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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
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.
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.
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)!