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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR for storms - just one more night - should be QRV Saturday night!

Lower noise and quieter geomagnetic conditions overnight allowing many QSO’s although QSB was present and very fast again; K9FD (KH6) gives many JT9 QSO’s; More trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific WSPR reports; KM3T is the latest addition to growing number of 630-meter Reverse Beacon Network nodes; W5EST presents: ”The Curious Case of Missing dB in VK4YB’s Path from KH6 to VE6”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for October 18, 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

Curious about who is on the air making two-way QSO’s?  Roger, VE7VV, is maintaining this list.  If you complete QSO’s, be sure to let us know so he can add you to the active operator list.


Lightning QRN was largely missing from the North American landscape during this session, at least as far as what was reported on Blitzortung, but a number of stations reported rain static, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.  The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and parts of Central America experienced a few lightning-rich storms.

11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are quiet. The Bz is at unity this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 375 km/s.  DST values are mounting a comeback but intermittent decreases through the session were also observed.




Reverse beacon network reports for the session follow:


Note that the 56 dB reports of my CW signal at VE7AB are an error.  It seems Roger, VE7VV, was calling me at these times of elevated S/N and CW Skimmer was confused.

PSKReporter was a bit of a mess as there was some kind of massive band reporting error for stations on the East coast into Europe.  As a result, I am only displaying the western half of the continent:

Courtesy PSKReporter


Laurence, KL7L/VE6, submitted this screen capture of JT9 reports on his portable receiver while on assignment in northern VE6.  Laurence indicates high noise from heavy rain.  He is using the L400B probe pushed out the window and supported by a telescoping pole:

Overnight JT9 at KL7L/VE6 (courtesy KL7L)


Laurence also submitted this screen capture of his JT9 receiver in Alaska from overnight:

KL7L JT9 console / receiver in Alaska (courtesy KL7L)


Jim, W5EST, submitted this JT9 receive list from his station in Arkansas that was configured for join.me screen sharing sessions overnight:

Courtesy W5EST


The following stations provided reports of their two-way QSO’s as well as any additional activity that might have occurred during this session:

Fred, N3FL, reported that he completed CW QSO’s during the evening at 1-watt EIRP “…for all QSOs except NO3M when I was running 0.1W.”:

NO3M at 0132

K9MRI at 0148

K4LY at 0152

WA1ZMS at 0201

K4EJQ at 0221


Doug, K4LY, began the session in the evening on JT9, completing QSO’s with K9SLQ and WA1ZMS.  He also received an SWL report from Bob, K1UTI, in Port Charlotte, Florida while operating FT8.  Bob reported to Doug that he was “…using a G5RV (inverted V) @ 30 feet. Just one leg working against ground, TS2000 and WSJT-X rc3…”  Doug submitted this screen capture sent by Bob:

K4LY FT8 at K1UTI (Courtesy K1UTI via K4LY)


Doug also completed CW QSO’s with K9SLQ, N3FL and WA1ZMS.  Overnight Doug operated WSPR, receiving decodes from 63 unique stations including W0YSE/7 for the first time this season.  Doug provided reports for thirteen WSPR stations and he shared two-way WSPR reports with K9FD (KH6).

Doug submitted these summary statistics in addition to a few additional details:

K9SLQ  JT9  sent -17  rcvd -18
K9SLQ   CW    569   559
N3FL       CW   539   569
WA1ZMS CW   559   569
K5DNL   JT9    -1      -18


“On WSPR decoded W0YSE for first time this season.  K9FD and I getting close to JT9 levels with his 13 decodes of K4LY- best -22 and my 9 decodes of him- best -26. Better conditions to NW with several VA7JX and VE7AB decodes of K4LY, but no VE7 decodes from here.”

Eric, NO3M, completed a JT9 QSO during the late evening with Merv, K9FD, on KH6 (screen capture below) in addition to numerous CW QSO’s including K9SLQ and KB5NJD this morning while using the vintage rack rig.

NO3M JT9 QSO with K9FD (courtesy NO3M)


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), worked many stations using JT9 during the evening before transitioning to WSPR for the overnight (those details remain at the end of this report).  He submitted these comments and statistics:

“Got on at sunset and came back at 0700Z, 0700 was decent,  Eric made my day,  copied him for our exchanges
and that was it,  zero nada not again.  we must have had it timed perfect.

Worked JT9

Falling asleep or would stay up and try for VK4YB,  but have to do that another day.”


Al, K2BLA, reported a JT9 QSO with K9SLQ, which was a new one for him.  Using WSPR overnight, Al received reports from 44 unique stations including K9FD and KPH.  Al provided reports for ten WSPR stations, none of which were DX.


Rick, W7RNB, completed JT9 QSO’s with the six stations during the evening:

VE7BDQ    – 6 /- 7
CF7MM      -17 / -5
NU6O        – 8 / -15
N1VF         -16 / -25
N6GN        – 11 / -24
K9FD         – 23 / -22
Rick operated WSPR overnight, providing reports for eight WSPR stations and he received reports from 36 unique stations.  Rick’s unique WSPR report details can be viewed here.


John, VE7BDQ, reported JT9 QSO’s with  VE7CNF, W0YSE, N6GN, W7RNB, N1VF and K9FD.

Ken, K5DNL, completed a JT9 QSO with K4LY this morning and attempted a JT9 QSO with VE7VV but QSB was active.   Ken operated WSPR through the night, reporting sixteen WSPR stations and receiving reports from 92 unique stations which Ken indicates may be a record for him.  Stations reporting his signal include VK4YB, ZL2AFP, KL7L/VE6, and ten Canadian stations.  He shared two-way DX reports with VE7CA, K9FD and ZF1EJ.

Joe, NU6O, indicated that this was his first night on the air and reported JT9 QSO’s with seven stations including VE7VV, W0YSE, W7IUV, VE7CNF, N6GN, N1VF, and W7RNB.

Neil, W0YSE, reported JT9 QSO’s with  NU6O, VE7CNF and N6GN, who was Neil’s best DX on 630-meter JT9 as W0YSE.  Neil also completed a partial JT9 QSO with VE7BDQ.  Neil and Toby will get that worked out shortly.

Neil also reported a large amount of WSPR activity with more decoding him than in a long time.  An excerpt of those stations that were greater than 2000km follows:

Larry, W7IUV, reported that he missed much of the evening session activity before 0500z due to a prior commitment but indicates that conditions were poor in Washington state.  Larry noted that his JT9 console reported only West coast stations aside from K5DNL between 0000z and 0300z.  He completed JT9 QSO’s with NU6O, CF7MM and VE7CNF.

Overnight Larry had intentions of being active on WSPR but a problem resulted in JT9 beaconing through the night instead.  Larry apologizes for any QRM created and notes that the watchdog timer did not stop his system automatically.  He returned to WSPR this morning, providing reports for VK4YB and receiving reports from ZL2AFP.

The evening session at my station here in North Texas (KB5NJD) was similar to the previous.  The band was slow to open and QSB was rampant again.  I struggled to receive reverse beacon network reports during the evening but was successful receiving email reports and several posted in the ON4KST chat.  In fact, the following note comes from Jim, K3ILC:

“Just wanted to say that I heard your signal just now (0144Z 18 Oct) on about 475 kHz. using our remote station in Ellicott, CO (east of Colorado Springs).  We have a TS450 to a Butternut vertical.  Our club station AF0S in Ellicott is in a low noise location most of the time.  Your signal was about 569 – 579 – you were calling a K9 station.”

The K9 stations that Jim references were either Wayne, K9SLQ, or Joe, K9MRI.  Both were hearing me but when I was hearing and subsequently calling Wayne, I faded in Indiana.  I never heard more than a few pings from Joe but he was evidently hearing me pretty well.  There was a bit of confusion with all of this in the ON4KST chat but we resolved that QSO’s were not going to happen at that time.  Fortunately I worked K9SLQ this morning  at 1000z for our first QSO together.  He received an RST 449.

Just prior to working Wayne, Eric, NO3M, called me with his beautiful PP-814 transmitter and we chatted a bit before some instability took him off frequency.  We continued the chat briefly after I worked Wayne and once Eric resolved the stability issue.  Signals were good but QSB remained very active which is curious as the band is usually more stable in the morning.

Roger, VE7VV, and I had plans of meeting up close to 1100z for a CW QSO attempt.  Roger was hearing my CW CQ’s  between WSPR signals that were raising the collective noise floor but he indicated that I was near his detection limit.  I only heard a few beeps from Roger, RST 339 at best, and that detection was brief.  We will try this again on a more stable morning or night.  Roger was up very early for this attempt and that effort is very much appreciated.

I QRT’ed just after first light to get the day in gear.

Trans-Atlantic WSPR report details can be viewed here.

Dave, AA1A, received six reports from EA8BFK and two reports from EB8ARZ/1.

Rob, K3RWR, received one report from EA8BFK.

David, N1DAY, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations and he received reports from 62 unique stations, including his most distant station, K9FD in KH6.  David added that he received reports from  25 unique stations  further than 1000KM.

Ernie, KC4SIT, indicated that he listened for WSPR stations during this session, reporting nine WSPR stations including two that were over 1200 km away and five others over 500 km away.

Dave, N4DB, reported that he decoded thirteen WSPR stations with K5DNL representing his best DX.

Mike, WA3TTS, reported that he decoded fourteen WSPR stations overnight.  Mike added that he used the “…NE EWE antenna early then NW EWE antenna after 0400 utc. E-probe on 2200m. Ran receivers with separate antennas, converters and filters, etc.  Not much change in propagation conditions, so the results show the improvement of not having the 3dB hybrid splitter loss for sharing single antenna with 2 receivers…(higher K9FD count and W7RNB captured overnight vs not captured prior night).

Best DX over 3000 km:

K9FD 17 decodes, best -18 at 0818. 5 decodes at -24 SNR min between 0830 and 1030, so local and/or distant noise may still be an issue for K9FD decodes–or possibly multi-hop path fading….my wsjt-x waterfall does appear a bit “foggy” near Merv’s freq.

W7RNB 2 decodes, -25 @ 1006 and -24 at 1014

Best QRP

W9XA 5 spots at 50 milliwatts stated ERP, best SNR -22 at 0032

Lowest  SNRs overnight from N3FL at -30 and QRP lavel 100mw at 0336, 0404, 0824, 0904″

Trans-Pacific 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 his session included “Low QRN early, increasing later. Propagation looked promising but faded away.  Called CQ on JT9 for 20 minutes, more in hope than expectation.”  Roger indicated just a few JT9 traces, thinking one was probably K5DNL.  No QSO’s were completed during this session.  On WSPR Roger received reports from JA3TVF, JE1JDL, KL7L, KR6LA, KU7Z, N6GN, N6SKM, VE6JY, VE7BDQ, W6SFH and W7IUV/W.  Roger shared two-way reports with WH2XCR and he provided reports for K5DNL, and VE7CA.

Markus, VE7CA, received WSPR reports from VK4YB and ZL2AFP.

KPH was active on WSPR receive through this session, providing reports for sixteen WSPR stations including VK4YB.

KPH session WSPR activity


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


Laurence, KL7L, provided reports for five WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from nine unique stations. He shared two-way reports with K9FD.  DX report details can be viewed here.

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD, experienced a strong session of JT9 QSO’s reported earlier.  Overnight he provided reports for fourteen WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, ZL1EE and KL7L. Merv received reports from 51 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JR1IZM, VK2XGJ, VK3ALZ, ZL4EI and ZL2AFP.   DX report details can be viewed here.

K9FD 24-hour WSPR activity



Roger VK4YB wrote in, Oct. 10:

Yesterday I noticed two instances of VE6 stations giving me better reports than Merv, WH2XCR during the same transmission period. I felt this needed further investigation.  I extracted all VE6 and XCR coincident reports throughout yesterday evening. The results are in the attached Excel spreadsheet [VK4YB SNR at XCR (blue) and at VE6JY (red) are graphed in Roger’s illustration, Figure 1.]

Jim W5EST: From that spreadsheet of Oct. 10 info, Figure 2 graphs SNR difference (red) between VK4YB SNR atVE6JY minus VK4YB SNR at WH2XCR. Ditto SNR difference (green) of VK4YB SNR at VE6XH compared to VK4YB SNR at WH2XCR.  Merv WH2XCR is receiving different RF from the VK4YB transmitter than the VE6 stations do.  Phasing QSB and other QSB are not very correlated at XCR with QSB at VE6. Also, possibly 630m lateral skew connects more rays from VK4YB to VE6 than to XCR, compensating for some of the greater distance loss to VE6.  I’d suggest that combination tells how VK4YB SNR at VE6 can sometimes exceed SNR at Hawaii.  Red point 14 and green point 23 are the two instances of VE6 stations giving better reports than XCR gave to the same VK4YB WSPR slot.

Roger VK4YB: The average S/N report difference between WH2XCR and VE6JY turned out to be 7.2 dB. Similarly the report difference for WH2XCR and VE6XH (on a slightly smaller data set) was 7.1 dB.  I have just had a quick look at the figures for tonight, and they are very similar.  The extra distance the signals have to travel after passing Hawaii is of the order of 5000km. This is just in the range of a 2 hop path and includes crossing the Rockies. All three stations have excellent receiving equipment and low noise environments.  It seems to me that the assumptive path loss of about 3.6dB per hop is remarkably low. 

Jim W5EST: I did a little checking to make sure the low 3.6 dB per hop should be paid attention, and your puzzlement does seem reasonable.  Your spreadsheet subtracted the VK4YB SNR reported by XCR from the SNR reported by each VE6 station respectively. Then the average of all the differences aimed to average out the variability.

The method I tried in Figure 3 graphed peak VK4YB SNR at XCR (blue) determined from the Oct.16 to days as far back as Sept. 12. Ditto for VK4YB SNR at VE6JY (red) and VE6XH (green).  Peak SNRs, from different time slots and even different days, is another way to separate loss properties of a path from QSB confusion.  Figure 4 shows the SNR differences between peak SNRs at XCR and peak SNRs respective to the VE6 stations.  The peak SNR differences came out –8dB for VE6JY (red) vs. XCR and -10dB for VE6XH (green) vs. XCR.  Per-hop, that leads to assumptive path loss of about 4-5dB per hop, which also seems low.  I also tried other calculations, tabulated in the Endnote* with similar results to yours.

Roger VK4YB: Is there perhaps another explanation?

Jim W5EST: As you’ll recall, recent blog posts proposed formulas involving peak SNRs from the 36 night interval 9/1 – 10/6  /2017.  On the NE TP path 37 points represented ratios of SNR differences for assessing prop mode across the equatorial region.  ; http://njdtechnologies.net/101117/  ;  http://njdtechnologies.net/092917/

Using such formulas to determine TP path loss from one-night information from two stations differs considerably in purpose. I think SNR differences will often understate path loss on whatever TP path portion: http://njdtechnologies.net/101217/  . That said, your example provides an interesting “stress test” on these methods to see how far they might be applied.

L23est = L13/13 – L12/12 = (SNR12 – SNR13) -2.15 dB + 10log10(GRX13/GRX12) + (N2 – N3)        (1)     

 Let’s see how the formula estimates path loss of VK4YB propagation from around Hawaii to Alberta. The -2.15 dB is a distance-related loss for this particular TP path.                   

L23est = 8dB -2.15dB = 6dB + station RX antenna gain advantage dB + noise advantage dB.

Bottom line: As I see it, some missing dB probably arise additionally from comparative antenna gains and comparative band noise environments at XCR and in VE6-land given 630m RF arrival elevation angle(s).  At DX low arrival angles, antenna low angle gains can vary from station to station and can depend on particulars of ground conductivity and grounding systems as well.  Comments from others are most welcome. TU & GL on 630m!”

*ENDNOTE:  I also checked Roger’s figures using nightly Peak SNR, Median SNR, Average SNR and 3-nights’ results likewise for the various paths to XCR and to VE6. All three nights were prolific with VK4YB decodes by VE6JY and VE6XH.  The Peak SNR method gave somewhat higher SNR Differences than the other two methods, as tabulated.


click to enlarge


click to enlarge


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