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OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Central US storm QRN and a geomagnetic storm did not ruin the fun as activity may have reached an all-time high; Upcoming Commemorative Special Event – VI4SEA – featuring CW and JT9 on 630-meters

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

This session was much different than the last. The early trans-Atlantic reports that had been observed the previous evening were missing and the band was behaving oddly.  WH2XZO, who was listening for Europe, was hearing me two-hours before my sunset on the back of the receive  antenna.  Doug also reported that broadcast band signals from the North were missing  but that signals from South and Central America were strong, a behavior typical of strong auroral conditions.  Reports around North America seemed down a bit, both on transmit and receive, but an amazing amount of activity, 112 MF WSPR stations observed near 0300z to be exact, probably made up for any propagation-induced deficiencies.  This morning strong terrestrial storms impacted a large area of the central US bringing a significant increase to the noise floor and making my CW session a bit tougher than normal while listening for signals.

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North American 10-hour lightning summary

 

The geomagnetic storm event that arrived late made up for lost time, spiking the Kp-index to 7 and triggering G2 and G3 storm warnings with solar wind exceeding 720 km/s.  The Bz is currently pointing to the North and DST values are negative although Kyoto seems less effected than the Australian data.

planetary-k-index-102616

 

kyoto-dst-102616

 

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Mal, G3KEV, was active on  JT9 during the evening with several stations calling  him or providing reports.  He indicates that he is running JT9 again during the day today.

Joe, VO1NA, was reported on 477.7 kHz CW overnight by Roelof, PA0RDT.  Roelof reports excellent aural copy that began to deteriorate rapidly.  The keying sidebands are noted on the screen capture below:

vo1na-cw-pa0rdt-102616

VO1NA CW on 477.7 kHz at PA0RDT

 

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, made contact with Bill, PY2GN, who has a large station in Southern Brazil, to see if he would listen for North American WSPR  stations.  He was active overnight but no reports were uploaded.  It seems he is using a G5RV for receive but Doug sent this You Tube video showing his tall HF tower which appears to be shunt fed for 160-meters and could probably be made to work well on 630-meter transmit with minimal effort.  Bill also is using something called a “KiwiSDR” that is accessible via the Internet.  Doug reports that the default WSPR frequency is incorrect in the SDR software but he will fix that tonight.  Hopefully Bill will continue to be active as we move into Winter in North America.

Doug went on to report on the session that he experienced “Auroral conditions with serious E-W attenuation especially at high latitudes. Heard 7 and heard by 33.”

Trans-Pacific openings were the dominant feature of the session.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that his WSPR signals were decoded by 56 unique stations including VK4YB.  The details for those trans-Pacific decodes can be seen here.

Roger, VK4YB, reports an upcoming on air activity that will include 630-meters:

“The commemorative special event callsign VI4SEA will be activated on 630m from 1 to 9 November. VI4SEA will call CQ on 472.500 kHz CW at 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00 GMT, daily and, unless in CW contact, will call CQ on 475.300 kHz JT9 at 09:10, 10:10 and 11:10 GMT daily. At other times VI4SEA may beacon on 475.625 kHz WSPR-2.

Full details of VI4SEA can be found at www.qrz.com/db/vi4sea
Roger’s session statistics are shown below and decode details not reported elsewhere in this summary can be found here.  Roger indicates that he had “…a late start and an early finish but still a good session. Wh2xxp and Wh2xnd still pounding in at CW levels.”:
“Rx 4*wg2xxm (-25) 41*wh2xnd (-11) 16* wh2xgp (-21) 34*wh2xxp (-12) 1*ve7bdq (-21) 3*wi2xbq (-18) 24*wh2xcr (-17)
Tx 5*wh2xgp (-23) 3*ve7bdq (-26) 2*wi2xbq (-18) 38*wh2xcr (-5) 2*ja3tvf (-26)”
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported at 0706z that “774khz in JA already 20db out of the noise. 45min till SS there. ”  At 1510z he reported that he received a very late decode from VK4YB in full sun at 1448z.  Joe’s trans-Pacific details are included in Roger’s summary but the late report can be seen below:
wi2xbq-vk4yb-late-report-102616

WI2XBQ late report at VK4YB

 

Phil, VK3ELV, received a single report late in the previous session from JH3XCU that was not accounted for in yesterday’s session.  That report can be viewed here.

John, VE7BDQ, received reports from VK2XGJ and shared two-way reports with VK4YB.  John’s trans-Pacific details can be viewed here.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP,  was decoded by 58 unique stations including six VK stations.  Details of those VK reports can be viewed here.
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WH2XXP session WSPR activity (Courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP,  posted the following comments and details in the ON4KST chat.  His details for his trans-Pacific reports can be found here.

“High local noise and hi lat absorption made for less than good condx here…Rain just started and shut down TX…24 hr XGP: heard 12 including VK4YB but no east siders…Was heard by 33 including 3 VK’s and ZL but almost no east side, way down from last couple days.”

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WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, reports that he was decoded by 55 unique stations including four VK stations.  The details of those VK reports can be viewed here.

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WH2XND session WSPR activity

 

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that “Conditions were less than optimal here as can be seen by my report. I guessing the K7 aurora probably the culprit. All I know is that at net time last evening conditions were pretty bad.”   I’m glad it wasn’t just me noticing how poor it was compared to what was recently observed!  Rick decoded ten WSPR stations and was decoded by seventeen unique stations.  His unique station query data can be viewed here.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported a down night as well from Vancouver, Washington and included the following comments:

“As for TX reports 17 heard me. Nothing east of VE6JY this session, but W3SMK  is possibly a new one in CA. Otherwise, the usual west coasters and XCR decoded me.  I heard 10 with ur XIQ, XXM, and XCR being the “dx” this time.”

Reports were definitely down at my station in spite of station counts remaining high.  There were fewer CW-level reports all around.  My WSPR transmission reports can be found here and my WSPR reception reports can be found here.

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WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

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North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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South American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Central / Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Australian / New Zealand 24-hour WSPR activity

 

There were no reports from Africa during this session.

Eden, ZF1EJ, received a number of southern stations in addition to WG2XKA in Vermont who must have been received before the storm conditions had an opportunity to ramp up to their maximum levels:

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ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, report this morning that he”…can see glow of Au through clouds at this time. Vy poor just weaker XCR rx’d”.  Laurence’s two-way reports with WH2XCR can be viewed here:

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WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

The WSPR map for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, doesn’t look much different from any night recently besides fewer stations in the central and eastern US that are probably more impacted by the previous mentioned cluster of storms.  It good to see JA1PKG transmitting in addition to other active stations in JA and VK.  The path to KL7 was compromised as previously reported by WE2XPQ but it was open to a degree in spite of aurora.  Merv’s JA and VK report details can be viewed here:

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WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, presents, “160/630M WSPR 2-BAND COMPARISON TEST: K4LY/WH2XZO TO SWL/K9, OCT. 21”:

“Have you ever wondered how SNRs compare to each other on 160m and 630m on the same path at the same times? A few days ago, Doug K4LY/WH2XZO and Ken SWL/K9 set out to learn just that.  Here’s some edited dialog:

Ken SWL/K9: 10/20 12:59 pm.  160m does extend past sunrise. WA0JYF and I copied W3PM up until 1346z this morning. I did manage to optimize the rooftop whip for 160m. On 160m, the antenna is a 2 meter band 5/8 wave Larsen mobile whip at rooftop level. At the base of the whip is a homebrew matching network appropriate for receiving 160m signals. 160m Receiver is a Kenwood TS-570DG (not using internal preamp). WSJT-X software for decodes.

For 630m at SWL/K9,  20 feet of wire hang vertically (broadband/untuned) in an evergreen tree for an antenna. Elad FDM-S2 SDR is the 630m receiver … not using any RF preamplification ahead of the SDR. WSJT-X software for decodes.

Doug K4LY: 1:40 pm. Check out BCB stations in the morning as they fade up and down, mainly down, in the hour so after sunrise, and in winter when the sun is low on the horizon, sometimes for a few hours.  The density of the E layer which attenuates the BCB and 630M frequencies is directly related to the amount of sunlight I think.

Jim W5EST: What is your transmitting equipment and plans?

Doug K4LY: My Elad DUO is configured on 160M WSPR to run 2 watts tonight 50% transmit on 160M for a few hours while I also run 50% transmit on 630M with perhaps 2W ERP. I’m hoping for simultaneous slots 25% of the time, enough time for us to compare fading. I’ll start transmitting on both bands a little before sunset here.

Doug K4LY:  10/21 8:40 am. GM Ken, I turned off the transmitters just before 5 AM because a cold front with high winds was supposed to come through.  Not here yet!

Doug K4LY:  10/21 9:10 am. Ken got 145 spots of me on 160m and 147 spots on 630m that average a lot stronger. But it’s QSB comparisons we need to look at. Map and data don’t show any other station with extensive spots of K4LY/WH2XZO on the two bands.

Doug K4LY:  10/21 1:19 pm. Just one night’s data from Ken, SWL/K9, included about 70 simultaneous two minute decodes on 630M and 160M.  I’ve compared 10 simultaneous decodes so far, five when SNRs were near their peak on 160M and another five when they were close to their worst SNRs on 160M.

My preliminary and cautious inference is that there’s at least weak correlation, but not strong correlation between the simultaneous SNRs on the two bands.  If there is not strong correlation, that suggests interesting things about the propagation mechanism(s).

First thoughts–Both my 160M and 630M antennas are probably transmitting more vertical polarized than horizontal polarized signals, but the refracted signals that Ken receives are randomly polarized. There’s no reason to expect that randomness to be the same on both bands- to correlate- thus the absence of strong correlation.

Fading cycles are often noted on 160M and I think 630M, too.  Those cycles are not caused by the polarization randomness, but something else, and that something else probably explains the weak correlation?  Please correct me if you think I’m wrong and suggest how best to use the data.

Jim W5EST: It would be a privilege to analyze this test with you.  Will you be able to do that 2-band testing again some other night?

Doug K4LY:  Next week I’ll try the test with Ken again (and maybe we can recruit others).

Jim W5EST: Excel’s CORREL function in the statistics group of functions is what estimates the correlation. “Insert” menu gives a scatterplot of data after the user blocks one or more columns of values.  Clicking on the scatterplot gets a menu where one can ask for a trend line through the noisy data.

The SNR dB range “SIQ” that spans the middle 50% of decodes is obtained by copying a column data to a new column to work in, followed by menu selection Data and then click on Sort–either Z to A or A to Z doesn’t matter. Then inspect the first and 3rd quartile values of SNR and subtract to get SIQ.

Time-series analysis is a type of advanced statistics we can use.

Doug K4LY: An interesting test, if software is available, would simultaneously receive 630M and 160M signals, and combine the graph of the color-coded signals, adjusting the signal amplitudes or  SNR so they average the same.  It would allow visual inspection of second to second and minute to minute (and longer) changes.

Jim W5EST: Thanks, Doug and Ken.  I hope others will join you by receiving two-band WSPR on 160m and 630m to test more paths at different headings out from K4LY/WH2XZO!”


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