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

Noisy nights continue across parts of North America but quiet geomagnetic conditions return producing what might be the best session since last Spring; Many two-ways between WH2XCR and Oceania; W5EST presents: ”16 dB: 460m Solar Eclipse Peaks, TN-IN, WSM-SWL/K9”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 25, 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.

Storms along the gulf coast associated with hurricane Harvey significantly elevated noise levels overnight.  Storms also ranged from the Oklahoma / Texas panhandle into Saskatchewan.  The mid-Atlantic coast through the Southeast and into the Caribbean is also taking a beating while the Midwest into New England experienced relative clear conditions.  The western portions of North America experienced some evening storms that have generally dissipated this morning.

24-hour North American Lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions have finally shown improvement as the Kp has returned to truly quiet levels. The Bz is pointing to the South, however,  and solar wind velocity is averaging near 360 km/s.  DST values are finally making strides for the center line that represent real improvement.   As with the previously unexpected “dip” in DST and propagation, in general, its possible that this improvement will be short lived.  We won’t know until the coming sessions have come and gone.




Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported at 0820z that this session represents the “Best conditions hr since spring with WH2XCR, VE7SL, VE6XH, and VE6JY decodes of WH2XZO with two more hours of darkness.”  By 1300z Doug reported that “T’storms again eastern Carolinas plus Florida and Gulf made hearing difficult, but the 35 who decoded WH2XZO the most since April! and included northwest and Hawaii.”  Doug indicates that he decoded seven WSPR stations.

WH2XZO session WSPR activity (courtesy K4LY)


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

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported that “WSJT-X failed last night at 02:46z (22:46 local) so WI2XQU missed most of what appears to have been a good session. Up until the time WSJT-X failed I had 20 spots but looking south to my fellow EM85 grid member, Doug WH2XZO, he was spotted 35 times during the entire session (I am usually 2-4 spots behind Doug in the count). Yes I missed a good night. WI2XQU provided decodes to 7 stations.”

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, provided reports for four WSPR stations during his morning listening session.  Noise was moderate from lightning and the lack of rain from the previous four days will come to an end today.   Al expected to be QRT for a few days as a result.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded seven WSPR stations overnight, including WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, ZF1EJ, WH2XZO, VE3CIQ and WH2XXC.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded four WSPR stations including ZF1EJ, WH2XXC, WH2XXP and WH2XZO.

Ralph, W0RPK, reported on the 600-meter research group email reflector that “During our final 630m WSPR control day we had 12-stations submitting a total of 416-reports.  Analysis will now consider 630m WSPR reports during eclipse period, 21Aug17 15-21z, with control periods 19-20Aug17 and 22-23Aug17.

KK4XO      19-reports  WI2XQU 182km
N1HO       49-reports  WI2XQU  65km
WI2XBQ      1-report   WH2XGP 811km
WD2XSH/20  72-reports  WH2XGP 495km – WG2XSV 249km
WG2XSV     41-reports  WH2XGP 279km
WH2XGP     17-reports  WG2XSV 279km
N7VXA      18-reports  WH2XGP 186km
W7WKR      47-reports  WH2XGP  46km
WI2XJQ     49-reports  WH2XGP 208km
VE7BDQ     37-reports  WH2XGP 315km
VE6JY      51-reports  WH2XGP 868km
VE6XH      15-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 that “QRN was down a little but ambient noise was elevated. Strength and distribution of tx signal was similar to last night.”  Roger received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, TNUKJPM, VE6XH, VE6JY, VE7SL, VE7BDQ, W7IUV, WE2XPQ and WH2XGP.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

John, VK2XGJ, indicates that high noise drove him from the band for part of the session but not before he provided early reports for WH2XCR.

VK2XGJ early reports as noise was on the increase (courtesy VK2XGJ)


Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, provided reports for five WSPR stations and he received reports from twenty unique stations including ZL2AFP, VK2XGJ, VK4YB and VK4YB/A.  Joe added that it was “A good session…Still no spots to the E beyond single hop (2500Km) range.  Some observations on the difference between the paths to VK4YB and ZL2AFP. My first spot of 28 [reports] from AFP was at 0648z.  My last was at 13:50. First spot from YB was at 12:06. The path to ZL opens near their local SS. Path to VK opens near my SR. This the usual situation from my QTH.  Even though the distance and direction are similar (about 20 deg difference) the paths behave differently.  I have observed this on 160 as well.”

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 61 unique stations including ZL1QM, ZL2AFP, ZL4EI, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3ALZ, and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from 36 unique stations including ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.   As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for seven WSPR stations including 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


Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations. He received reports from 24 unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for six WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from eleven unique stations including ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WI2XBQ, and WI2XJQ.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations including VK3HP and VK5FQ. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, VK5ABN, ZF1EJ, ZL1EE and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from 26 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3WRE, VK4YB/A, VK7TW, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “16dB:  460m SOLAR ECLIPSE PEAKS, TN-IN , WSM-SWL/K9”:

“Jim W5EST:   50KW WSM 650 Nashville, TN, lies 610 km distance from northern Indiana.  While “clear channel” is a misnomer certainly in the daytime and even at night, WSM 650 was right on the eclipse track and could peak about 1:25 pm CDT Aug. 21.  10KW WNMT 650 in northern MN might also reach Indiana and peak about 1:15pm CDT or 10 minutes sooner than WSM.  Daytime D-region absorption kills off the rest of the 650KHz BCB carriers and gives a chance to get some decent data sequences.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/650_AM .

Ken SWL/K9:  Two factors made the eclipse day WSM data capture difficult. The first was nearby thunderstorm activity in Illinois, creating a higher than average daytime noise level at 650 KHz. The second was adjacent channel interference from HD digital radio sidebands “piggybacked” on nearby 50 KW WSCR-AM 670 KHz in Chicago.

Jim W5EST:  Can you tell me the setup you used to receive WSM 650 Aug. 21?

Ken SWL/K9:  My antenna is a vertical 20 ft. length of household telephone extension cord wire hanging in a small evergreen tree on this suburban lot. A 75 ft. run of 75Ω coax goes to the shack. The antenna system is broadband, 50 KHz to 15 MHz, accomplished with a homebrew toroid autotransformer at the vertical wire. One toroid winding end ties to the coax shield, other end to the vertical. The inner conductor of the coax ties to a winding tap for 70:1 impedance ratio. The toroid mix favors frequencies below 500 KHz. No ground rods, radials, or counterpoise are in use at the antenna. AC 3rd wire ground of this RX station goes to the utility/house ground rod.

Jim W5EST:  How was signal strength data developed from WSM 650 Aug. 21?

Ken SWL/K9: An Elad FDM-S2 SDR “as is” from the factory captured 650 KHz station WSM signal strength data, with no external bandpass pre-selection or preamp between antenna and SDR. The SDR was dial set at 650 KHz in CW mode, with a 10 Hz bandwidth centered on the station’s carrier. HDSDR software controls the SDR hardware and generates .csv data at one-second intervals.

Once started, I did not manipulate the gain controls at all. I didn’t want to introduce any unnecessary “variables” into the data, so an ARGO shot (first illustration) is “bright” later on into the eclipse. You can see the QRN ramping up around 1630z.  ARGO software generated QRSS120 pictorial data from the WSM carrier signal. PC was a 3Ghz dual-core processor w/ 6GB RAM running Windows 7 64-bit, with a solid-state hard drive.

Jim W5EST:  Thanks, Ken. The QRSS120 screenshot shows frequency splitting about 100 milliHertz, (0.1 Hz) ~1830-1845z.  To look at the one-second data samples attached to Ken’s e-mail, I transferred the WSM-swl/k9 .csv time-stamped solar eclipse data to a spreadsheet. In Excel, I used menu Insert tab, “Scatter” option with points-only, to plot the points of a signal strength graph (2nd  illustration).

The graph displays a 16 dB enhancement of the signal in a four fingered cluster of phasing peaks preceded by a deep null and followed by three weaker zigzag peaks. The dynamics returned to WSM’s earlier daytime random-walk interspersed with some phasing QSB.  The enhancement lasted 15.3 minutes of peaks or, with possible flanking solar eclipse nulls and zigzags included, 21.2 minutes. Either way, central time of the RF eclipse effects was about 1833.6z.

More interpretation can come another blog day. TU & GL!”

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