This session seemed ok for the most part. A few small storms made a tremendous amount of noise during the evening and overnight but they were easy enough to null here. During the early evening I called CQ on JT9 hoping to work WH2XGZ near Austin, Texas but he reported some kind of problem that was evidently resolved later in the session as he was running WSPR overnight. This morning I made a few impromptu calls on JT9 and was observed on both the WG2XSV and W5EST screen sharing systems. The path to the Pacific Northwest has been particularly good during the morning recently. WSPR reports overnight from stations in that area increased after 0800z when I woke up to rotate the antenna to listen in that direction. Noise was higher as a storm system entered the panhandle of Texas. Morning CW was normal although elevated noise made omni listening tough during my CQ’s prior to my sked.
Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet with a Bz pointing slight less to the South than the previous session but increased solar wind velocities averaging 333 km/s. DST values appear near-nominal:
Trans-Atlantic reports for the first time since the beginning of the season were registered for Stefan, DK7FC, by WG2XJM and WE2XGR/3. No North American stations were reported in Europen during this session, unlike the previous session:
Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, added this morning: “decent condx last night, 2x DK7FC, 1x XCR, 1x XSV besides usual stuff”
John, W1TAG / WE2XGR/3, similarly reported: “Looks like I had 2 DK7FC spots. Good night overall. “
Trans-pacific reports were interrupted near sunrise on the West coast due to a WSPRnet outage but WH2XGP and WH2XXP both “made it across” from the mainland.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, decoded eleven WSPR stations including a number of eastern stations while using the omni antenna. He was decoded by thirty unique stations including VK4YB and numerous stations in the East. Larry indicates that overall band conditions seemed down through this session in spite of the improved eastern path.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 39 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2NP, and VK3ELV during this session. VK4YB submitted a report at 1330z that was 15-minutes after sunrise in Arizona. It was good propagation to Oceania from the Southwest:
Roger, VK4YB, issued a “Code-6” for propagation and band conditions during the early morning in North America so he and Steve, VE7SL, made another attempt at a JT9 QSO. Unfortunately the band proved to be a bit flat on this higher latitude path so after a number of calls they suspended the attempt. They are approaching this the right way, in my opinion, and are following the sage advice that has been so long repeated by successful operators on 160-meters: “Your butt better be in the chair in front of the radio every morning (and every night).” Roger sent statistics, comments and a few pictures of his new antenna:
Here are the stats on last night.
Spots 18 * WH2XGP (-19), 40 * WH2XXP (-10) (last at 13:30), 35 * WH2XCR (-12)
There were no known DX decodes of my signal. Although better than last night, it was somewhat disappointing that no station from the PNW, other than Larry, was spotted.
I am sending two photos of my new antenna. It is almost impossible to show the thin wire going to the top of the tall tree. Photo 1 show a small lattice tower, which will carry my HF beam eventually. Behind and to the left is the 120ft high tree supporting the new antenna. A guy wire for the tower can be seen to the left of the tree. Much higher and almost invisible is the feed wire to the top of the tall tree from the shack. The wire then falls vertically to the base of the tree. Photo 2 shows the base of that tree on the left and the view down the hill to a small lake about 300 ft away. The loading wire is not visible but goes down to the lake and then up the other side about another 150 ft.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported at 0351z, “The worst static Ive heard here all summer… very loud and long lightning crashes.” This may have been the result of very active storms in Utah, Nevada and the “four corners” region in general.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided the following reception list for the session:
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, had a pretty good session and was heard in the East once again. He was hearing well on JT9 this morning also:
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported a number of stations in the eastern and southern/southwestern US during this session but the Pacific Northwest was shut out for some reason:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that he is making his way back to Alaska. KL7L and WE2XPQ were automatically shutdown several days ago by a power protection system. Laurence reports, “ac clean power has been the issue at KL7L – but power watch dogs put rxs offline as they didnt like the waveform it appears – the house has split boxes each with its own 200A Corcom AC/RF filter unit which adds a little more control”. He provided this picture of the well-traveled E-probe located in the garden at his Mum’s house in Sussex, about 40-mile Southeast of London:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was decoded as far East as WG2XJM with good coverage on the West coast of North America and a number of reports from Australia that came after the WSPRnet outage. Merv reports that he is making plans for higher power in the future and is working out details of how he might implement a G0MRF amplifier.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “ANTENNA COMBINING: 630M GW TRANSITION TO SKY WAVE”:
“This blog 9/12 highlighted possible future stereo diversity for 630m CW by audio playback of stereo diversity 160m CW. Yesterday’s blog described 630m JT9 multiple-antenna work yielding 22% increase of JT9 decodes of John VE7BDQ by Neil WG2XSV (WA) Sept. 5. Today, let’s look at the 630m ground wave (GW) vs. sky wave monitoring of Ken WG2XXM (OK) by John WG2XIQ (TX).
John WG2XIQ: Last night I combined my rotatable multi-turn loop and E-probe with an old ICE HF RX splitter/combiner with low isolation and not-constant impedance that’s a bit lossy down at 472 KHz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_dividers_and_directional_couplers (scroll 70%, Figures 16-18). XIQ station setup: https://www.qrz.com/db/KB5NJD (scroll 20%, scroll 70% for loop.) E-probe is PA0RDT style 40 ft up in a pecan tree with 1:1 isolation at ground level. Yaesu FT-920 RX.
For lower losses at 472 KHz, I could rewind the transformer with a proper core mix or go directly to a Wilkinson combiner. See wikipedia Fig. 11, or:
On the 630m path XXM-xiq at 324 km distance, I observed variations in the incoming wave angle. In the past, I have switched between each RX antenna. Fades last night were less prevalent by having both antennas active “filling in the holes.”
These antennas are too close on my real estate for true diversity. The coax lengths were close to equal, but I didn’t cut them equal. Directivity was surprisingly good, as indicated by turning the loop. That’s surprising since the omni element (E-probe) was included. I could actually observe the incoming WG2XXM signal transition from GW to sky wave. Signal levels from each antenna were surprisingly similar although I expected the E-probe to swamp the input with noise and drown out the loop. That just wasn’t the case.
Jim W5EST: Regarding XXM GW and sky wave, what signal behavior tells you the transition? Even one antenna would show an increase in SNR at sunset. John, are you observing relative phase from antennas? With what receiver or instruments?
John WG2XIQ: As for XXM, I could transition from individual RX antennas to the “combined” signal soup approach and negate the effects of fades. So, when using individual antennas, I can see a fade start on one antenna on a signal that has been consistent for a considerable amount of time. When I flip the switch to the other antenna the signal can be seen coming up again. The signal coming-up compensated the fading-down with the two antennas combined by the RF combiner. I never saw the fade, like the transition was averaged out.
I could also rotate the loop and null XXM on the GW path only to see his XXM signal strength coming up on the E-probe. No concern for phase, I was just watching relative signal levels and their increasing or decreasing trend in level. I’ve watched the transition with the single antennas for years. So to be able to look at the combo and, as a result, not see the transition fades and peaks was interesting.
Jim W5EST: Maybe someday, even if not soon, I hope you can demonstrate Lissajous patterns to visualize received signal phase changes by coupling XY inputs of your scope to the received XXM signal audio outputs respectively from 2 antennas via 2 receivers. That would make a great 630m video too!
Blog readers, e-mail us your multiple antenna experiences, especially if you have data and/or screenshots. GL!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).