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

New season officially opens; Unsettled to G1 storm levels overnight provide a nice boost; Very active trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific paths; Strong daytime reports from WH2XXP at K5FX

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Its almost like someone turned the light dimmer switch to full brightness as the band was significantly improved over this session.  Noise levels were very low compared to previous sessions and signals were strong, so strong that numerous hybrid “fake” call signs were generated.  A number of stations reported WSPR spot counts typical for late Fall and early Winter and numerous S/N reports were the highest they have been since late last Winter.

Lightning 090116

12-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic activity was elevated early in the day and transitioned to unsettled levels by late afternoon / early evening in North America.  By morning a G1 storm was in progress and the K-index was at 5.  The Bz was once again variable but has stabilized to unity as this report is being developed.  Solar wind velocities are averaging 505 km/s at this time.  DST values have taken a hit:

planetary-k-index 090116


Kyoto DST 090116


Australia 090116


The unsettled conditions no doubt created the interesting daytime openings between K5FX / WH2XGZ near Austin, Texas and K7PO / WH2XXP in Arizona.  These types of late morning openings are typical during the Winter but quite uncommon this early in the season:

WH2XXP K5FX 090116

WH2XXP, as reported by K5FX


Ward went on to have a good overnight session, reporting a better night on the VK path than previous and receiving 46 WSPR decodes including VK4YB, VK2DDI, VK2XGJ, and EJTSWL.  His session best was three reports from VK4YB at -18 dB S/N:


WH2XXP, as reported by EJTSWL


WH2XXP VK2DDI 090116

WH2XXP, as reported by VK2DDI


WH2XXP VK2XGJ 090116

WH2XXP, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XXP VK4YB 090116

WH2XXP, as reported by VK4YB


Edgar, EJTSWL, aggregated VK spots into a table sorted by time and he also provided animation showing the terminator from 0830z to 1230z:

WH2XXP VK 090116

WH2XXP WSPR report aggregations from VK’s sorted by time


terminator 090116

Terminator, 0830z – 1030z


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports much improved band conditions, particularly on the transcontinental path.  He decoded twelve WSPR stations including  VK4YB and some East coast stations, all using the E-probe.  He was decoded by 41 unique stations, including VK4YB, VK4DDI, VK2XGJ, and ZF1EJ:

VK4YB WH2XGP 090116

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XGP


WH2XGP VK2DDI 090116

WH2XGP, as reported by VK2DDI


WH2XGP VK2XGJ 090116

WH2XGP, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XGP VK4YB 090116

WH2XGP, as reported by VK4YB


WH2XGP ZF1EJ1 090116

WH2XGP, as reported by ZF1EJ/1


WH2XGP ZF1EJ 090116

WH2XGP, as reported by ZF1EJ


Roger, VK4YB, indicates that propagation was very similar to the previous session but signals were slightly stronger.  He reports that WH2XXP  was decoded twenty times,  best -18 dB S/N and  WH2XGP was decoded twelve times,  best -23 dB S/N.  He also decoded WI2XBQ twice, best at -27 dB S/N, and WH2XCR with 29 decodes,  best -18 dB S/N:

VK4YB W6XY 090116

VK4YB, as reported by W6XY


WI2XBQ VK4YB 090116

WI2XBQ, as reported by VK4YB


Steve, VE7SL, reports that he decoded twelve WSPR stations and was decoded by 28 unique stations.  Steve adds, “My best night with the 60 watter so far. Nice to see the E-W path return.”  Roger, VK4YB, and Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, both reported a mystery station that was not decoded and through log analysis, Steve suggests that the he was probably this station.

On the East coast, trans-Atlantic openings were also active as noise floors begin to decrease.  Mike, WA3TTS, and John, W1TAG / WE2XGR, reported Stefan, DK7FC.  John, who is currently operating from Maine,  additionally decoded PA3ABK/2 and was decoded by Geoff, G0LUJ, who indicates that he was “…using a RedPitaya as a receiver and a wideband loop”.  John also reports that he decoded twelve and was decoded by 25 unique stations and adds, “E-W is starting to work.”

TTS XGR3 TA 090116

WA3TTS and WE2XGR/3 trans-Atlantic reports


DK7FC WA3TTS 090116

DK7FC, as reported by WA3TTS


DK7FC WE2XGR3 090116

DK7FC, as reported by WE2XGR/3


PA3ABK2 WE2XGR3 090116

PA3ABK/2, as reported by WE2XGR/3


WE2XGR3 G0LUJ 090116

WE2XGR/3, as reported by G0LUJ


Mike, WA3TTS, provided the following excellent and extensive report for the overnight activity:

“John: First T/As of the fall season here. As usual, the T/A’s with DK7KC were preceded by higher than normal SNRs from XKA and XGR/3.  Past experience XKA has often been at +10 to +12 SNR at times prior to DK7FC’s signal being captured in mid or late season events.

Some approximate time after 0500 I switched from the NE EWE antenna direction to the SW EWE antenna direction.  I was surprised to see the VE7SL and WH2XGP captures this morning with my EWE antennas pointed SW.  Usually I only get a handful of XGP captures in the SW direction.  I’ll have to start looking to the NW after 0500 as that is a quieter direction for me which may allow for some early fall seacon T/P captures of WH2XCR.  Hearing VE7SL on the SW EWE was a surprise as well as that antenna is 4~dB down from the NW heading EWE.

The DX is encouraging as I have not yet tested the insertion loss on my EWE transformers since the late July lightning strike that took out my e-probe FET, a FET on my basement waterpipe leak detector, my 100W stereo system (induced EMF into speaker cables), and several GFCIs. Last week I lost (and replaced) my Netgear FVG-318 router, which may have had it’s flash memory affected although it was about 3 years old running 24/7.  I seem to go through routers like car tires…




So far no issues with any of my PCs that were LO-Z grounded to my LO-Z  AC service ground since the late July lightning strike. Basically everything that was directly connected to my LO-Z AC service ground appears to have survived the high EMF event…

2016-09-01 04:20   DK7FC   0.475684   -21   1   JN49ik   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   6636   298
2016-09-01 04:10   DK7FC   0.475683   -22   0   JN49ik   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   6636   298
2016-09-01 08:40   VE7SL   0.475632   -23   -1   CN88iu   0.5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3489   89
2016-09-01 06:46   VE7SL   0.475632   -21   -1   CN88iu   0.5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3489   89

2016-09-01 00:42   WE2XGR/3   0.475677   +7   0   FN43sv   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   871   248
2016-09-01 02:20   WE2XGR/3   0.475677   +8   0   FN43sv   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   871   248
2016-09-01 02:16   WG2XKA   0.475723   +7   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241
2016-09-01 02:32   WG2XKA   0.475723   +7   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241

2016-09-01 03:38   WE2XGR/3   0.475677   +7   0   FN43sv   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   871   248
2016-09-01 03:54   WG2XKA   0.475723   +7   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241
2016-09-01 04:12   WG2XKA   0.475723   +6   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241
2016-09-01 04:26   WG2XKA   0.475723   +7   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241
2016-09-01 04:40   WG2XKA   0.475723   +7   0   FN33lq   1   WA3TTS   EN90xn   673   241

2016-09-01 07:58   WH2XGP   0.475689   -13   0   DN07dg   5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3227   89
2016-09-01 09:58   WH2XGP   0.475689   -15   0   DN07dg   5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3227   89
2016-09-01 08:46   WH2XGP   0.475689   -15   0   DN07dg   5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3227   89
2016-09-01 10:30   WH2XGP   0.475689   -15   0   DN07dg   5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3227   89
2016-09-01 10:36   WH2XGP   0.475689   -16   0   DN07dg   5   WA3TTS   EN90xn   3227   89

Several high XGP decodes overnight, the -13 would have been audible….

Still no luck with WH2XND on 75 kHz, even when WWVB is well over S9+. I appear to have a substantially higher background noise level in the 30 to 75 kHz range vs 137 kHz….possibly a chorus of community based florescent lamp ballasts or other demonic square wave generators….

73 Mike, wa3tts…”

WA3TTS 090116

WA3TTS session WSPR activity

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, had a great night and reports that he has added an additional five foot section to the low noise vertical so it will be interesting to see if there is any improvement tonight.  He provided these additional comments and statistics:

“This was the best session of the young season here, with noise levels starting to taper off.  Sporadic showers all night caused several power reductions – ending at about 120W TPO.  The PNW path opened, with both-way action with VE7SL.  W6XY appeared here for the first time this season as well.  WG2XKA was heard by 10 and spotted 23.”

WG2XKA 090116

WG2XKA session WSPR activity


Phil, VE3CIQ, indicates that he is beginning to see improvements and he provided the following comments and statistics:

“Pretty good session as far as participation, my decoded count is the highest I’ve seen in months, but seemed to be a wall blocking the west. I see a couple new callsigns, new to me anyway, N6IO/M and N2BJW. Welcome”

VE3CIQ 090116

VE3CIQ session WSPR activity


JB, VE3EAR, reported a few WSPR stations this morning and posted his statistics to the LOWFER reflector:

“0322 -23 -1.6   0.475614  0 WG2XIQ EM12 33
0324 -27 -1.7   0.475664  0 WH2XXP DM33 40
0324  -9 -1.6   0.475723  0 WG2XKA FN33 30
0324 -12 -1.8   0.475749 -1 VE3CIQ FN15 30
0330 -23 -1.3   0.475714  0 VE3EFF FN15 30
0330 -21 -1.6   0.475753  0 WH2XNG FN20 43

It’s nice to see some VE3’s among the list.”


Toby, VE7CNF,  reports “I heard 8, was heard by 23 on 630m WSPR. Best night in a long time.”

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, had coast-to-coast reports and provided the following comments and details:

“Best day of the barely started season- almost winter-like conditions with TAs from Maine, TPs from several stations, and many coast to coast decodes.  Hard to believe it just turned September 8 hours ago!

WH2XZO decoded 8 and was decoded by 26 unique stations including W6XY and VE7SL!   Amazing!”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports “Big signals, XXP was loud enough that His CWID was S3 here — CW QSO would have been possible.” and provides the following statistics from his station over night:

WI2XJQ 090116a

WI2XJQ 090116b


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported a strong session, with his signal making it to Austin, Texas overnight:

WG2XSV 090116


Neil, also decoded my early morning JT9 CQ’s and provided the following reports of my signal:

WG2XIQ JT9 WG2XSV 090116

WG2XIQ, as reported by WG2XSV


Ken, SWL-EN61, in Indiana also provided JT9 decodes from my CQ’s:

WG2XIQ JT9 SWLEN61 090116

WG2XIQ, as reported by SWL-EN61


Jim, W5EST, reported on the behalf of Don, W5OR / WD2XSH/15 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Jim reports that Don was decoded on both coasts, eight of those stations were further than 1800km away.  These stations include VE7SL, WH2XGP, N6SKM, W6XY, WE2XGR/3,  ZF1EJ, WG2XKA, and WH2XAR. W4BCX was a closer station at 1343km and provided Don with a single decode.  He was also easily decoded here at my station but he is only a few hundred miles away.

Stefan, DK7FC, reports that he will be “on the move” this weekend and will install a portable MF station while in France.  He posted the following details on the RSGB LF reflector:

“Hi all,

Just to announce that i will be in France this weekend again. If all works well, i will install an MF TX/RX system. While having BBQ i will run a WSPR bacon. The power will be low but i have my large PA on tour…
Locator will be JN29OD.
I will also have a CW key there, maybe i’ll give it a try arround 472.2 kHz in the late evening when the band is open.

73, Stefan”

My morning “cross town” CW sked with WG2XIQ/1 has returned to weekdays at 1030z.  Signals were strong and noise was low and additional power will be  available at WG2XIQ/1 shortly, making the signal from there a little more accessible to others.

There were three “new” or “newer” WSPR receive stations during this session, including KB3WTI, N2BJW, and KC1APK.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 090116

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 090116

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 090116

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 090116

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-Equatorial path.  UA0SNV was present but no reports have been filed by Vasily at this time.

Eden, ZF1EJ, had a banner session and it was almost like he switched the attenuator off as he handed out reports from coast-to-coast in North America!  These were his most extensive reports in months.   Eden operated two receiver / antenna combinations once again:

ZF1EJ 090116

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1EJ1 090116

ZF1EJ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports significant aurora and probably worse conditions over the coming sessions.  He did well last night, with reports of VK4YB, WH2XCR, and others in North America.  He posted the following on the RSGB LF reflector:

“Will be rx in iceland on 475khz for next few nights – wspr2/sdriq – nw coast.  Laurence TF/G4DMA. (KL7L)”

KL7L 090116

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


VK4YB KL7L 090116

VK4YB, as reported by KL7L


WH2XCR KL7L 090116a

WH2XCR KL7L 090116b

WH2XCR, as reported by KL7L


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, shared decodes with VK4YB in spite of noise from approaching hurricanes.  He was decoded by a multitude of stations in VK and North America.  This was a good start to the new season:

WH2XCR 090116

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


VK4YB WH2XCR 090116

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR


WH2XCR VK4YB 090116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


WH2XCR VK3ELV 090116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK3ELV


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 090116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCR VK2DDI 090116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2DDI



WH2XCR, as reported by EJTSWL


Edgar, EJTSWL, provided a nice aggregation of WH2XCR reports by hour for all active VK stations which is shown below:

WH2XCR 090116

WH2XCR decodes for various VK stations sorted by time


Jim, W5EST, provided the following entitled,  “RRR: COORDINATING WSPR AND JT9 SCREEN-SHARING”:

“RRR (Remotely Re-viewable Reception) technique can run both 630m WSPR2 and JT9 software at once and help you decide when to QSY between 630m WSPR2 transmissions and JT9 QSOs.

Today’s illustration shows the WSPR-X software set forWSPR2 mode together with WSJT-X in JT9 mode running concurrently on the shack PC at W5EST after sunset 8/31/16.  WSPR2 SNR sequences tell you in real-time whether a path is probably open at JT9 levels.

The Join.Me™ screen-sharing app and RRR technique generally have been discussed 8/24-26, and 8/29-31, this blog.

W5EST in central Arkansas is less than 500km from both John WG2XIQ in N. Texas and Ken WG2XXM in central Oklahoma.  For the Aug. 31 run, I set up an open invitation to view the WSPR2 and JT9 decoders on the shack PC here.  This was conveniently done by posting the screen-sharing web link to the ON4KST reflector, depicted at lower left, for interested 630m stations to click on and initiate remote re-viewing of the W5EST receptions.

As pre-sunset (pre-SS) and 0036z sunset here transitioned into the post-SS 630 propagation regime, 630m TX1/RX1 station WG2XIQ delivered variable trend of increasing SNRs on WSPR2 at 475.611 KHz. By 0100z, XIQ’s bright WSPR bar at bottom center of waterfall at screen-left had entered decodable SNR territory on 630m W5EST RX2 that could accommodate a QSY to JT9.

WG2XIQ then switched to JT9, which inherently involved QSY-down and likely some fine tuning of SWR, whereupon his transmissions commenced at 0109z on 475.425 KHz. John XIQ called CQ several times for about a half hour.  At waterfall far-left, see a succession of ~20 Hz wide JT9 bars each one-minute “thick.” The mid-screen decodes show as well that later on during the series of CQs, 630m QSB eroded XIQ JT9 SNR at W5EST to -27dB 0125z and even prevented a decode of a CQ at 0127z.

Thereafter, John’s JT9 SNR bounced back to a peak SNR -15dB that outperformed the entirety of his JT9 CQ sequence.  That peak -15 dB is circled, as if by a grease pencil, using the Join.Me “annotate” menu option.  (Since annotations don’t “stick” to screen entries as the decoder scrolls them in response to further decodes, you generally would “recycle-can” annotations before long.)

Since no reply to the CQ had occurred by 0132z, XIQ then switched back to WSPR2—entailing a QSY and scope-match tweak to return to 475.611 KHz.  Now, screen-sharing from here in Arkansas continued on to show John in Texas his WSPR2 bars (at left). See XIQ’s yellow bars astride of the red bars by Don WD2XSH/15 transmitting from central Arkansas.

By pure coincidence, three consecutive WSPR2 transmission slots were shared by transmissions from both XIQ and XSH/15 running at their particular TxPcT transmission percentages (0136, 0142, 0148z).  Receivers at both XIQ and XSH/15 would necessarily register no WSPR2 decodes because of both their TXs active.  However, screen-sharing from RX2-only W5EST makes clear and makes available a visual confirmation that the lack of decodes is not due to any 630m propagation interruption.

Throughout the narrated sequences, the WSPR2 decoder at screen-right ran parallel to the JT9 decoder at screen-center.  As of 0154z sunset at his Arizona QTH, Ward WH2XXP now entered W5EST’s WSPR scene at -29 dB SNR.

One can expect that a well-constructed outdoor 630m RX antenna can deliver 15dB or more SNR advantage over the W5EST attic antenna and its in-house local QRN.  In that way, low performance short distance reception, upon reaching JT9 level here, heralds a probability of JT9 success east and northeast of XIQ in Texas to reach Chicago area, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina–every one of which paths extend out to multiples of the short hop distance to W5EST.

Do you have a 630m JT9 story to tell?  Thanks for your contributions so far and we’ll look forward to many more.”

W5EST 090116

click to enlarge


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