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Probably QRT tonight and in the morning due to storms in the area

Noisy night in the central US as geomagnetic conditions cool *for now* but big night for trans-Pacific openings as KU4XR in TN provides 9 reports for VK4YB and ZF1EJ provided two reports; VO1NA -> PA0RDT on 477.7 kHz QRP CW; Several CW reports in last few days may mean good CW activity is ahead

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for September 17, 2016 can be viewed here.

The UTC amateur registration database is hereEven if you don’t think you will use these bands, REGISTER!  Doing so prevents UTC from future PLC coordination in these bands near your QTH.  While amateur interference to PLC systems is a myth and PLC systems are migrating away from RF, there is no reason to give them a reason to do something weird in the future.

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.

 

Noise was pretty awful in the central portions of North America as the storm system that was bisecting the continent yesterday has made only moderate progress to the East and may have expanded and filled in a bit.  It was pretty noisy this morning but like last night, I am finding that the directional receive antennas are doing a good job of knocking down the noise, at the expense of also knocking down the desired signals in some cases.  There were a few Atlantic coastal storms and stations in the East generally reported moderate to high QRN levels.

11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Geomagnetic conditions were at unsettled levels through this session and  Solarham indicates that the G1 storm watch has been extended.   The Bz remains close to the center line this morning while solar wind velocities reached near 700 km/s during the evening. This morning’s velocities are wide ranging once again, skewing the average quite a bit, which is probably near 635 km/s. DST values look hopeful and are approaching or have exceeded the centerline.  Proton levels have returned to normal background levels.

 

 

 

 

Joe, VO1NA, reported that he was QRV  with a CW beacon through this session.  He explains:

“I’m running a beacon tonight until 1000 utc tomorrow.  12 WPM about 5 W EIRP from the 20m high RL which was  recently repaired after being mangled by foul WX last winter.  The TX is the GW3EUP (my MK II) excited with an AD9850 +TC4426 and keyed with a raspi3.”

Roelof, PA0RDT, reported that he decoded Joe’s signal overnight at low power levels and he posted the following comments and capture on the RSGB-LF reflector:

“Due to numerous solar flares, lately propagation from your part of the world to the Netherlands has been very poor indeed.

Despite the high sensitivity of Linrad’s waterfall display, nothing at all could be found from NDB QY-263, Sydney, Canada, Nova Scotia, for four consecutive days. This is my main propagation marker for Canada and it’s absence is very rare.

The last couple of days, propagation has somewhat recovered and last night, I had marginal aural copy of QY-263.

It was a big surprise to find that I had also aural copy of your 5W EIRP signal on 477.700 kHz, though static was fierce. I have attached a Linrad overnight plot.”

Noisy night at PA0RDT but VO1NA’s CW is shining through (courtesy PA0RDT)

 

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates that he provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from 22 unique stations.  John added that “Condx continue to be locked down flat here with the return of summer heat and noise.  No sign of fall condx yet…soon come hopefully!”

Phil, VE3CIQ, reported that he decoded six WSPR stations and was reported by nineteen unique stations.  He added that his coverage was very similar to WG2XKA.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported “Moderate noise with only 6 decoded and 30 decoding XZO. No reports of good copy of my CW last evening.”

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, indicates “Moderate to hi noise this AM.”  He provided reports for four WSPR stations and my CW signals at RST 559  Al added that it “Wud be rough for long QSO because of high noise. Short exchange…OK.”

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations overnight, including his session best DX, WH2XXP, at -13 dB S/N.  He also indicates that he provided nineteen reports for ZF1EJ, best report was -21 dB. VE3CIQ was also reported, best report at -12dB with moderate QRN while listening to the Northwest.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded six WSPR stations and he indicated that this session “wasnt my best night on MW. Had bumped my dial and found rcvr on 474.11 or something.”  Dave indicated at 0241z that “best so far tonight ZF1EJ and Eden was in quite early – best from him -18dB and a total of 8 decodes.”

Trans-Pacific report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, submitted this link detailing DX -> JA decode totals and DX -> JA S/N peaks for the session, as reported on the Japanese language 472 kHz website.

Roger, VK4YB, provided this detailed account of the session:

“I started the session on 2200m with 10 reporting stations, then switched to 630m at 09:44. QRN was quite good but only 3 stations were logged, WH2XGP, WH2XXP and WH2XCR. VK7TW was transmitting but not heard in Queensland. 48 stations decoded VK4YB which was an all time high. 22 were VK/ZL and 26 were long haul DX. AC6JA was a new one and possibly VA7JX. The most remarkable sequence of decodes was made by KU4XR, who was the best DX at 14606 km. It is so unusual, it is worth taking a detailed look.

The signal peaked at -18, but stayed around -21 for half an hour or more. None of the many nearby receiving station got a single decode, not even at -33. How could the spotlight stay so bright and still for so long. It defies belief.

The full list of receiving stations is 7L1RLL4, AC6JA, CF7MM, EJTSWL, JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, KJ6MKI, KR6LA, KU4XR, N6GN, N6SKM, VA7JX, VE6JY, VE6XH, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3AIG, VK3ALZ, VK3ANX, VK3BBB, VK3BNC, VK3DB, VK3GJZ, VK3NFI, VK3UH, VK3WRE, VK5AKK, VK5CV, VK5FQ, VK5ZVS, VK6IM, VK7AM, VK7TW, W1CK, W6SFH, W7IUV, WD2XSH/26, WE2XPQ, WG2XSV, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WI2XJQ, WW6D, ZF1EJ, ZL2AFP, ZL4EI.”

John, VK2XGJ, reported that he began decoding WH2XCR about 10 minutes before his sunset at 0749z and was followed by reports of WH2XGP and WH2XXP.  John also indicated that his transmitting experiment from the previous session yielded no results and attributes this to the lack of a resonant and presumably matched transmit antenna.  I have requested additional details.

VK2XGJ’s early reports of WH2XCR, WH2XXP and WH2XGP (courtesy VK2XGJ)

 

Andy, KU4XR, provided reports for eleven stations including VK4YB, in which Andy provided Roger nine WSPR reports, best at -19 dB S/N.  Pretty amazing for a station in Tennessee!  Andy posted to the 600-meter research group email reflector that:

“This was definitely a surprise to see on the screen when I looked this morning. SNR values are very good .. Autumnal Equinox must be smiling on me here … Hi – Hi”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for seven WSPR stations including VK4YB near sunrise and he received reports from 22 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was decoded by nineteen unique stations “including XCR and a new one, AC6JA in DM13”.   He provided reports for six WSPR stations including three reports for VK4YB:

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 68 unique stations including ZL2AFP, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, VK3GJZ, VK3WRE and VK5AKK.  Ward added that he was operating at 20W ERP (about 40W TPO) through this session although that value is not reflected in what is being transmitted by the Ultimate3S.  He also noted that he will be working to get his system down to Patrt-97 power levels and that the lower power level overnight didn’t seem to have much impact at all on his reports.

WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for seven WSPR stations and he received reports from 36 unique stations including VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3NFI, VK3WRE and ZL2AFP.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.   As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for eight WSPR stations including VK4YB.

WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

I began the session at 0044Z with CW, calling CQ on 474.5 kHz.  This was just after my sunset, which began at 0031z, but I knew that there were stations listening for the transition from day to night.  I don’t often observe peaks or enhancements at my sunset this time of year and my expectation for a QSO was low.  Noise was also building due to the storm system that continues to bisect North America and Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, was beaconing through the evening  and listening for reports for a possible QSO.  He indicated that I was RST 559 at 0144z and “good Q5 copy” at 0205z.  Doug’s signal was lightly audible here a few times but there was some QSB and with quite a bit of storm noise, a QSO would have been tough but probably possible.  As we have QSO’ed many times in the past, we opted to punt on this one.  Curiously, the (or ‘a’) ‘phantom ditter’ made an appearance during the evening.  I say ‘a’ because I don’t think this is the same one as heard in previous sessions.  I suspect this is some ham checking out his station although the heading is curiously close to a knucklehead that we recently dealt with out East.  At any rate, the transmissions came at regular, but wide spaced intervals and the transmission initially sounded like a ‘T’ followed with a pause and then an ‘E’.  I made a recording early while the signal was still not so good, which is posed below.  After further examination, I think the ‘T’ is actually an ‘M’ with poor attention to the inter-element spacing, making it sound like a ‘T’.  So perhaps the transmission is actually ‘ME’.  Others listened and there were a variety of reports and opinions.  Some heard nothing while others heard ESP carriers in the noise.  I do not hear the signal this morning as I CQ through sunrise.    Below is the recording and you might be able to hear elements around 15 seconds and 35 seconds.  I wish I had made another recording after getting the bearing and adjusting the antenna azimuth to minimize noise as the signal was quite strong.

 

This morning I received a nice report from Dave, AB5S, who lives about 60 miles Northeast of me.  He indicated good afternoon copy of my signal while using his BC-348 which is part of his SCR-287.  He did not indicated which antenna was in use but noted that he has a line noise problem that he needs to track down in the next thirty days and expects to be QRV on opening night.

I spent a few minutes on WSPR during the evening and it was just enough to confirm my original comments on the high noise level.  I completed about three transmissions and noted new reports from N5STT down in the hill country of Texas.  Activity in Texas is finally picking up and I hope some of these guys are CW operators.

Finally, I received an RST 559 report this morning from K2BLA in Florida who indicated that noise level was high enough to make a rag chew difficult but short exchanges would probably be OK.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for six WSPR stations including two reports for VK4YB, detailed below,  and he received reports from 34 unique stations.  He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, provided reports for four WSPR stations once again including VK4YB and WH2XCR.  He should be back “in the saddle in a few days”.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for six WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and ZF1EJ. Merv received reports from 33 unique stations including EJTSWL, JA1NQI/2, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3GJZ, VK3NFI, VK3WRE, VK5AKK, VK5CV, VK7TW, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP.   DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 


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