I might be a little biased since I was QRT for a few days waiting for storms to clear enough to safely get back on the air but its hard to call this anything but a good, solid session. Reports into the Midwest and Northeast came early from my station and reports were generally consistent with JT9 QSO levels. As the session progressed a number of reports reached CW-levels. I opted out of any early morning activity as I was up late monitoring the system stability as the antenna field dried out.
The lightning summary suggests a very large area of storms in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Somehow WD0AKX made a valiant effort of receiving in the later evening through this storm system. Based on the quality of reports, its my feeling that the transcontinental path was open but I suspect the noise in those directions was too prolific to hear weak signals on the other side. The West and Northwest were the quietest regions for me as I steered receive antennas around useful azimuths:
Geomagnetic conditions were quiet and relatively stable. The Bz was at unity or pointing slightly to the North and solar wind velocities averaged 345 km/s. DST values were variable:
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, shared two-way reports with VK4YB at similar times which might be conducive to a JT9 QSO in the future. Larry also reports that he decoded seven WSPR stations and was decoded by eighteen unique stations. He notes that he was listening on the probe last night and laments not using the west-pointing flag.
Phil, VK3ELV, reports that he also has been decoding Larry over the previous few nights but due to Internet problems has been unable to upload those reports. He is also decoding WH2XCR most nights. He indicates that other VK’s are also having upload problems. Its unclear whether these problems are related to the recent DoS attack on the WSPRnet server. At this time WSPRnet appears to be functioning nominally in North America so hopefully this Internet problem is something else and will fix itself soon.
Ken. K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded three WSPR stations and was decoded by 27 unique stations including WE2XPQ/1.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, added another receiver to the shack and provided these statistics:
“All is well, IC-735 is receiving well, and I am running WSJT-x in the WSPR mode. At this point I can’t run JT9 because I don’t have the right serial interface for my split radios. But WSPR seems to work well.”
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was transmitting again, having a successful session and hearing very well overnight:
“WG2XKA was spotted by ten stations and heard five under very noisy
conditions. I operated at the 100W TPO level as there was a threat of
overnight rain squalls. Two new-to-me stations, W8MQW and WD4ELG
Phil, VE3CIQ, reports a similar session to WG2XKA and notes new call signs on the air:
“I see some new call signs ion the map, thank you for your reports. Band conditions seem pretty good in the east, with a bit of static heard in the speaker. decoded 4 stations, and was decoded by 10.”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports a big, albeit hot, session from the Pacific Northwest:
David, G0MRF, reports that he was encouraged by W5EST’s recent discussion on using JT9 and is working to implement his new “2Xf” amplifier (amplifier requiring an input signal at twice the frequency of the output) with JT9 and he hopes to do it without tying up a transceiver and transverter. He is currently evaluating one of the development releases of WSJT-x and hopes to have something working by one of the upcoming European activity weekends this coming season.
Jeff, VE3EFF, has upgraded to 75-watt TPO. Thanks to Phil, VE3CIQ, for this update.
There were a number of new receiving stations during this session, including W8MQW and K6RRR, both of which were successful at receiving stations during the session. AE5WW and KT9O were both present and listening but both were reporting the old frequency of 503.9 kHz which is the default for the WSPR2.0 and 2.11 software distributed on Joe Taylor’s website. The software developers have been asked to update these defaults but so far that has not happened. Newer versions are correct. I have made attempts to find email addresses for these two stations but have so far been unsuccessful but have one more lead to follow up on. It is my plan to create an FAQ and place a link on the front page of this site sometime this weekend.
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, reports that the “Lake probe moved to tree on Eastern fringes of Kingdom – darn underground dog fence harmonics N x 8kHz much louder here – Ill run it and see how it performs against “AcesHigh”probe.” Laurence indicated yesterday that it took him three years to find the high clear “AcesHigh” probe location. He was “receive-only” during this session and provided the following additional comments:
“I was running 4 instances last night to check decoders and the move around the block probe ensuring I have the best sweet spot – no changes to-date my high probe relatively close to the lake still has it to date.”
Laurence also noted a bit of drift on a few stations during the session:
Laurence also sent an aerial photo annotated with receive antenna locations:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, has either raised his receive dipole off the ground just a bit or VK4YB is just that strong as he was received during this session. VE4XC continues to do a good job in spite of very noisy storms South of him, across the border in the US. Merv’s signal was also very strong in Australia, with reports from the usual suspects including VK5ABN and VK3ELV, who noted previously that Internet problems are prohibiting him for uploading spots but Merv has been arriving in VK3 consistently.
Jim, W5EST, presents “630M-RELEVANT ARTICLES IN SEPTEMBER QST”:
“Express your support for QST articles like the ones I brief today. Log into your ARRL member account http://www.arrl.org/users/login (Username is not case-sensitive. Your password is case-sensitive.) Paste this URL http://www.arrl.org/cover-plaque-poll into your browser’s URL field while logged in; then press “Enter” on your keyboard to go to the poll. Vote there by clicking on the button for your favorite article on the list, and then click SUBMIT at bottom of page.
Roger G3XBM’s “A Simple Low-Power Transverter for 472-479 kHz,” QST 9/2016:32-35, develops 10-15 watts FET TPO and 50 milliwatts ERP. This outboard transverter resides on a palm-sized circuit board to enable 630m WSPR, digimodes and CW.
An FT-817* or other transceiver drives the transverter unit with 0.5 watts at 3.675 MHz. 630m output from the transverter is fed to an external 2nd harmonic rejection LPF, tapped ferrite transformer ATU, and 475 kHz TX antenna.
The example transceiver has a single antenna coax connector and can split-mode receive 475 kHz. The transverter includes an auxiliary 630m series resonant circuit associated with transverter. When not transmitting, the transverter PA output filter gets coupled by the series resonant circuit back to the transverter’s input and back to the transceiver. That way, the series resonant circuit bypasses receivable 630m signals around the transverter’s active devices and conveys the signals to the transceiver.
If separate TX and RX antennas are used, I surmise that a user provides some T/R box not shown to connect the 475 kHz RX antenna directly to the transceiver. In that scenario the internal series-resonant bypass circuit could be omitted.
600 Meter Experiment (non-votable QST note)
That QST issue’s pp. 79-80 reports 202,400+ hours of operation with zero interference complaints in 465-515 kHz band. Experiment coordinator Fritz Raab’s 3/1-5/31/16 report was released July 3. Rudy Severns N6LF and John Langridge KB5NJD were mentioned. In the report period, WD2XSH had 16 contacts on 630m for a running total of 578.
Loop antenna preamplifiers
QST also at pp. 36-38 carries Christoph DK6ED’s “Activate Your Loop Receiving Antenna,” oriented to low bands. Ops may find this thought-provoking for 630m too. Antennas like EWE, K9AY, flags, and DK6ED Double Loop can have high impedance that’s tough to match to 50Ω without degrading system noise figure, he advises. Christoph’s Figure 4 circuit replaces the usual step down transformer at the antenna with a push-pull common source RF preamp having two, easily obtained N-channel FETs delivering positive dB gain instead.
* Yaesu’s FT817ND manual can be viewed at: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwiH5b-xn8vOAhXB6yYKHZvtCJYQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yaesu.co.uk%2Ffiles%2FFT-817ND_Operating%2520Manual.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEpGjHnTXCFn5o5Wmi-VqpMFgyVig&bvm=bv.129759880,d.eWE “
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).