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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Quiet geomagnetic conditions but noisy terrestrial weather in the Midwest central US stifle operating for many; Trans-Pacific paths open although higher latitude paths continue to struggle

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

There is not a lot that one can say about this session except that it was a very noisy night for many of us in North America.  A frontal system bringing Autumn weather to my area and areas across the South spawned lightning-rich thunderstorms that impacted operators from coast-to-coast.  Many stations remained QRT while some of us opted to operate during the evening and shut down at bedtime.


11-hour North American lightning summary


I won’t go so far as to suggest that there was no value in being on the air last night in areas immediately impacted by storm noise.  In fact the very idea that reports were able to be registered is a testament to the fact that 1) the band was open in the “lower-48” and 2) the JT modes are pretty amazing.  This would have been a miserable night for CW, however.

Geomagnetic activity has returned to quiet levels, the Bz is pointing to the North.  Solar wind velocities are also low, averaging 390 km/s, down from over 500 km/s yesterday at this time.  DST values have returned to nominal levels:







Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, has been performing some comparisons between 160-meters and 630-meters and provided a few comments this morning:

“QRN as reported resulted in only 6 [decoded] and 24 [decoding Doug’s signal] starting at 0310 UTC when I switched to 630M. Comparison- a Maine 5W 160M station had many TA’s, and I had one before 0310.”


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV had a very strong session, decoding VK4YB for a third time.  He also indicates very good openings to KH6 and he shares comments below:


WG2XSV session WSPR activity



VK4YB, as reported by WG2XSV




Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports rain all night but he still managed to decode eight WSPR stations including six decodes of VK4YB.  His signal was decoded by nineteen unique stations.   Rick notes that large, wet trees to his East and likely impacting his signal in that direction but a better assessment can be made once the trees lose their leaves:


VK4YB, as reported by WI2XJQ






Roger, VK4YB, reports that the “diode effect ” was headed in the opposite direction during this session, as he was decoded before 1030z in North America.  Roger adds that propagation was pretty good but there was moderate noise resulting in the issuing of a “Code 6” for the morning.  The impact was that a CW QSO attempt with Steve, VE7SL, was waved off until possibly later in the morning.  Steve indicated that it seemed a bit noisy at just before 1100z.  Roger’s statistics follow:

“Rx 4*wh2xgp (-23) 30*wh2xxp (-10) 5*ve7cnf (-25) 2*ve7bdq (-25) 38*wh2xcr(-15)

TX 9*wh2xnv (-18) 4*w0ay (-26) 41*w7iuv (-16) 18*wh2xgp (-15) 1*ve7cnf (-30) 18*ve7bdq (-20) 1*va7bbg (-20) 6*wi2xjq (-25) 32*ve7sl (-20) 6*wg2xsv (-24) 2*ww6d (-28) 7*we2xpq (-23) 54*wh2xcr (-9) 10*jh1inm (-21) 1*ja3tvf (-24)”


VK4YB, as reported by JH1INM



VK4YB, as reported by VA7BBG



VK4YB, as reported by VE7SL



VK4YB, as reported by W0AY



VK4YB, as reported by WH2XNV



VK4YB, as reported by WW6D


John, VE7BDQ, received reports from VK2EIK and shared two-way reports from VK4YB:


VE7BDQ, as reported by VK2EIK



VE7BDQ, as reported by VK4YB



VE7BDQ, as reported by VK4YB


Toby, VE7CNF, reports very high QRN due to rain in his area but indicates that WH2XCR was very strong and would be an easy CW QSO.  Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported at 0347z in the ON4KST chat that “VE7CNF has JT9 signals into here from +1 to -11 to -4…”  Toby also shared two-way decodes with VK4YB:


VE7CNF, as reported by VK4YB



VK4YB, as reported by VE7CNF


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, reports that he was decoded by fifty, including six VK’s and JA3TVF.  Ward indicates that the opening to VK were good for this session:


WH2XXP, as reported by JA3TVF



WH2XXP, as reported by VK2DDI



WH2XXP, as reported by VK2EIK



WH2XXP, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XXP, as reported by VK3ELV



WH2XXP, as reported by VK4YB



WH2XXP, as reported by VK7TW


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that rain just after bedtime triggered his SWR protection so he was in a receive-only state for much of the night, restarting the system near 1342z.  Larry’s statistics and details follow these comments and details of the session:

“XGP “heard by” report useless today as TX was down nearly all night.  XGP heard 11 on east BOG including VK4YB and some east siders.  IUV on SW RX antenna heard 10 including 41 decodes of VK4YB, prbly best night here for Roger with a few CW level decodes.  Very high QRN levels early last night impacted RX but was pretty quiet this morning at sunrise”


VK4YB, as reported by W7IUV



VK4YB, as reported by WH2XGP



WH2XGP, as reported by VK4YB


Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from the previous session at JH1INM and JH3XCU:


VK3ELV, as reported by JH1INM



VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU


Mal, G3KEV, is seeking ZL and ZS stations for WSPR and / or a CW QSO.  Replies can be made via the RSGB “blacksheep” LF reflector.

Due to the weather and forgetting to begin my transmissions by 2200z, my session was very much abridged and I was probably on the air for only about four hours.  I opted to shut down at bed time even though storms would likely not arrive in my area before 0800z. I’m not a fan of the rude awakening on the first flash of lightning and running out to the antenna during a lightning storm to isolate the ATU from the vertical is not my idea of fun.  I was originally going to dispense with including my data today in light of the short operating time but there were a fair amount of reports under the circumstances.  My WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here and my reception reports can be viewed here.  There was no CW session this morning but I expect it to return Friday morning.


WG2XIQ 4-hour WSPR activity summary


I did not take a census last night of MF activity but it was reported that KB3CNH was a new receiving stations.  Contact has already been established with this operator and an interest in an experimental license has been expressed.  W6LNV was also observed receiving as may be a new or newer receiving station.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:


North American 24-hour WSPR activity



European 24-hour WSPR activity



Central / Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity



Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity



Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-Atlantic or trans-African paths.

Eden, ZF1EJ, received a number of stations across North America.  I recall Eden decoding my signal early in the evening session, a sign that we are approaching Winter propagation.  In addition to my signal and signals across the southern US, Eden also provided reports for WG2XKA and WE2XGR/3:


ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden recently reached out to a friend in Jamaica to inquire about the status of 630-meters there.  The rules indicate that operation is permitted there but no one has taken advantage of the privileges as of yet.  Perhaps we will begin to see some activity there very soon.  Some recent research that I had done suggests that there are about 150 DXCC entities that have 630-meter access but only a small percentage are QRV at this time.  Many smaller countries choose to accept ITU/WRC recommendations immediately rather than becoming mired in bureaucracy as we are seeing here in the US.  There is something to be said for simplicity!  Someone could base their entire retirement on travelling to these entities and activating them for the first time!

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicated a poor start to his operating session where trans-Pacific reports were lower than those recorded in previous sessions.  Laurence heard several stations in the western portions of North America in addition to WH2XCR and VK4YB and received reports from two stations, both on a salt water path.  Note the reports from WH2XCR – there are a lot of them – 93 to be exact:


WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity



VK4YB, as reported by WE2XPQ



WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ




WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, sent a note indicating that WH2XXP and WH2XGP were audible and at CW-Level 35-minutes before local sunset on Molokai when he was setting up for the night and that they were probably copyable 45-minutes before sunset had he been there.  Merv was successful at decoding WH2XZO, WG2XJM, and VE3IQB in the West but mainland noise generally limited decodes of his signal to stations in the West (NOTE:  VE3IQB DID decode Merv in spite of the significant QRN between VE3 and KH6):


WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XCR



VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2DDI



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2EIK



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2NP



WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ



WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


Jim, W5EST, presents, “PART 2: 630M WSPR 10/13/2016: VK4YB-8*ve7bdq -23dB & NOT ANY ve7sl.  WHY?”:

“Today’s blog supplements yesterday’s TABLE 1 and TABLE 2 information with e-mails edited into dialog form.

Steve VE7SL: I had not a single decode of Roger today Oct. 13 yet all of the other locals on the mainland, who have no obstructions, heard him and made it down there on tx as well. With Roger making it to the east coast I think this shows that this was all very low angled stuff today and because of my immediate 600′ obstruction to the west, indicates that I only hear Roger on ‘high-angle’ (normal?) mornings. Perhaps the elevated geomag activity has pushed the normal F layer higher or thinned out the density down lower?

Jim W5EST: I believe spotlighting happened, due to slight ionospheric tilt at a hop reflection point and kept VK4YB’s signal from reaching your VE7SL while reaching VE7BDQ. I’m skeptical about a high/low angle explanation.

Steve VE7SL: I’ll certainly buy iono-tilt being different yesterday. I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I hear Roger is when there is some tilting in the predawn hours. I think the iono-tilt creates the higher arrival angle I need here because of the immediate obstruction to the west.

Jim W5EST: I think of a swimming pool bottom in sunlight– shadows and bright areas. In my area WREC ground wave 600KHz Memphis TN about 140 miles away has some daytime signal nulls as I listen to the car radio and drive east to west a few miles here in hilly Little Rock.  Not sure re high angle, might be low angle into your QTH. See edge diffraction, wait for animation, think of it arriving at low horiz angle and diffracting to your QTH: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife-edge_effect. If your angle idea is right, you’re quite lucky to have MF antenna & hill with strongly angle-sensitive elevation pattern.

Steve VE7SL: My immediate thought is that my hill is probably not high enough or sharp enough to create the knife-edge but it is close enough to block anything skimming over the top at low arrival angle–like being against a wall that peaks at 900m distance from my antenna. I don’t think a second hill farther beyond is of much concern. This hill profile shows my location at left…scroll down: http://ve7sl.blogspot.ca/2015/10/clear-air-scatter-tests-on-458thz.html VK summer QRN will eventually shut down the VK-BC path.

Jim W5EST: For path profile from 70’ QTH to 600’ hill at 0.5 mile, descent angle = 11° = arctan[57.3 x 530’/(5280×0.5)]. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IOaET-0uUfI/VhRaaBri5TI/AAAAAAAACiI/qJJvN8ybIW4/s1600/lwpath.jpg I think 630m diffraction propagates over the 600’ hill, but spotlighting prevented arrival at VE7SL 10/13. For unobstructed long-path hop geometry, VK4YB-VE7SL launch/arrival angles are most probably in 1°-5° range. Lower and higher angles are possible, but a lot less likely. http://njdtechnologies.net/050716/  (scroll 40%). Meanwhile, 630m waves have wavelength 2070′ arriving at your RX antenna.  Do such long wavelength 630m waves come in over the hill at their geometrical arrival elevation angles like it’s hardly there, or does the hill alter things? I would need modeling to be more satisfied about what 630m actually does.  Maybe diffraction is another way of talking about partial coupling of otherwise-blocked 630m sky wave into ground wave near the RX site with the degree of coupling depending on the descent angle of VK4YB.

Jim W5EST: How do we interpret Oct. 13? If the hill “isn’t there” on 630m, then VE7BDQ’s receptions and the VE7SL non-reception are possibly ionosphere-based spotlighting due to slight contour tilt at a hop reflection or phasing due to multipath. But wouldn’t such local spotlighting randomly sweep around your local region and give spots to both stations’ receivers before the night ended?

Steve VE7SL: I see an extensive amount of spotlighting on summer 6m Es openings to Europe..theory is that the entry and exit points are via localized Es while the majority of the path is ducted before re-entry over EU. These spotlights have footprints of just a few miles or less and often are never heard by other nearby stations…or if they are experiencing the opening, will hear entirely different stations / footprints. So…if our last hop on 630m is via E, it is possibly behaving much the same as we see on 50MHz even though it is not Es in the classic sense (but then again, neither are those long haul E openings to EU on 6m). I’m not uncomfortable with local spotlighting being the culprit.

…  [To Be Continued, tomorrow]

To All: Reader experiences of 630m mysteries on short and long paths are always welcome. Send us yours!”


Some of you may be aware that I am considering some changes to the format of these daily reports in order to solve future problems associated with the content management system that can manifest as the amount of content grows.  In just one year, 60000 files have been generated while making these reports.  When I reach 100000 files, which at this rate will be in six to nine months, the database will be full.  I don’t want that sneaking up on me as I sit down one day to write a report.

Some testing is under way to transition to a PDF viewer embedded within each daily entry on the website.  Your access procedure would not change.  What would change is that instead of viewing HTML summary content you would view it as a PDF in an embedded viewer and have the ability to even download the content if you like.  Visual resolution seems better in PDF format and organization more like an article or book is possible.  Since I am averaging 30-pages a day, being able to organize a bit better will help me ensure that I don’t forget to include content.

There are currently a few outstanding issues that I am working through but I believe in the next few days I should be able to  begin creating a few days of content in this new format for public review.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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