This was a noisy overnight period in Texas. The evening session started out quiet and I opted to listen omni-directionally overnight but by 0700z a large area of thunderstorms had developed from Oklahoma into the Plains and Midwest. It was awful so I switched to the loop and oriented to West-Northwest. Improvements were only moderate but it was not going to get any better. This same system will extend into Texas overnight and make operating tonight challenging, if not impossible. Steve, VE7SL, also noted that this system was creating significant QRN in British Columbia, impeding an early CW QSO attempt with VK4YB until after sunrise in the central US:
The geomagnetic field is quiet once again and the Bz is now pointing to the North. Solar wind velocities are averaging near 430 km/s and DST values are recovering from recent lows in the previous few sessions:
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, noticed that there was a significant amount of activity on 472 WSPR but indicates down report numbers, decoding six WSPR stations and being decoded by seventeen unique stations. Doug reports a single decode from WH2XCR. My gut feeling says that noise was the dominant limiting factor during the session to the point that it made propagation appear more poor than it really was. The world may never know for sure, however…
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, was QRV this morning with trans-Pacific reports in both direction. Joe adds:
“WOW! 2 VK spots with .5W ERP, 50W TPO. 4QR 612Khz @ +40 out of the noise, 10db above normal level. This corrolates with spots at .5W, usually it takes me 5W to make the trip…No CONUS spots into JA by anyone, JA BC stations are very loud. I think the NA to JA path is normally 1 way W-E. Non recripical paths are usually caused by poliarization coupling loss, I would like to try an H pol antenna, but dont have the real estate for one.”
Roger, VK4YB, reported a “Code-7” for the session, hearing well and providing a number of reports to stations in North America as well as being heard there in addition to reports from JA1PKG and 7L1RLL4. The previously reported storms in North America complicated receive at VE7SL resulting in no CW QSO with Roger even after moving the start time until after sunrise in the central US where the QRN was originating from. Both stations reported no presence of a sunrise peak and signal levels were decreasing overall as time progressed. Roger’s statistics follow:
“Rx 1*wg2xiq (-27) 14*wh2xgp (-17) 26*wh2xxp (-12) 5*wi2xbq (-22) 25*wh2xcr (-18)
Tx 2*ve6jy (-27) 3*va7bbg (-22) 4*ve7bdq (-22) 2*wi2xjq (-29) 3*ve7sl (-23) 1*wi2xbq (-26) 3*kl7l (-23) 2*we2epq (-25) 20*wh2xcr (-5) 2*ja1pkg (-29) 2*7l1rll4 (-31) 3*jh3xcu (-26)”
Steve, VE7SL, recounts about the session, “…The morning looked hopeful but the noise level never receded to its normal ‘zero’ level …. I think the pipeline this morning was centered further to the north … central BC, KL7 and then into JA. When it’s focused right here, all of the local VE7s get multiple decodes of Roger but that didn’t happen today inspite of the map’s optimistic appearance. There are so many different factors that have to be optimized for CW to happen!”
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he was using the omnidirectional receive antenna, hearing nine WSPR stations including VK4YB but no eastern stations. He was decoded by 35 unique stations including EJTSWL, VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2DDI, VK3ELV but there were not many heard from the East.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by fifty unique stations including six VK’s:
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, decoded seven WSPR stations including VK4YB twice overnight and was decoded by 24 unique stations. He provided the following comments and statistics:
“Band conditions to the west were good, however nothing from the East last evening — From the look of the SNR’s signals were down from the last couple of nights. Hopefully it will turn around this weekend.”
Phil, VK3ELV, was decoded by JH3XCU:
John, VK2XGJ, reports that he was decoding WH2XGP and WH2XCR just after sunset using an R5000 and #1 Mini-Whip:
I had planned on running CW this morning after a quiet evening. The morning sked was cancelled this morning, however, due to the relentless storm QRN to the North. The upside was a report at VK4YB that would have otherwise been missed due to being off WSPR on a normal day. My transmission reports can be viewed here and my reception reports can be viewed here.
Activity was high during the evening with a good distribution of stations around North America. Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that I was in error in the previous report about W1GJM being new. He had apparently been reported in previous sessions recently. KU4PY was observed monitoring WSPR overnight but he had no reports and his software was reporting the old frequency of 503.9 kHz. If anyone has contact with this station, please direct him to this link for updated frequency information as I suspect he is listening in the wrong place.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African or trans-Atlantic paths.
Eden, ZF1EJ, continues to decode stations in the southern US in addition to a single report of WH2XCR:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports, “…struggled to be heard last night – we are still under the weather up here iono wise, at least the wx is cavu this mng…RX = KL7L talktomegoose eprobe at 40ft/R75; XPQ Aceshigh probe 35ft R75…tough night John – YB still shining thru the fog – God bless Salt water.”
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, is hearing very well and being heard by a significant number of stations around the world, including late session reports from JH3XCU, a first for this season:
Jim, W5EST, now turns his attention to a different approach to receive loops in this discussion entitled, “ONE-TURN ACTIVE RX LOOP AT VE7SL”:
“Today’s dialog continues the small magnetic loop topic of the last several days, turning now to Steve VE7SL’s one turn active loop.*
Steve VE7SL: My newest loop is a one-turn 10′ x 20′ active loop using a Wellbrook preamplifier. http://ve7sl.blogspot.ca/2014/10/new-lf-mf-loop.html Heretofore, I’ve preferred passive loops with one-turn inner pickup. But my present one-turn 10’x20′ loop and Wellbrook preamp** have very much impressed me. Earlier, I also modified the PA0RDT active antenna preamp with transformer input and swamped the intermod: http://ve7sl.blogspot.ca/2014/07/wellbrook-loop-plans.html
Jim W5EST: What’s your intermod experience with that Wellbrook preamp?
Steve VE7SL: “AP” NDB 378kHz lies just over one-half mile, line-of-sight, from here. Its signal is massive. Yet there is not a single sign of any preamp intermod products even when pointing the loop directly at their location.
Jim W5EST: What about the support structure and wind load?
Steve VE7SL: This time, I adopted an ‘H’ frame of 1″ PVC tubing 20’ wide and ¾” PVC 10’ high–by far my ‘smartest’ design yet. Compared to all-wood frames, this huge frame is light as a feather and presents a minuscule wind-load. In high winds it barely reacts. The vertical central post is 2″ ABS pipe with another close-fitting 1.5” ABS pipe inside to make it more rigid.
Jim W5EST: Don’t you have a possible failure mode due to buckling by broadside wind gusts?
Steve VE7SL: No, because the 20’ horizontal 1” PVC tubing is clamped at several points to a 10’ 2×2 wood horizontal center support. The center support and its metal mounting plate, together with Dacron stays slanting from top, take out droop and resist flapping and buckling stresses both vertically and horizontally.
Jim W5EST: The construction looks quite straightforward. What was your actual experience?
Steve VE7SL: Unlike the wooden frames that require some basic woodworking capability, this one is very easy to construct, using off-the-shelf PVC fittings, PVC cement and a hacksaw.
Jim W5EST: Can you suggest some interesting variations on this PVC H-frame theme?
Steve VE7SL: A lightweight frame like this could also be used for a rotatable ‘Flag’ style antenna for LF/MF or even a shielded coax loop with Burhans preamp. http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl/burhans.html (scroll halfway).
Adding grooved comb elements on the vertical outside support-ends allows a multi-wire air core loop on this frame, ideally 10′ x 10′ with no preamp at all. See: http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl/loop.html . So far I have been delighted with the single-turn loop performance mated with the Wellbrook loop amplifier.
Jim W5EST comments: One probably could increase loop area to be hexagonal by using a taller 2” ABS pipe to slant the loop wire down from top of ABS pipe and up from preamp box. Taken together, the web site pages suggest a happy medium between ineffective, too-small loops and preamp intermod with too-large loops.
I hope further readers will contribute additional RX antenna experiences!
*Compare the 2’ one-turn shack-tuned active loop at WI2XBQ blogged Sept. 28.
** Four JFETs in parallel push-pull cascode for gain and bandwidth. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjl5Oyd1sHPAhUk8YMKHajgCccQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wellbrook.uk.com%2Fpdf%2FALA100LN.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHBSRPLzpYA_Mn5JCqESRkjaSAkag&bvm=bv.134495766,d.cWw
Transformer feedback makes noise floor lower than noise increase from amplifier gain by reducing JFET source resistance from 10Ω to < 1Ω. http://www.wellbrook.uk.com/ALA100LN-1 “
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).