The band returned to relative normal for a mid-August session. Noise was manageable for most judging by reports and a number of longer haul paths opened by morning. WSPRnet has functioning again although appears to be running very slowly. There was no word about the cause of the outage from the previous session.
Geomagnetic activity was quiet and the Bz is pointing to the North. Solar wind velocities have returned to low levels, averaging 310 km/s. DST values are generally nominal. Solarham indicates that a G1 storm is due within the next 24 hours:
The WSPR decode count for my station were above average compared to recent sessions when one factors in the three hour beak I took overnight due to local poor weather conditions. I called CQ on JT9 for a bit around 0400z but it was noisy and impromptu and I didn’t have high expectations. The West coast was just at sunset so it was a bit early for those guys. Shortly after 1000z I transitioned to JT9 and called CQ for about twenty minutes and while I didn’t receive any calls, Ken, W8RUT / WI2XFI, received my CQ’s and provided the following comments and screen capture:
“Just to let you know I did spot your JT9 signal this morning (see screen print) using my back porch e-probe test station. I have 4 different e-probes I have been comparing. The band has a bit of QRN this am but I was able to get three spots.I will make a point to try and answer you in the coming days. Thanks for letting me know in your daily reports that you would be on..73, Ken-W8RUT/WI2XFI”
I decided to transition to 160-meters for a few minutes and make few calls but the band wasn’t as good as it was on the previous day based on what I was hearing and what Reverse Beacon Network was reporting. It may have been as simple as all of the trees being waterlogged and subsequently increasing attenuation.
I transitioned to 474.5 kHz and called CQ on CW for a bit as I tested some changes with how I key my amplifiers and QRTed around 1130z. It was a lot of fun to sit in the captain’s chair and be an active participant.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded four WSPR stations including WH2XCR three times, best at -23 dB S/N. Ken was decoded by 25 unique stations including five Canadian stations and ZF1EJ.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports high noise in Washington state. He decoded five WSPR stations and was decoded by eleven unique stations. He reports that he operated with reduced power through the session and also noted that the most recent WSJT-x installer has a problem for XP users that will be corrected in future releases.
Phil, VE3CIQ, provided the following comments and statistics:
“On the e-probe- Very low noise after the storm, 2” rain finally. Started decoding XXM an hour after sundown. My transmit range is starting to pick up- VE4 landSpot counts seems low, and WSPR was really slow last night, possibly missing a lot of spots?”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, provided the following comprehensive report of activity at his station:
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that the thermal problem with his PA is resolved. Below are details and pictures of his very attractive four-port combined amplifier system based on the stock GW3UEP design:
“Hi John — At your suggestion, and that of Larry W7IUV I isolated my FETS with individual heat sinks and use fans for additional cooling. The FETS are mounted directly to the heat sink for maximum heat transfer.
This is a new amplifier28Vdc 21 Amps input500 watts output85% efficiency2.42 amps of antenna current7.89 watts ERP
12.98 watts EIRPI am using 4x IRF740’s each in the GW3UEP configuration with a 4 port Wilkenson power combiner. This is all done with “dead bug” construction.”
That’s really a fantastic job that Rick has done with his system! He also submitted a report and comments for the session:
“Hi John — Back on the air having solved the heating issue Pictures to follow. I had a grand time last evening conditions were good and enjoyed watching the SNR’s change as it got later in the evening.”
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic, trans-African, or trans-Equatorial paths. UA0SNV was present but no reports have been filed at this time.
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, reported WG2XXM and WG2XIQ:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ / WI2XBA/5, continues to perform antenna comparison experiments at his station and sent a note and picture of the L400B. What a view!
“Ill run this tonight and compare with the avg. better s/n probe in previous worst direct – its at 5.5m now – im pushing it at this height mechanically a bit so may drop. 1m grp poles…”
Laurence reports that he operated a single receiver and receiver overnight with the probe and decoded WH2XGP at CW levels. He also decoded WG2XXM as well as WH2XCR in addition to others in the Pacific Northwest:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was heard further to the East during this session, more so than has been observed in months. The path to Australia continues to be open. Merv continues to operate with his receive antenna (80-meter dipole) on the ground until repairs can be completed and its having an obvious impact:
Jim, W5EST, presents a list of low frequency resources for the coming season:
“HELPFUL WEB SITES FOR LF/MF EXPERIMENTERS AS SEASON BEGINS
630/2200 meter bands confront us with many mysteries. But it’s no mystery that lightning static from storms in any direction within about ~1000 km of the RX station may reduce weak signal distance reception. Scope these 24-hour up-to-the-hour lightning movies:
Real time lightning: Try correlate it with MF/LF static:
http://afsmaps.blm.gov/imf_lightning/imf.jsp?site=lightning Alaska lightning map
Local rain and snow may increase the noise level without a lightning accompaniment. USA national Doppler radar helps you identify storm distributions:
http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR71I.loop.shtml Australia: Sydney Doppler radar.
Knowing when sunrise SR and sunset SS happen at each end of a path can tell us intervals of common darkness for time opportunity windows of path reception. http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/usa . A world time map converts local time to UTC. http://www.worldtimezone.com/ A grayline map seasonally shows which end of a nearly N/S path gets SR or SS transition first. http://dx.qsl.net/propagation/greyline.html
The ionosphere is continually changing during the days and nights:
http://www.spacew.com/www/foe.html E-region critical freq contours globally.
http://www.spacew.com/www/fof2.html F2 critical freq contours globally.
SDR web sites can help you monitor 630m/2200m traces in EU, N. America, VK/ZL, etc:
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ This Netherlands web SDR looks promising, but says Java not working with it on my own computer.
Do e-mail us links to convenient SDR web sites for monitoring 630m/2200m in EU, N.America, VK or other regions that are supported with adequate antennas to be seriously useful for these bands.
Space weather and geomagnetic field maps offer tantalizing 630m propagation clues:
http://solarham.net/ Click each visual for more. Kp, Ap, Bz, CME, solar wind, Au, etc. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/station-k-and-indices K and Ap GMF indices.
http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dst_realtime/201511/index.html Kyoto Dst real-time.
http://www.tesis.lebedev.ru/en/sun_flares.html?m=8&d=14&y=2016 Solar flares C, M, X.
Do you frequently use still other web sites to ponder or predict LF/MF propagation and reception? Please offer any such links for posting to this blog!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!