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Maybe the best session since last Winter?; Solid trans-Pacific openings and high activity result in a fun, productive night; VK4YB -> ZF1EJ for first time in months; Solid openings to JA from VK4YB and WH2XCR; Trans-Atlantic openings remain AWOL; W5EST presents: ”630m Mysteries in Solar Eclipse Enhancement Intervals”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for August 26, 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.

An active cluster of storms in the north central US and the hurricane on the Texas coast were the most consistent noise sources for the session but there was definitely a sliding scale as the session progressed as noise deteriorated on the approach to morning.   Evening storms were observed in parts of the West and more active storms were observed in the Gulf and Caribbean region not directly related to the hurricane.  S-meter readings were significantly improved this morning compared to last night here at my station listening with the same antenna.

11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Geomagnetic conditions are quiet.  The Bz is at unity this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 350 km/s. DST values continue to show improvements, even reaching positive values on one indicator.  There have been a number of sessions that could be labeled as “the best at this late point in the 2016/2017 season”.  This one appears to be no exception.

 

 

 

Dave, GM3YXM, indicated that he was going to be QRV with CW on 472.8 kHz starting at 1900z.  Mal, G3KEV, indicated that he would be listening shortly after Dave’s message and noted that DJ6CB was on the frequency.  No details are available at this time as to whether any stations completed two-way QSO’s.

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates “Rapidly improving conditions in cool weather and seasonal noise levels”.  He provided reports for eleven WSPR stations and he received reports from 22 unique stations.

WG2XKA session WSPR activity (courtesy WA3ETD)

 

Phil, VE3CIQ, reports “way better conditions” overnight as he was reported by VE6 and VE7 from Ontario on a high latitude transcontinental path.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that “Despite QRN, continued better conditions with 11 unique received and 33 who decoded WH2XZO, including the good ears of WH2XCR second night in row.”

Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU, reported that he”…had his best night ever since becoming involved in 630 meter activities last December. WI2XQU was decoded by 34 stations last session; 3 of which were in excess of 3000 km with WH2XCR being the most distant at 7331 km. WI2XQU provided decodes to 11 stations with WH2XGP the most distant at 3291 km. Tonight David N1DAY/WI2XUF is transmitting and I’m listening. Wishing him a great night, he has something to shoot for.”

WI2XQU session WSPR activity (courtesy KC4SIT)

 

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was receive-only overnight and successfully reported VK4YB four time using the PA0RDT mini-whip located at 25-foot.  He provided these statistics:

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded twelve WSPR stations overnight.  He observed ZF1EJ in the waterfall during the 0200z hour but no decode resulted due to that jackass in the Morrison / Manchester, Tennessee area who has been operating illegally with a pirated DX call sign and now doesn’t have the common courtesy to at least time sync so we can properly ignore him (that’s me editorializing, not Mike’s comment).  Mike provided the following statistics:

Mike added “Also 103 WH2XND decodes on 2200m, best –13 audible level at 0920, min –32 at 0248 first XND decode of evening.”

Ken, SWL/K9 (SWL/EN61), located in Indiana, was using a receive antenna inside his home, seen below, and he provided a few reports for VE3CIQ.  Ken offered the following comments:

“These decodes were copied overnight, as I had switched back to the ferrite core antenna for overnight RX. The core is a bundle of rods measuring 14 by 5 cm. It is followed by a w7iuv preamp. This contraption sits on a portable table in my shack.”

Indoor loop-stick antenna Courtesy SWL/K9

 

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding ZF1, 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, indicated at 0714z that “WH2XXP is -26dB at 45 minutes before sunset. A good omen.”  He wasn’t wrong!  Roger added later that he “…returned to 630m to find the band in full swing. Signal strength reports from local and DX were exceptionally high. Heard 9 stations and heard by 36, including ZF1EJ (-26), VE6XH (-11), VE6JY (-13), W7IUV (-11), WH2XGP (-10), VE7BDQ, WI2XJQ, VE7VV, VE7SL, W0YSE, WI2XBQ, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR (+6), JH1INM, JA1NQI/2, TNUKJPM, JA3TVF.    Roger shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from 49 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, WE2XPQ, ZL2AFP, WH2XCR, and ZF1EJ.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from nineteen unique stations including VK2XGJ and ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported a much better session, providing reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from sixteen unique stations.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from sixty unique stations including EJTSWL, ZL2AFP, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3ALZ, VK3ANX, VK3GJZ, VK3WRE, VK4YB, VK7TW and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for eleven WSPR stations and he received reports from 42 unique stations including VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK7TW and ZL2AFP.   He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

This was a very good session, perhaps the best of the Summer at my station.  For the first time in months, QRN levels were very low, making listening easy.  It really was early Fall listening conditions and I can only imagine that these conditions will continue to improve.  I was pleased not only to share two-way reports with WH2XCR but also to receive a report from ZL2AFP.  I’ve not made the trans-Pacific path since my station changed earlier this Summer which resulted in less output power on digital modes.  I would estimate my power at between 1-2W ERP overnight while operating at 15% transmit cycle.  I have since increased the transmit duty cycle this morning to 29% in hopes of perhaps catching another trans-Pacific report on the approach to sunrise but I doubt that will be realized.  Most of my reports tend to arrive well before sunrise.    Merv indicated that he heard me before sunset in KH6, which suggests very good propagation:

“Last nite when I turned on WSPR out of no where pops this signal, XIQ..  0436,  almost 30 mins before sunset here.  you were in there with the KW guys,  little weaker of course but excellent job..”

I look forward to continued improvement and possibly a few digital and CW QSO’s.  I mentioned some time back that I was “out” on FT8 but the more that I have learned about it, I can probably live with some of the automation that the mode offers.  It’s detection limit is not as good as JT9 but its convenient to complete a quick QSO that might not be possible with JT9 due to QSB and at levels that might be beyond conventional CW levels.  My transmission report details can be viewed here and my reception report details can be viewed here.

WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.   He received reports from nineteen unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  DX report details can be viewed here.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

ZF1EJ WSPR console showing VK4YB report at -22 dB S/N 12 minutes before sunrise in ZF1 (courtesy ZF1EJ)

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from thirteen 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 nineteen WSPR stations including VK3HP, VK3XHM, VK5ABN and ZL1EE. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, ZF1EJ  and WE2XPQ. Merv received reports from 25 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3WRE, VK5AKK, VK7TW and ZL2AFP. DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, posted in the ON4KST chat that this session was the “Best condx yet this season hr. SS 0043z. XZO 1w 1st arrived 0100z, XXC 5w 0108z, wi2xqu 5w 0118z, wi2xrm 1w 0130z, XXM 5w 0138z, XIQ 1w 0142z, wi2xsv 1w 0150z, XXP 0200z, 7 xgp 5w -25 0916z, 1 zf1ej 2w -26 0844z.”  Today Jim presents a discussion entitled, “630m MYSTERIES IN SOLAR ECLIPSE ENHANCEMENT INTERVALS”:

“Today I won’t even try to explain any mysteries.  May we just be in awe of 630m doing the unexpected.  To set the stage, see this list of solar eclipse decodes sorted by station pairs, with each sorted set put in time order.  (8/21/17)

17:00   VE7BDQ   0.475734   -27   0   CN89la   +27   0.501   WD2XSH/20   CN83   616   383    
17:20   VE7BDQ   0.475734   -25   0   CN89la   +27   0.501   WD2XSH/20   CN83   616   383  

 

17:12   WH2XGP   0.475688   -27   0   DN07dg   5   WI2XBQ   CN70vr   811   208 
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

 

17:18   WH2XXP   0.475663   -29   0   DM33   +47   50.119   WH2XGP   DN07dg   1633   1015  
17:30   WH2XXP   0.475663   -30   0   DM33   +47   50.119   WH2XGP   DN07dg   1633   1015  
 
18:46   WH2XXC   0.475637   -26   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   WI2XQU   EM85   654   406 
18:54   WH2XXC   0.475637   -27   0   FM18qi   +37   5.012   WI2XQU   EM85   654   406 

 

Now please refer to today’s illustrations showing positions of the oval of totality when each first and last 630m WSPR2 decode for a station pair occurred.  Dashed E-region contour ovals of arbitrary size are colored to correspond with same-colored dashed great circle lines directly joining the stations.

Considering the illustrations, I suspect actual eclipse-affected propagation greatly departed from the dashed great circle lines, because the oval of totality sometimes was nowhere near the great circle between stations when some decodes occurred.  But why?

Today’s TABLE collects the numerical time information for the various paths.  WSPR2 is occasionally sampling what’s probably highly variable eclipse-affected signal strength–like the BCB stations showed us in posts last two blog days. So I regard the WSPR decodes as signs of an interval during which eclipse-affected propagation actively was in progress between any such station pair.

The middle-of-interval time I’d have expected would be about the time when the oval of totality would make closest approach to the D-region crossing on the great circle path between two stations.  Comparing the middle-time circle on the eclipse track map of America with such point of closest approach then leads to my comments in the rightmost column of the TABLE.

Why was the 1700z VE7BDQ – xsh/20 decode so early?  Did 630m RF really reflect from the ionosphere at a point west over the Pacific Ocean?  Why didn’t VE7BDQ – xsh/20 keep decoding as far to the east as it did to the west?

In the central part of the USA, why didn’t the path XXM-w0air decode at all during the eclipse when gap-separated clusters of daytime decodes in deep -20s dB were being delivered before and after the eclipse?  The XXM-w0air geometry has some symmetry with XXC-xqu, and XXM lies closer to the track of totality than XXC does!

Turning to the Eastern seaboard, why was the 1854z XXC – xqu decode so late?  Did the RF actually reflect at a point east over the Atlantic Ocean?   And why did XXC-xqu decode late when VE7BDQ-xsh/20 decoded early?

TU & GL with your continuing 630m efforts this season!”

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