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Surprise! Kp reached 6 this morning but trans-Pacific and many domestic openings were OK but QRN was high; W5EST presents: ”Solar Eclipse: 630m WSPR Results”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 22, 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 Midwest and upper Midwest into Ontario was a focal point for storms and noise production.  The Caribbean and Desert Southwest also experienced quite a bit of activity during the evening and overnight.  Storms generally didn’t dissipate or even decrease in magnitude overnight in many areas and noise conditions here in North Texas this morning was very similar to noise conditions through the evening.

11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Just when you thought geomagnetic conditions were on the mend – Surprise!  The Kp reached 6 overnight, followed by a period of Kp = 5.  I’ve not seen any details yet as to the cause as the coronal hole that elevated geomagnetic activity this past weekend is  no longer geoeffective. The Bz is currently pointing to the North this morning and solar wind velocities are about where they were yesterday at this time, averaging near 580 km/s.   DST values decreased significantly which should be no surprise.  Domestic propagation appeared to be enhanced during this session but it remains to be seen whether we get a significant bump in trans-Pacific openings as the morning progresses.  I suspect propagation will be at least as good as it was in the previous session for many but that may be proven wrong by the last reports of this session.

 

 

 

Yesterday was the “Great American Eclipse” which I fully believe was over-hyped.  I’ve heard several reports of regret from friends that drove 10-hours to a region of “totality” who were underwhelmed by the brief period of twilight.  Those which were under clouds and storms seemed a bit more optimistic, remarkably enough.  As far as radio reports are concerned, I will do my best to convey what was reported either by email or comments in the ON4KST chat but I am really going to rely on forthcoming analysis from various “propagation guys” to really break down the numbers.  I am trying to stick to presentation as much as possible.

Phil, VE3CIQ, reported that his best transmit DX for the session was VE4XC at a distance of 1600 km.  His best receive DX was WH2XXP at a distance of 3400 km followed by WH2XGP at a distance of 3300 km.

VE3CIQ session WSPR activity (courtesy VE3CIQ)

 

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, submitted comments and statistics for his eclipse operation which has been archived as a transcript here.  Neil received reports from  fifteen WSPR stations including WE2XPQ and WH2XCR.  He provided reports for nine unique stations including VE7CA, WE2XPQ, WG2XIQ, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XBQ, and WI2XJQ.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that near totality in South Carolina during the eclipse, he decoded WH2XXC at a distance of 612 km.  Doug indicated that overnight band conditions were fair.  He decoded five WSPR stations and he received reports from 22 unique stations using his temporary T-antenna and 43-watts TPO which Doug indicates is reduced due to high SWR.

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported that he provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from 23 unique stations on a night that he indicates was not as good as last session.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from sixteen unique stations.  Unique report details for the evening and overnight period follow:

Receive

09:00 WE2XPQ 0.475796 -30 0 BP51ip 10 WI2XJQ CN87ts 2287 120
07:14 WH2XCR 0.475618 -27 0 BL11je 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 4287 38
05:50 WG2XXM 0.475717 -26 0 EM15lj 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 2499 311
04:32 WG2XSV 0.475772 -29 0 CN85rq 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 232 3
03:32 VE7CA 0.475682 -9 0 CN89ki 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 185 162
03:30 WH2XGP 0.475689 -6 0 DN07dg 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 208 286
03:28 WI2XBQ 0.475633 -23 0 CN70vr 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 796 10
03:24 WH2XXP 0.475663 -13 0 DM33 50 WI2XJQ CN87ts 1771 337

Transmit

09:44 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -28 0 CN87ts 5 VE4XC EN19 1863 75
09:02 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -23 0 CN87ts 5 WE2XPQ BP51ip 2287 322
08:06 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -29 0 CN87ts 5 W7WKR CN97uj 162 104
06:06 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -24 0 CN87ts 5 KO6KL CM97kr 1121 174
06:06 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -1 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BDQ CN89la 147 341
05:44 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -30 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BPB CN89lg 174 344
05:24 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -24 0 CN87ts 5 WB6HYD CM87xi 1159 179
05:24 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -26 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XCR BL11je 4287 239
05:10 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -5 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105
05:10 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -5 0 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -22 0 CN87ts 5 WW6D CM88pl 1034 182
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -26 0 CN87ts 5 KK6EEW CM88on 1024 182
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -9 0 CN87ts 5 WD2XSH/20 CN83 480 186
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -22 0 CN87ts 5 VE6JY DO33or 944 42
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475610 -24 0 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
05:02 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -22 0 CN87ts 5 VE6XH DO24tc 899 35

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, indicated moderate noise during his brief listening session this morning.  He provided reports for six WSPR stations.

Mike, WA3TTS, indicated that during maximum coverage in Pittsburgh, he had no copy on “…XXM, XFI and XXC about usual for daylight.”  He reported that overnight noise was moderate to high, with a baseline S7 often observed.  Mike decoded nine WSPR stations using the southwestern EWE antenna and had “only 2 xgp decodes in -18 and -20 snr range.”

Dave, N4DB, indicated that he reported WH2XXC ten times during the eclipse, with his maximum coverage at 1741z.  Dave reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations overnight with two stations in excess of 3000 km distant from his QTH in Virginia.  His best DX for the session was WH2XGP at 0954Z with a distance of 3489 km.

John, VE3EAR, submitted this three-hour transcript of WSPR reports from his station in Ontario.

Ralph, W0RPK,  reported the following on the 600meter research group email reflector:

“On 21Aug17 during the eclipse 15-21z a total of 929-reports were posted by 34-stations.  630m WSPR control data will be collected for two more days, 22-23Aug17, and then analysis of eclipse reports vs. control reports will begin.

Our MF WSPR maps on 21Aug17 included station activity that was not on 630m (reports not included below or in the analysis archive). Multiple reporting stations included multiple reports for the same received stations for the same WSPR sequences (duplicates were deleted and not included below or in the analysis archive).  Raw 630m WSPR eclipse and control archive data is available upon request for anyone to analyze.

KD4HSO     4-reports  WG2XXM  448km
WG2XXM     5-reports  WG2XIQ  306km
W0AIR     29-reports  WG2XXM  895km
WG2XIQ    10-reports  WG2XXM  324km
AH6EZ     33-reports  WH2XGP  283km – WI2XJQ  93km – VE7BDQ 60km
KK4XO      9-reports  WI2XQU  182km – WH2XZO 150km
WH2XZO    23-reports  WH2XXC  612km – WI2XQU  32km
W4IOE     39-reports  WH2XZO   52km – WI2XQO  20km
N1HO      42-reports  WH2XZO   95km – WI2XQO  65km
WI2XQU    11-reports  WH2XXC  654km – WH2XZO  95km
K9SLQ     17-reports  WI2XFI  205km
WG2XJM    30-reports  WI2XFI  285km
WA3TTS    43-reports  WH2XXC  382km – WI2XFI 243km
VE3CIQ    31-reports  WG2XKA  291km
KA1LM     75-reports  WH2XXC  691km – VE3CIQ 269km – WG2XKA 33km
WG2XKA    18-reports  VE3CIQ  291km
N3FL      19-reports  WH2XXC   80km
WM3M      31-reports  WH2XXC  111km
WS3W      24-reports  WH2XXC  104km
N4TVC     10-reports  WH2XXC   74km
N4DB      17-reports  WH2XXC  227km
W0RPK     29-reports  WH2XXC  317km
KF7NP     55-reports  WH2XXP   87km
KK6EEW    15-reports  WI2XBQ  270km
WI2XBQ     2-reports  WH2XGP  811km
WD2XSH/20 47-reports  VE7BDQ  616km – WH2XGP 495km – WI2XJQ 480km – WI2XBQ 321km – WG2XSV 249km
WG2XSV    20-reports  VE7BDQ  373km – WH2XGP 279km – WI2XJQ 232km
WH2XGP    69-reports  WH2XXP 1633km – WI2XBQ 811km – VE7BDQ 315km – WG2XSV 279km – WI2XJQ 208km
W7WKR     32-reports  WH2XGP   46km
WI2XJQ    47-reports  WH2XGP  208km – VE7BDQ 147km
W7ACM     48-reports  WH2XGP  202km – VE7BDQ 135km – WI2XJQ 22km
VE7AB     24-reports  WH2XGP  299km – WI2XJQ 104km – VE7BDQ 63km
VE7BDQ    16-reports  WH2XGP  315km – WI2XJQ 147km
VE6JY      5-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 “QRN has returned somewhat. Pacific map looks very busy again. There are a few strange callsigns. I haven’t seen VKDB before and F94LWI is in VK3 not Antarctica as claimed.”  Roger received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, TNUKJPM, W7IUV, VE7BDQ, WE2XPQ and WH2XGP. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

John, VK2XGJ, reported that his sunset was at 0729z and in spite of recent high noise, he provided a few early reports:

VK2XGJ reports near his sunset and in noise (courtesy VK2XGJ)

 

Edgar, EJTSWL, located in Tasmania, experienced similar results to VK2XGJ but only slightly later:

0720  -30   3.5    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0826  -30   3.8    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0830  -31   3.9    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0834  -29   3.6    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0842  -29   4.4    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0852  -33   3.9    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0854  -29   1.1    0.475619    0   WH2XCR        BL11     30   9130
0854  -30   1.0    0.475664    0   WH2XXP        DM33     47  13180
0906  -32   1.1    0.475664    0   WH2XXP        DM33     47  13180
0912  -22   0.6    0.475664    0   WH2XXP        DM33     47  13180
0916  -29   1.3    0.475619    0   WH2XCR        BL11     30   9130
0916  -29   4.2    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0920  -28   4.0    0.475708    0   ZL1EE         RF72     20   2426
0922  -25   0.7    0.475619    0   WH2XCR        BL11     30   9130

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, received reports from twenty unique stations including ZL2AFP and VK4YB.  Joe also provided the following summary comments about enhancements during the eclipse from northern California:

“…My last spot from KK6EEW was @ 14:22 -22, Then @ 17:16 -25.  Last spot from WH2XGP was @ 13:00 -20 then @ 17:22 -29.  Last spot from WD2XSH/20 was @13:50 -23, then @ 17:22 -22. 17:18 was the peak of eclipse here. Stations that spotted me were all N-S of my QTH.  For all three stations reporting there was a gap of at least 3 hours between the last “normal” spot and the ones during the eclipse.”

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported no changes during the eclipse period in spite of 85% coverage in central Oklahoma.  He provided reports for three WSPR stations and he received reports from 44 unique stations including WH2XCR, ZL1EJ, VK4YB, ZL2AFP and seven Canadian stations.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 53 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK3WRE, ZL2AFP, ZL2BCG, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3ALZ, and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for twelve WSPR stations and he received reports from 37 unique stations including ZL2AFP and ZL2BCG.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.   As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for twelve WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

I did not have high hopes for a 630-meter enhancement caused by the eclipse here in North Texas.  As I have mentioned in the past, this time of year really needs some time after darkness for the ionosphere to settle down and other mechanisms typically have to be in play for my signal to propagate very far during twilight periods.  Had this event occurred during Winter the results might have been completely different.  Certainly a loss of solar radiation doesn’t hurt, but we didn’t lose that much due to the eclipse (around 75% coverage).  As a result, I experienced no change in my signal reports, which came only from WG2XXM about 200-miles away on a ground wave path.  I noticed about one S-unit of noise floor increase at maximum coverage here and WG2XXM’s signal improved by 1 dB for one or two of his transmissions but I cannot say that this was the result of the eclipse.  Ken noted no changes to my signal.

The overnight session was noisy but quite good.  In fact I felt like I was in a time warp.  Sunset was at 0106z but it was dark by 0143z when I walked out of the ham shack.  I’m not used to that happening but we are gaining several minutes of darkness each day and this is a seasonal thing.  I will take it.  Needless to say, my first report was a rather short hop to W5EST but I quickly branched out with reports across the eastern portions of North America while operating near 1-watt ERP and 15% transmit duty cycle.  Propagation was very good and this was before any enhancements caused by the new hits to the geomagnetic field were  observed this morning.  As I mentioned, noise was a problem so rather than listening omnidirectionally, I  used the multi-turn bidirectional loop oriented East and West.  Reports were quite good and the path to and from WH2XCR was good.  Merv noted that noise levels were high in Hawaii so the path must have been enhanced.  I QRT’ed around 1015z.  My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.

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 seven WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that during the eclipse, “el sol was about 40pc gone – reviewing data but wwvh hawaii 5MHz from s1 to S9 during total path midpoint.”  He provided reports for six WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from nine unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, WG2XSV, WG2XGP and WI2XJQ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, indicates that noise has been very high in Hawaii due to storms out at sea, sometimes picking 40 db over S9.  Even so, he provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations including VK3HP and VK5ABN.  He shared two-way reports with ZF1EJ, VK4YB and WE2XPQ.  Merv received reports from 23 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3WRE, VK5AKK,  ZL1BPU, ZL2BCG and ZL2AFP.  DX report details can be viewed here.  Merv also extends his gratitude to all of the new and old VK and ZL stations that have been active on 630-meters.  The numbers don’t go unnoticed and Merv notes that it makes for an interesting data review once he gets the day started.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, presents, “SOLAR ECLIPSE: 630M WSPR RESULTS”:

“Yesterday’s 8/21/17 solar eclipse across N. America yielded these chronologically listed spots during the eclipse at greater than 500 km path distance.  The 500 km threshold rules out significant 630m ground wave.  If I’ve missed any 2017 solar eclipse decodes beyond 500 km, let us know to correct this list.

17:00   VE7BDQ   0.475734   -27   0   CN89la   +27   0.501   WD2XSH/20   CN83   616   383 
17:12   WH2XGP   0.475688   -27   0   DN07dg   5   WI2XBQ   CN70vr   811   208 
17:18   WH2XXP   0.475663   -29   0   DM33   +47   50.119   WH2XGP   DN07dg   1633   1015  
17:20   VE7BDQ   0.475734   -25   0   CN89la   +27   0.501   WD2XSH/20   CN83   616   383   
17:22   WI2XBQ   0.475623   -29   0   CN70vr   +27   0.501   WH2XGP   DN07dg   811   504 
17:24   WH2XGP   0.475688   -23   0   DN07dg   5   WI2XBQ   CN70vr   811   208 
17:30   WH2XXP   0.475663   -30   0   DM33   +47   50.119   WH2XGP   DN07dg   1633   1015  
17:46   WH2XGP   0.475688   -28   0   DN07dg   5   VE6JY   DO33or   868   32 
 
18:46   WH2XXC   0.475640   -24   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   KA1LM   FN33kx   691   429 
18:46   WH2XXC   0.475637   -26   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   WI2XQU   EM85   654   406 
18:54   WH2XXC   0.475637   -28   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   WH2XZO   EM85wb   612   380 
18:54   WH2XXC   0.475637   -27   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   WI2XQU   EM85   654   406 

The results suggest that the WSPR spots were affected by the geographic distribution of North America stations who were able to activate stations during a weekday daytime.  Successes happened  in the Pacific Northwest and in the East and Southeast offering sweet spot distances between stations.  The Midwest and Midsouth had stations more widely set away from each other, as reflected in a one-hour gap in eclipse decodes from 1746-1846z.  Also, the central states north and south in USA had to contend with Tstorm noise in their region.

Compared to two extended solar eclipse WSPR SNR sequences available from the 2015 EU/UK partial eclipse, the spots in N. America were more occasional, more like receiving transoceanic DX!   Playing a possible role, consider 2017 seasonality with this Aug. 21 solar eclipse a month before equinox compared to 2015’s solar eclipse March 20 equinox of that year.  Yesterday’s 2017 eclipse traversed lower latitudes where Sun elevations would be high and able to additionally ionize the absorptive D-region, compared to the 2015 higher latitude solar eclipse track.

Many more 630m stations were QRV yesterday’s daytime than those I listed. If you participated, know that your activity gave significant information about what paths worked, or not, and why.  I’ll mention a couple of examples.  W6YQ in his key location of South Dakota ran his RX and had no decodes, nothwithstanding 5w WH2XGP in Washington state was TXing. The distance 1370 km apparently resisted eclipse decodes.

WH2XCR on Molokai HI and WE2XPQ near Anchorage AK were both QRV during the eclipse without decodes in either direction.  These and other stations that went without decodes add evidence that solar eclipse propagation is primarily enabled by diminished D-region absorption.

Longer single hop paths, like XGP-w6yq, at say more than about 1000 km, have a lower angle of RF ray slant through the D-region and encounter more absorption there.  Multi-hop paths, e.g. XCR-XPQ, impose multiple absorptive passes through the D-region far from the solar eclipse track.  The longer path distance cases are surmountable only with difficulty during the solar eclipse, as near-threshold  -29 and -30 dB decodes on the 1633 km AZ-WA experimental higher-powered XXP-xgp path showed.

Yesterday, the 895 km WG2XXM-w0air SNR sequence was steady around -25 dB 1610-2048z. In that time frame  before, during and after,  totality would have passed their path and yet showed no discernible solar eclipse propagation enhancement.  There’s a 630m  mystery!

Daytime prop beyond solar eclipse may apply to the WH2XGP-ve6jy path, considering their 3 scattered spots yesterday.  FB daytime results at considerable distance, eclipse or not!

17:46   WH2XGP   0.475688   -28   0   DN07dg   5   VE6JY   DO33or   868   32   
19:34   WH2XGP   0.475688   -29   0   DN07dg   5   VE6JY   DO33or   868   32 
22:16   WH2XGP   0.475688   -27   0   DN07dg   5   VE6JY   DO33or   868   32 

TU & GL with the 630m season!”


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