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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR; QRT Thursday night but back Friday morning by 1100z

Noisy start to the evening turns to relative quiet overnight; WSPRnet down for the entire overnight session in North America

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Today’s report will be a little different than normal because WSPRnet has been down for the entire overnight period in North America and continues as I develop this report.  Its funny how dependent we have become of  WSPRnet which really should only be a tool to help us do good radio better. WSPRnet is not a requirement to do good radio, however, and I realized this obvious fact last night when I solicited  a JT9 QSO and responded to Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, that I would check WSPRnet later in the evening if it was working to see if a QSO was possible.  Why didn’t I just throw out a CQ?  Personally I feel like I have gotten too dependent on the website and it has impacted my listening skills a bit.  I’ve gotten lazy.  My hope going forward into the new season is that I take a much more active role as an operator rather than just sitting by while the computer does the operating.  I’ll still use WSPR as a tool and provide data for interested parties but I am going to try not to fall into the trap as a passive participant in this game.  That’s not why I got into radio almost 30 years ago.

After seeing that WSPRnet was still down this morning I started off the day by tuning 160-meters and hearing good signals from VK and KL7.  A few CQ’s on 14.5 and I had 160-meter DX in the log for the first time in at least a year.  It was nice to work stations again.  I decided to check 630-meters and called CQ on 474.5 kHz CW about 40 minutes before sunrise.  While I thought I heard someone, switching around receive antennas did not bring the signal out.  If you were calling me, please send me an email and let me know.  John, VK2XGJ, reported that he was listening on JT9 overnight.  I am going to plan on calling CQ on JT9 after 1000z in the coming days, even if for just a few minutes.  I hope others will join me for an early morning QSO.

While the night started off a little noisy, it was very quiet this morning and signals that were present generally had little problem coming out of the noise.  The Midwest and Northeast were impacted through much of the evening due to storms but those had cleared by the morning and the lightning map of the lower-48 was generally clear.  The aggregated lightning map from 0000z – 1250z is shown below:

Lightning 081416

Geomagnetic conditions were quiet for the entire session.  The Bz has returned to unity or pointing slightly to the North and solar wind velocities are in the low to moderate range, even dropping below 400 km/s for a few periods.  DST values suggest improved conditions:

planetary-k-index 081416

Kyoto DST 081416

Australia 081416

Here are the overnight statistics and comments from stations that were QRV overnight as reported in the ON4KST chat/logger:

Eden, ZF1EJ, decoded WG2XXM and WG2XIQ.  This has been a very consistent, daily opening.

Phil, VE3CIQ, decoded VE3EFF, WG2XXM, and WG2XIQ in Ontario in spite of noise and local storm activity.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded WSPR from “XIQ – XSH/15 – XGP.”

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, had numerous comments and statistics that follow:

“hrd xxm 57 times, xgp 32x, xiq 20x, xcr 8x so far.  Best of XCR was -24.  Best snr of XIQ was -19. Got a lot of -32’s on you John.  Best of xxm was -17.  Merv still coming in. -23 at 1256z. xcr 9x now and counting….XGP best was +9.”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported “heard WH2XGP +8, WG2XSV -2, WH2XCR -27, WG2XXM -22 – with antenna pointed East”.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported “only 4 heard, XIQ,XXM,XCR, and XSV”.

Ken, SWL-EN61, in Indiana reported the following:

“Overnight session here logged XXM, XIQ, and /15.  /15 was spotted 30 times… best -21db.  I had another rx running, using an indoor loopstick and caught /15 with one spot on the loopstick overnight… not bad.  XXM best @ +2db 0828z.  XIQ best @ -5db  0852z.”

Ken notes that the reports for WG2XXM and WG2XIQ were not logged on the loopstick, however.

Roger, VK4YB, reports “Noise floor -81dBm, no QRN. VK3ELV and VK5ABN at below usual levels. By mid session only one spot of Merv at -27 at 08.26.”

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ / WH2XBA/5, was receive-only during the session and reports the following details:

“XCR/XGP best -15; XSV -23; VK4YB 1128 -25 on higher probe/wsjtx, -29 on lower probe/wsprx but wsjtx didnt catch it.”

Nice to see the VK–> KL7 path opening up.

I decoded WG2XXM and WD2XSH/15 last night.  I chose to listen on the probe because it was safer for the receiver given the potential for storms over night and I didn’t know how quickly I would get out of bed to disconnect if lightning was observed locally.  XSH/15 has been doing very well this summer, decoding before dark at up to levels that would result in easy JT9 QSO’s.  WG2XXM was strong, into positive S/N territory, but with significantly more variability than when listening with other antennas.  Ken’s signal was easy armchair CW levels through the session.  I had hoped to hear WH2XZO but I am not certain that the weather conditions in South Carolina allowed him to operate through the entire session.

Thanks to all for providing comprehensive data, statistics and anecdotes for this session.  Doing so has prevented the session from being a total loss.

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