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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

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

Improved trans-Pacific openings result in first reports of VK4YB at WG2XSV since the Spring; Noise remains high for a large number of stations worldwide; Geomagnetic conditions are forecast to change again; W5EST presents: ”The 8/21/17 Solar Eclipse in Pacific Northwest of N. America”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 16, 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.

The central US is once again very hot with lightning activity.  Parts of the Atlantic and Gulf coast region are also experiencing storms and a number of evening storms in New England have since subsided.  Central Canada also continues to experience a spotty, on-going system that is generating lighting.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are quiet ahead of forecast storm levels that are possible over the next 48 to 72-hours according to Solarham. The Bz has been pointing to the North through much of the session but is currently pointing slightly to the South this morning.  Protons are elevated to moderate levels, currently at 10 protons/cc while solar wind velocities are currently in the low category, averaging near 360 km/s. DST values have generally been at or above the center line at positive levels.




Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded five WSPR stations through very noise band conditions which improved after midnight.  Her received reports from 26 unique stations and indicates that wet conditions resulted in a 2:1 SWR and reduced TPO (approximately 35-watts).

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported a recent corruption to his system that required a software reload after an unattended system update.  If you are experiencing problems, you may save a lot of time in troubleshooting by performing a reinstall.  Saving the .ini files from the appropriate directories can help with recovery as well.  Rick was back for this session and he  provided reports for eight WSPR stations.  He received reports from seventeen unique stations.

11:58  VE7CA  0.475690  -12  0  CN89ki  1  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  185  162
11:00 10:58  26XSH  0.475703  -26  0  CN98pi  0.1  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  140  243
08:26  WG2XSV  0.475760  -18  0  CN85rq  2  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  232  3
08:20  WH2XCR  0.475618  -28  0  BL11je  1  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  4287  38
08:00  VE7BDQ  0.475736  -4  0  CN89la  0.5  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  147  160
07:54  WE2XPQ  0.475796  -29  0  BP51ip  10  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  2287  120
07:18  WH2XXP  0.475663  0  0  DM33  50  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  1771  337
03:32  WH2XGP  0.475688  -10  0  DN07dg  5  WI2XJQ  CN87ts  208 286

12:08 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -18 0 CN87ts 5 WE2XPQ BP51ip 2287 322
11:50 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -6 0 CN87ts 5 N6GN CM88oj 1043 182
11:50 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -8 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XCR BL11je 4287 239
10:24 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -18 0 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
09:42 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -13 0 CN87ts 5 N6SKM CM97bq 1122 178
09:26 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -25 0 CN87ts 5 N7IW CN85mh 277 189
09:06 WI2XJQ 0.475608 -11 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BDQ CN89la 147 341
08:56 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -27 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BPB CN89lg 174 344
08:40 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -29 0 CN87ts 5 KO6KL CM97kr 1121 174
08:30 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -14 0 CN87ts 5 WW6D CM88pl 1034 182
08:18 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -5 0 CN87ts 5 VE6XH DO24tc 899 35
08:18 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -27 0 CN87ts 5 W7WKR CN97uj 162 104
07:50 WI2XJQ 0.475611 +7 0 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
07:50 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -1 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105
07:50 WI2XJQ 0.475610 +16 0 CN87ts 5 AH6EZ CN88 93 328
07:34 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -8 0 CN87ts 5 VE6JY DO33or 944 42
04:26 WI2XJQ 0.475733 -22 0 CN87ts 5 N7DTP CN87vw 22 34


Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, provided reports for eight WSPR stations through moderate noise during his morning listening session.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded ten WSPR stations overnight, including WH2XGP as his session best at 0636z and -16 dB S/N.  Mike also reported WH2XXP, ZF1EJ, WG2XIQ, WD2XSH/15, WI2XSV, WH2XZO, WI2XUF, WH2XXC, and WH2XFI.

Dave, N4DB, was surprised to report that he decoded nine WSPR stations through high noise.  His best DX for the session was WH2XGP at -28 dB S/N in DN07dg.

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding E51, KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, submitted this link detailing DX -> JA decode totals and DX -> JA S/N peaks for the session, as reported on the Japanese language 472 kHz website.

Roger, VK4YB, reported that a “Massive arc of storms in the Tasman all but killed receive opportunities in VK. Only WH2XGP, WH2XXP and WH2XCR made it through the QRN.  Propagation was excellent, best session in this season so far. In fact, if it hasn’t already been done, I would be as bold as to declare the season open.  That’s not to say we will not get some dud days ahead, but I predict that openings from VK/ZL to the East coast of USA will occur repeatedly and I also expect some 2xCW TP QSOs.  Exciting times ahead.”  Roger received reports from E51WL, 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, JH1INM, TNUKJPM, N6GN, N6SKM, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, W7IUV, WE2XPQ, WH2XGP,  and WG2XSV. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, experienced a great session.  He reports that “Conditions improved here this session. I had 18 stations spot my WSPR, so maybe participation was up a bit.  As for reception, I caught Roger’s beacon [VK4YB] twice this morning, but just barely….

(that is my first capture of YB since this past spring) I received these 9 stations: VE7BDQ, VE7CA, VK4YB, WE2XPQ, WG2XIQ, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XJQ”

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from fifty unique stations including E51WL and VK4YB.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for ten WSPR stations and he received reports from 37 unique stations including E51WL.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


My first transmission of the session was 0214z with WSPR2.  Noise levels were high and while I considered a few calls on CW, I suspect it would have been an exercise in futility for this time of year without a sked lined up.  I will return to CW calls in September.  WSPR reports were typical, with initial reports from the upper Midwest and filling in to all point in between.  No surprises.  I QRT’ed at 1020z to tune 160-meter CW for DX.  My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR 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, provided reports for four WSPR stations. He received reports from twelve unique stations including WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Warwick, E51WL, provided reports for five WSPR stations by 1500z. Those report details, excluding WH2XCR, can be viewed here.

E51WL 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that it was “better down to Oz last night.”  He provided reports for eight WSPR stations including VK4YB.  He received reports from fourteen unique stations. He shared two-way reports with VE7BDQ, VE7CA, WH2XCR, WG2XSV, WH2XGP, and WI2XJQ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for ten WSPR stations including ZF1EJ. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from twenty unique stations including E51WL, VK2XGJ, VK5ABN, VK5AKK, VK7TW and ZL4EI.   Merv’s reports of VK4YB extended until well after sunrise in Hawaii.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“As you know, next Monday’s solar eclipse offers us a 630m radio opportunity: the eclipsed MF/LF/HF ionosphere. There, the shadow of the hurtling Moon will scan North America’s RF absorbing and reflecting ionosphere regions.

Beneath the brilliant Sun, the Earth’s Moon hurtles along in its orbit some quarter million miles from us. The moving Moon casts its shadow onto the North American continent this Monday, August  21, just five days from now.  With 3-4 times the speed of a Passenger jet, the shadow of the Moon will itself speed from Oregon to South Carolina and out to sea.

On a NASA web site, click the play button of its initial USA map to animate solar eclipse bulls-eye ovals:  https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4314 .  Then for visual reference, scroll halfway down to another map where it will animate partial solar eclipse crescents.

Some scientists have prepared for years for this August’s “Great American Solar Eclipse.” MF/LF amateurs and experimenters need only keep their nighttime-active TX or RX equipment running all morning next Monday in the Pacific Northwest. For MF/LF folks in middle North America and East Coast the local time to run radios for the eclipse would run through about noon to mid-afternoon .  We in our own homes have a special privilege – to experience the eclipsed MF/LF/HF ionosphere as the lunar shadow scans the radio absorbing and reflecting regions in the upper atmosphere.

Your WSPR decoder can generate numerical information to plumb the 630m mystery band.  If you’re new to 630m reception, download WSJT-X and use WSPR mode: https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html   Set your RX dial for 474.2 KHz and select 474.2 KHz for the WSPR decoder.  A tall vertical or inverted-L receiving antenna located outdoors away from local noise sources can do fine for receiving 630m.  Click the WSPR decoder’s Upload check box (far lower right of decoder display) to send the received information to the WSPR central database.  Receive 630m WSPR for a few days beforehand and then during this Monday’s solar eclipse!

After the solar eclipse, we can access the WSPR central database and convert your SNR information to graphical form. As you may already know, a 630m solar eclipse simulation here at W5EST is ready to compare with your decoded SNRs. http://njdtechnologies.net/052217/ 

Today, let’s focus on the Pacific Northwest.  I’d suggest West Coast and Pacific Northwest stations activate at least from 9:00 a.m. PDT (1600z)  to 12:30 p.m. PDT (1930z) to capture as much eclipse information as possible.

If you live in PNW and happen to be using a rotatable loop RX antenna, then for that 8/21/17 eclipse run please consider setting it to favor NNW/SSE during the entire reception period. A south-southeast heading (~158°) for a bidirectional loop should be a reasonable compromise for receiving other PNW-CA stations and then later give opportunities for stations in the Rocky Mountain West, Southwest and Midwest if eclipse radio propagation permits.  If you use another heading or change the rotatable loop heading significantly, please log the loop headings and times.

The 630m band will challenge us: Ordinary daytime SNR variations can range around 6-10dB even around solar noon. http://njdtechnologies.net/022217/  Regional storms will degrade and even prevent reception or transmission by some 630m stations.  With what clues we can find, we 630m detectives can try to reveal some of the mysteries notwithstanding.   By how much time will the actual SNR peak for the path lead or lag the predicted peak from simulation?  How strong in dB will an actual eclipsed-enhanced SNR peak rise up, compared to nighttime on that path?  Will there indeed occur multiple 630m SNR troughs or SNR peaks around eclipse maximum, and if so how can we explain them?

Consider a Pacific Northwest (PNW) radio path 927 km between WI2XBQ in northern California and VE7BDQ in SW British Columbia.  The WSPR central database tells us peak SNR for 1w  XBQ-ve7bdq was +8dB once out of three days  reported activity on this path.  0.5w VE7BDQ-xbq peaked -4dB on one day of activity the last two weeks.  Neither station reported any daytime decodes.


Will the solar eclipse this Monday give XBQ and VE7BDQ a daytime path–on the 21st day of this summer month of August? An eclipse timing map tells us that these two stations WI2XBQ and VE7BDQ will each experience 87% partial eclipse.  Their ascending and descending RF crossings in the D-region should enjoy 95% eclipse. WI2XBQ and VE7BDQ each lie about equidistant in their geographic positions from the track of totality.  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/downloadables  (Scroll 10% and click big blue download button.) Totality will cross the Salem-Corvallis OR radio midpath about 10:17 a.m. PDT.  That’s 1717z.

TU & GL to all stations, on the West Coast and in Pacific Northwest especially, on August 21!”

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