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OFF AIR for storms, probably for much of the week if the forecast holds

Trans-Pacific openings were pretty good for western stations as we transition from storm to quiet conditions and then back to unsettled conditions; Many indicate that it was a quiet night, which is a big change; W5EST presents: ”700 KHz (430m) in Solar Eclipse Probes E-region”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 23, 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.

Storm-generated lightning noise appear to have been down for a significant portion of the continent after evening storms diminished.  This morning the most active weather conditions are in the central US, Gulf of Mexico, and off of the Atlantic coast in the Southeast.  WE2XPQ in Alaska reported extremely quiet band conditions overnight.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions calmed to elevated-quiet levels after storm levels yesterday morning but were followed up overnight with unsettled conditions.  The Bz is pointing to the North this morning and solar wind velocities have decreased to 477 km/s. DST values are once again trending deeper into negative territory.  I would presume that either the coronal hole from the weekend event is hanging around or another hole has become geoeffective.  WE2XPQ, located in Alaska, reported that K reached 7 overnight and was still at 5 just before 1800z effectively cutting off East and West paths with “OK” North and South openings.




Dave, G3WCB, reported on the RSGB-LF reflector that “GM3YXM WSPR signals received at good strength last night. Antenna is a 60cm square tuned loop.”

0142  -26  -1.2    0.475715   -1   GM3YXM        IO75     27    582
0202  -21  -1.1    0.475715    0   GM3YXM        IO75     27    582
0210  -21  -1.2    0.475715    0   GM3YXM        IO75     27    582
0220  -21  -1.2    0.475715   -1   GM3YXM        IO75     27    582
0226  -23  -1.3    0.475715    0   GM3YXM        IO75     27    582


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was decoded by thirteen unique stations including WH2XCR in Hawaii. He provided reports for six western WSPR stations including VE7BDQ, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XBQ, and WI2XJQ.  Neil added that he “…was running only ~500mW EIRP due to another failure in my amplifier. Nice to see that KA7U on the eastern border of Oregon decoded me. No eastern reports beyond a line from AB to AZ again.”

Phil, VE3CIQ, reported that he was using 30-watts TPO with W0JW as his best DX at 1501km. He decpded fourteen WSPR stations including ZF1EJ.

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported that he provided decodes for six WSPR stations and was decoded by 23 unique stations.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO,  provided reports for six WSPR stations and he received reports from 25 unique stations.  He also submitted the following details about his antenna rehabilitation process:

“The one week test of a T antenna, using only 230 feet of wire in the air, has been completed.  I’ll suggest, when I give the 630M talk that it’s the kind of antenna many can erect as their first 630M antenna.  It included an asymmetrical T of 60′ and 100′ at a maximum height of 68′ with a single 70′ almost vertical wire reaching up to that 68′ height. It’s nowhere near ideal in location, being only 18” from the top of the 66′ tower  and 15′ from the tower at the bottom with my house only 20′ away. The loading  coil was a weakness with an SWR of 1.7:1 which limited TPO from my 65 watt Monitor Sensors transceiver to about 45 watts, and some of my “winter radials” are not yet laid on the lawn. An inverted L, using the same amount of wire in the air, would be as good and probably slightly better.

The T antenna worked better than expected and was only a db or so down from the well engineered antenna and coils a friend in NC was using with over 700′ of wire in the air and a better matching system.
Yesterday, I dragged my old body up the 66′ tower, removed the bent over PVC pipe, and replaced it with a 10′ wooden pole with a 10″ diameter of gauge 10′ copper wire through a drilled hole in the wood at the top of the pole.  I re-soldered those two T antenna ends and then 3 more top hat wires that had broke and fallen this summer. Now, I have five of the original six top hat wires up, but the far ends of three of them are are 5′ to 20′ lower in the trees than when I sling-shotted them up a year or so ago. After almost 2 hours at the top of the tower I was beat!
Back on the ground, I replaced the T antenna coil with my two previously used, much smaller Bud/B&W coils, and was able to get the SWR down to near 1:1 with very little reactance. The Monitor Sensors transmitter was now back to almost 65 watts TPO.
I’ve spent some time comparing yesterday afternoon’s ground wave and last night’s signal reports with the T antenna and also with other local stations’ reports, and see about a 4-5 dB improvement with my partially rehabilitated umbrella antenna that has about 480′ of wire in the air compared to the T with its 230′.”

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


07:18 WH2XCR 0.475618 -28 0 BL11je 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 4287 38
06:00 VE7BDQ 0.475736 -4 0 CN89la 0.5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 147 160
04:14 WG2XSV 0.475761 -28 0 CN85rq 0.5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 232 3
04:04 WI2XBQ 0.475633 -17 0 CN70vr 1 WI2XJQ CN87ts 796 10
03:00 WH2XXP 0.475663 -25 0 DM33 50 WI2XJQ CN87ts 1771 337
02:06 WH2XGP 0.475689 -12 0 DN07dg 5 WI2XJQ CN87ts 208 286


10:34 WI2XJQ 0.475613 -26 0 CN87ts 5 VE4XC EN19 1863 75
08:38 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -21 0 CN87ts 5 KA7U DN14lf 570 132
07:16 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -28 0 CN87ts 5 W7WKR CN97uj 162 104
05:50 WI2XJQ 0.475609 -3 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BDQ CN89la 147 341
05:44 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -21 0 CN87ts 5 WB6HYD CM87xi 1159 179
05:18 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -25 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XCR BL11je 4287 239
05:08 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -28 0 CN87ts 5 WI2XBQ CN70vr 796 191
05:08 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -28 0 CN87ts 5 KK6EEW CM88on 1024 182
05:08 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -27 0 CN87ts 5 WW6D CM88pl 1034 182
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -20 0 CN87ts 5 VE6JY DO33or 944 42
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -25 0 CN87ts 5 VE7BPB CN89lg 174 344
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -3 0 CN87ts 5 WD2XSH/20 CN83 480 186
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475611 -18 0 CN87ts 5 WG2XSV CN85rq 232 183
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475613 -24 0 CN87ts 5 N7VXA DN17iq 380 90
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475613 -8 0 CN87ts 5 W7IUV DN07dg 208 105
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -15 0 CN87ts 5 VE6XH DO24tc 899 35
05:00 WI2XJQ 0.475612 -6 0 CN87ts 5 WH2XGP DN07dg 208 105


Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, provided reports for five WSPR stations through generally quiet band conditions.  Al notes that some lightning crashes were heard and a few “regular” stations were not on the air.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations overnight with WH2XGP as his best DX.  Mike added that he “…Noted absences of WG2XIQ, WG2XXM and WD2XSH/15 which I assume was storm related.  On my NE EWE antenna at SS, then about 0330 changed to NW until sunrise.  I ran split band 630m/200m wspr 2 until 0900, then went single band 630m hoping for a trans-Pacific decode (no joy).    62 WH2XND spots from 0330 to 0900, best -18 and min -29. Then off 2200m after 0900.

WH2XGP  21 decodes best -15
WH2XXP  78 decodes best +1
ZF1EJ        10 decodes best – 21
WI22XSV  19 decodes best -1
WH2XZO  94 decodes best 0
WI2XQU  90 decodes best -4
VE3CIQ    67 decodes best -2
WH2XXC  9 decoides best +2″

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded five WSPR stations including  ZF1EJ, WH2XXP, WI2XQU, VE3CIQ and WH2XZO.

Ralph, W0RPK, reported on the 600-meter research group email reflector that “During 22Aug17 we had 480 630m WSPR eclipse control reports 15-21z contributed by 10-stations.  All activity was by the Northwest Cluster.  Today, 23Aug17 15-21z, will be the final 630m WSPR Eclipse control data collection.  All report details are archived for analysis after 23Aug17.  Raw 630m WSPR eclipse and control archive data is available upon request for anyone to analyze.

WD2XSH/20  64-reports  VE7CA 653km – WH2XGP 495km – WG2XSV 249km
WG2XSV     31-reports  WH2XGP 279km
WI2XJQ     90-reports  WH2XGP 208km – VE7CA 185km
N7DTP       4-reports  WH2XGP 202km – VE7CA 171km
WH2XGP     54-reports  VE7CA 343km – WG2XSV 279km
W7WKR      46-reports  WH2XGP 46km
VE7BDQ     70-reports  WG2XSV 373km – WH2XGP 315km – VE7CA 38km
VE7CA      40-reports  WH2XGP 343km
VE6JY      62-reports  WH2XGP 868km
VE6XH      19-reports  WH2XGP 847km”

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 “Moderate QRN but didn’t prevent 8 spots of WH2XND on 2200m, best at -24dB. Plenty of action on 630m also with 32 receiving stations. I think KK6EEW was a new one.”  Roger received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, TNUKJPM, KK6EEW, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, W7IUV, WE2XPQ and WI2XBQ. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and WH2XGP.

Jim, ZL2BCG, received reports from VE6JY, VE6XH, W7IUV, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, and WI2XBQ.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from twenty unique stations including ZL2AFP and VK4YB/A.  Joe added that he experienced his first reports East of the Rockies of the year during this session.

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

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for eleven WSPR stations including ZL2BCG and he received reports from 35 unique stations including VK4YB/A and ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.   As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations, including ZL2BCG and VK4YB.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


European 24-hour WSPR activity


Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity


Chinese 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 eighteen unique stations including WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for five WSPR stations including VK4YB and ZL2BCG and he received reports from two unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and WI2XBQ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations including VK3HP, VK5ABN, VK5FQ, ZF1EJ, and ZL2BCG. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, ZL1EE and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from 23 unique stations including VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK4YB/A, VK6LX, VK7TW, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP. DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “700 KHz (430m) IN SOLAR ECLIPSE PROBES E-REGION”:

“As you know, 630m WSPR results of 8/21/17 solar eclipse were listed in yesterday’s blog.  Today’s first illustration now shows Argo imagery at 700 KHz, 430 meters, distance 843 km.

As shown, three BCB station carriers occupied daytime spectrum in a band +/- 5 Hertz either side of nominal 700,000.0 Hz.  The SDR here applied 50 Hz bandpass to essentially kill AM sidebands. Earlier evenings I had checked to see which carrier line was clear channel WLW from Cincinnati, by identifying its outsize increase in relative strength around sundown.  I chose to monitor WLW in particular from here in central Arkansas because its RF path would cross the solar eclipse track.

If the E-region reflected 50 KW WLW 700 near RF midpath at altitude as one would expect, that reflection would probe the oval of solar eclipse totality.  Bad news is that 3-second sampling by WSJT-X “Echo mode” would produce dB curves combining daytime signal power from the other two stations with WLW.  The way dB  logarithms work, WLW strength would have to come way up to at least equal the other stations’ power in the bandpass and “take over” the data points. Would this solar eclipse be capable of RF signal enhancement to such an extent?

The 2nd illustration shows the 3-second sampling of WLW signal strength.  Three significant signal peaks rose as much as 4 dB during the eclipse—4 dB above the signal power earlier in the bandpass from all three stations combined. For this to happen, considerably more dB enhancement than 4 dB must have increased the WLW signal level.

Concurrently, Argo in the first illustration reveals a broadened segment of the WLW carrier signal line during the eclipse, meaning WLW’s signal got stronger then. The enhancement center-time determined from the signal peaks is near the time when totality passed the geographic position of the WLW-w5est path midpoint.

As I see it, the triple-peak behavior of the WLW signal level discloses multi-path phasing interference between at least two WLW signal returns from single-hop E-region propagation.  Phasing interference would explain the deep nulls between the signal peaks.  D-region crossings in partial eclipse impose considerable RF absorption, consistent with 630m results.  So, a second 1-Ehop return is the only candidate for a similar-strength phase interferer.

A 2-Ehop return would traverse the D-region twice as many times in partial eclipse and be too weak to do much signal cancellation between the signal level peaks.  Further, the other BCB carriers sharing the bandpass were relatively too weak compared to the eclipse-strengthened WLW signal to deliver the degree of signal cancellation shown.

What does this 430m information mean for our 630m work?  WSPR decodes represent a 110 second power average converted to dB.  A 630m TX station that was fortunate enough to be eclipse-enhanced Monday probably delivered a markedly variable signal strength inside each 110 second slot. 630m daytime WSPR SNR dB levels on 8/21 lay quite a few dB below the WSPR decode threshold, prior to eclipse enhancement by which several 630m stations emerged into decodability.

630m sunrise and sunset regimes are complicated, and their dynamics are quite variable.  E-region tilt and 630m lateral skew may be involved in pre-sunrise SNR enhancements.  The 700 KHz solar eclipse information indicates that if even 10 minutes out of the 19.6 minutes of eclipse enhancement involve lateral skew, then the totality oval would have moved 430 km (43km/min eclipse speed x 10 minutes).  That’s over 200 km either side of RF great circle midpath, which would call for a lot of lateral skew to deliver a cancelling second signal ray.  Lateral skew of 475 KHz, 630m, is probably almost as robust as at 700KHz, 430m.

The time delay of the time-middle of the enhancement can be estimated relative to the time totality crossed the path midpoint.  The duration of eclipse enhancement together with the time delay information can help estimate D-region time constant—how fast D-region absorption changes in response to the Sun’s ionizing rays.  I see no reason why a 630m D-region time constant would be much different from a number that a 430m-based calculation would estimate.

Confronting the daily problems 630m.daytime poses can motivate us to seek better decoders than we have now.  What are the true bottom SNR limits of signal decoding by whatever means or design?  Can 630m amateurs hope to ever regularly carry on communications at 1000 km or so in the daytime?  The solar eclipse has renewed our attention to the challenges of the 630m daytime regime, and who knows what we can accomplish together.  TU & GL!”

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