Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR; QRT Thursday night but back Friday morning by 1100z

Pretty good propagation as band continues to be impacted by recent G1 storm; Wall of noise continues to divide North America from Mexico to the Midwest; WH2XGP path to VK continues; WH2XXP QRV with lots of VK reports; Late night JT9 in Pacific Northwest; WH2XCR -> JA1PKG

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Evening propagation was significantly improved in spite of the stationary storm system dividing the US and making listening very challenging.  Last night was generally rough copy but this morning was significantly better than yesterday morning although still noisy.  Ken, SWL-EN61, in Indiana reports that he had to shut down at 10pm local time because of noise.  He was trying to listen on the hulu hoop loop inside the house.  Ken also reports no received JT9 signals from the evening, overnight, or morning sessions, due to high QRN.

Lightning 082516

12-hour lightning summary of North America


Geomagnetic activity continues to be elevated and solar wind is streaming in above 525 km/s for extended periods.  The Bz was pointing to the South for much of the session but has transitioned to near unity, pointing to the North.  DST values suggest that conditions may be recovering but it will take time as the damage has already been done.

planetary-k-index 082516


Kyoto DST 082516


Australia 082516


JT9 activity took center stage in the late evening in North America as several stations in the Pacific Northwest made on-air QSO’s and exchanged off-air reports of their JT9 signals after 0400z.  I made a few observations during this time and was only hearing WH2XGP who was marginal on WSPR prior to transitioning to JT9 due to the previously mentioned wall of noise.  Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, provided a few screen captures from his perspective of the evening activity:

WG2XSV 082516c

WG2XSV WSJT-x JT9 session


WG2XSV 082516d

WG2XSV WSJT-x JT9 session


Neil completed QSO’s with WH2XGP and was reported by a number of stations in British Columbia and the surrounding areas.  Neil also sent me a few captures from my JT9 calls this morning at 1000z from his transmit antenna and E-probe:

WG2XIQ WG2XSV JT9 082516

WG2XIQ JT9, as reported by WG2XSV (transmit vertical)


WG2XSV 082516a

WG2XIQ JT9, as reported by WG2XSV


Neil also provided the following statistics for his WSPR session:

WG2XSV 082516b


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, returned to air after completing his recent antenna project.  He had a very strong session, reporting that he was decoded by 33 unique stations including four VK stations with a session best of -21 dB S/N from VK2XGJ.  Ward was also heard coast-to-coast and  Phil, VE3CIQ, reports that he was heard in Ontario.  Ward provided the following comments about the project:

“I’m a happy camper! After several months of working, I’m at the testing phase of my station work here at WH2XXP. Last night’s session far exceeded my expectations. Work started last spring with a trench to hold a run of 7/8” hardline and a 25 pair control cable. Then came anchor points for the tower and top hat wires. The new antenna is a 30m vertical (Rohn 25G) with ~300m of top loading wire. The top hat consists of 16 wires each ~19m long. There are 16 anchor points arranged in a 65m diameter circle for the top hat wires. Currently there are 56 radial wires on the ground. It’s just a big umbrella. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m finally on the air again.

As I mentioned on ON4KST last week, the crane operator got a bit aggressive and pulled the tower over center (past vertical) during the lift. This broke the base insulator. I strapped the base down as best I could and went on a search for a new insulator. Several hours on the internet showed what I needed was a substation post insulator, rated at 23KV. During my search, I remembered a friend in Houston who works in the power industry. A phone call later I knew exactly what I needed to replace my broken part. This is where I became completely aware of the good friends I’m blessed to have. Not only did my “guardian angel” in Houston fill in the blanks for me so I knew exactly what I needed, he then went to work and had the replacement insulator sent to me overnight. I got the new insulator installed 20 minutes before a dust storm hit Tonopah. A bit too close for comfort.

Over the summer, I was testing the amplifier and inadvertently connected the swr meter between the amp and the LPF. I was unpleasantly surprised to see how poor the load to the amp was from the LPF. I changed from a LPF to a diplexer configuration by adding a HPF and 50 ohm load to the existing filter. The amp now sees well below 2:1 swr looking into the filter and antenna system. Everything seems much “happier” and stable now.

Last night’s session was at 200W TPO.”

WH2XXP 082516

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


WH2XXP VK4YB 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by VK4YB


WH2XXP VK2XGJ 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XXP VK2DDI 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by VK2DDI



WH2XXP, as reported by EJTSWL


WH2XXP VK3ELV 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by VK3ELV


John, VK2XGJ, provided a screen capture of his WSPR console showing WH2XXP, WH2XGP, WH2XCR and VK4YB:



Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, also registered a strong session, decoding eight WSPR stations including VK4YB and was decoded by 26 unique stations, including two VK stations and both receivers at ZF1EJ:

VK4YB WH2XGP 082516

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XGP


WH2XGP VK2XGJ 082516

WH2XGP, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XGP VK2DDI 082516

WH2XGP, as reported by VK2DDI

John, VE7BDQ, pointed out that I missed two decodes that he had for VK4YB.  Here are John’s statistics and details:

“Just noticed a reception of VK4YB  overnight.  Last spots from Roger and other VK were in April 2016.

VK4YB VE7BDQ 082516

VK4YB, as reported by VE7BDQ

Only these two spots  for real dx  plus 7 others And 11 decoded my TX overnight,  no VK though.  That 11z seems to be the magic hour for VK  hi.”


John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported a number of longer haul decodes, including cross country reports for WH2XXP and WH2XGP.  John provided the follow comments and map:

“Noise levels in the NE continue to be very high, however, WG2XIQ, WH2XGP and WH2XXP were spotted here.  The east was well represented with listeners.  WG2XKA spotted 8 and was heard by 14 in wet conditions.”

WG2XKA 082516

WG2XKA session WSPR activity


Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, was transmitting last night at low power as he awaits for the return of his 100-watt amp this weekend.  He had a pretty strong night for so much noise and so little TPO.  Doug provided the following comments:

“Pretty quiet here.  Must have been quiet up and down East Coast as my 100 MW (the Chinese 5W amp) was heard by 10 unique stations as far away as VE2PEP, and I decoded 7 unique stations including west coast XXP, XGP, and, I think, first time decode of VE3EFF.  Used the Hi Z system for RX which under-performs the TX antenna on RX if it’s fairly quiet.”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, completed a two-way JT9 QSO with WH2XGP before popping FET’s in his amp due to a mismatch / out of resonance conditions.  Rick has a complicated system and is working to learn the intricacies of making JT9 work with separate transmitter and receiver.  Congrats on the first JT9 QSO!  He provided the following statistics for the session:

WI2XJQ 082516a

WI2XJQ 082516b

Two grants have recently completed the formal renewal process:  Juan, K4LCD / WF2XXQ, and Frank, K3DZ / WH2XHA.

New WSPR reporting stations for the session include KE0FMX.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 082516

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 082516

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 082516

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 082516

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


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.

Eden, ZF1EJ, somehow received three stations through the noise on each receiver / antenna combo in spite of high noise level in the Caribbean:

ZF1EJ 082516

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1EJ1 082516

ZF1EJ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, operated two receivers and two antennas during his session.  He reports that “WE2XPQ is Aceshigh at 10m and KL7L will be TalktomeGoose at 20m, both running wsjtx…”  He also indicates that his “472 snapper” is active for stations that would like to search for their signals visually.

WE2XPQ 082516

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


KL7L 082516

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


VK4YB WE2XPQ 082516

VK4YB, as reported by WE2XPQ


WH2XXP WE2XPQ 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by WE2XPQ


WH2XCR WE2XPQ 082516a

WH2XCR WE2XPQ 082516b

WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


WG2XIQ WE2XPQ 082516

WG2XIQ, as reported by WE2XPQ


VK4YB KL7L 082516

VK4YB, as reported by KL7L


WH2XXP KL7L 082516

WH2XXP, as reported by KL7L


WH2XCR KL7L 082516a

WH2XCR KL7L 082516b

WH2XCR, as reported by KL7L


WG2XIQ KL7L 082516

WG2XIQ, as reported by KL7L


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was decoded by JA1PKG in addition to numerous VK and western-North American stations.  VK4YB continues to be decoded in Hawaii as Merv continues to listen with the dipole on the ground until the Fall when he will have some assistance in returning it back to altitude:

WH2XCR 082516

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


VK4YB Wh2XCR 082516

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR


Wh2XCR VK4YB 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


Wh2XCR JA1PKG 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1PKG


Wh2XCR EJTSWL 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by EJTSWL


Wh2XCR VK2DDI 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2DDI


Wh2XCR VK2XGJ 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


Wh2XCR VK3ELV 082516

WH2XCR, as reported by VK3ELV




“Yesterday’s blog discussed how RRR can improve JT9 reception duration and distance.

Now I describe preliminary experience with a particular screen-sharing app, see today’s illustration.

At top center of the illustrated screenshot, a five-circle orange-on-black control panel is initially accompanied by an invitation window at left.  At far right center, the RX station op is labeled “You” in a yellow circle.  Upon sending an invitation e-mail, any one or more invitees who accept become represented by a colored circle that replaces the gray invitee circle above “You.”

A typical 630m screen at 630m RX station W5EST has the WSJT-X decoder set to JT9 mode at screen foreground. A temporary overlay of weather Doppler at lower left is backed by the G33DDC SDR display with dial set to 474.200 KHz.  The SDR presents a waterfall at left and a spectrum display at right.

I turn now to detail the downloadable screen-sharing app at http://www.Join.Me . which features screen-sharing up to 10 participants, chat, VoIP, free.

To accommodate a full night of screen-sharing, right-click the desktop and put settings to some number of hours or to “Never” (always on) to make your computer run a long time without going to sleep, and to make the display output run all night. That way, there’s a screen to share!  (If you want to turn the monitor itself off, the PC will probably still share the screen image it creates, but I haven’t tested that.)

To open up the screen-sharing app, either click on the Join.Me desktop icon after optional installation or go to https://www.join.me/offers/start/collaboration?wt.srch=1&utpk=join.me&originid=348434&mcomb=sEMgfuXRw|114790316226|join.me|e|i8rbbhb5l0|c&cvosrc=ppc.google.join.me&cvo_campaign={campid}&cvo_crid=114790316226&Matchtype=e&gclid=CLPawrPsyc4CFdgLgQodXPsOHg (Be patient, the link takes a while to finally run the app.)

Use Join.Me on a one-time basis and set a meeting code to send to invitees.  Or set up a free account to more conveniently store and personalize the meeting code and put a Join.Me icon on your desktop. I clicked Start Meeting and Allow to run the app on my computer, whereupon the orange control circles of Join.Me show up at top of screen, ready for me to send invitations.  During this time, the Chat circle (2nd from left on Join.Me) is grey and inactive because no one else is in the meeting.

Make sure the Join.Me center circle (screen-sharing) is making circular ripples every few seconds to confirm screen-sharing is active. Send an invitation. I created an invitation to John WG2XIQ in my e-mail system (AOL) as a regular e-mail.  I copied the meeting link from the invitation window (2nd orange circle from right) and pasted it into my e-mail, whereupon I sent the e-mail to any invitee(s).

That invitee link has this format:  https://join.me/...  suffixed by the meeting code. When the invited 630m op clicks on that link and is viewing your screen, you can see a colored symbol circle arise for the invitee in addition to the already-present “You” symbol representing you as Host. The Chat feature should become active.

I tested Join.Me by inviting John, WG2XIQ to view my JT9 screen a few days ago after sunrise.  The PC at W5EST is a Dell™ XPS™ computer with CORE™ i7 chipset and Windows® 10 operating system.  John told me he’s using Linux® Mint 16, and he reported that he could see the SDR, the decoder window, and the ON4KST reflector chat with me typing before posting.

John observed that the Join.Me app was updating his view about every 3-5 seconds, possibly lagging mine by 3 seconds. The lag and the updating intervals would be acceptable for RRR JT9 screen-sharing.  John could see the app’s own chat balloons in an earlier test session but did not see them in that latest test session. He reported good screen color and resolution in the shared image. We did not try to make the screen-sharing two-way by John setting up the app and inviting me: That remains to be tested. When this one-way screen-sharing test was completed, as host I simply closed Join.Me.

It would of course be even better if we demonstrated screen-sharing by some permissible transmission mode on a ham band, say on VHF some way.  For now, this web app-supported kind of screen-sharing did update least several times per minute and was flexible enough to link different types of PCs having different operating systems at our RX stations 485 km apart in USA mid-South.  We both viewed the W5EST screen simultaneously.  John did not have to download Join.Me to accept my invitation.

Probably other satisfactory apps exist for this minimalist-style screen-sharing and can extend the useful duration of a 630m JT9 nighttime opening and lengthen the useful distance over which JT9 QSOs can be achieved.  I’ve described one such. Tell us any experiences you may have with screen-sharing apps for this 630m purpose.  If you would like to do a viewing test, e-mail me at mrsocion@aol.com so I can send you screen-sharing invitation link or receive yours.  GL!”



W5EST 082516

(Click to Enlarge)


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