Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but will be QRV on CW somewhere between 472.5 kHz and 475 kHz after dark

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1030z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

Good band openings as G1 storm takes hold but noisy in parts of the East; DK7FC -> WE2XGR/3; WE2XPQ in Alaska and WG2XSV in Washington complete another JT9 QSO; VK4YB and VE7SL attempt another QSO

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

This session started slow but really performed well on domestic paths as the session progressed in areas unaffected by storm QRN.  The Pacific Northwest seemed to have the best openings and a number of CW level reports were registered there from my station overnight, something that has been less common in recent months.  I felt like local noise was manageable and relatively low but QSB was extremely active and WSPR stations might report the loss of 20 dB over the course of just a few minutes.  This instability often signals big openings.  This was certainly the case in New England, where DK7FC was reported by John, W1TAG / WE2XGR/3, on the trans-Atlantic path very near the onset of geomagnetic storm conditions:


DK7FC, as reported by WE2XGR/3


In the East, and particularly the Southeast, strong storms were in the coastal areas.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported antenna damage overnight from bad weather:

“Very noisy with regional t-storms.  Decoded 7 last night and decoded by 14 in 3 hours of transmitting.   A thunderstorm targeted us and woke me up at 11:20 PM local.  I turned the TX off.  Lots of rain and wind.  A few hours later I checked the TX SWR and it was infinite, so unknown damage that I won’t have time to look at until Friday.”

It looks like Doug will be down for a few days.  The map below details the storms that hit the Carolinas:


9-hour North American lightning summary


The forecast G1 storm arrived overnight, likely contributing to the good propagation around North America as well as helping and hurting some of the longer haul openings on the trans-Pacific path.  Geomagnetic conditions are currently at unsettled levels, with a Bz that is pointing to the North.  Solar wind velocities peaked above 700 km/s and have decreased to near 680 km/s over the previous few reporting periods.  DST values have been extremely variable:







There was fun going on this morning in Pacific Northwest and Alaska as Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, and Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, completed their first JT9 QSO since their history-making QSO on February 15, 2016.  There was some confusion on my part as I was trying to remember if the QSO overnight was the first of its kind between Alaska and the lower-48.  Neil provided the following screen capture from his side of the QSO:


WG2XSV JT9 screen capture showing his morning QSO with WE2XPQ


Neil also supplied the following relevant comments from the ON4KST chat/logger from that same period:


Laurence provided a transcript of the QSO as displayed in his receive window, shown below.  Note the QSO attempts by VK4YB and VE7SL occurring at the same time:

“1308 -15  0.6 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1309  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1310 -14  0.6 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1311  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1312 -14  0.5 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1313  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1315  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1317  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1318 -12  0.1 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1320  -6  0.2 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1322 -10  0.2 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1323  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  WG2XSV WE2XPQ BP51
1324 -18 -1.1 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1325  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  WG2XSV WE2XPQ BP51
1326 -24  0.1 1201 @  WE2XPQ WG2XSV -27
1326 -18  0.2 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1327  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  WG2XSV WE2XPQ R-15
1328 -17 -0.3 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1328 -20 -0.4 1711 @  WE2XPQ WG2XSV -27
1329  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  WG2XSV WE2XPQ R-15
1330 -12  0.2 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1330 -19 -0.0 1711 @  WOW
1331  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  TNX NEIL 73
1332 -16 -1.3 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1332 -20 -1.4 1711 @  WE2XPQ WG2XSV RRR
1333  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  WG2XSV WE2XPQ RRR
1334 -20 -0.8 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1334 -20 -0.8 1711 @  WE2XPQ WG2XSV 73
1335  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  COFFEE
1336 -18 -0.5 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26
1337  Transmitting 0.4742 MHz  JT9:  CQ WE2XPQ BP51
1338 -21 -3.0 1100 @  VK4YB VE7SL -26”


Neil also provided the following statistics for his overnight WSPR activity:



The trans-Pacific path was much better to the Pacific Northwest compared to the desert Southwest where Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 42 unique stations overnight, including two VK’s, VK4YB and VK5ABN:


WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


In Washington state, Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, returned to air after amplifier repairs were completed and had a strong session to VK, with reports from VK4YB, VK5ABN, and VK2XGJ.  Larry adds that he never saw WE2XPQ’s JT9 signal during the QSO with WG2XSV:


WH2XGP, as reported by VK5ABN



WH2XGP, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XGP, as reported by VK4YB


With WSPR reports from three stations in British Columbia in a single transmit cycle, Roger, VK4YB issued a “code-7” and Steve, VE7SL, headed to the shack for a QSO attempt.  Both stations note peaks during the JT9 operating session and Steve even registers “half a dozen” reports of Roger’s signals but it was not meant to be during this session.  Roger indicated that there were storms present in New South Wales this morning and the accompanying QRN was no doubt impacting the QSO attempt.   Roger submitted the following statistics:

“Spots 20*WH2XGP (-18) 24*WH2XXP (-21) 33*WH2XCR (-19) Decoded by VA7MM VE7CNF VE7BDQ VE7SL”


VK4YB, as reported by VE7SL



VK4YB, as reported by VE7CNF



VK4YB, as reported by VE7BDQ



VK4YB, as reported by VA7MM


Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded eight WSPR stations and was decoded by forty unique stations including KL7L and WE2XPQ.  He also reported a +16 dB S/N WSPR decode from Andy, KU4XR.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports improving conditions and nominal operation from his station.  He provided the following statistics for the session:



Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reports that he is still a month away from seasonal radial deployment.  He has completed repairs to his 65-foot vertical and has increased the size of his top loading.  I’m looking forward to both CW and JT9 QSO’s with Al this Fall and Winter.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:


North American 24-hour WSPR activity



European 24-hour WSPR activity



Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity



Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-African path.

Eden, ZF1EJ, had a very similar session to the previous, with northwestern reports for WH2XGP from Eden’s station using the log periodic array:


ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity



ZF1EJ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, had a pretty good night, considering the G1 storm that began during the session.  He does note that signals, like WH2XGP, were better earlier in the evening.  I QSY’ed to JT9 and CW before the “sweet spot” time frame this morning and missed Laurence for the first time in a few days but he did decode WG2XXM in Oklahoma.  It also appears that Laurence may have been operating multiple sessions under the WE2XPQ call sign due to duplicated reports for WH2XCR and others:


WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity




WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ



KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity



WH2XCR, as reported by KL7L


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced good trans-Equatorial propagation this session in conjunction with the elevated geomagnetic conditions.  Merv reports that there may be alternative plans in the works to get the receive antenna functioning properly again prior to November.


WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



WH2XCR, as reported by VK5ABN



WH2XCR, as reported by VK3ELV



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


Jim, W5EST, continues his discussion of loops on 630-meters with “PART 1: LOOP OPTIMIZATION, WHAT HAVE OTHERS DONE?”:

“In yesterday’s discussion of a resonant loop calculator, all-important physical construction matters and rotatability remain up to you.  What might characterize good physical construction and optimization?

Let’s look first of all at experienced operators’ successful 630m RX loop antennas and see what problems they have solved.  A loop antenna needs to work well and be inexpensive and convenient to construct and support.

Weight, wind loading, and expense ought to be minimized or at least mutually favorable.  To deter birds and their poop from collecting on the loop, the support structure and loop wires should include few or no horizontal segments.  Wind, hail, and ice storms must be withstood.  No part of the antenna should snap under tension nor buckle and break under compression.  The antenna should be relatively unobtrusive if possible.

Most of the loops are on rods, poles, or towers, but suspension from tree(s) and stabilization with ropes provide another type of support solution: http://www.qsl.net/wa1ion/flag/flag_antenna.htm tree support.  http://www.w4dex.com/lf.htm suspended octagon PVC spokes, scroll 50%-60%.     http://www.w1tag.com/Camp_Loop/Camp_Loop.htm (tree supported TX loop). http://www.w1tag.com/XESANT(tree supported TX loop).

http://s217877884.websitehome.co.uk/amateur_radio/amateur_radio_antennas/amateur_radio_antennas_mag_loops.html ground-level octagon with side support (scroll 60%, 80%),

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/node/5276 (mil tent poles, pulley suspension).

PVC, wood, fiberglass, cane and metal are frequently used singly or in combination to give inner support to maintain loop shape:

PVChttp://www.creative-science.org.uk/smallhfloop.html (PVC, wood)

http://www.w1tag.com/rxloop.htm (PVC, click for open air winding)

Wood: http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl/loop.html (wood lattice, open-air multiturns)

http://www.vlf.it/octoloop/rlt-n4ywk.htm (wood gimbaled horiz., PVC loop, scroll 3/4)

Fiberglass: https://www.qrz.com/db/N4IS (Waller flag, perp. wire triangles)

http://www.alexloop.com/artigo16.html (portable loop, see also video bottom left), wooden cross with clear plastic wire spacers.

Cane: http://www.qsl.net/w/wb5wpa/QWloop40m/ (Edginton, crossed cane supports)

Metal: http://w7iuv.com/flag_detail.htm (Metal horizontals, wood diagonals)

A preamplified smaller loop may be desirably lighter-weight if acceptable SNR can be maintained.  Generally, 630m performance favors making the loop as large as possible, and preamplifier becomes optional.

Passive coupling: http://www.antennasbyn6lf.com/630m-antennas/ (DK6ED 2-loop scaled up)

Preamplified large/small loops:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i46kR0pynFw (shared apex; video play 8:30, 11:30)

http://active-antenna.eu/ (scroll 2/3) http://geek.scorpiorising.ca/GeeK_ZonE/index.php?topic=3929.0 (small, many turns, commentary)

Spider: Most multiturn loops have the turns spaced at same diameter, but see spider:

http://www.i1wqrlinkradio.com/antype/ch9/chiave134.htm spider honeycomb on 5 wood spokes.

Coax loop with coax as tuning capacitance at 60m gives high-angle pattern.


Outliers: Expand your imagination with these loops in mind!

“Fractal” loop: Would extra inductance desirably increase 630m Q?  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/d2/4f/fa/d24ffad7ffc3154588bfcc9ec107aab5.jpg Would 630m loops benefit by adding physically small loading coils and reducing the resonating capacitance?

Gamma matched loop shown HF size. (scroll 40% to Fig. 11 on p. 9)


A 3-loop array for 6m makes me ask whether there’s any advantage to arraying RX mag loops on 630m.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-EL-DELTA-LOOP-ANTENNA-50-MHz-6-m-/261891912873 Since MF-size physical spacing would prevent rotating them on a boom, one would be led to electronically controlled coordinated rotators and phasing.

Send us further links if they show still further features and loop structure solutions not covered in the links today. GL!”

Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).