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

Average propagation, including reasonably good trans-Pacific openings in spite of high noise levels in Oceania and parts of North America; W5EST presents: ”Upcoming Solar Eclipse Effects on 630M Propagation”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 18, 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 eastern two-thirds of North America experienced widespread storms as the next frontal system advances.  I’m beginning to wonder whether the central US will be clear for the eclipse on Monday.  Reports suggest that the session was noisy but many of us never made it to air due to storm potential or on going activity.  The West was mostly clear.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are beginning to calm after unsettled-to-storm levels were observed during the previous session.  The Bz is pointing slightly to the South and solar wind velocities are averaging near 550 km/s.  DST values are beginning to come off of lows from the most recent coronal hole.




Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported A mediocre night here in Vancouver WA. Out of only 13 stations decoding me,  these 3 were my TX DX for this session. (I notice that Laurence, WE2XPQ (AK) is missing this time)

…and I heard only these 5 stations: WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XJQ

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that “Summer conditions continue with 23 decoding WH2XZO and only 4 decoded by XZO as we experience our hottest week of summer (low 90’s) with June like storms.”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from fourteen unique stations.


11:58 WH2XCR 0.475618 -21 0 BL11je 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 4287 38
09:28 26XSH 0.475703 -29 0 CN98pi 0.1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 140 243
07:12 WH2XGP 0.475688 +1 0 DN07dg 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 208 286
07:12 WH2XXP 0.475663 -5 0 DM33 50 WI2XJQ CN87ts 1771 337
06:20 WG2XSV 0.475762 -16 0 CN85rq 2 WI2XJQ CN87ts 232 3
15:30 VE7CA 0.475690 -7 0 CN89ki 2 WI2XJQ CN87ts 185 162
14:20 VE7BDQ 0.475736 -2 0 CN89la 0.5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 147 160


13:36 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -6 0 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
13:08 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -14 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XCR BL11je 4287 239
12:52 WI2XJQ 0.475610 +6 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BDQ CN89la 147 341
11:34 WI2XJQ 0.475610 +1 0 CN87ts 5 VE6XH DO24tc 899 35
11:34 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -19 0 CN87ts 5 VE7KPB DN29cm 521 66
11:24 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -21 0 CN87ts 5 WB6HYD CM87xi 1159 179
11:24 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -26 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BPB CN89lg 174 344
11:24 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -16 0 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
11:14 WI2XJQ 0.475610 0 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105
11:14 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -26 0 CN87ts 5 KO6KL CM97kr 1121 174
10:40 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -25 0 CN87ts 5 KU4XR EM75xr 3407 99
05:06 WI2XJQ 0.475611 +16 0 CN87ts 5 AH6EZ CN88 93 328
05:06 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -19 0 CN87ts 5 WW6D CM88pl 1034 182
05:06 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -28 0 CN87ts 5 VE6JY DO33or 944 42


David, N1DAY / WI2XUF, reported “Last night I decoded 7 stations and was received by 18 stations.  I also had one false report generated by the software.  At present I am experimenting with coil dimensions and am going to roll a new one for testing today on an empty bulk wire spool that Lowe’s gave me yesterday.  It turns out that the for is pre-drilled to allow 1/2″ PVC pipe sections to be fit right into it to create the frame on which the wire can be wound.”

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, provided reports for seven WSPR stations this morning through moderate noise.  Al indicates that he surprisingly decoded WH2XCR.

Ken, SWL/K9, located in Indiana reports that he was performing a “630m indoor loop stick test. Heard 7 stations, 13 decodes of XGP best -16db, XXP @ -6db.”

Ralph, W0RPK, posted the following baseline pre-eclipse statistics on the 600-meter research group email reflector:

“630m WSPR Eclipse test data for 17Aug17:

KJ6MKI  19-reports    All for WH2XND 1089km
KF7NP   55-reports    All for WH2XXP   87km
WG2XSV  12-reports    All for WH2XGP  279km
WH2XGP  39-reports    WG2XSV 279km – VE7CA 343km – VE7BDQ 315km
WI2XJQ  57-reports    WG2XSV 232km – WH2XGP 208km – VE7CA 185km – VE7BDQ 147km
VE7BDQ  30-reports    VE7CA 38km – WG2XSV 373km – WH2XGP 315km
VE7CA    8-reports    VE7BDQ 38km – WG2XSV 410km – WH2XGP 343km

Totals: 220-reports from 7-stations

All of these stations were near the west coast.  There were no reports for transmitting stations east of Arizona.

630m WSPR transmit and receive stations are invited to participate 19-23Aug17 15-21z.”


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 large area of storms persist in the Tasman sea. Nevertheless WH2XCR came in at -10dB and WH2XXP at -11dB. My best reports were -16dB from WH2XGP and -20dB from WE2XPQ.”  Roger received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, VE6XH, VE6JY, VE7BDQ, E51WL,  W7IUV, WE2XPQ and WH2XGP.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 52 unique stations including E51WL, ZL1BPU, ZL2AFP, ZL4EI, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK7TW, VK5ABN and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from 34 unique stations including ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eight WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


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 nine unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


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

E51WL 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicated fair conditions likely due to the effects of the G1 storm.  He provided reports for three WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from two unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.   DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for seven WSPR stations including VK3HP. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  Merv received reports from 21 unique stations including E51WL, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK5AKK, VK5ABN, VK7TW, ZL1BPU, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“As you know, all week this 630m blog has run information about Monday’s solar eclipse. It will cross the USA from Oregon to South Carolina. General media outlets are encouraging general awareness of the upcoming visual eclipse and eye safety. In the astronomy world, MF eclipse effects on AM radio have even been discussed in Sky and Telescope recently:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/2017-total-solar-eclipse/how-to-hear-the-solar-eclipse/ .   Scroll halfway, and there you can see a 1999 satellite photo of the shadow on the atmosphere that can be likened to a fast-moving bulls-eye.  (Thanks, Ken SWL/K9, for the link.)

Speaking of AM radio, I’m planning to use my indoor antenna and SDR with a 50 Hz bandpass centered on 700.000 KHz in the eclipsed daytime. I’ll feed WSJT-X “Echo mode” to rapidly sample WLW 700 Cincinnati carrier at 3 second intervals. ARGO QRSS30 and QRSS120 modes in parallel will image that 50KW carrier.  WLW’s 430m wave should probe the eclipse totality shadow over southern Illinois on the 843 km way here to Arkansas.  Weather noise permitting, of course!  http://www.weather.gov/eclipse/  The rapid-sample 430m SNRs can supplement the more important 630m WSPR SNRs most people in this group are preparing to develop with far better antennas.

630m propagation simulation of Monday’s solar eclipse comprises another eclipse-related project here at W5EST. I’ll describe this simulation project on another blog day. See simulated SNR graphs for WG2XXM-w6yq/swlk9/wh2xzo delivered by the simulation at:  http://njdtechnologies.net/060217/   This Monday, the 630m mystery band will itself tell how much the simulation’s math model needs to be revised!  Compare with the CEDAR HF study by hams reported at: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2017-08-03 (scroll 1/3)

Hams in EU/UK had solar eclipse center stage in 1999 and 2015. Now the drama comes to North America in 2017 (and 2024 too!).  What was learned in 1999 and 2015?  I’ll express it journalistically:

MARCH 20, 2015 SOLAR ECLIPSE Netherlands’ PA0A 2w sent 630m WSPR every other 2 minutes 705km into GM3YXM. There to Scotland came a W-shaped PA0A SNR sequence of [-2, -2, -2, -2, -4, -4, +1, -4, -1, -1, -2, -2] in the time interval 0918-1002Z. Solar eclipse maximum occurred in Glasgow 0934Z and Amsterdam 0938Z. http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/uk/glasgow 

So, 0936Z was the time of the solar eclipse maximum at the single-hop midpath center point over the North Sea.  At points either side of midpath, single-hop PA0A signal penetrated the D-layer on ascent and descent.

The SNR peak +1dB of PA0A WSPR SNR at GM3YXM occurred in the 0942Z time slot, about 6 minutes later than 0936.   No change in PA0A frequency 475.718 registered at either GM3YXM or G3XKR.

G3XKR at 763km in north Devon in SW England also decoded a W-shaped PA0A SNR sequence of [-12, -12, -11, -13, -13, -15, -9, -14, -14, -13, -11, -12, -11,-15, -19, -11, -10] between 0914-0946z. Solar eclipse maximum occurred in Plymouth 0925Z and Amsterdam 0938Z.

Solar eclipse maximum 0932Z at the PA0A/G3XKR single-hop midpath compares closely with the 0930z  SNR peak -9dB of PA0A WSPR SNR at G3XKR.   Northern Scotland saw 96% eclipse maximum compared to 83% in southern England http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-31906556  Eclipse was 90% at path midpoint in the North Sea. Path midpoint was displaced over 400km east away from nearest approach by the eclipse track of totality in the North Atlantic.

Similar 2-6dB-high W-shapes were observed during a 1999 solar eclipse involving 5-minute moving average signal at 75KHz and 183KHz LF. These were reported for one TX station and 4 RX stations at comparable 470-762km distances. See PA3BSH (2001) http://misan.home.xs4all.nl/eclipse.htm   (scroll 20% for observations, scroll half-way for simulation).

In my opinion, physical symmetry of the moving E-region’s upside-down reflective saucer for the RF signal path produced time-symmetric sequencing of SNRs.  The “W” shape gets its flanking minimum SNRs when the RF meets a phase-interfering mixture of vertical and lateral tilt. The SNR peak enjoys less phase self-interference, I think. The evidence: PA0A signal peaked when solar eclipse darkness maxed at the RF midpath on PA0A’s way to G3XKR in 2015.

Regarding the SNR “W”, what will happen in North America this Monday, August 21, 2017?  I expect a longer-duration “W” with stronger peak relative to the flanking minima than in 2015.  For single-hop paths having their reflection point off to one side of the eclipse track, I think the “W” will be more like 2015 or not appear at all.  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/downloadables

630m stations straddling the eclipse track at a few hundred kilometers either side are likely to especially enjoy an eclipse-boost to their signals. Get active!  Based on the ’99 and 2015 radio experience, some SNR boost may benefit even stations who are both located only on one side of the eclipse track.  But I’d expect significantly higher SNR boosts for the straddling station pairs.  Why? Not so much because of the midpath reflection being near totality, but because the D-region crossings both lie not far from totality.

TU & GL during Monday’s solar eclipse!”

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