Noise levels were low in Texas through the evening and WD2XSH/15 near Little Rock, Arkansas began decoding on WSPR here an hour before sunset. What was amazing was that the signal was audible and reporting -15 dB S/N in a 2.8 kHz bandwidth. Normal audible levels in typical noise are around -10 dB S/N in a 500 Hz bandwidth with a few excursions to -12 dB S/N at 500 Hz for a few operators. Perhaps the decoder was being stingy and the signal was better than reported? Its an interesting problem.
Decodes of my signal began shortly after sunset and were consistent through the night. Precipitation noise increased as morning approached and moderate shower activity forced me to receive-only status through the sunrise period.
A number of stations in the East continue to be impacted by thunderstorms as this thirteen hour compilation indicates:
The anticipated geomagnetic storm did not manifest as expected and K-indices, while elevated over the previous session, did not exceed quiet levels. The Bz was North-pointing although solar wind velocities were elevated above 400 km/s. DST was variable over the session:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded three WSPR stations and was decoded by 21 unique stations including WE2XPQ/1 at a distance of 4636 km.
Phil, VE3CIQ, was receive-only through the session due to rain detuning of his antenna. He reports 34 decodes of WG2XXM and one for WG2XIQ.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, was receive-only through the session, listening for WSPR2 and JT9. He indicates that WG2XXM was decoded at -27 dB S/N three minutes after local sunset followed by -24 dB S/N on the following cycle. He reported WG2XIQ starting at 0346z at -31 dB S/N. Neil indicates that he did not have any decodes of JT9 but he decoded WSPR from”…WG2XXM, WI2XJQ, WH2XGP, WG2XIQ, and WH2XCR (40 TIMES!!!).”
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that he “Heard 5, was heard by 16, not a particularly good night.”
Ken, SWL/EN61, in Indiana, reported “Most spots I’ve decoded from XGP in one session in quite a while. Change is on the way I guess.”
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, was decoded here at my station for the first time overnight and he submitted the following statistics and comments on the session:
“I think the band condx were pretty good here from the spots I received. Listed here —
2016-08-17 12:32 WI2XJQ 0.475706 -24 4 CN87ts 5 N6RY DM13id 1681 163
2016-08-17 10:56 WI2XJQ 0.475703 -29 4 CN87ts 5 WG2XIQ EM12 2723 119
2016-08-17 10:56 WI2XJQ 0.475711 -27 4 CN87ts 5 VE4XC EN19ku 1854 73
2016-08-17 07:42 WI2XJQ 0.475713 -7 4 CN87ts 5 VE7CNF CN89ng 171 348
2016-08-17 07:30 WI2XJQ 0.475714 -25 4 CN87ts 5 WE2XPQ/1 BP51ip 2287 322
2016-08-17 04:58 WI2XJQ 0.475716 -25 4 CN87ts 5 NO1D DM34tn 1687 147
2016-08-17 03:34 WI2XJQ 0.475708 -20 3 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
2016-08-17 03:00 WI2XJQ 0.475712 -14 4 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
2016-08-17 03:00 WI2XJQ 0.475714 -15 4 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105
And I improved my RX capabilities by several db last evening with a new receiver. Hear is what I heard —
WSPRnet is not reporting all spots and I’m still getting upload errors — So, we’ll do it this way —
WGXIQ -27, WG2XXM -20, WH2XGP +8,
WG2XSV -.6, WH2XCR -22″
John, VK2XGJ, notes that he has been listening to JT9 and WSPR on 630-meters and WSPR on 160-meters. He decoded WH2XCR six times in the previous session that were not uploaded.
David, VK2DDI, reports quiet conditions in the previous session but thunderstorm warnings were issued for this session. Even so, David decoded WH2XCR during the session. He reports that if he does not decode any DX stations by 1100z, he has been turning off the receiver and that is why his reports cease after that time.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic, trans-African, or trans-Equatorial paths.
In spite of nearby storms in the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, reported WG2XXM and WG2XIQ during the session:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, operated two instances of WSPR as WE2XPQ using WSPRx and WE2XPQ/1 using WSJTx, both using the upper probe. Laurence notes that WSJTx appeared to decode some signals 0-2 dB better than WSPRx on average:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, continues to be decoded to the East by VE4XC. In spite of quiet conditions here, Merv was not heard here in Texas. VK2XGJ, VK2DDI, and VK4YB, also decoded Merv several times during the session:
Jim, W5EST, presents “VIEWPOINT: LET’S TX/RX 630M JT9 MORE THIS SEASON”:
“Today, I venture an opinion in favor of more JT9 this season. Along with WSPR, JT9 is part of WSJT-X: http://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wsjtx-doc/wsjtx-main.html . If you haven’t got JT9 already, download from: http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wsjtx.html . Or exercise the JT9 mode by more fully employing the WSJT-X software you’ve already downloaded for WSPR.
If 630m in USA is going to become a ham band sooner or later, let’s have more QSOs among Part 5 stations and more JT9 reception-readiness among us USA hams who remain 630m receive-only for the time being.
WSPR tells whether you have a path at least one way. For long 630m paths, such as between N. America and Australia, WSPR gives us important 630m information since QSOs are unlikely.
JT9 is a QSO mode, WSPR isn’t. We have the ON4KST reflector to let others know what time of night TX ops intend to be JT9-active. JT9 isn’t the only 630m QSO mode but it’s the most frequently mentioned and used 630m QSO mode, as far as I can tell.
Yes, you have to attend your equipment to use JT9, while WSPR can build a record of 630m receptions while you sleep. But what’s accomplished by repeatedly decoding the same call signs, grids, and frequencies night after night? Haven’t we done that already several seasons now?
If you are a new to 630m, do emphasize WSPR to start with. There’s important 630m propagation work to do with WSPR, and some well-established stations should focus on it too. But not almost everybody, right?
JT9 won’t yield a 630m QSO or even a reception from a given 630m JT9 TX station every night. So: Isn’t that precisely what our experimentation is about—to improve our antennas, equipment, and operating techniques? To build up more and more 630m QSO readiness, demonstrated results and reliability?
What do you think, either way? If you have an opposite opinion, let us know so we can blog the reasons.
On the other hand, if you more good reasons for 630m QSO emphasis than offered above, tell us so we can blog your views too.
Some of us are getting more JT9-oriented already. Bravo! E-mail us with any improvement, technique or tip that promotes more QSOs more of the time, more conveniently!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).