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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

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

Trans-Pacific paths rebound in a big way as VK4YB receives reports from 43 stations >= 11000 km; Impromptu JT9, JT65, and FT8 QSO’s spring up for several during evening continuing with some JT9 DX this morning; W5EST presents: ”VK4YB-XCR-XGP Peak SNRs: Clues to Both Way VK4YB-XGP Paths ?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for September 29, 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.

HERE are a  few mode specific comments addressing where modes are located now and probably where they are best placed in the future. UPDATED 09/29/2017!


Lightning-producing storms were active from Colorado through New Mexico into Mexico overnight and this morning.  Storms were also active in the upper Midwest  through the Great Lakes region in addition to a few storms present this morning in the Caribbean.  Rain static was present in my area of North Texas and a few rumbles of thunder were observed, resulting in me ending my morning operating session early.  Much of North America reported low noise levels, however.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions have improved slightly as the Kp index calms to elevated-quiet levels.  Storm conditions remain possible as the coronal hole driving this event remains in a geoeffective position with an active solar wind stream.  Solar wind velocities are averaging near 608 km/s although the general trend has been of a decrease.   The Bz is pointing to the South and  DST values suggest disturbed band conditions but are trending toward improvement.  Relatively fast QSB was reported on signals this morning.  There were numerous trans-Pacific opening to speak of during this session, presumably as RF moves away from regions of high electron density at the poles.




Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, recently reported that HADGPS signals were being tested in his area, creating noise, hash and pulses from the primary frequency of 458 kHz well into the 630-meter band.  Paul explains on the 600-meter research group email reflector the setup for the K3S noise blanker which completely removed these signals from his receiver  in the 630-meter band.  Those details have been reproduced here.

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported that he decoded seven legitimate WSPR stations from his location in Vermont and he was decoded by 27 unique station with his best DX  represented by WD2XSH/20 in Oregon on a nice transcontinental opening.  John added that “Noise still high here.”

David, N1DAY / WI2XUF, reported that “Last night I had 38 unique spots – 8 received by my station and 30 receiving my signal.   I am encouraged by the 10 stations receiving my signal at >1000KM.  At this point I am using the same antenna for both TX and RX by switching the induction coil in and out of the antenna automatically with an MFJ 1708 switch box.  It works quite nicely.  When keyed, the AUX port connection on the 1708 breaks the connection to the relay which puts the induction coil in circuit. On RX the circuit from the AUX port turns back on and switches the coil out of the circuit.”

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO submitted the following report of his evening activity, which included a few digital mode QSO’s:

“Continued high latitude absorption, but good WSPR activity.  WH2XZO was copied by 35 unique stations, but no VE6/7.  He decoded 9 unique which included WG2XIQ on FT-8.

Doug activated his station on the relatively new WSJT-x FT-8 mode, operating about 1000 cycles higher than his usual WSPR frequency, and  making QSOs with WG2XIQ and WI2XUF.  In addition, according to PSK Reporter, Doug was decoded on FT8 by KA9CFD EN40, W9XA EN51, SWL/K9 EN61, and WD4AH EL89.  KC4SIT and N1HO also reported decoding his FT8 signal.  FT8 has a maximum “sensitivity” on the WSJT-x scale of -24, about 10 dB better than CW and similar to the wider bandwidth JT-65.  JT-9 is about 4 dB more sensitive and WSPR about 8 dB more sensitive than FT8.”

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded eight WSPR stations overnight, including  “XXP best DX -5 @ 0856 & ZJ1EJ -12 0216. Also XXM, XKA, XZO, XUF, CIQ…”  Mike also added these instructions on how to clean up your WSPR upload file should you decide to exclude any objectionable signals and manually upload your data each morning.  This process requires you to uncheck your ‘upload files’ check box.

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, experienced a very good night for trans-Pacific propagation.  As analyzed and reported by Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, Roger received reports from 43 stations that were significantly further than 11000 km, which is remarkable.  Roger added that “The band bounced back. QRN on this end increased during the session, but reduced storm activity in North America helped to build a long list of receiving stations.  Included were WI2XBV, WG2XXM and W5TTY (first time report). JT9 QSOs with VK5FQ and VK5CV were completed despite QSB and QRN. JT9 signals from Larry, WH2XGP, were observed in the waterfall but QRN prevented a decode.” He received reports from CF7MM, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, KJ6MKI, KR6LA, N1VF, N6GN, N6SKM, VA7JX, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7CA, W5TTY (first time report), W7IUV/W, WD2XSH/20, WE2XPQ,  WG2XSV, WH2XGP, WI2XBV, WW6D and WI2XJQ. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR, WG2XXM and WI2XBQ.  Roger was active on FT8 this morning and was observed on the WSJTx waterfall of W7IUV around 1255z.  Larry indicated that Roger was below decode limits so both transitioned to JT9, where Larry decoded Roger a number of times, most reports in the mid-20’s dB S/N.  Larry was not decoded by VK4YB due to a station in Australia whose frequency was co-located and S9 QRN at Roger’s location but as previously stated he was observed in the waterfall.

Jim, ZF2AFP, received reports from W7IUV/W, WH2XGP, WE2XPQ and WH2XCR (two-way).  He provided reports for WI2XBQ.

Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, provided reports for nine WSPR stations  including two decodes of VK4YB.  Al added that  he “…was YB’s longest decode today at 14,744 km.” He also decoded my CW signal before I QRT’ed for bad weather at RST 559 through moderate to low noise this morning in Florida.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, provided reports for twelve WSPR stations and he received reports from sixty unique stations including ZL2BCG and seven Canadian stations.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, WH2XCR and ZF1EJ.  Ken added that he decoded “…VK4YB 5 times best -24” dB S/N.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he was decoded by 22 unique stations with WH2XCR in Hawaii and WG2XXM in Oklahoma, representing his best DX for the session.  He provided reports for eight WSPR stations including four reports for VK4YB and 42 reports for WH2XCR, best report at -11 dB S/N.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, provided reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from 29 unique stations including ZL2AFP, ZL2BCG and VK2XGJ.  He shared two-way reports with VK4YB.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 58 unique stations including ZL2BCG, VK4YB and VK2XGJ.

WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, indicates that he was not transmitting for most of the overnight period due to operator error but he provided reports for twelve WSPR stations including VK4YB and ZL2AFP.  He received reports from 22 unique stations while transmitting. As W7IUV/W, Larry provided reports for ten WSPR stations including  VK4YB and ZL2AFP.  Larry also reported Roger, VK4YB, on FT8 and JT9, as previously reported under Roger’s entry above.

WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


It was a fun night that started for me around 0016z with a JT65 QSO with WG2XXM on 475 kHz + 1500 Hz.  This was only my second JT65 QSO ever:


I followed that up back on 474.5 kHz CW where I received a report from Nick, K3NSA, across town (about 40 miles) who indicates that he was “researching  VLF” and found me on 630-meters calling CQ.  He indicates that he is using an Icom 746pro and a horizontal vee antenna.  Thanks Nick!  No additional CW QSO’s were reported this evening.

At 0155z I caught Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, on FT8 calling CQ around 475 kHz + 1800 Hz and completed a contact that was also acknowledged by SWL/K9 in Indiana in a transcript shown below:

Courtesy K9/SWL


This morning’s CW session was cut short after just 40-minutes due to a few storms that were backing into my area from the East.  The band had a few lightning crashes and it was generally noisier than I expected suggesting these storms were more active than they appeared on radar.  During my time on the air this morning no reverse beacon reports were registered but Dave, N4DB, reported good copy on my signal in Virginia as QSB was active and pushing my signals from S2 to S4 and back again.  Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported my CW at RST 559 while I was QRV.


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 three WSPR stations. He received reports from 29 unique stations including WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicates that he was receive only through this session, providing reports for four WSPR stations including VK4YB, ZL2BCG and WH2XCR.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations including VK3HP, VK5FQ and ZF1EJ. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, VK1DSH, ZL1EE and ZL2AFP. Merv received reports from 35 unique stations including VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, VK3DB, VK3GJZ, VK7TW, ZL4EI and ZL2BCG.  DX report details can be viewed here.

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “VK4YB-XCR-XGP Peak SNRs: Clues to Both Way VK4YB-XGP Paths ?”

Roger VK4YB, Merv WH2XCR and Larry WH2XGP all operate 630m stations that have both TX and RX performance for trans-Pacific (TP) WSPR operation. Peak SNRs suggest how well 630m TP propagation can do under favorable ionospheric conditions, given low regional storm and band noise and low-enough local QRN.

Table 1 and today’s map illustration assemble peak SNRs for both directions of the three paths: Queensland – Hawaii, Hawaii – Washington state, and Queensland – Washington state.  The peak SNRs arose sometime in 37 days Aug. 21-Sept. 26 of this 630m TP season.

Path loss information for these paths may suggest what kind of propagation is making these peak SNRs possible. Is path loss embedded somehow deep in these SNR values? From one station’s TX to another station’s RX, the difference 37 dBm (5w) minus a peak SNR not only includes path loss, but a lot of other extraneous information.  How could peak SNRs be employed to drill down to path loss itself?

Table 2 and the map legends offer an answer. Subtract peak SNR for a directed path portion like Australia – Hawaii from the peak SNR for same-direction Australia – Washington state path.  Out comes a difference value that proxies path loss, how much the signal strength could have diminished on the Hawaii –Washington state path.  I carry that idea through for each path portion in both directions.  Finally, I add the derived same-direction path loss values for Australia – Hawaii  and Hawaii – Washington state to get an estimated path loss for Australia – Washington state.

Further, Table 2 takes the path loss ratio of same-directed path portions.  Remarkably, the path loss ratios in each direction resemble each other, consistent with 5-hop propagation over salt water: 3 hops Australia – Hawaii.  2 hops Hawaii – Washington state.

       1.41 =~ 3hops/2 hops.   3 hops + 2 hops = 5 hops for XGP -> vk4yb.

       1.55 =~ 3hops/2 hops.   3 hops + 2 hops = 5 hops for VK4YB -> w7iuv.

Does this 3+2 hop concept make sense from a hop distance viewpoint?  Path distance Table 3 collects the great circle distances from WSPR database, takes the distance ratio of the path portions, and uses the 3+2 hop concept to estimate average hop distances.  Estimated distance ratio 1.71 exceeds 1.5,  3 hops/2 hops, and is less than 4 hops/2 hops. For Australia – Hawaii that suggests a long hop among the 3 hops—maybe an F-hop or a chordal hop between points in the E-region.  This analysis is consistent with but does not require the possibility that multiple RF rays are crossing the equator since the subtraction method would cancel out that effect and focus on the path loss in dB independently.


Might you wonder what hidden assumptions could lurk behind this seemingly straightforward propagation analysis using peak SNRs?  Can we be confident that these numbers tell a credible story?  In another blog post, let’s dig deeper.

TU & GL on 630m!”

Jim W5EST has followed up this Sept. 29 post with refinements on Oct. 7.  http://njdtechnologies.net/100717/

Click to enlarge


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