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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR for storms, probably for much of the week if the forecast holds

Another Kp spike in early North American evening but long haul propagation slightly improved; DK7FC -> WD2XSH/17, WE2XGR/3; More QRN from central US storms; Late reports of WD2XSH/15 and sunrise peak at WH2XCR in Texas; High JA WSPR activity

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Domestic propagation was pretty good overnight but noise from central US storms made it difficult to realize, at least here in Texas, as signal-to-noise suffered more compared to previous sessions.


11-hour North American lightning summary


An early evening spike of the Kp to storm levels, bound by unsettled conditions, seems to have enhanced propagation a bit more than the previous Kp spike to storm levels in the previous session.  The Bz is pointing to the North and has been for much of the overnight period and solar wind velocity is averaging near 500 km/s.  DST values are tending more negative.







It is my impression that the observed enhancements may have been the result of an onset event which suggests to me that the storm levels from the previous session had, in fact, recovered to a degree.

Trans-Atlantic reports were observed for DK7FC’s signal by WE2XGR/3 and WD2XSH/17:


DK7FC, as reported by WE2XGR/3



DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


The Pacific region experienced openings once again on the trans-Pacific and trans-Equatorial paths.  Roger, VK4YB, issued a “code-6” this morning with low noise but only average propagation.  Due to low probability of a CW QSO with VE7SL during this session, Roger remained on WSPR and was reported by a number of JA’s and several stations in North America.  Roger provided the following statistics for the session:

Rx 21*wh2xgp (-17) 35*wh2xxp (-12) 31*wh2xcr (-18)

Tx 6*wh2xgp (-21) 19*w7iuv (-18) 4*wi2xjq (-20) 17*ve7sl (-22) 14*wd2xsh/20 (-20) 6*we2xpq (-22) 36*wh2xcr (-4)

1*je1jdl (-30) 7*ja1pkg (-24) 2*ja1nqi-2 (-28) 2*7l1rll_4 (-28) 2*7l1rll4 (-27) 5*jh3xcu (-25)”


VK4YB, as reported by 7L1RLL4



VK4YB, as reported by 7L1RLL_4



VK4YB, as reported by JA1NQI-2



VK4YB, as reported by JA1PKG



VK4YB, as reported by JE1JDL



VK4YB, as reported by JH3XCU



VK4YB, as reported by VE7SL



VK4YB, as reported by WD2XSH/20


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was reported by 56 unique stations including four VK’s:


WH2XXP 24-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)



WH2XXP, as reported by EJTSWL



WH2XXP, as reported by VK7TW



WH2XXP, as reported by VK4YB



WH2XXP, as reported by VK2XGJ


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that band conditions were not impressive as high noise dominated the evening giving way to quieter conditions by morning.  Larry is operating two receivers listening in two different directions with two separate antennas.  WH2XGP decoded eight WSPR stations including VK4YB off of the back of the eastern BOG.  He was decoded by 34 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and VK7TW.  The second station was configured for receive only as W7IUV.  He decoded six WSPR stations using the western-facing receive antenna including several decodes of VK4YB.


WH2XGP 24-hour WSPR activity. Note: VK7TW is missing from this map (courtesy NI7J)



VK4YB, as reported by W7IUV



VK4YB, as reported by WH2XGP



WH2XGP, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XGP, as reported by VK4YB



WH2XGP, as reported by VK7TW


Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that he decoded eight WSPR stations and was decoded by 26 unique stations “including WH2XCR again plus KK4MBI and KM5HM maybe for the first time.”

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, decoded seven WSPR stations and was decoded by 22 unique stations.  Rick notes that it was a rainy night but he decoded WH2XCR many times and had a few decodes of VK4YB.  He has been working on his remote antenna coupler drive system and he reports that it is working well:


VK4YB, as reported by WI2XJQ






Dionysious, SV8RV, posted the following reports of LA1TN on the RSGB-LF reflector:


Ken, SWL/K9, from Indiana provided a summary of his recent reception activity from a hotel room while in the Branson, MO area.   The story  can be viewed here.

Early in the daytime portion of the previous session, WD2XSH/15 was reported late, at 1422z with a -30 dB S/N at my station.  This is the latest daytime report of this season at my station so far and I expect that it will continue to improve.  I can also report the historically rare (for my station!) sunrise enhancement at WH2XCR.  Merv reported my WSPR signal at -3 dB S/N about 10 minutes after local sunrise and continues to report me at CW levels for another 10 minutes followed my WSPR levels until nearly 30 minutes after sunrise.  Normally this works the other direction but these reports were my “session best” at WH2XCR.  This is worth watching for a CW QSO in the coming weeks.  In spite of high evening noise, I called CQ on CW around 0145z until around 0200z.  I also called CQ at 474.5 kHz CW this morning and completed another CW sked, returning to WSPR at 1100z for the day.  My WSPR transmit reports can be found here and my reception reports can be found here.


WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity


There were 96 WSPR stations observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0200z.  AI6AJ/SWL and KM5HM were observed as new receive stations.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:


North American 24-hour WSPR activity



European 24-hour WSPR activity



Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity



Malaysian 24-hour WSPR activity



Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity



Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-African path.

Eden, ZF1EJ, was QRT for much of the session due to hurricane-related storms in the Caribbean.  He did manage to decode WH2XXP on a single receiver/antenna combination:


ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced slightly less absorption, allowing the path to VK4YB to open once again:


WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity



VK4YB, as reported by WE2XPQ



WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR



WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, once again experienced a narrow window of JA openings to a significant number of stations.  The path to VK was also very reliable and once again Merv was hearing stations in the East with decodes of WD2XSH/15 and WH2XZO.


WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



VK3HP, as reported by WH2XCR



VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR



WH2XCR, as reported by 7L1RLL4



WH2XCR, as reported by 7L1RLL_4



WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-2



WH2XCR, as reported by JA1PKG



WH2XCR, as reported by JE1JDL



WH2XCR, as reported by JH3XCU



WH2XCR, as reported by VK7TW



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


Jim, W5EST, continues his discussion of loops, focusing on the electrical aspects in “RF/ELECTRICAL CONSIDERATIONS WITH MULTITURN RX LOOP”:

“Steve VE7SL and John WG2XIQ continue their dialog with me by discussing RF and electrical considerations using multiturn loops with an inside coupling/pickup loop.

Jim W5EST: How high up should you put such a loop?

Steve VE7SL:  I’m pretty close to sea level and my loop is relatively low. Elevate above surrounding trees if possible. I don’t view height above ground as being particularly important at these frequencies (630m), unless it is very much quieter up high.

John WG2XIQ: I have houses and trees very close by.  I’ve always used these loops close to the ground. I’d like to put it higher to learn if it improves or if there’s a noise field higher up.  The “flag” and “pennant” guys and particularly those using the “Waller flag” like to get them up very high like N4IS, even at 60+ foot on a tower. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj8obnR-b7PAhXJbiYKHRxlALkQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kkn.net%2Fdayton2011%2FN4ISWallerFlag.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHaWuU7eIh18Xufe9e90zdwMEZJVg&bvm=bv.134495766,d.cWw

Jim W5EST: How bad is BC band interference?

Steve VE7SL:  I’ve always had a preference for passive main loops with a one-turn inner pickup loop. With preamps, one always has to worry about possible intermod signals. Passive is immune unless they are produced in the receiver’s front end. Eight foot (8’) and larger loop diameters have more than enough signal pickup to hear well into the sky noise.

John WG2XIQ: I use a W7IUV preamp with 5-pole low pass filter LPF ahead of it and only very occasionally and briefly get intermod from 50 kW WBAP 820 AM 20 miles to my WSW, the closest AM.  I got loop info from Steve’s site. The resonant loop with single turn pickup was new to me, coming from a K9AY loop and “shielded loop” background.  W7IUV preamp: https://www.google.com/search?q=w7iuv+preamp&biw=1203&bih=609&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwi06bOc_L7PAhVCJiYKHUSCCNUQ_AUIBygC&dpr=1.5

Jim W5EST: What about coupling?

John WG2XIQ: Adding an isolation/step up RF transformer gets the small nested pickup loop to near 50 ohms and also isolates the coax. Coax noise was a problem before adding the transformer and output was a lot lower and noisier–common mode, etc. I added a shield ground on the coax to an isolated ground rod a few feet away from the loop–makes a HUGE difference in noise. The transformer has increased the Q a lot.  Aside from phasing multiple loops on larger real estate, or increasing aperture or trying higher in the air, I am out of improvements.

John WG2XIQ: I also detune the TX antenna on RX–a big deal with K9AY loops and BOG / beverages. But I only notice a noise increase some of the time on the rotatable multiturn loop. A relay on the RX loop shorts across its capacitor while transmitting. I wired an unused control pair to run the relay. The loop is only 90 feet from the TX antenna so I believe a resonant antenna would sink RF, maybe HV RF, at that distance.

Jim W5EST: Why do you relay to short the cap instead of relaying to disconnect it? Are the currents insignificant in the non-resonant shorted-cap loop? Or is there more relaying to disconnect the rest of the loop too?  What circuit actuates the relay?

John WG2XIQ: Simply shorting it was easy. I can deal with X number of mA in the wires. I don’t want HV on the padder caps whose dielectric may not handle HV. This relay is fed on a control line from a dry contact breakout box with multiple relays in the shack.  It can be actuated by PC, by the rig’s TX relay, or by foot switch.  On a PTT event, the breakout changes state, triggering the relays at the loop. Relays in the shack and at the TX antenna also change state depending on intended operation.

Jim W5EST comments: Thanks, Steve and John! Tomorrow I’ll blog relative RF loop dB calculations. “


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