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

Geomagnetic storm conditions finally yielded a propagation bump for many including great trans-Pacific openings; The CF7MM/MM 630-meter maritime adventure story is now in print on VE7SL’s blog; Weirdness with the ‘racing stripe’ at 475. 630 kHz; W5EST presents: ”Visualizing Tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse Where You Live”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 20, 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 main source of noise for the session appears to have been a cluster of very active storms in the central US which hopefully won’t hang around for too long as many people have traveled to that area to watch the eclipse on Monday.    Storms in West Texas and New Mexico created quite a bit of noise during the evening but those have diminished some overnight.  An active cluster is also present in Manitoba moving into western Ontario.  Portions of the Atlantic coast  from Florida to the mid-Atlantic region also either saw storm coverage in the local area or may have been close enough to have been impacted.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions continue to experience surges of the A and K-indices as a coronal hole wreaks havoc.  The Bz is pointing slightly to the South this morning and solar wind velocities peaked near 760 km/s overnight with persistent reporting periods above 700 km/s.  DST values continue to take hits in step with the behavior of the Kp-index.  In spite of the turmoil experienced by the magnetic field, the band was actually pretty good as far as propagation was concerned if one discounts the noise that was present.  Most stations did not experience much of an event onset enhancement.




Steve, VE7SL, chronicled the amazing maritime 630-meter adventure undertaken by Toby, VE7CNF, Mark, VA7MM,  and their XYL’s on his blog.  The fantastic story and details can be read here.

On the same topic, Roger, VE7VV, recounted his QSO’s with CF7MM/MM while the adventure was underway, Indicating that

“It was a lot of fun working them on CW and, when they were close to me, on SSB. That was my first SSB QSO on 630, in fact my first SSB QSO with my little SoftRock RXTX – I had about 15 minutes to figure out how to do SSB and set it up while they were working Steve and calling CQ.”

Roger notes that this was probably the first amateur radio maritime mobile operation on 630-meters and that’s certainly the case in North America.  It was a historically significant event in amateur radio history, that much is certain and needs to be preserved.    Roger also operated a reverse beacon network node and captured the operation’s CQ from the “high seas”:

Reverse Beacon Network report from VE7VV of CF5MM/MM (courtesy VE7VV)


Ken, SWL/EN61, located in Indiana, reported that that “racing stripe” located around  475.630 kHz, has morphed into two discrete signals with wider spacing than the normal, fuzzy blend.  Ken added that the transmissions stopped at 0010z.

Racing stripe split has gotten larger (courtesy SWL/EN61)


Ken reported this morning that the signal was back in its normal form:

Normal Racing stripe from this morning (courtesy SWL/EN61)


Mike, AI8Z / WD2XSH/12, indicated on the 600 meter research group email reflector that he would be transmitting a CW beacon from his Nederland, Colorado QTH (DM79) on 474.8 kHz starting during this session through the eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.  Reports can be sent to this address.

Phil, VE3CIQ, returned to air after some time away.  He provided reports for ten WSPR stations and he received reports from fifteen unique stations.

VE3CIQ session WSPR activity (courtesy VE3CIQ)


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, experienced an amp failure during this session and had to revert to another solution.  He explains:

“I was heard by only 11 this session, including WH2XCR in HI, but I was running much lower power overnight due to my amplifier failing. My power this session was only 1/3w ERP (1/2w EIRP) by using my MF Solutions transverter barefoot.”

He provided reports for eight WSPR stations, including WE2XPQ in AK:

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded ten WSPR stations and he was decoded by 25 unique stations “…as summer conditions gradually merge into autumn. We should have good visibility and be in the 98% total eclipse zone here.”  Doug is located in South Carolina.

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates that noise was high through the session due to nearby thunderstorms that did not otherwise impact his station.  He provided reports for ten WSPR stations and he received reports from 21 unique stations.  John added that most of his reports were in the East.

David, N1DAY / WI2XUF, reported that he provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from nineteen unique stations.  He added that “Last night was night 2 at using the new inductor coil…Yesterday I moved the ends of the tophat wires so they were sloping up instead of down from the highpoint at the center of my antenna.  That gave an extra 15 feet of height going out from the center. It was quite a challenge given my HOA status and having to hide everything in the trees.  It seemed to make a difference in performance as I was spotted by 4 new stations to me last night.  I will continue to study this for a few days.”

Brandy, N1HO, reported “…I did apparently log plenty overnight, including many from WG2XXM (in EM16lj, dx=1322km) and WH2XXC (FM18qi, dx=622km) fairly consistently all night long.”

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


07:22 WH2XCR 0.475618 -26 0 BL11je 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 4287 38
04:20 VE7BDQ 0.475736 -2 0 CN89la 0.5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 147 160
03:48 WG2XSV 0.475754 -22 1 CN85rq 0.5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 232 3
03:40 WG2XXM 0.475716 -26 0 EM15lj 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 2499 311
03:06 WH2XXP 0.475663 -25 0 DM33 50 WI2XJQ CN87ts 1771 337
02:20 WH2XGP 0.475688 -8 0 DN07dg 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 208 286


08:18 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -21 0 CN87ts 5 WB6HYD CM87xi 1159 179
07:42 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -28 0 CN87ts 5 WE2XPQ BP51ip 2287 322
06:36 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -29 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XCR BL11je 4287 239
06:20 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -29 0 CN87ts 5 W7WKR CN97uj 162 104
06:14 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -27 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BPB CN89lg 174 344
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -21 0 CN87ts 5 VE6JY DO33or 944 42
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -16 0 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -4 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BDQ CN89la 147 341
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -7 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475612 +1 0 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -23 0 CN87ts 5 WW6D CM88pl 1034 182
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -19 0 CN87ts 5 VE6XH DO24tc 899 35
05:30 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -13 0 CN87ts 5 WD2XSH/20 CN83 480 186


Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported moderate noise this morning in Florida.  He provided reports for four WSPR stations.

Dave, N4DB, reported that it was a pretty good night for him in Virginia.  He decoded ten WSPR stations including his session best, WH2XXP, at a distance of 3109 km.  He noted that he did not receive any stations in the Pacific Northwest or ZF1EJ for a second night in a row.

Ralph, W0RPK, posted the following statistics on the 600-meter research group reflector for pre-eclipse data gathering:

“During 19Aug17, we had 391 630m WSPR eclipse control reports 15-21z contributed by 12-stations.  All report details are archived for analysis after 23Aug17.

SWL/K9  15-reports  WI2XFI 377km
K8PZ     2-reports  WI2XFI 385km
VE3CIQ   1-report   WG2XKA 291km
KA1LM   20-reports  WG2XKA  33km – WD2XSH/38 95km  (WG2XKA Duplicates deleted)
KF7NP   60-reports  WH2XXP  87km
N7IW    67-reports  WH2XGP 331km – WG2XSV  53km
WG2XSV  26-reports  WH2XGP 279km
WI2XJQ  67-reports  WG2XSV 232km – WH2XGP 208km
VE7BDQ  68-reports  WG2XSV 373km – WH2XGP 315km
W7WKR   35-reports  WH2XGP  46km
WH2XGP  27-reports  WG2XSV 279km
VE6JY    3-reports  WH2XGP 868km”

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding 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 “Storms now moving away at last. Should be better receiving condx tomorrow. The TP season continues apace. At this time last year it was only just beginning.”  He received reports from JA1NQI/2, TNUKJPM, JA3TVF, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, W7IUV, WE2XPQ and WH2XGP.   He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded four WSPR stations and he was decoded by 48 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, ZL2AFP, WH2XCR, ZF1EJ, and five Canadian stations.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 51 unique stations including ZL2AFP, ZL4EI, ZL2BCG, ZL1BPU, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3ALZ, VK3WRE and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from 23 unique stations including ZL2AFP and ZL2BCG.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


I began my activity at 0114z with WSPR at 15% transmit cycle and near 1W-ERP.  I was pleasantly surprised to receive reports quickly from the usual suspects in the East and Midwest.  Band noise was on the increase but I had some receive testing that I wanted to perform under the irregular propagation conditions that we have been experiencing due to the currently geoeffective coronal hole (which should be out of the picture sometime during this next session).  I provided early reports for WH2XXC, who had a nice signal during the early evening near my sunset at 0209z.  We don’t often observe sunset peaks like this one on 630-meters.  Once it was fully dark here around 0330z, I decided to listen to the West overnight in hopes of catching WH2XCR on KH6.  Normally Merv should begin to be heard regularly here back this direction at this time but elevated noise levels have complicated listening and this was no exception.  I did hear Merv this morning on the approach to my sunrise as noise decreased but August band conditions persist.  We need another month and perhaps a transition of the weather pattern, not that I am complaining, because we are going to experience high temperatures in the 80’s F starting in the middle of this week with high rain chance.  As I’ve said before, that just doesn’t happen here in North Texas in August.  The band was definitely open but openings were fickle and they tended to bounce around a bit.  I listened for Mike, WD2XSH/12, located in Colorado on 474.8 kHz CW this morning.  The path is normally a chip-shot from here but Mike was not heard.  Storms in Northwest Texas were present between Mike and my station, so this didn’t help matters.  I am pleased with the band performance for this session and look forward to further improvements.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


South 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 five WSPR stations. He received reports from three unique stations.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Warwick, E51WL, was QRT for this session but he provided late reports for VK5ABN and VK4YB during the previous session. Those report details can be viewed here.

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for five WSPR stations and he received reports from eight unique stations including ZL2BCG. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WH2XCR.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK5ABN. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from 24 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3WRE, VK7TW, ZL1BPU, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“Tomorrow, Monday August 21, is the big day for radio operations during the solar eclipse. Solar eclipse will cross the WH2XCR-WE2XPQ signal path 1600-1700z after Alaska and Hawaii sunrises Monday morning.

For Monday’s solar eclipse, Canadian, continental USA, and Caribbean stations can especially focus on the partial eclipse radio interval 1630z-1915z, August 21. The local times are

9:30 am to 12:15 pm PDT and MST

10:30 am to  1:15 pm MDT

11:30 am to  2:15 pm CDT.  

12:30 pm to  3:15 pm EDT

 1:30 pm to  4:15 pm ADT.  

Peak RF signal intervals will be shorter duration, and timing will depend on their radio path. Consider running your station all day to establish any decodable before/after baseline information too. Subject to your own best station operation judgments, 50% WSPR2 TxPct (transmit percentage) is recommended so RX stations can acquire and upload SNRs representing rapidly evolving propagation dynamics.

During the eclipse, with your station preparations done, the challenge for knob-twiddlers like me is keeping hands off the 630m TX/RX/antenna controls during the solar eclipse run.   Fortunately, the solar eclipse itself offers a welcome opportunity to go outside and use eclipse glasses or pinhole camera or just look at the shapes of eclipsed sun cast on the ground beneath the leaves of a tree.  Perhaps you may take a portable AM or all-band radio outside with you to see if some audible eclipse radio propagation pops through.

If cloud cover prevents you seeing the sun in eclipse tomorrow, here’s a link to an animated USA state-by-state preview how the eclipsed sun shapes may look: http://shadowandsubstance.com/2017/2017e.html    Mere cloud cover with low radio noise in your region will still bring you this rare radio opportunity to see what the 630m mystery band holds in store!

You can “stroll and scroll” down through the states on that web site to see the maximum partial or total eclipses in any state.  Big astronomical pictures await you here too.  Double click on a state for that state’s animation, or just click on that state’s name near the top of the homepage and click play on the state page. That first link page has clickable links for Canada, Puerto Rico, Europe, and one overall for Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, Columbia and Venezuela.

I’ll omit any eclipse-related blog posting tomorrow, eclipse day.  TU & may you and yours enjoy the solar eclipse fully tomorrow!”


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