It was a wicked noisy night in the southern US as a cold front pushed South through Oklahoma, Texas and the Midwest overnight. I honestly don’t remember the band being so noisy with the E-probe registering 40-dB over S9 and the loop best nulling the storm at S9. If you were heard at my station overnight, you were doing very well. Amazingly the storm was breezy but contained very little rain or lightning. It seems most of those conditions are manifesting in West Texas but I won’t complain about the Autumn temperatures.
Geomagnetic activity is quiet once again with a Bz pointing to the North and solar wind velocities at low levels, averaging 355 km/s.
Steve, VE7SL, and Roger VK4YB made another attempt at completing a low power JT9 QSO this morning. Numerous enhancement periods were observed over the course of a few hours but Steve expects to have his QRO switching hardware completed very shortly so that both stations can take advantage of the recently improved trans-Pacific conditions.
Here is a transcript of JT9 calls from VK4YB as received at VE7SL:
1109 -26 0.3 1098 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1111 -28 0.3 1098 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1147 -24 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1149 -27 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1153 -27 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1159 -26 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1209 -26 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1225 -25 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1227 -26 -0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1229 -24 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1239 -23 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1247 -26 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1249 -26 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1253 -23 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1255 -28 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1257 -26 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1303 -27 0.2 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1305 -23 -0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1307 -25 -0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1309 -23 -0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1313 -25 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1319 -27 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1323 -22 0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1325 -25 -0.1 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1327 -24 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
1329 -25 0.0 1100 @ VE7SL VK4YB QG62
Steve indicates that during this session he received an alert from Roger at 0345 local time. Roger uses a numerical code from zero to nine to classify the urgency of each opening. A six or lower means “don’t get up” while a seven means “you decide” and anything above a seven means “get up now!” Steve adds that today was a seven. He also reports that he “shutdown at 0330 to run JT9 with Roger. Had 25 WSPR decodes including VE3CIQ and ZF1EJ…vy good to the east for a change. No JT9 decodes from Roger but had 26 of him as daylight approached. Estimate .5 erp with barefoot xvrtr not enuff. Hopefully tmrw will be closer to max erp as relays arrived yesterday.”
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 36 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK2DDI, VK5ABN, VK2XGJ, and VK4YB during this session. He notes that propagation was better than the previous session but still down from last week.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded twelve WSPR stations overnight, including VK4YB. He was using the flag pointing to the West and decoded no stations East of the Mississippi river. He was decoded by 29 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK5ABN, VK2XGJ, VK4YB, and ZF1EJ with decent reports from the East coast as propagation begins to look up at mid and higher latitudes:
Roger, VK4YB, reports the following decodes for the session, including the “best case” S/N:
“25*WH2XGP (-14) 42*WH2XXP (-15) 6*VE7SL (-22) 40*WH2XCR (-12) Decoded by WH2XGP WD2XSH/20”
Rudy, N6LF / WD2XSH/20, decoded Roger, VK4YB:
John, VK2XGJ, sent a note before his bedtime about the fantastic propagation on the Pacific path to North American during this session:
“WOW! What a night we have here. We are in Spring here in VK and if tonight is anything to go by we are in for a terrific season. Best for WH2XCR –19 dB, best for WH2XXP –22 dB and the night is still young. No VK’s so it gives me a good look at the Yanks.Gotta go sleep, if I can. Missed out last night due to t/storms and a loud buzz. Tonight, clear and crisp. Also monitoring VK2YB and VE7SL on JT9 for a while.”
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, sent the following statistics for his session and notes that there are a lot of big signals in the Pacific Northwest:
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic, trans-African or trans-Equatorial paths.
Eden, ZF1EJ, heard well in spite of the high noise level from the US mainland in addition to several storm systems in the Caribbean:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that he was “listening” remotely from a car as G4DMA/m overnight “in io80 or closeby but galeforce winds and limited horizon so will see how it goes – no wifi so will visual results in morning.” Many of us are curious of what Laurence might have decoded overnight.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, added VE7SL to his collection of stations decoded using the 80-meter dipole laying on the ground. No JA’s reported Merv during this session as the laser beam Southwest / Northeast path dominated with a large number of VK stations providing reports and many on the West coast of North America. VE4XC braved the noise and was rewarded with the most easterly decode of Merv’s signal during the session. Reports persisted in VK until after sunrise in KH6:
Jim, W5EST, presents, “TRANSPACIFIC 630M WSPR DECODES WAY UP, WHY NOT TRANSATLANTIC TOO?”:
“See a graphical comparison of last season’s 630m TP and TA WSPR2 decode numbers across months: http://njdtechnologies.net/040916/ (Scroll not quite halfway.) It shows last season’s TA decodes starting in earnest in late September and peaking prominently monthly. More background, see: http://njdtechnologies.net/040816/
Yesterday’s blog highlighted the marked increase in TP WSPR2 decodes that have started this season off with a bang. They largely resulted from the many more 630m ops getting active at QTHs in east and southeastern VK and west/northwestern N. America for TP paths. These paths link hemispheres so their seasonal dynamics is remarkable. http://njdtechnologies.net/062016/ (June 20 bulls-eye diagram).
Why isn’t 630m TA showing a similar jump so far this year? Actually, I’ve posed a misleading question! The propagation seems just as favorable, or better indeed. The TA TABLE shows peak SNRs this year already do compare to those achieved a month later last year. These TA SNRs even bode well for TA JT9 potential this season. Moreover, in the mid-June period June 18-19 and 22–summer solstice time (!)– even CW and QRSS made it across from Joe VO1NA 477.7 KHz to Roelof PA0RDT and Stefan DK7FC!
This year’s number of TA-ready operators is comparable to those last year. Station activity will largely determine the number of WSPR decodes that we’ll see on TA paths this year, not TA propagation I would venture to say.
The geography of transpacific TP paths from N. America to Japan is similar geographically to TA, and the level of station preparation is at least as good as last year. JA1NQI-2 already brings in Merv WH2XCR (Molokai). August 21, 24 and 29 saw decodes of XCR into ja1nqi-2 where SNR peaked -26 in Japan on August 29.
2016-08-29 10:40 WH2XCR 0.475747 -26 0 BL11je 1 JA1NQI-2 QM05dv 6216 300
So N.Am.-JA prospects are hopeful, but they may not start showing up bigtime for a while yet. XCR-JA in last year’s seasonal graph depicts the seasonality that N.Am.-JA ops might numerically expect: http://njdtechnologies.net/041216/ Last season, that N.Am.-JA activity started up in October, peaked December through January, and symmetrically subsided on into April.
You can be part of the 2016-17 630m season-in-the-making. Let’s look forward to ramping up a season for the record books!”
Finally, I will leave you with a “tip of the day”:
Recently a member of the ARRL’s 600-meter research group observed that a few WSPR and JT9 stations may not have been IDing in CW on a regular basis. This is required every 30-minutes under 47 CFR 5.115 here in the US. It is not optional and identification using digital modulation is not sufficient, setting parts-2 and-5 apart from common part-97 practice. All WSPR and WSJT software releases contain routines to identify in CW at regular intervals and it really makes sense to do so after every transmit cycle so that individuals tuning the band without a PC or decoding software can identify your signal. Often times I hear from people that say, “all I could hear was carriers.” There were likely WSPR or JT9 signals. While WSPR2, 2.11 and 4.0 have all been solid performers when it comes to identification, WSJT sometimes “forgets” for a few cycles and in some rare cases may require cycling of the software. There are a few bugs yet to be worked out but it still works pretty good and regular station check ups during the operating session can ensure it is running properly. The CW ID can be adjusted under Setup -> Advanced on the menu bar of the WSPR console and setting the value to 2. WSJTx can be adjusted by going to File -> Settings and looking at the bottom right corner of the first tab. Set the value to 1 to enable transmission with every cycle. Also doing so before enabling transmit usually ensures that the process works consistently.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).