The details for October 24, 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.
Stations in the East reported noise last night which diminished through the evening for many. It was quiet here in North Texas which may say something about the quality of evening propagation. A few storms were present in the Midwest. K9FD reported very strong storms near Molokai which kept his station off air during this session due to very high noise levels.
Geomagnetic conditions are quiet but a G2 storm watch is in effect over the next several days according to Solarham. The Bz is variable and erratic this morning, suggesting that a major change may be underway. At this moment the Bz is pointing strongly to the South. Solar wind has averaged near 390 km/s for much of the night but is now peaking at 435 km/s and trending upward. DST values have peaked at the center line or at positive levels. Watch for a significant decrease if this storm is, in fact, getting underway at this time. Late morning reports from KL7L indicate a climbing K index in Alaska with no propagation after a few brief enhancements at on-set of this event. NOAA is not reporting an elevated Kp yet but magnetometers are showing quite a bit of activity.
Reverse beacon network reports for the session follow:
PSKReporter data for the session follows:
Jim, W5EST, submitted these captures of his JT9 receive console from the evening and this morning:
Eric, NO3M, reported a full daylight CW QSO with Ken, K8TV, located in Ohio during the afternoon. Eric also reported that he heard new station AC8CL working K8TV on CW. Eric received early RBN reports from VE6 at 0504z.
Al, K2BLA, completed a JT9 QSO with K5DNL and after three WSPR transmissions he received reports from 31 unique stations. He provided reports for six WSPR stations.
Steve, KK7UV, completed a CW QSO with W0RW during the evening.
Larry, W7IUV, completed two-way QSO’s with W0RW using CW and WA9CGZ using JT9 during the evening.
Ken, K5DNL, reported that he completed JT9 QSO’s with K9MRI, WA9CGZ, W7IUV, K2BLA, ZF1EJ and VE7VV. He received one report at -27 dB S/N from KL7L. Overnight on WSPR, Ken provided reports for ten WSPR stations and he received reports from 81 unique stations including ZL2AFP, EA8BFK, DL4RAJ and nine Canadian stations.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported a strong night of CW QSO’s, a JT9 QSO, and nice WSPR reports with new stations and KL7L overnight. Neil also noted the difficulty of so many common names that are on the air. He submitted these comments and statistics:
“I had three cw qso’s this session. Two of them were a “Steve F.”
K7SF, Steve Flyte was the first with a strong signal, 599. Steve has made a lot of improvements to his antenna system in the last day or two.
Then with KK7UV, Steve Flood in Missoula, MT. He was 459 at best, and he gave me a 359.
Third was VE7CNF, Toby who was averaging about a 339. Toby said I was 229 at first and then I climbed to a 559 at best.
Later I had a JT9 QSO with Roger, VE7VV. He was -20 and he gave me a -19 report.
I have been struggling with my FT891 radio on split mode with CW. It is not as easy as it was with my FT857, but the 891 has some awesome DSP filters that the older radio did not have. So if you hear me calling you, and there are “pauses” or freq shifts, that is ME trying to make CW-split work.
As for WSPR, I had 26 spotters this time with a couple of new ones, I think.
Here are the most distant ones:
The band is getting more active as time goes on. This winter should be very interesting.”
Neil also submitted these WSPR reports between his stations and KL7L:
I (KB5NJD) completed a quick evening CW QSO with NO3M on a peak. It was very quiet here but QSB was active again. I didn’t hang around long, calling it an early night after a very long day. This morning I got started around 0910z and received a few early RBN reports from VE6WZ. KK7UV located in Montana indicated that I was a typical RST 539. Steve didn’t indicate that he was calling me but if he did, I was not hearing him. I was generally listening to the East this morning. Curt, K3EY, located in Pittsburgh, reported via email that he was hearing my CQ’s on his TS590SG and Alpha-Delta inverted-V located at 40-foot around 0950z. I also completed a quick QSO with Ken, K8TV. Band conditions were OK with a bit of QSB but copy was perfect. Unfortunately I had to cut the QSO short as I had a sked with Steve, KF5RY, at 1030z who showed up on frequency not hearing Ken so he was tuning up during one of Ken’s last transmissions. Steve and I finished up our chat around 1100z. I received a reception report from Don, W0DJK, located in Minnesota, who was copying me very well this morning. Don has made recent improvements to his antenna and is working on an amplifier so he can begin transmitting. I received a few reverse beacon network reports on the approach to sunrise but it seemed that the band was done just prior to first light. It was a productive session.
Ken, K8TV, responded to a post-QSO email, noting that so far I am his best DX at just under 1000-miles. He submitted these comments about his setup:
“The antenna is a “T” — 50 foot vertical wire with two equal legs at the top on each side that are 75 ft — It is strung between a 70 foot tower and a 40 foot tower that are 150 ft apart — the ground falls off a bit between, so get about 50 ft out of the vertical section which does 99% of the radiation. A #12ga counterpoise between the two towers and grounded to the tower grounds on each end – some coax and a few wires over a hill for a VERY poor ground system. Took 280 uh to load the “T” to resonance and about 4200pf to ground on the coax side to get close to 50 ohms.
The transmitter is a single fet with bias, an old driver from a home brew class E rig, broadband. I am keying the drive to it via an old reed relay type RF relay. The driver is just a HP signal generator, about 6 volts peak to peak output. Get about 30 watts out of it to my very inefficient antenna. (about 25 volts on the FET) I am sure my EIRP is way down there.”
Roger, VK4YB, reported “Very few storms showing on radar but QRN is persistent. It must be coming mainly from Indonesia. Only one single DX WSPR spot all evening and that from KL7L. Propagation is high angle at my end, because my beams lose all their directivity. It doesn’t matter which antenna I send on, I get the same stations responding. Absolutely not a trace of any signal on JT9. Note the parallel paths from VK and ZL to different parts of North America. This is a Mackerel Sky pattern. Path to Japan is almost non existent from here, whereas KL7L is having a bonanza. On WSPR, I heard 4, heard by 26, best DX the Alberta Twins.” Roger received reports from JA1PKG/2, JE1JDL, KPH, KR6LA, N1VF, N6SKM, VE6JY, VE6XH, W6SFH and W7IUV/W. He shared two-way reports with KL7L.
Trans-Pacific WSPR report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR report details can be viewed here. Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:
W3LPL -> G8HUH
K5DNL -> DL4RAJ, EA8BFK
AA1A -> DH5RAE, DL-SWL, DL4RAJ, DL6TY, EA1FBU, EA2HB, EA8BFK, F1AFJ, F59706, F59706/1, G0IDE, G0MJI, G0VQH, G4ZFQ, G8HUH, M0NKA, ON7ZO, OR7T, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA7EY
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, completed a JT9 QSO this morning with K5DNL. Overnight he was operating in a “receive-only” capacity with WSPR, providing reports for six WSPR stations.
Laurence, KL7L, briefly operated JT9 this morning, providing one report for K5DNL during what was believed to be a geomagnetic enhancement. Laurence indicated that the band has since deteriorated with the K-index in Alaska deteriorating to 6. During the enhancement period but prior to the JT9 activity, Laurence provided reports for three WSPR stations and he received reports from 23 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG/2, JE1JDL, JH6XCU and TNUKJPM. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB, VE7CNF and W0YSE. Select DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD, reported extreme noise from nearby storms that were more intense than anything that he has observed in recent times. He was QRT for most of the session but WSPRnet indicates that he spent a bit of time listening for WSPR this morning while it was safe, to no avail.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “Toroid Connections for 630m RX Antenna“:
“A 630m RX antenna is all about SNR. Local noise QRN is the biggest enemy of 630m reception SNR. SNR is the ratio of signal to total noise power. Total noise power means band noise plus local noise. So get local noise at least 6-10 dB down from the band noise.
When signal power or efficiency matter in an RX antenna, their purpose is to raise signal and band noise way above local noise you can’t eliminate. RX antenna gain and/or efficiency should get 630m band noise at least 6-10 dB up from the local noise without impairing desired signal to band noise ratio.
Eliminate local noise sources. Find an RX antenna location that’s well away from local noise sources. Once you have local noise under control, then confront band noise. Don’t scoop up band noise from unnecessary directions! If you can do so, set up an MF/LF RX antenna that’s directive. Provide rotatability or selective directionality if desired reception SNR in your area would benefit. Your RX will show 630m band noise rising several dB as day becomes evening, and band noise will fall several dB around dawn and sunrise SR.
A locally noisy environment can introduce local noise currents via stray capacitance pickup by the RX antenna or by pickup directly into the feed coupling. RF noise potential differences may also arise between different grounds. Connecting an RF transformer outdoors to the RX antenna may provide some local noise isolation or reduction. Regarding toroids, see an article “A Second Look at Fabricating Impedance Transformers for Receiving Antennas” by Bryant, Bowers, & Hall-Patch, DXing.info, July 2003:
The Bryant et al. article draws four schematics of different connections at an outdoor toroid (p.6) that to me suggested today’s schematic illustration. The schematic shows a set of imaginary or real switches S1-S5 in the system. Combinations of switch settings include the connection possibilities shown in the article, and some additional ones. At schematic left, “RX Antenna” includes the antenna as well as any loading inductance or resonating capacitance you might be using with it. At right, “RX” includes a receiver or TX/RX setup, and perhaps a shack coupler if any to RX.
In today’s illustration, as many as four grounds G1-G4 are perhaps present: antenna/primary winding ground G1, toroid secondary ground G2, outdoor near-side end of coax shield or cable shield ground G3, and indoor end of coax or cable shield ground G4. Your particular station and antenna system likely will present fewer than these connection possibilities, due to fewer grounds, antenna type, compatibility of TX and RX operations, etc.
Suppose one implemented the schematic with actual SPDT and SPDT center-off switches. Today’s TABLE summarizes the various switch position combinations. Given a station’s unique grounding system and antenna position relative to locations of local noise sources, one could try all the combinations to find whatever switch position(s) might by trial-and-error send the least local noise to the RX.
For such a switch-based test, one could try all the combinations using a cell phone outdoors to listen to second cell phone near RX indoors. Or a buddy on one cell phone outdoors might work the switches while you listen to RX indoors and advise what works best. Cumbersome, yes. Is it worth it? What’s your experience? TU and GL on LF/MF!
TABLE: RX ANTENNA CONNECTION COMBINATIONS
(See schematic. S5: Flip DPDT polarity as desired. S6=A: shack ground; S6=B not tabulated.)
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!