The evening session began in North America with noisy conditions as thunderstorms were active across the central US. It was loud and made it easy for me to decide to “set it and forget it”, referring to letting WSPR run its course as I hoped for quieter conditions in the morning. That was the right decision.
Geomagnetic conditions continue at storm levels. Its been quite a while since we have seen such persistent unsettled conditions. The Bz was once again variable, currently pointing slightly to the South at -2 nT. Solar wind velocities are down from the previous session, still very high at an average of 575 km/s.
It was another big night on the trans-Pacific path for WSPR and JT9. During the early morning, Steve, VE7SL, and Roger, VK4YB, attempted what would be the first 630-meter JT9 QSO between North American and Australia and likely the longest distance two-way QSO ever completed on 630-meters. Steve was hearing Roger consistently but Steve is currently only running 68-watts TPO until he completes the switching mods for his QRO amp resulting in Roger seeing only bits and pieces of Steve’s signal in Queensland. This QSO will be forthcoming and will be a really big deal once its completed. I even cancelled my morning CW and JT9 activity so that I could watch the drama play out in the ON4KST chat/logger.
Part of what is making a future QSO possible is the incredible antenna at VK4YB which is consistently lofting the signals heard in North America as well as hearing our signals. Roger recently made some adjustments to his system which significantly contributed to his understanding of how the system works. Roger explains:
Attached is my sketch of the new antenna (not exactly to scale). It also shows you the original antenna. Whereas the new antenna is not quite as high above sea level as the original one, it has the advantage of running down the hillside facing towards USA. I believe the sloping land is advantageous. There is a third antenna of the same dimensions, which comes towards the observer and cannot be shown on that diagram. The radiation pattern of these antennas is becoming clearer. They are end fire antennas. They radiate best the way the wire is running. I had thought that they were bidirectional end fire, but now I realize that one direction is more favoured than the other. My original antenna is best to the South West and all previous reports from NA were off the back of that beam! With the new antenna, NA will get the benefit of the main lobe. Exciting times ahead!
Steve, VE7SL, provided the following comments on this morning’s activities from his perspective including his first time WSPR reports in VK:
“John … finally got the frequency doubler working well and driving the big amp from the vk4yb xvrtr (attenuated) but still need to build the switching unit for antenna and xvrtr changeovers. I ran the system in tx mode only for a few hours last night at my max 5W eirp…enclosed is the map grab.
Had two spots from Roger very early this morning so got out of bed and switched to JT9 but can’t do it with the amp yet. His two spots were my first ever to VK so I’m pleased with the performance of everything and need to finish the switching unit. It looks like I would have had a ton of spots from him had I left the amp going….Steve 73
1019 -28 0.0 1225 @ CQ VK4YB QG62
1045 -27 0.0 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1053 -28 0.0 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1055 -25 -0.1 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1057 -27 0.1 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1059 -27 0.2 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1103 -27 0.1 1025 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1123 -26 0.1 1026 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1125 -27 0.1 1026 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1217 -28 0.0 1035 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1223 -27 0.1 1040 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62″
There are a number of other big signals in VK as seen on a screen capture from David, VK2DDI. As open space is difficult to find in the WSPR passband these days and “real estate” is at a premium, I suspect that VK3HP and I will have a difficult time being decoded on the opposite ends of open paths due to our being co-located in frequency. Co-location is not a problem as long as transmit percentages are not set too high so it may be time to decrease the transmit cycle so we can both fit on the same frequency:
Bulk WSPR detail reports for North American / VK openings follow:
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded eleven WSPR stations last night, including WD2XSH/15, but very few stations on the East coast. He was, however, decoded by a number of stations on the East coast which were part of forty unique stations including VK4YB, VK2DDI VK2XGJ, and EJTSWJ during the session. Larry also indicates that the path to KL7L is improving as he had reports there as well. Larry adds that he “switched over to west Flag when I got up and saw VK4YB’s JT9 trace in waterfall briefly, will try to remember to use Flag tonight.”
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, reports another strong session with 51 unique stations decoding him, including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2DDI, EJTSWL, and a single decode from VK2NP at his sunrise.
John, VK2XGJ, had a single early report for WH2XXP during the session that did not upload so he provided a screen capture to supplement the dataset:
David, VK2DDI, reports that two of three WD2XSH/20’s decodes from this morning did not upload properly to WSPRnet so he sent captures of his console, detailed below:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 46 unique stations including VK2DDI and VK4YB.
Mike, WA3TTS, had a strong night in spite of high noise levels and provided these statistics and comments:
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports more antenna changes that are paying off:
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, operated in receive-only capacity again during this session, re-running the test from the previous session with JT9 signals from VE7BDQ. Neil reported consistent differences in signals between each of his antenna / receiver pairs in the original test so the idea of re-running the test was to determine if there were, in fact, variations in propagation, or whether the variations were the result of sound device differences between each PC used to decode the signals. The raw data for the session can be viewed here but it may be a few days before analysis is complete. Neil also set up a Join.me session to allow a virtual remote view of his receivers. I think they have worked all of the bugs out of the system during this first session of use at WG2XSV.
Edgar, EJTSWL, of Moonah, Tasmania, provided a number of WSPR decodes for North American stations during this session and provided screen captures showing select stations:
There were a number of new or newer stations listening during this session, including KK7JV, AF5GM, KT4KB, and K7HR. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic, trans-Equatorial (NA/SA), or trans-African paths. UA0SNV was present but no reports have been filed at this time.
Eden, ZF1EJ, had another strong session with two receivers and two antennas:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that he will be in”…sw england io80vo for 2 nights fri/sat – will set the gear up in the car and leave on till pc batt dies.” Lets hope for good trans-Atlantic conditions by the weekend! Laurence had a good session from Alaska overnight with numerous reports of stations from the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Hawaii and Australia.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was right in the middle of all of the action during the session. Even with his receive antenna on the ground, he has managed to hear another, adding WH2XGP to the growing list. Who will be next? He was decoded by JA1NQI-2 once again and the very robust group of western VK stations that hear so well. Merv did well into North American also:
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).