97 rules in less than 30-days rather it represents another benchmark in the overall process. We still await a “sign off” from OMB to fund the coordination process with UTC, which was agreed upon by estimate prior to the publication of the Report and Order in March. Once the approval is formally granted, the details for the UTC notification procedures will likely be released. There is also another comment period somewhere in the mix. A formal “start date” may not be known for a while. The timing and order of all of these remaining items is very fluid. Please continue to be patient. We are making progress.
Noise levels were probably as high if not higher than the previous session as the central and midwestern portions of the US and into Canada were pummeled by storms. I didn’t keep detailed records of lightning activity this time last year so its difficult to know if weather conditions were this active for this long. Usually when we get into June here in North Texas its just hot and chances of storms have dried up with noise mostly coming from dirty, dry utilities as they arc in the heat. There were a few transcontinental openings as well as long haul trans-Pacific paths that showed activity so I don’t think the session was particularly poor but listening was once again difficult for many of us. Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates that he experienced lightning overnight and shut down at bedtime but notes that the lightning was not found on any map this morning. I wonder if the detectors get so swamped by strikes that they are sometime unable to resolve reports?
Geomagnetic conditions have ranged from G1 storm levels down to elevated quiet levels through the sessions. The geomagnetic field has been quite active as the Bz has ranged from South to North and back to South-pointing on a number of occasions through the session. Protons are back to normal levels but solar wind velocity has been in excess to 600 km/s overnight and is currently averaging near 575 km/s. There was quite a bit of variability in the solar wind through the session. DST values have experienced negative spikes on a few occasions but each time there has been recovery experienced and the more innocuous levels near the centerline have been relatively stable.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was heard by thirteen unique stations as he returned to transmitting for the session. He indicates that all propagation was North and South with the exception reports from VE6XH, and WH2XCR. While listening with the top loaded vertical, Neil indicates that he decoded three WSPR stations including WH2XXP, WI2XBQ, and WH2XGP.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for four WSPR stations and he received reports from six unique stations. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eighteen WSPR stations.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported “…First time in a week or so I have decoded XGP more than just a few times. Started out with the antenna pointed SE for QRN management, but went to NW direction somewhere around 0600 UTC.
Also ran dual band on 2200m wspr2 but no decodes of WH2XND with his new loading coil overnight. QRN was adverse at very solid S9 all evening….”
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported that “Despite the solar wind speed getting to 600 and K of 2 to 3, the propagation remains in the same pattern. The path to Arizona starts shortly after our sunset and continues to Az sunrise. The path width is at least from Brisbane down to Hobart. Ward, WH2XXP peaked at -18dB S/N in Brisbane. Hawaii continues at reduced strength, and there is no sign of the Pacific North West. The Japan path opened at 12:30z as usual. That is the time I switch to the JA beam, but I have tried it earlier without success.” Roger received reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, and TNUKJPM. He also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
John, VK2XGJ, reported what may have been his earliest ever decode of WH2XCR just three minutes after local sunset.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 25 unique stations including EJTSWL located on Tasmania, in addition to VK2XGJ and VK4YB.
I had a bit of a weird session. I needed to spend some time testing my setup for the MF and LF field day demo event next weekend so I got that running and tested and decided to call CQ. It was very noisy well before sunset here so it was more of an exercise in being consistent than anything else. It was tough to listen to but I fought through it. As I was calling I remembered that the “Summer Stew” (Summer edition of the Stew Perry Topband DX Challenge) was running so I spent some time working stations in that contest, which was very nice. I used to be a fixture in the “Winter Stew” and have let that slide in any serious competitive effort in the last ten years or so. I need to rectify that. After working everyone that I was hearing without much effort (about 40 stations), I transitioned to WSPR for about an hour. It wasn’t awful but it was tough listening. I decoded four WSPR stations and was decoded by three unique stations. I decided to go back to 160-meter CW for the contest and just never made it back to 630-meters as I was exhausted by the time I decided to fold up shop. It was a good time on the air. Tonight’s activity will be tenuous at best as the big storm system sitting in the central US is drifting to the South and we are expecting more heavy weather in North Texas overnight and into tomorrow.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported that he was off air overnight due to storms in and around Cayman.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for four WSPR stations and he received reports from three unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for VK3HP and VK5FQ and he shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from EJTSWL on Tasmania and VK2XGJ, whose reports were the earliest that he had ever decoded Merv, just three minutes after local sunset. Merv’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!