The details for September 13, 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.
It was a mostly quiet morning but the western half of the US experienced evening storms with a few flare-ups this morning. I’m not hearing this activity in North Texas on the approach to sunrise but its probably pretty loud if you are near one of these systems. There is quite a bit of rain in many areas of the East but rain static has not been reported so far.
Geomagnetic conditions reached G1 storm levels as the CME from the X8.3 event on September 10 arrived during this session according to Solarham. The Bz is pointing slightly to the South this morning and solar wind velocities peaked over 650 km/s overnight but is currently averaging near 460 km/s this morning. Protons have leveled off for now. DST values were climbing steadily ahead of this event but is behaving erratically this morning. There was a CME released from a C3.0 flare on Tuesday morning but analysis suggests that impact should be minimal, in spite of being Earth-directed.
JB, VE3EAR, reported “I’m seeing a nice strong QRSS signal here at local solar noon at 475.500 kHz. on my JT9 screen.” Other stations checked for the signal but no additional reports were ever indicated. The signal disappeared by afternoon.
Trans-Atlantic report details can be viewed here.
John, W1TAG/1 / WE2XGR, provided reports for ten WSPR stations including EA5DOM and EA3AER. John indicated that “The CME hit was at 2100. The more northerly paths are pretty blocked, but with TAG at lat. 43.9 and EA5 at 38.5, it worked. The Spain in Maine is mainly below the plane.”
Luis, EA5DOM, indicated that in addition to his signal receiving six reports from W1TAG/1, “Conditions to NE were also good, reaching OH6JKN at almost 3200Km”
Doug, K4LY / WI2XZO, reported that band conditions seemed weaker than recent sessions and he experienced a PC shutdown due to a Windows update gone wild resulting in his being off air for five hours. He provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from 31 unique stations during his time on air.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from 21 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
David, N1DAY / WI2XUF, reports that the winds in his area have finally calmed and he still has an antenna. He provided the following comments and WSPR statistics:
“…I had a total of 35 unique spots – 8 receive, 27 transmit. A DPDT relay was installed to switch the induction coil out of my 6 element vertical antenna during receive and that allows me to use the same antenna for both receive and transmit. So far, it seems to be working as planned. No additional modifications other than grounding checks are in the works, so I am gong to run with this system as it is now into the fall and winter. I have attached a few pics of the antenna – it really does look like a mini Eiffel tower. If you look closely you can see the verticals in an 8′ circle surrounding the radial anchor, and the 1′ diameter disk way up in the tree where all of the verticals meet. N6LF’s antenna articles were very helpful in designing this antenna.”
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, indicates that he survived the hurricane with only tree damage and a power outage. He provided reports for nine WSPR stations and indicates that noise was low this morning.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations overnight, including session best WG2XXM at 0 dB S/N and 37 decodes of ZF1EJ, best -12 dB S/N. Mike indicates that the band “seems only fair…” during this session.
Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations through generally quiet band conditions in spite of a day of rain.
Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, received reports from KJ6MKI, VE6JY, VH6XH, VE7SL, W6SFH, W7IUV, WB6RQN (first time report), WG2XIQ and WH2XGP. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and WG2XXM.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded eleven WSPR stations and he received reports from fifty unique stations including VK2XGJ, ZL2AFP (10 decodes, best -23), and five Canadian stations. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB (18 decode from Roger, best -18 dB S/N), WH2XCR and ZF1EJ.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 59 unique stations including ZL2AFP, ZL1EE, ZL2BCG, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3NFI, and VK5AKK.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, was operating in a receive-only capacity during this session. He provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB. As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB.
I spent the evening only listening for WSPR stations. Band conditions were typical but I expected a bit more after the arrival of the CME from the X8.3 event due to enhancements. Those band conditions may have developed as the evening progressed and I QRT’ed for the night. This morning I was up a bit earlier than normal and started the session at 0946z. Domestic reports were solid but long haul reports over all were down after a quick look at overnight reports. By 1100z, however, I had provided my first report for VK4YB (actually at 5W ERP, not .5W ERP as indicated in the dataset) so I increased my transmit cycle from 25% to 31% in hopes to catching a report from Roger. Roger indicated that he was seeing traces of my signal on several occasions but never enough to decode. I was operating at an estimated 1W ERP and no more than 1.75W ERP. WH2XCR and I shared two-way reports approaching CW-levels and I gave serious thought about calling him to get him out of bed for a QSO but just as the levels stabilized, the opening dried up and he was gone. We will get better, more stable chances, this Winter. My transmission report details can be viewed here and my reception report details can be viewed here.
At the end of July I was working on CW Skimmer and integration to the Reverse Beacon Network for 630-meters. The results were mixed and my approach was not working consistently well. I decided that I would try to implement CW Skimmer at my remote receiver so that I wouldn’t completely destroy the dynamic range of the receiver when I was transmitting here but I wanted to wait until it cooled off a bit and I was able to improve the receive antenna at that location. Both conditions have been met now and after quite a bit of effort, the software appears to be running on the remote system. I am cautiously optimistic after a few “weird” problems that I experienced. Because the system was really designed for amateur activity, the call sign validation process was a limitation. I think I have worked around that by adding all active Part-5 call signs, whether CW operators or not, to a “watch list” that allows them to be decoded the first time that a CQ is detected. I’ve also added some rules for the patterns of all active Part-5 call signs. I think this will work OK for most but I’ve not been able to test stations like the ARRL’s group where a “/XX” designator is added. We will just have to see. Of course, all of these problems should go away once the band opens to hams. After a few days where I can consistently generate reports of my signal (which is complicated since I tend to overload the receiver at even low power levels!), I will make a general announcement. So far, so good, however. Thanks to VE7VV and N4ZR for their help with getting this far.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for nine WSPR stations. He received reports from 23 unique stations. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for two WSPR stations during this session, including WH2XCR. There have been no reports for G4DMA/a in several days so Laurence must be on the move again.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for nine WSPR stations, including VK3HP. He shared two-way reports with ZF1EJ, VK4YB and ZL1EE. Merv received reports from 29 unique stations including JA1NQI-2, JH3XCU, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3NFI, VK3WRE, VK7TW, WE2XPQ and ZL2AFP. DX report details can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “630m/160m MYSTERIES IN AUG. 21 SOLAR ECLIPSE DECODES”:
“160m WSPR data are now compiled as part of my continuing project to assemble, analyze and interpret Aug. 21 solar eclipse WSPR spots. Over forty 160m stations were active during the eclipse as indicated by completed paths. Your participation on any band mattered whether your station completed an eclipse path or not because the strength or weakness of MF RF eclipse enhancement has posed an important question.
Because of the eclipse activity, 160m ops were invited to peruse this summary post in what’s mostly a 630m blog. Is your 160m TX or RX station listed in the eclipse data compilation? You may request the 160m data from me by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow two weeks from your request for me to make a single response to all requestor e-mail addresses combined.
As you will recall, several days of blog posts have reported and discussed 630m and 2200m solar eclipse exploits and the dramatically skewed RF signal reflections that may have completed the paths.
Today’s illustrations now add a few of many representative 160m sky wave paths that were active during the eclipse. Associated with possible 160m path reflection places, you can see times when the paths completed.
The western N. America illustration continues with 630m stations shown, and with a 160m completion WA6MPG – af7zj & w0ay interpreted (in purple) by a probable skew path that nestled D-region crossings very close to totality at 1722z. (Stations that played an RX role in the path have calls in lower case, while TX/RX or TX-only stations are listed upper case.)
As you know, the USA government is still completing pending work to finally approve 630m for USA hams. In the West Coast illustration you see Part 5 experimental 630m stations on the USA side, and 630m-ham-ok Canada with VE7BDQ-wd2xsh/20 completing a dramatically skewed (red) 630m path at 1700z.
On 630m, 35w WH2XXP-wh2xgp completed twice during the eclipse. The later instance 1730z may have allowed a long-distance reflection over Idaho, while the earlier instance 1718z reflection could not reach its totality oval because of long distance requiring a ground reflection on the way.
As I see it, long distance reflections reflect more-nearly-horizontal RF rays at the steeply inclined electron contour surrounding totality. By contrast, short distance RF rays slant up to reflection points farther out from totality where the contour is less steeply inclined. So the earlier 1718z XXP-xgp instance probably glanced off the large-sized egg-shaped contour that’s concentric with the 1718z totality position . That’s where the contour surface is not too steep and the lateral skew is modest.
The eastern N. America illustration features even more numerous MF activities. Together with BCB station paths at WSM650-swl/k9 and WLW700-w5est, the 630m paths involved WH2XXC-wi2xqu & ka1lm. 160m paths round out a picture at which the 630m path completions strongly hinted. On 160m, even a casual glance at the paths shows an eastward preponderance of “late” path completions east of the Mississippi River. (Contrasting colors help distinguish paths, and clusters of similar colors help relate paths to their completion times along the eclipse track. Percentages of maximum partial eclipse are noted.)
West of the Mississippi, a singleton -28dB decode via 5w KE7A-n0nb provides a dramatic example of an “early” path completion at 1740z, more like behavior on the West Coast. For reasons given in a recent post, the “leaning chimney” slant direction of the eclipse shadow down through the ionosphere may account for the difference between the West Coast and East Coast path timings. http://njdtechnologies.net/090917/
Now I focus further on 630m/160m mysteries in the results. On 630m, WG2XXM-w0air delivered an SNR sequence in the West that showed no eclipse enhancement, while similarly located 160m KE7A-n0nb had a way-early eclipse decode emerge out of nowhere.
WH2XXC-ka1lm in the Northeast delivered an 1846z 630m decode: It shouldn’t have happened given the greater-than-halfhop distance from totality to Vermont!
18:46 WH2XXC 0.475640 -24 0 FM18qi +37 5.012 KA1LM FN33kx 691 429
160m in the Northeast showed several mysteriously strong sequences in confirmation of the 630m tip. W8AC-n2nom path dramatically rose 14 dB during the eclipse, with their enhancement lasting until 1902z when totality had departed to the Atlantic Ocean!
As an explanation, bulk transport eastward for ionization at D-region and E-region is not expected because the sun would re-ionize D and E regions on the way even if such transport did occur. Moreover, literature referenced in the Sept. 6-7 blogs indicates bulk transport is not a significant process in eclipsed D and E regions. No significantly long D-region time constant of ionization decay or delay in re-ionization was apparent in West Coast results, which suggests such delay was not a big factor in the Northeast either.
Meanwhile, 20 watt KM1W-k4rcg, eastern MA to northern VA, delivered a sequence that lacked an eclipse enhancement.
160m ops along the eclipse track itself were trading WSPR decodes one way and the other along it. But whether instances of full 180° back-bounce occurred—a SE ray going back NW or a NW ray going back SE along the track—that’s a debatable question.
In the midst of all this bafflement, I’ll simply close with a couple of items that went on as one might have expected. Across the eclipse track, paths between Texas/Arkansas and the upper Midwest/Great Lakes were moderately time-symmetrical. That makes sense since they represented a halfway place between West-early and East-late path dynamics.
TU & GL on your favorite MF band this season!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!