The lightning map was virtually clear in North America aside from a few remnants of the storms in the Pacific Northwest. There were quite a few storms in Central America which I was hearing very well during the evening, resulting in my using the loop in the mid-evening for receive and oriented East and West overnight. Propagation was good in spite of the ongoing geomagnetic storm although, as reported by Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, S/N numbers were down a few dB from a “normal” night. Doug reported that it was fairly quiet at his sunset but he was hearing the QRN this morning as we completed two nice CW QSO’s which included a big peak just before his sunrise but more on that later.
Geomagnetic conditions continue at storm levels although the last few reporting periods have been quiet to elevated. The Bz is currently pointing to the North although the solar wind velocities are finally beginning to increase, averaging 512 km/s as I develop this report. DST levels are currently negative but have seen a significant upturn from the lows at the start of this event. Solarham is reporting that a few more days of this activity may be expected.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, had a nice surprise this morning, reporting two decodes of VK4YB, a first for him. All of this occurred during this geomagnetic storm as well as severe terrestrial weather conditions that have seriously impacted the Pacific Northwest region. Neil sent the following comments, data and map:
“GM John. I got a nice surprise this morning. I found TWO decodes of VK4YB on my wspr screen, both at -28 in the 11z hour. My vertical was grounded. I was using my Eprobe at 20 ft AGL. I also got one decode of XZO to the east on the Eprobe this session.”
I will have to continue in RX-only mode for another session as the worst of the WX is on its way Saturday afternoon and evening.”
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, and I completed two very nice CW QSO’s, the latter almost causing me to fall out of my chair he was so loud. He submitted the following comments to me this morning about the session, our QSO’s and potential changes at his station:
“Conditions recovered well after just one night of being disturbed. Heard 7 and was heard by 42 including Neil, WH2XSV, for second time this season. Hope to copy him soon. Merv in HI has copied me every night recently except the disturbed conditions night before last. I decoded him for the second night of the season last night. The BIG NEWS last night were the two CW contacts with John, XIQ. I set the alarm and made it to the shack in a stupor and immediately heard him 559, but for some reason my keyer wiring was reversed. There are over 100 menu items and one of them is for the keyer wiring, but I was too asleep so I turned my keyer upside down and tried to send, pulling the wires off the keyer! We finally did make a 2 x 559 contact. I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep so got up and wemt to the shack. John was calling CQ with a big 589 signal, and we exchanged 589 reports, SSB arm chair copy levels here.
Need to make some improvements here. Late last winter when my antenna was 82′ high, my signal reports from you averaged 3-4 dB below my reports to you. I’ve added about half the winter radials, but am still 6-8 dB down from you so may have to try and raise the antenna again.”
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he received decodes from 58 unique stations including 19 from VK4YB, best at -19 dB S/N, and three from VK2XGJ, best at -24 dB S/N. Ken adds, “Nice decodes fm KU4XR best =10 and 98 decodes fm WH2XCR @ 6007 km best -1…KU4XR best + 10”
Phil, VK3ELV, continues to see reports from JA, including decodes from 7L1RLL and JH1INM from late in the previous session and JH3XCU during this session:
John, VE7BDQ, shared two-way reports with VK4YB and reception reports from VK2EIK:
Roger, VK4YB, issued a “code-6” at 1053z, signalling to Steve, VE7SL, that “Condx are early, long and shallow. 1st spot of Ken was 16 min before sunset. Noise is low here.” They got a late start on their CW QSO attempt and Roger reports that he may have heard a “7” at one point while Steve indicated that there was no late peak at all during this session. WSPR reports suggested that the path was open but the S/N may not have been optimal for a QSO. Roger adds that he is adding another antenna oriented to Europe in the coming days and indicates that the azimuth is the same to UA0SNV. Roger’s WPR statistics follow:
“Rx 19*wg2xxm (-20) 1*ve7bdq (-26) 32*wh2xcr (-11)
Tx 1*ve6jy (-28) 1*ve7cnf (-30) 20*ve7bdq (-20) 1*va7bbg (-27) 34*ve7sl (-19) 2*wg2xsv (-28) 29*kl7l (-22) 27*we2xpq (-21) 49*wh2xcr (-5) 2*ja3tvf (-25) 4*zl2bcg (-13) 1*7l1rll4 (-32) 1*jn1mso (-28) 1*jh1inm (-23)”
Richard, VK2EIK, who has recently joined the 630-meter ranks, sent this description of his station:
“The equipment here is modest. The antenna is a end fed inverted V. It’s a commercial antenna from Myantennas.com and is really only meant for 80-10m work. It was connected with no special tuning to an old JRC NRD-535 receiver and the audio was fed to a new Raspberry PI computer. The system was only left on to test the PI overnight!”
This was a nice session in spite of the hits to S/N that were observed. The band showed a significant amount of instability with very fast QSB which can make operating exciting. I experienced periods during the evening where WG2XXM’s signal would go from S9 to below the noise in the span of a two minute WSPR transmission. This morning during our CW QSO’s, Doug had numerous nice peaks but along with the peaks there were numerous fades and there were times during our first QSO today where the QRN, coupled with a fade, really complicated things. I should also point out that it wasn’t just the good signals that experienced fades. The QRN actually had QSB and it felt almost like an intermittent antenna connection, which it wasn’t, of course. My WSPR transmission reports can be found here and my WSPR reception reports can be found here. Someone pointed out that my transmission reports start at a later time than I actually begin receiving reports. This is because the WSPRnet query tool will only report the previous 1000 reports for a given query. That means that any reports from 2200z when I have recently been starting until anywhere from 0200z to 0600z are lost this time of year when reports exceed 1000 for a session. I really should grab that data prior to bed time and will make a note to begin doing that. The takeaway message is that I am receiving well over 1000 decodes each night and by Winter that number will likely rise to more than 2000 decodes nightly.
WSPR activity was very high once again, a lot for this time of year and particularly when a geomagnetic storm is in full bloom. 95 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0230z, 20-30 more than were active on either 80-meters and 160-meters. Its exciting to see all of the interest. I saw that K2RH was listening over night and had thought that he might have been a previous receive station but my records and some research by Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, suggest that K2RH may be new on 630-meters. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path.
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported three of us located in the South during this session:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, originally reported that he was “receive only” during the session but transmitted just long enough to receive a single report from WH2XCR. He indicates that his area is receiving 60 mile per hour winds currently but that the new transmit / receive loop is holding up well and has been about 1 dB better than the “ACESHIGH” probe on the path to VK and KH6:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, asks the question, “Was I on the right band” since there were so many new call signs hearing his signal overnight. He reports significant QRN during this session but managed reports from all of the usual regions and continents. He sent and received a lot of reports to guys in the eastern areas of North America, judging by the map:
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).