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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Relatively good propagation and band conditions through the session in areas free of thunderstorms

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

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:

Lightning 081716


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:

planetary-k-index 081716


Kyoto DST 081716


Australia 081716


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:

NA 081716

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 081716

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 081716

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 081716

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


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:

ZF1EJ 081716

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


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:

WE2XPQ 081716

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ1 081716

WE2XPQ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


WG2XXM WE2XPQ1 081716

WG2XXM, as reported by WE2XPQ/1


WG2XXM WE2XPQ 081716

WG2XXM, as reported by WE2XPQ


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:

WH2XCR 081716

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR VK2DDI 081716

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2DDI


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 081716

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCR VK4YB 081716

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


WH2XCR VE4XC 081716

WH2XCR, as reported by VE4XC



“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).