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OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

We were pinged again – Just when it looks like the storm might be over Kp spikes and DST dips; EA5DOM -> WH2XZO, 7L1RLL4; VO1NA -> PA0RDT; Initial reports for night one of MF QSO Party in Europe; Late two-way reports between VK4YB and WH2XCR

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

It seems like the  improvements observed in the previous session coupled with the return to storm levels overnight have once again sufficiently stirred things up to allow some really interesting openings and nice reports.  WSPR reports were strong overnight and what seemed like a strict adherence to openings only along North / South paths has begun to crack.  JT9 from the central US to the Pacific Northwest was a relatively trivial affair during the evening, with descent signals, although QSB may have returned to elevated levels after the onset of the most recent events overnight.  CW reports were the most plentiful that they have been in some time, with another SWL report this morning as I called CQ.  Trans-Atlantic reports were more robust, with reports of a European station in the southern US.  Trans-Pacific openings  continue to produce results.

Noise levels at my station were very low, S0-S1, while listening on the transmit vertical.  The lightning map was mostly clear but I am certain a few areas experiencing rain may also be experiencing precipitation static.  There was none of that here.  Even the Caribbean and Mexico / Central America were relatively clear of lightning compared to recent sessions:


11-hour North American lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions had improved with mostly quiet to unsettled levels but consecutive periods at G1 storms levels were observed overnight.  The Bz continues to point to the South and solar wind velocities are once again above 600 km/s.  DST values had been relatively stable in spite of remaining at negative levels but the most recent event once again illustrates a slight peak prior to a decrease, which is seen almost every time one of these events occurs and seems to result in temporary propagation improvements before absorption begins to dominate, particularly at higher latitudes:







On air activity in Europe was relatively high as a number of stations participated in the first night of the MF QSO Party.  Mal, G3KEV, reported “good fun if you were not in a hurry”.  Yes, a JT9 QSO can take five or six minutes to complete but for the depth of decode that is available its probably worth the time committment.  Mal reported that he had QSO’s with YO2IS, DG0RG, DL3ZID, DF1VB, LA3EQ, and IW4DXW.  Jan, LA3EQ, reported that “The  two SV3 stations where good copy here (-20dB), but no QSO.”  Vinny, DL6II, reported that Spiros, SV8CS, was “… -16dB nr Cologne but there is strong QSB.”  Spiros indicated that weather conditions were very poor in the Mediterranean but that he was transmitting anyway.  Vinny reports that he would be QRV again at 2030z.  Jim, G7NKS, reported that he had worked G3XIZ, G3KEV and DB1VB but that he would not be able to operate in night two.  David, G3WCB, submitted this transcript of received stations.  Simon, G0FCU, reported that he decoded a number of stations but he did not work anyone and wonders what he might be doing wrong.  I expect there will be many additional reports as we move into night two activities.

Tomas, EA2BCJ, reported on the ON4KST chat that he was QRV on 477.1 kHz QRS CW.  No reports have been submitted at this time.

Joe, VO1NA, was QRV on 477.7 kHz CW once again and was receive by Roelof, PA0RDT, who reported that conditions were poor:




Luis, EA5DOM, was reported by WD2XSH/17 in Massachusetts and WH2XZO in South Carolina.  Those report details can be viewed here.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations, including the previously reported decodes for EA5DOM.  He was decoded by 34 unique stations in what he referred to as “better, but still disturbed, conditions.”  Doug added the following comments:

“High latitudes continue to suffer with no VE7 decoding…The big surprise for me was the first time ever decode of EA5DOM with the new Double Half Delta Loop antenna beaming northeast toward Europe.

 I finished erecting it yesterday afternoon in place of the larger, higher gain Super Kaz.  I hope the antenna was a factor, and it wasn’t just a weird coincidence.  Neither antenna was perfectly proportioned, no perfect 10’s in our antenna farm or family, and required two supports versus just one support for the larger Super Kaz, but is supposed to have 2.5 RDF improvement over the flag type antennas such as the KAZ.
No one in northeast U.S. was transmitting last evening so could not try an A/B test comparing it to the loop, but it seemed to be working well on the BCB, and I’ll do more testing tonight.
 I also spent the part of the day and evening learning to use the KiwiSDR program which PY2GN is Brazil uses, and I and even activated several eastern U.S. stations, first timers probably to decode 630M WSPR signals.  I find that the program times out after about 30 minutes so I haven’t been able to keep PY2GN decoding 630M WSPR for very long, but he may be doing that at his end using a WSJT program.  I have no way to be sure.  I did note a very faint trace of my signal on his waterfall last night around 8 PM which immediately disappeared when I stopped transmitting. I thought one of the powerhouses further west would be the first to be decoded, and I still do although I’m the closest to him.  He has a quiet, high altitude, and very favorable location for weak signal DX.”

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he was decoded by 53 unique stations but his SWR protection engaged for three hours during the session for an unreported reason.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports that he decoded twelve WSPR stations and was decoded by nineteen unique stations but nothing from the East.  Neil indicates that this session was similar to the previous session.  He also decoded WH2XGP’s side of a JT9 QSO that he and I had last night:




Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded ten WSPR stations and was decoded by twenty unique stations.  His unique station details can be viewed here.

Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, was reported by 55 unique stations including ZL2BCG, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, and VK4YB.  Those trans-Pacific report details  can be viewed here.


WH2XND session WSPR activity


Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was reported by 58 unique stations including ZL2BCG, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK3ELV and VK4YB.  Those trans-Pacific report details  can be viewed here.


WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded fourteen WSPR stations, including VK4YB.  He indicates that he was listening with the eastern BOG until two hours before local sunrise when he switched to the western flag antenna.  Larry was decoded “only” by 41 unique stations including VK4YB, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ and ZL2BCG.  He was not decoded by WE2XPQ in Alaska but under the circumstances that is not surprising. Larry’s trans-Pacific report details can be viewed here.


WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Roger, VK4YB, reports that reception has improved and noise is low again. He adds that WH2XXP was received at single-digit S/N levels and his “…signal reaching WH2XCR in positive territory but barely making it to the PNW. Japan path retreated.”  Roger’s statistics are detailed below and his longer haul report details not previously reported can be found here.

“Rx 36*wh2xnd (-13) 12*wh2xgp (-25) 37*wh2xxp (-9) 4*ve7bdq (-24) 13*wi2xbq (-21) 30*wh2xcr (-12)

Tx 1*wh2xnv (-33) 4*wh2xgp (-25) 1*ve7bdq (-27) 28*wh2xcr (+1) 7*jh1inm (-25) 1*ja3tvf (-27) 16*zl2bcg (-10)”

Phil, VK3ELV, was reported by JA3TVF and 7L1RLL4 late in the previous session.  The details of those reports can be viewed here.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported at 1045z “Good TP opening, 4QR at +30, JA stations down -20 from usual levels…T index map shows enhanced conditions to VK&ZL  http_link…making any sense out of any of this stuff is about as good as guess.”   Joe was decoded by VK4YB, VK2XGJ, VK2EIK, and ZL2BCG and these trans-Pacific report details can be viewed here.

John, VK2XGJ, reported early North American stations and quipped that he had successfully filtered VK stations.  Judging by the reports, I think he was serious!


VK2XGJ WSPR console


My evening operating began with CW about 20 minutes prior to local sunset.  At 0100z, Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported my CW at RST 549 and at 0125z, Dave, N4DB, located in Virginia, also reported me at RST 549.  At 0130z I transitioned to WSPR for the overnight period and noted this morning many CW-level reports both on transmit and receive very quickly.  An impromptu JT9 session broke out around 0200z as WH2XGP and VE7CNF were comparing signals in the ON4KST chat and I noticed that I was seeing their signals in the waterfall.  Larry called CQ and we completed a quick QSO:




I returned to WSPR after this QSO for the remainder of the evening.  By 1020z I was calling CQ again on 474.5 kHz CW.  No was sked was on the agenda for today so it was a rather relaxing session as I got some work done between calls.  I received another nice report, this time from Carl, WA8ZTZ, in Rochester, Michigan.  Carl was using an Alinco DXSR8T with a PAR EF-SWL sloper.  Thanks for the report Carl!  My WSPR transmission reports can be found here and my WSPR reception reports can be found here.


WG2XIQ 24-hour 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



Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity



Australian and New Zealand 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from Africa or the Caribbean.  Eden, ZF1EJ, was likely QRT for the CQWW SSB contest.

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was “receive only” during this session with both receiver / antenna combinations.  The trans-Equatorial path was non-existent as absorption continues to be high and the longest reports were registered for WH2XCR, whose details can be viewed here for both stations.


WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity



KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, decoded or was decoded by a few stations in the eastern US but North / South openings were the most reliable from the Pacific.  No JA decodes were reported for Merv during this session but reports from Alaska and Oceania were numerous.  In fact in recent sessions WSPR reports ended well prior to sunrise but today a number of stations were still being reported or reporting Merv just prior to sunrise in Hawaii and as Merv notes, VK4YB just kept going:

“…We were two way 30 mins after sunrise and I did not look at the screen in time,  turned off wspr at 1700Z and we may have been able to go longer, Boy you never know whats going to happen,   ZL3IX was on 160 well after sunrise here also. Neat stuff. 73 Merv”

Merv’s trans-Equatorial report details can be found here.


WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



“Earlier Parts 1-3 illustrated seven instances of nighttime 630m SNR random walks.

Today’s first illustration depicts time-differenced SNRs over six nights at once for each of WH2XND-swl/k9 and WH2XZO-swl/k9.   Again, the graphs indicate 630m SNR random walks because the randomness averages zero and the variability is quite steady.  This seems remarkable because Oct. 27 and 28 suffered a geomagnetic storm.  On all the nights most of the time-differenced SNRs lay between the green dashed lines with few outliers departing very little.

The second illustration interestingly provides evidence of distinct behaviors on the WH2XXP-ve7sl path.  WSPR database provided spots for four nights, Oct. 22-24 and 28. Although outlier activity was hardly absent Oct. 22-24, the graph indicates more frequently intense outlier activity on Oct. 28.  I think my experience with these 630m time-differenced SNR graphs is as yet too limited to confidently say that Oct. 28 outlier activity related to the geomagnetic storm. However, this graph is suggestive of it, and thunderstorm activity was absent from Pacific Northwest on the lightning map for Oct. 28.  Since one thinks of a geomagnetic storm as significantly degrading or wiping out a path, it may be useful instead to assemble information about significant time gaps between decodes.  (Gaps of missing decodes do not show up on the illustration.)

Daytime propagation on Oct. 23 and 28 shows up noticeably as intervals of constricted variability of time-differenced SNRs on the graph.  A graph of corresponding 630m SNRs themselves shows the daytime SNRs as two deep depressions.  An additional such SNR depression occurs late in the Oct. 22 data during the hour between Phoenix AZ sunrise and Mayne Island BC sunrise.

Accordingly, this second illustration in my opinion requires a mixed interpretation for the daytime vs. nighttimes and for intense outlier activity vs. random walk.

Thanks to the operators involved, and best wishes for continued interesting days and nights the season!”



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