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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but hope to be back by 1115z Saturday morning if I don't oversleep

Great start to ham activity on 630-meters as the ‘official’ opening night arrives; Fast QSB and noise were the dominant features impacting QSO’s but it made for an interesting night; A few trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific WSPR reports were registered as new stations find their footing on the band.

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for October 16, 2016 can be viewed here.

The UTC amateur registration database is here.  

HERE are a  few mode specific comments addressing where modes are located now and probably where they are best placed in the future

Blog administrative note:  As we transition to amateur activity on 630-meters, more of my focus in this blog will be on two-way QSO highlights.  I have not yet decided how this transition will impact WSPR reports long term but I will more than likely begin including WSPR summaries rather than specific operator details for WSPR reports.  The next few weeks will help me make that decision.  Thanks for your patience as I make adjustments.

 

Noise levels generally improved during this session compared to the previous  with station reporting moderate QRN.  The morning session was a bit more active with storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeast the may have impacted activity just a bit.  W7IUV reported high QRN in Washington state in spite of no storms in his area.  K9FD/KH6 reported S9 rain static through his sunset and into the evening as well.  Noise conditions were still better than the previous session here in North Texas.

11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Geomagnetic conditions have leveled off a bit as the Kp has calmed, ranging from quiet to elevated-quiet levels.   The Bz is at unity this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 530 km/s. DST values are meandering near the centerline at negative levels with periodic decreases that are moderately strong but nothing like what was observed during the height of the most recent event.

 

 

 

QSB was the dominant propagation feature noted during the session.  It was extremely fast leaving calls heard one minute unheard the next.

Reverse beacon report details for the session follow:

 

PSKReporter aggregated these North American JT-mode reports for the session:

Courtesy PSKReporter

 

The band was awash with CW and digital signals, many of them from stations never heard before now.  Its great to see so much activity and the details presented below really only scratches the surface because these represent only the reports sent to me or what I experienced first hand.  A complete transcript of ON4KST chat activity with a few more details can be viewed here.

QSO details and reception reports follow in no particular order:

Neil, W0YSE/7, indicated that he completed evening JT9 QSO’s with W7IUV, VE7CNF, W7RNB, and VE7VV and CW QSO’s with W7IUV, K7SF, N6LF and VE7CNF.  Neil added that he “…heard another caller when Toby VE7CNF was calling me on CW, but they were exactly the same pitch so I did not catch the other station. It might have been K7SF calling me again, but I am not sure.”

Eric, NO3M, reported many completed QSO’s during the evening and was heard attempting a JT9 QSO this morning with W7IUV near this sunrise:

CW: K4LY, K4EJQ, N4PY, WA1ZMS, K9MRI, KB5NJD, W0RW, WA9ETW (cross band 1805)
JT9: K4LY, K2BLA
FT8: K3RWR, VE3CIQ
SSB: K4LY, WA1ZMS

Ben, N1VF, reported one JT9 QSO with W7IUV but he supplied no details of exchanged reports.  Ben’s session abruptly ended due to a PA failure and associated release of the “magic smoke”.  He supplied images which have been  added to the Hall of Flame.

Toby, VE7CNF, reported that he completed  “5 CW, 4 JT9 QSOs with 7 stations AH6EZ/W7, W7WKR, W7IUV, W0YSE, W7RBN, N6LF, K5DNL.  My first CW QSO with AH6EZ/W7 started right at 0000z.”

Roger, VE7VV, report the following QSO’s from this session:  AH6EZ/W7 (1ST US), N6LF.  JT9: W7IUV, W7RNB, W0YSE.

Rick, W7RNB, reported six JT9 QSO’s during the evening before the band went quiet.  Those QSO’s were with W7WKR, W0YSE/7, W7IUV, VE7CNF, and two QSO’s with VE7VV.  He transitioned to WSPR for the overnight period, providing reports for five WSPR stations and receiving reports from 31 unique stations.  Rick’s unique WSPR report details can be viewed here.

Meir, WF2U, located in Landrum, South Carolina, posted the following detailed report on the 600-meter research group email reflector:

“I briefly listened to the first night’s activities on 630 m CW from 10:15pm EDT to 10:30pm EDT and I’m happy to report that it sounded pretty busy!

I used my 1943 vintage Navy RBA-1 TRF receiver, with the only wire antenna I have, a 265 ft Carolina Windom, 55 ft at the apex. For better match, I used it as a top-loaded vertical and only used the center conductor of the coax to feed the receiver, with the ground post of the receiver directly grounded. This gave me the best signal strength vs. noise as I found out empirically. Noise level was not too bad (I live in an electrically quiet area out in the country; my shack is an unattached separate building I heard the following stations, their signal reports are as I perceived by hearing them relative to the noise level (the RBA doesn’t have an S-meter):

NO3M  – 599
K9MRI – 339 to 449
K4LY –  599
KB5NJD – 559 to 579
WA1ZMS – 589
K4EJQ – 599

Full QSO’s heard:

K9MRI with NO3M
K9MRI with K4LY
NO3M with WA1ZMS
KB5NJD with NO3M
W1ZMS with K4EJQ

I hope this report is helpful.

Now it’s time to build a 630 m antenna and dust off one of my old Navy LF/MF transmitters that has been gathering dust waiting for better days, and get it on the air!  I really enjoyed this evening even just listening!”

Ken, K5DNL, completed two-way JT9 QSO’s with VE7CNF, W7IUV, K9MRI, K3RWR and K4LY.  He  reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations and he received reports from  87 unique stations including ZL2AFP,  K9FD/KH6 and nine Canadian stations.  Ken shared two-way WSPR reports with ZF1EJ and VE7BDQ.

Paul, W0RW, spent the evening operating CW on 473 kHz, listening cross band on 80-meters and simplex.  I captured the following recording of him on a peak, of which Paul had many through the evening:

 

Doug, K4LY, had a great night, racking up a number of states in spite of less than stellar band conditions.  He submitted these comments for the session:

“A night of superlatives, but conditions weren’t one of them.  The ham band 630M was just that with numerous CW and digital activity all evening. I worked  4 stations in 4 states on CW and six stations in 6 states on JT9 . There were even three SSB contacts that I know about .  Brian, WA1ZMS, in VA and I worked armchair copy on 478.9 LSB at 0127 UTC and think it was the first U. S. 630M ham radio SSB contact. After working Brian, Eric, NO3M, called me, and then Brian and Eric worked.  My totals were 13 contacts in 9 states!

The QRN had been building,, and I went QRT at 0230 UTC leaving WSPR on at reduced power.  The PA shut down in the rain somewhat later, and I discovered that and restarted it in the middle of the night at even lower power, ending up with 63 unique stations decoding K4LY, an all time record. .  K4LY decoded 13, but no northwest or KH6..  It was still raining an hour before SR when I had expected to operate some CW, so I returned to bed.   It was great to see so many new stations (some well known DXers and contesters)  monitoring, and a few even transmitting,”

Larry, W7IUV, didn’t enjoy himself compared to others on the air last night but he completed fourteen total QSO’s with twelve unique call signs including CW QSO’s with W7WKR, AH6EZ/W7, VE7CNF, W0YSE, N6LF, KB5NJD and K7SF.  On JT9 Larry completed QSO’s with W0YSE, VE7VV, W7RNB, VE7CNF, K5DNL, N1VF and  K9FD/KH6.

Larry even woke up early to  listen to the band and make a few calls.  He attempted a JT9 QSO with NO3M but was unsuccessful on Eric’s sunrise.  He also received reverse beacon network reports this morning and I was successful at capturing one of those calls:

 

Mark, WA9ETW, posted the following comments on the 600-meter research group email reflector:

“Had a nice xband (160/630) CW QSO w/Eric, NO3M, earlier this evening. He was 55-569 hr at the time, but surged to a genuine 599 shortly thereafter.  Spotted a bunch of “new” WSPR stations, watched several JT9 QSOs, and heard several more CW QSOs. (Missed the SSB activity altogether.)  It’s going to be a fun band. I had hoped to be QRV for “opening day,” but circumstances intervened and I fell far short (470 meters short, to be precise).”

Brian, WA1ZMS, reported on the 600-meter research group that he completed two-way CW AND SSB QSO’s with NO3M and K4LY.  Brian added that he was  “Not sure if SSB with K4LY was ‘first on band as Part 97’ but Doug thinks it may be…”  Brian submitted this recording of his QSO with NO3M on 478.9 kHz LSB:

 

Brian represented the “golden goose” for me.  We heard one another but never at the same times at QSO levels.  We will get that worked out in the coming sessions.

I experienced a very enjoyable night in spite of some late season noise and very rapid QSB but admit that I spent a lot more time listening than operating as I took-in the milestone that had been achieved, gathering information and details that will surely become of historical value in time.  It was difficult to listen and watch all of the fun going on in the East before my sunset.  Band conditions were good, however, as a number of stations were reported while I was in full sun, which may have been more of a testament to lower noise levels at the time.  I completed JT9 QSO’s  with K4LY, K2BLA and K3RWR.  I kept JT9 QSO’s short rather than going through the typical full cycle and hope that no one was offended if I disappeared after ‘RRR’ was sent.  I completed CW QSO’s with W0RW, KD0VBR, K4LY, NO3M and W7IUV.  I attempted a CW QSO with K9FD but like the experience with WA1ZMS, we were not hearing each other at the same time and S9 noise started at Merv’s QTH due to rain static.  There were many other callers, including KK7UV, who was reported to me by W7IUV.  I need a very quiet morning to hear Steve for whatever reason and today was not that day.  There were others “in the weeds” that never peaked up when I was calling CQ or looked for stations as I tuned the band.  I would say my most interesting QSO was with Tom, KD0VBR.  On any given night, we could have completed a nice extended rag chew but with noise and QSB, it was tough.  Thanks to Tom for his patience.  It took several repeats to get his call sign and name.  A quick check of QRZ suggests that he is located in Golden, Colorado, not terribly far away but far enough when band conditions aren’t up to par.  Tom’s transmitter had a nice tone to it but there was clearly a voltage drop on key down.  It reminded me of some of the maritime CW stations I’ve heard recordings of while at sea.  We will work again soon and I will get more details.  I QRT’ed around 0445z after experiencing aural hallucinations while trying to work K9FD on Molokai.

My morning started at 0945z.  The band was a bit flat but I did hear W7IUV very well this morning and there were a few other stations that were “in the weeds”.  Don, W0DJK, reported my CQ’s while I was on 474.5 kHz.  He is located in Minnesota and is working to get himself on the air.

Noise was high to the East as storms were active in the South but West was relatively quiet aside from the odd lightning crash.  Due to the realities of life, I did not get to operate all the way up to sunrise but the coming days should offer some relief in that regard.  It was a great session and I am very happy with how things turned out.

Oh, I almost forgot:  I abandoned any hope of cross band QSO’s during this session because it was impossible to find a 40m frequency that wasn’t commandeered while I was listening.  Sorry if you were hoping to make a cross band QSO.  I will figure out how to do that better in the future.  There was a lot of band activity, meaning that cross band was an additional layer of operational complexity.

Trans-Atlantic WSPR report details can be viewed here.

Dave, AA1A, received reports from 63 unique stations including EA2HB, EA8BFK, F1AFJ and F59706.

David, N1DAY, reported that he decoded  twelve WSPR stations and received reports from 64 unique stations.  25 stations were at a distance greater than 1000 km and his furthest report was at a distance of 3596 km in California.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations in addition to K9FD/KH6 whose call sign does not process well on the WSPRnet site.  Merv will be resolving this tonight by removing the “/KH6” from his callsign.  Merv’s reports from Mike, can be viewed here.

Trans-Pacific WSPR 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, indicated that he experienced “Heavy and near continuous QRN. TP propagation well down on recent highs, except for Japan. Storms forecast to continue.”  Roger noted that he is waiting for noise conditions to improve before he returns to QSO mode.   He received reports from JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA1PKG/2, JA3TVF, JA8SCD5, JE1JDL, JR1IZM, K9FD/KH6, KL7L, KR6LA, TNUKJPM,  VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, W6SFH, W7IUV/W and WA7LNW. He shared two-way reports with WH2XCR.  Roger also noted that he “…got an email message today from Skip, KL7NN to say he was decoding my WSPR signals last night.  He does not have internet access from his radio site and was unable to report to WSPR.net”

John, VK2XGJ, welcomed US amateur to the band and noted that he would be listening for WSPR, JT9, and JT65 but by 0916 z, he only had reports from ZL stations.  That’s OK as activity was varied overnight and there are a lot of new stations trying to get their bearing while a lot of stations that have been on the band previously are exploring other avenues.  John added in a subsequent email that QRN was very high when he checked in the middle of his night.

Larry, W7IUV, operated a secondary receiver with a dedicated West-facing receive antenna, designated as W7IUV/W that provided reports for nine WSPR stations including VK4YB.

W7IUV/w session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

I took the census once during the late evening and observed 149 MF WSPR stations on the WSPRnet activity page but the number was quite variable as station came and went through the evening.  Who knows what the real maximum actually was.  It was a lot of stations, however.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

South American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Oceania 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for eight WSPR stations. He received reports from 46 unique stations including WH2XCR.  Eden was also QRV on QSO modes, working JT9 during the evening.

ZF1EJ session WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L, provided reports for three WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from eight unique stations including ZL2AFP. He shared two-way reports with VE7BDQ.  Laurence indicated that he “…tuned around and didnt hear or see anything and my JT9 decoder is clear this morning- still disturbed or should I say its going to take a while for the hot iono water to drain out of the leaky hose.”  He also experienced problems decoding K9FD/KH6’s call sign.  DX report details can be viewed here.

KL7L session WSPR activity

 

Merv, K9FD/KH6, completed a JT9 QSO with W7IUV and attempted a CW QSO for me before weather conditions deteriorated and noise increased.  Merv was in a WSPR receive-only capacity through this session on accident due to a decoder problem when  his amateur call sign plus “/KH6” was encountered.  He will removed “/KH6” for tonight’s session.  He provided reports for sixteen WSPR stations including KL7L, VK4YB, ZF1EJ, and ZL2AFP.   Merv added that “Murphy” visited him during this session as a rope holding a top loading wire broke, causing an impedance excursion that resulted in a failed FET in his amp.  He was able to get both repaired in time for radio work beginning at sunset.  DX report details can be viewed here.

Merv also added that he observed a number of signals that were not decoding, likely from new stations not used to using WSPR.  WSPR requires a very well synced clock, just as the other JT modes require, and Windows time sync is very poor in keeping the time correct.  Research Dimension4 or Meinberg NTP software packages.

Furthermore, do be careful where you put your WSPR signals.  Merv noted that at least one station parked their signal on top of him at some point overnight.  Please have a look at the database and activity page before transmitting.  There is a lot more activity out there today so we have to be a bit more conscientious about how we operate our stations.

K9FD/KH6 session WSPR activity

 


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