Wow – what a way to begin October! There have been many comments that the band already sounds like its Winter which resulted in many questions about what Winter will be like this year. We are progressing towards solar minimum so I expect the band to be great if the sun behaves itsefl. Its too bad the FCC doesn’t have amateur rules worked out yet so a broader audience can participate in the fun.
For many of us noise was not a problem. In the southeastern US, however, there are a number of Atlantic and gulf storms ahead of a category 4 hurricane that has formed in the Caribbean. This will no doubt have an impact on active stations like ZF1EJ and WH2XZO in the coming days.
Geomagnetic conditions have calmed slightly although there was another early evening spike of Kp = 6. Quiet to unsettled conditions have dominated since. The Bz is currently pointing to the North and solar wind velocities have decreased to near 500 km/s. DST values remain in the negative range although there is some divergence between the Kyoto DST and Australian DST in the previous few hours:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, made the long trans-continental haul to WH2XCR overnight. He provided the following comments and details:
“A late start due to a camping trip did not impact a good session. Noise was low but consisted of shot noise from a neighbor’s unknown device. The usual suspects were active with WH2XGP representing the PNW. The highlight, however, was a single spot from Merv WH2XCR at -25. XKA was running moderate power due to a rainy forecast. XKA heard 7 and was spotted by 21.”
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, located in the noisy region of North America, reports “Heard 8 and heard by 33, highest so far this season with SE/NW path barely open.”
Trans-Atlantic activity was limited to three reports of F5WK by NO3M:
The big story from this session was the major trans-Pacific opening that seems to have been optimized for a narrow sliver from the desert Southwest and South Central US up to northern California.
Steve, VE7SL, and Roger, VK4YB, completed another JT9 QSO this morning. With so much JT9 and WSPR activity it is amazing that they were able to hear well enough to complete the QSO. Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, sent a capture of his JT9 windows showing portions of the JT9 QSO between Roger and Steve in addition to his QSO with WG2XXM:
After the opening began to transition to the North and conditions improved slightly on the trans-Pacific path, both stations decided to try a CW QSO. Both stations used an even / odd minute calling style similar to what is used with JT9. Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, sent a short sample recording of VE7SL calling VK4YB:
Roger reports that he heard Steve’s CW twice during their attempt while Steve reported a number of nice sequences. Both stations will be working to develop a strategy that results in the least loss of sleep while completing the CW QSO in the future.
Roger posted the following WSPR statistics for the session on the ON4KST chat/logger:
“Rx 23*wg2xxm (-18) 1*wg2xiq (-27) 9*wh2xgp (-17) 37*wh2xxp (-5) 10*wi2xbq (-16) 24*wh2xcr (-17)
Tx 3*we2xpq (-27) 20*wh2xcr (-5)”
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, had a good night, decoding seven WSPR stations and being decoded by 53 unique stations including VK2XGJ, VK3ELV, VK4YB, VK2DDI and EJTSWL in Tasmania. He also reports 63 decodes from WH2XCR, best at -2 dB S/N:
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 60 unique stations, including eight VK’s and a JA:
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded eleven WSPR stations using the East-facing BOG. Conditions to the East remain poor but the lightning map suggests storms to Larry’s East. He was decoded by 44 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2DDI, VK2XGJ, EJTSWL, and ZF1EJ. Larry adds “Condx better than last couple days but still somewhat depressed due to hi lat absorption.”
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, was decoded by five VK stations during this session in addition to the JT9 QSO previously reported with WG2XXM:
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports a normal session with CW-levels at times to WH2XCR:
Jim, W5EST, sent this screen capture of JT9 activity on his receiver in Little Rock, Arkansas:
John, VK2XGJ, reported that he has a new noise in the middle of the WSPR passband but it did not stop him from decoding WH2XCR shortly after sunset:
I had a very nice session as well, in spite of only running WSPR (aside from a brief excursion to JT9 that I stopped early to prevent interference to the VK4YB / VE7SL QSO attempt). Numerous CW levels were observed and reported at a variety of stations across North America plus WH2XCR in KH6. If Merv and I can ever synchronize our schedules with good propagation like this, I suspect we will have a nice CW QSO to compliment our JT9 QSO from last season. The path to VK was as robust as I have ever seen it so I am happy that I kept the station on WSPR rather than transitioning to CW at 1000z. Its not often that the band opens to that degree at my current power level. My transmit reports can be viewed here and my receive reports can be viewed here. I decoded eleven WSPR stations and was decoded by 48 unique stations.
I did not take a formal census overnight but there were a LOT of stations QRV last night, including new receive station, AJ8S. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path.
Eden, ZF1EJ, had a strong night, decoding WH2XGP (previous reported) on both receivers while receiving WI2XBQ on the receiver coupled to the small loop:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that he began transmitting around 1500z near sunrise in Alaska:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a fantastic night, with reports spanning from New England to Japan to Australia and all points in between. His addition of the receive switching relay so that he can listen with the transmit antenna really has made a huge impact, providing first time reports to stations like VK5FQ.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).