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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

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

Big activity on trans-Pacific paths – CW QSO attempt between VK4YB and VE7SL but no joy on the first attempt of the season; W7IUV reporting VK4YB at audible CW levels; VK4YB -> KA9CFD first time report; Solid openings for WH2XCR -> JA; W5EST presents: ”36 Day Summary View of Trans-Pacific 630m VK4YB-WH2XGP”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for September 20, 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.

There were a couple of big storm systems in North America increasing the noise floor significantly for many of us.  During the evening, storms in Texas, North and West of my station, increased noise levels above S9 and even using directional receive antennas only marginally improved the situation.  Fortunately that system diminished overnight and never reached me.  The biggest system was sitting over the north central US into Manitoba and Ontario and it continues to make a lot of noise this morning.  There were a few storms in the Pacific Northwest into Montana and Wyoming as well.  This morning, noise conditions seem better in the south central US but I am sure that there are areas that continue to be seriously impacted by these storms.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions were at elevated-quiet levels through this session.  The Bz remains near unity with minor excursions on either side of  the centerline and solar wind velocities are averaging near 450 km/s at moderate levels.  DST values continue to improve, in some cases showing significant improvement with levels significantly above the centerline.




Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported in the ON4KST chat that he experienced “Continued QRN and high latitude absorption, but somewhat better conditions with 8 unique decoded and 33 who decoded XZO including 4 decodes by WH2XCR.”

Tony, W2NAP, provided WSPR reports for seven stations and indicated that he is using a IC-706MK2G with a random wire antenna about 10-foot above ground.

W2NAP session WSPR activity (courtesy W2NAP)


Mike, WA3TTS, reported in the ON4KST chat that he decoded “…10 overnight, best XGP 2 spots near SR -23, 41 ZF1EJ decodes best -15 0946, 14 XSH/15 decodes best -16 0922…48 CIQ decodes best -7 @ 0454…Moderate QRN overnight, single band 630m NE to 0700 then SW.”

Dave, N4DB, indicates low noise in Virginia.  He reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations overnight.

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, received WSPR reports from CF7MM, JA3TVF, KA9CFD (first time report), KB5NJD, KJ6MKI, KR6LA, N1VF, N6SKM,  VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7SL, W0YSE, W6SFH, W7IUV, WD2XSH/26, WE2XPQ and WW6D. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, WI2XBQ and WH2XGP.  Roger also transmitted JT9 this morning, receiving many reports from W7IUV, even up to -10 dB S/N, in audible CW range.  These levels in addition to WSPR reports triggered an alarm as Roger issued a “Code 6” which meant that he and VE7SL would try for a CW QSO while alternating with JT9.  While propagation started out slow, Roger indicated that a “2nd-wave” was imminent.  Steve reported that Roger’s “three best sequences at 1331,33,35” GMT when Roger was  “an honest 559 for entire 60 seconds.”  Steve added that he “…really can’t imagine Roger ever getting louder than he was today, with at least a full 6 minutes at audible levels here…as good as on 40m CW.”  He also reported Roger’s CW at 1243z at RST 449. Roger indicated that Steve was heard in Australia on CW only once for 15-seconds at 1244z but he was unable to decode useful information.  Steve’s sunrise was 1400z, ending today’s adventure which began at 1210z.  Today is only the beginning…

Jim, ZL2AFP, received reports from W7IUV on a night when reports of North American stations were curiously absent in New Zealand.

Jay, KA9CFD, was excited to receive VK4YB for the first time right at his sunrise.  He lamented the lack of European reports in his area which may be, in part, due to the path actually be harder to Europe than Oceania.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, provided reports for seven unique stations while listening with his vertical.  His best DX was WH2XCR. He received reports for twelve unique stations.  As W0YSE, Neil provided reports for seven WSPR stations while using the E-probe, including two reports of VK4YB, best report at -26 dB S/N.  Neil was also concurrently listening for JT9, decoding WI2XBQ and VE7BDQ:

JT9 decodes at W0YSE (courtesy W0YSE)


Neil added that he “…was copying Steve/VE7SL’s CW Q5 until sunrise was approaching. The closer to SR, the weaker Steve got until I could just barely see his trace with no audio. The skywave must have canceled the ground wave during that time period.”

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, provided reports for six WSPR stations and he received reports from 34 unique stations including VK2COW, VK2XGJ, VK3NFI, and VK3WRE.  Joe shared two-way reports with VK4YB.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 68 unique stations including VK2COW, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK3GJZ, VK3ALZ, VK3NFI,  VK3WRE and VK5AKK.

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, provided reports for nine WSPR stations and he received reports from 49 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3NFI, and VK3WRE.  As W7IUV, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB and ZL2AFP.  Larry also concurrently listened for JT9 from VK4YB and it was reported that he received Roger many times, best at -10 dB S/N which is in audible CW territory.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


VK4YB reported at W7IUV many times during this session (courtesy PSKreporter)


As I mentioned yesterday, recent station configuration changes intended to optimize two-way QSO activity complicate my ability to operate WSPR for extended periods.  I’m specifically talking about transmitting.  My days as a long duration WSPR transmitting station are probably over with the bands opening to hams and my real interest focusing on making active, two-way contacts.  I found through some exploration that a single cable change would allow me to receive WSPR on a backup receiver using a good quality receive interface and listening this morning after a night off air due to lightning really paid off with a report of VK4YB on a night where propagation favored signals remaining to the West.  I was concurrently listening for JT9 this morning hoping to catch one of  Roger’s transmissions but I needed an additional 7 dB at least to make that report happen and it wasn’t happening today.  Roger had a few additional WSPR traces in my waterfall that should have decoded but did not for some reason but he was definitely in here pretty well.  Weather permitting, I expect to return to air tonight with CW near sunset and possibly a few WSPR cycles before transitioning to receive-only overnight.  CW will follow around 1000z in the morning through sunrise.  If you are a licensed experimental station and hear me, give me a call and lets chat a bit.

KB5NJD 2-hour WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


European 24-hour WSPR activity


Middle Eastern 24-hour WSPR activity


Philippine 24-hour WSPR activity


Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for four WSPR stations. He received reports from 25 unique stations including WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, operated two receivers during this session connected to the same receive antenna.  He provided reports for five WSPR stations using his typical setup, including VK4YB and WH2XCR.  He provided reports for three WSPR stations using the second receiver including WH2XCR.  DX report details for both stations can be viewed here.  Laurence also indicated that he switched WE2XPQ to JT9 at 1141z but PSKreporter indicates no reports were uploaded to it’s system from WE2XPQ.  The possibility does exist that Laurence had reports, however.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for thirteen legitimate WSPR stations including VK3XHM, VK5FQ, ZL2AFP, ZL1EE, and ZF1EJ. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB. Merv received reports from 44 unique stations including 7L1RLL4, EJTSWL, JA3TVF, JA3TVF2, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM, VK2COW, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3GJZ, VK3NFI, VK3UH, VK3WRE, VK5ABN, VK5AKK, VK7TW, ZL1QM, and ZL4EI.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“As the pre-equinox part of the season got started over the last month, hundreds of WSPR decodes have uploaded to the WSPR database. That trove enables some serious descriptive statistics on the Queensland-Washington state path.

The 3×3 graph set columns illustrate 36-night SNR numbers as a whole, numbers of WSPR spots each night, and a 36-night total of WSPR spots in each hour 07z through 13z.

Roger and Larry probed their trans-Pacific path three ways represented in three rows:

VK4YB to “w7iuv” receiver,

VK4YB to “wh2xgp” receiver,

WH2XGP to vk4yb receiver.

Let’s start by looking at the middle column of nightly spots (purple).  Some nights were unavailable due to equipment off or weather.  Generally speaking, VK4YB spots show an upward trend (blue arrows). Will they turn downward after equinox?  Meanwhile, XGP spots in Australia were steady or trending down somewhat.

The left column tells how SNR was distributed.  At Larry’s two receivers, median SNR fell on the stronger side of mid-20s, indicating that 50% of spots were even JT9 potential! Both distributions skew upward, providing another favorable sign that SNRs can reach the strong teens and approach CW audibility.   At Roger’s receiver the distribution was somewhat pushed down, perhaps due to storm noise there during the last month.

The right column of bar graphs totals the spots developed in each of the seven hours between Queensland sunset SS and sunrise in Washington state.  For VK4YB-w7iuv/xgp most of the action occupied about four hours: 0930-1330z, for 543 spots total on 34 days for “w7iuv” rx and 459 spots on 31 days for “wh2xgp” rx.  Receptions of 201 spots in Queensland, XGP-vk4yb, were more evenly spread over 5.5 hours 0800-1330z on the 26 days of some reception.

53% of VK4YB transmissions decoded at w7iuv receiver in more-active hours. (543/(4hr x 34days x 7.5/hr)

49% of VK4YB transmissions decoded at the xgp receiver in more-active hours. (459/(4hr x 31days x 7.5/hr)

19% of  XGP transmissions decoded at the vk4yb receiver in more-active hours. (201/(5.5hr x 26 days x 7.5/hr).

Regarding 630m propagation, I’ll ignore storm noise and say the night-after-night receptions suggest the VK-PNW Australia/PacificNorthwest circuit is relatively stable from an ionospheric viewpoint. It’s not sporadic, and indeed supports remarkably high peak SNRs.  I’m inclined to put the possibility of sporadic-E to one side even if it might occasionally happen.

Likewise, if ducting is involved it seems remarkably persistent–considering the path traverses widely varying ionospheric conditions at northerly latitudes, equatorial low latitudes and southerly mid-latitudes.

Path length is 12,000 km. Pure multihop E-region propagation would require 5-6 hops at very low elevation angle. That seems like a lot of path loss for a signal to eat, even traveling over salt water all the way.  Consequently, I seek some explanation how the strong performance over VK-PNW distance can deliver decodes night after night.  More on that in another blog post.  Meanwhile, your own reasoned explanations are most welcome; drop me a line at mrsocion@aol.com.  TU & GL!”

Click to enlarge


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