The details for August 2, 2016 can be viewed here.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Neither 630-meters nor 2200-meters are open to amateurs in the US yet. That includes stations using fake or pirated call signs. Please continue to be patient and let the FCC finish their processes. UPDATED: 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.
Widespread storms continue to impact North America. The Southeast was relatively clear but operators were likely impacted by noise from surrounding storms. The Midwest has largely been unaffected over the previous few sessions but a new system is creating some noise this morning. The West and Pacific Northwest were in the clear due to a strong high pressure system but like the Southeast, they may have been impacted by noise from storms to the East. A number of frontal systems are expected to sweep across the continent in the coming days.
Geomagnetic conditions reached elevated-quiet levels during this session and it really looked early on like more active conditions might prevail as a decayed sunspot rotated back into view. Apparently this feature did not have much impact. The Bz is pointing to the North and solar wind velocities are averaging near 410 km/s, up slightly from the previous session. Solar wind velocities have been elevated through much of the session. DST values remained at positive levels through the session.
I am pleased to report that Roger, VE7VV, has made significant strides with his CW Skimmer tests, particularly in the area of getting the software to recognize a CQ or TEST and then upload to the Reverse Beacon Network via the Aggregator software. As a result of Roger’s success I am rethinking my approach and will use his settings with the Softrock Ensemble II that is located at my remote grabber site after I resolve a few hardware allocation issues. Its possible that the grabber could be off-line for for an indeterminate amount of time in the near future. I will post status info on the 472 grabber page.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, indicates that he decoded six WSPR stations and he received reports from fifteen unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WE2XPQ and WH2XCR.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicates that transcontinental openings favored his station. He provided these comments and statistics:
“Wow…. what a break thru to my east. My WSPR RF got all the way to K8PZ (1x) in Michigan this session. First time in months that I got past Utah in that direction…
…and I spotted these 6: WE2XPQ (23x, best -17), WH2XCR (until 12 min after my SR), also WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XBQ, and WI2XJQ”
Steve, K8PZ, noted low noise for the session and he provided the following comments and statistics, referencing the transcontinental openings observed during the session:
“Both you and XJQ showed up. For the summer I figured you and XJQ were on the wrong side of the Cascades… I usually copy XGP…
Dave, N4DB, indicated overnight band conditions and propagation that was similar to the previous session. He provided reports for six WSPR stations including session best WH2XXP at -21 dB S/N and a distance of 3109 km.
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported moderate noise this morning in Florida. He decoded five WSPR stations including WH2XCR.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations. He added that he experienced “notable enhancement/improvement vs recent past propagation to the W and NW, I ran dual band 630/2200m wspr2 on SW EWE antenna until about 0158z, then NEW EWE antenna overnight. I repositioned some ground rods and ground wires over the weekend to compensate the geometry for having to move the NE end of the EWE antenna back in April (tree removed), uncertain if this change has lead to an improvement.” He also noted that he reported WH2XCR which may have been the first time since March or April. Mike submitted these statistics:
WH2XCR 1 spot -32 (0826Z)
WH2XGP 35 spots, best -16, min -25
WH2XXP 81 spots, best +1, min -25
ZF1EJ 1 spot -26 (0748Z)
WI2XRM 13 spots, best -16, min -24
WD2XSH/15 36 spots, best -16, min -25
WI2XQU 47 spots, best -7, min -22
VE3CIQ 45 spotts, best -5, min -24
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding E51, KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, received reports from VE6JY, VE6XH, and W7IUV. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. On the VK/ZL 600m Yahoo group, Roger posted the following comments regarding the high activity in Oceania over the previous week:
“There has been a big surge in VK/ZL WSPR activity in the last week or so. The band is just beginning to show signs of life building up to the next Equinoxal DX season.
The photo shows 5 strong VK/ZL stations decoded in the same 2 minute cycle. At least 25 VK/ZL stations have been active recently and it is an excellent time to get the antennas ready for the coming DX season. I am remiss in this myself as I still need to repair antennas damaged in the last storms. My throat is still recovering from the last virus attack, so I have not been active on SSB at 10:00z on 479 kHz LSB recently. I hope to start up again on the weekend. When operating SSB, I also monitor 3610 kHz for feedback from people who can hear on 630m but cannot transmit down there. I am usually monitoring the ON4KST low band chat room for comments also.”
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 51 unique stations overnight including EJTSWL, ZL1QM, ZL2AFP, VK4YB, VK5AKK, and VK2XGJ.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for six WSPR stations and he received reports from 37 unique stations including ZL2AFP and VK4YB. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eight WSPR stations including VK4YB.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for five WSPR stations. He received reports from eighteen unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Warwick, E51WL, provided reports for five WSPR stations by 1500z. Those report details, excluding WH2XCR whose reports are details below in this report, can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for five WSPR stations and received reports from eleven unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, WG2XSV, WI2XJQ and WH2XGP.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK3HP, VK5FQ, and ZL1QM. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, WH2XGP, WG2XSV, WI2XJQ, ZF1EJ and WE2XPQ. He received reports from VK3XHM, VK7TW, JA1NQI/2, VK5AKK, VK2XGJ, E51WL and ZL2AFP. DX report details can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, submitted this commentary on the state of SSB on 630-meters down-under:
“SSB is quite popular down-under. I have worked more stations and more VK call areas on SSB than I have on CW. Up to 1000km is usually no problem for rag-chewing strength in the low noise environment of winter. That covers most of the eastern seaboard. ZL, VK7 and VK5 are a little more difficult and VK6 is yet to be achieved. As far as I know, there have been no complaints of interference with other users. This is not surprising, because there is very little activity here outside of the WSPR band. I usually leave my P3 pan-adaptor looking at the entire band in case someone comes up with an exotic mode. Our SSB bandwidth is limited to 2.1 kHz. I achieve that by limiting the audio bandwidth to 200 to 2300 Hz with an Orban parametric pre-amplifier. This is much easier than messing with the Tx 2.7 kHz ssb filter. The generally agreed ssb frequency is 479.00 kHz LSB. It would be legal to use 479.20 as the carrier frequency with good carrier suppression and still confine the entire transmission to below 479.00. However this Scrooge type use of the bandwidth has not been generally adopted. I think most people don’t like seeing their dial frequency showing a frequency that is outside the band. There is as yet no official WIA 630m band plan.
The band plan suggestions that I have seen, allocate SSB to 476.9 to 479.00 kHz. This is the most obvious and traditional place for SSB to go. The WSPR allocation is more or less set in stone and everything else will have to fit in with that. Another suggestion was to confine ssb operation to daylight hours, probably made by a non-ssb operator. This is a night-time band and everyone wants to work DX no matter what mode they use. As there is only one phone channel, it has to be operated as a round-table with frequent breaks, with encouragement, for others to join in. This works very well with our small population.
I also monitor 3610 kHz in case someone without tx on 630m wishes to join in. I use my old Drake TR7 to transceive on 80m and I can work full duplex without any interference between bands. If conditions are marginal on 630m, we can all move to 80m to wrap up the round-table. I also try to remember to keep an eye on the ON4KST chat room for messages. If someone wants to use the top of the band for some other mode (e.g. Opera), we will be only too willing to vacate the frequency for them and probably listen as well.
The big question is “Will this work in North America or Europe?” I don’t think the Europeans are licensed for SSB, which is probably just as well with the large population over there. I am rather surprised that USA is going down that track. It would only take a few inconsiderate operators to cause a great deal of ill will. We will just have to see how it pans out. 73 Roger, VK4YB”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!