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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Quiet night for most in North America as geomagnetic field at quiet to unsettled levels; Lean session on the trans-Pacific path to Oceania as storms plague eastern VK; Night two of MF QSO party in Europe a success; WH2XGP at WH2XCR two-hours before sunset in KH6; More JT9 in the Pacific Northwest; VE stations tune up for upcoming cross band special event on 630-meters

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Band conditions appeared to be very good in North America with very little storm QRN observed in Texas and the lightning map was mostly clear.  A few storms in the Midwest probably impacted listening conditions this morning and precipitation QRN may have impacted localized areas.  Propagation  early in the evening was strong although S/N numbers may have been better in the first half of the night than the second.  Even so it was a good night over all at my latitude.


11-hour North American lightning summary


The geomagnetic field is now at quiet to unsettled levels and no additional Kp spikes have been observed overnight during this session.  The Bz continues to point to the South and solar wind velocities are averaging 560 km/s.  DST values have recovered some although they have not shown the stability seen prior to this event as of yet.  Alan, G3NYK, posted an elegant analysis of this event on the RSGB-LF reflector in response to a question by Roelof, PA0RDT, indicating that this event differed from most other events that we typically observe.  That post is reproduced below.  Alan also points out the differences observed at various measurement sites, something I pointed out in previous sessions as interesting:

“…this current event is a very different kind of event to the usual CME or Solar hole high-speed flow. There does not seem to be any “dense” stream of plasma, but the Solar wind velocity has incresed from 300km/sec to 600km/sec……but it seems there are not a lot of ions/electrons around. The Kyoto Dst plunged (based on earth bound magnetometers) but the Colorado estimate based on Ace Solar wind data hardly changed  (thought the data may not be reliable at present) Also the plunge to -75nT shown on Kyoto was followed by a steep rise (recovery in less than 24 hours which is quite unusual). I am thinking this might mean that there was little hot-electron precipitation from this event (normally 6 hours of Kp=6 peaking 7 would depress the Dst for 10 days or more.)  You have probably noticed the upward movement of the Dst before the steep fall in normal CME events…..there is no sign of this. I am led to believe that there has been little precipitation of hot electrons into the ionoshere, and it would seem that reports confirm that. I did forget to look at the direction of the IMF.

I wonder if the CME style event where there is an upward movement in the Dst (possibly caused by positive ion trapping in the ring current) actually couses electons to be withdrawn from the ionosphere. The literature states that there is a two was exchane of ions and electrons between the ionospher and the ring currents. This “vacuum cleaner” effect prior to the onset of electron precipitation might explain your observation of inproved conditions?







The MF QSO Party in Europe that centered around JT9 during this weekend had a nice finish.  A number of stations, detailed below, reported a number of two-way QSO’s or provided reception reports for others on the RSGB-LF reflector:

Reports by Markus, DF6NM, in Nuremberg from night one include reception reports for the following fourteen JT9 stations: SV8CS 1506 km, SV3DVO 1501 km, IZ7SLZ 1059 km, LA3EQ 1055 km, G7NKS 855 km, G3XIZ 855 km, F4DTL 637 km, IW4DXW 501 km, DK6XY 500 km, DL3ZID 467 km, DG0RG 406 km, DF1VB 340 km, DL6II 334 km, and DD2UJ 272 km.

Chris, G3XIZ, reported eighteen QSO’s with fourteen stations: DD2UJ, DF1VB  (2), DF6NM, DG0RG (2), DK2CH, DK6XY  (2), DK7FC, DL3ZID, DL6II     (2), G6AVK, G7NKS, IW4DXW, LA3EQ, and ON5TA.  Chris reports that he spotted but never QSO’ed the following stations: G3KEV, SV3DVO, and YO2IS.

Eric, ON4TA, posted the following comments about the activity:

“Nice activity yesterday evening and a lot of fun !  I just built a new 630 m transverter and was happy to test it for the first time.  Will be on again this evening, hoping to catch a few more stations…  Many thanks to Vinny DL6II for organizing this nice event ! 73 to all Eric ON5TA”

Mal, G3KEV, reports that he worked the following stations in addition to “OTHERS ALREADY REPORTED BY DF6NM ALSO WORKED BUT NOT ON HIS LIST “: IW4DXW, ON5TA, DK7FC, DF6NM, and DL6TY.  Mal was heard by did not work the follow stations on the second night: YO2IS   (WORKED THE PREVIOUS NIGHT), SV3VDO, and G3XIZ.

Dionysios, SV8RV, reported that he received the following stations from KM07ks, Zakynthos Island, Greece:

DL6II 600m JT9 1824 km 22:48:50
IZ7SLZ 600m JT9 470 km 22:33:50
IW4DXW 600m JT9 1079 km 22:21:50
DK7FC 600m JT9 1621 km 21:56:50
G3XIZ 600m JT9 2286 km 21:54:50
DF6NM 600m JT9 1509 km 21:48:50
G3KEV 600m JT9 2449 km 21:22:50
DL6TY 600m JT9 2077 km 21:13:50
SV3DVO 600m JT9 89 km 20:27:50


James, G7NKS, reported that he completed two-way QSO’s with G3XIZ, G3KEV and  DF1VB.  James added that apparently others were calling him but he could not hear them so changes and additions to his receive arsenal are in order.

There was also JT9 activity in North America as Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV completed a JT9 QSO with Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP:


Neil adds that his WSPR signal was decoded by nineteen unique stations and he decoded fourteen WSPR stations but none of those were located in eastern states.  Neil also noted that while operating JT9, he was heard by Mike, NR5O / WH2XAR in Arizona.  With all of the QRO RF floating around the Phoenix area lately, it really says something about Mike’s receive antenna system and Neil’s transmit antenna system.

In the previous session there was some discussion about why Larry was being show in Guam on the PSKReporter map.  As it turns out, WH2 is a call sign prefix of Guam for DXCC.  Apparently the website software is not validating the operator location against the reported grid square, instead relying solely on the call sign.

Its almost time for the Berlin Treaty Special Event, occurring on Saturday night, November 12 (Sunday, November 13, UTC) in North America.  There will be beacon stations, stations passing traffic and cross band activity by stations in Canada as well as participation of the Maritime Radio Historical Society station KPH.  Additional details can be found here and Steve, VE7SL, recently had a very nice blog post about the event with additional details.  All that said, Toby, VE7CNF, reported that he had a two-way CW QSO with VE7CA who just completed his antenna for this event.  The antenna consists of two 20-meter dipoles and feeders, fed in parallel,  resonated and matched, presumably as a Marconi T.  Its not that hard to get on this band if you use a little imagination.

A group of amateurs that traveled to Costa Rica last week from the Dallas area for a DX adventure reported that they have their 630-meter antenna set up and should be on the air in some capacity soon if not already.  There are few details about the groups operating plans and their message came after I had gone to bed so I don’t know if they had activity overnight.  Their antenna is reported to be 1306 foot long and of the style used by VK4YB.  Be sure to listen for a TI stations around the band.  With no additional details I don’t know what to expect or recommend to listeners.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, posted a notice on the 600-meter research group email reflector that Joe Taylor has announced the release of a new version of WSJTx.  The notice, with links to downloads, can be read here.

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, submitted the following comments and also noted a new receiving station:

“Following three days of QRT due to driving rain/wind, last nights session was uneventful.  Most action here was east of the Ole Miss.  Noise was moderate with most of the eastern group present.  The PNW and far west were void here.  K4DET was newly spotting here.”


WG2XKA session WSPR activity


Phil, VE3CIQ, report that things are looking up for the season and he provided the following comments:

“Was received by 27 stations, generally in the east, so it looks like more stations tuning in.  Best shot was ZF1EJ for one decode.  Hearing 10 stations.  Leaves are down, so best days are ahead now”


VE3CIQ session WSPR activity


Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that due to continued high latitude attenuation, there was no opening of the VE7 path to or from South Carolina.  He adds that southern S/N reports were fair to good, however.  Doug decoded ten WSPR stations and received reports from 32 unique stations.  Doug also gathered some ground wave data yesterday morning with the help of Andy, KU4XR.  Doug explains:

“How can you tell if you’ve successfully made TX antenna improvements?   Andy, KU4XR, was kind enough to decode me until almost noon yesterday. He is 189 km away, across the Appalachian mountains from me.    We’ll do it again several times to get a baseline.

Changes in ground conductivity, foliage, and other conditions can create SNR changes.   Using his same receive antenna, he’ll again monitor my ground wave signal after I raise the vertical section of my transmitting antenna from 69′ to 82′ where it was last winter, and we’ll be able to calculate any improvement.”

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he received decodes from 53 unique stations.  He was +15 dB S/N here at 200 miles distance!

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that signals to and from the East are improving but the paths continue to be degraded and may take some time to really improve.  Rick decoded eleven WSPR stations and was decoded by 23 unique stations.  He adds that it was nice to see KU4XR on the list again.  The dataset showing unique reports of those stations can be viewed here.

Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from 7L1RLL4, JA3TVF, and JH3XCU after the reporting period in the previous session.  Those reports can be viewed here.

The trans-Pacific path between North America and Australia was lean during this session.  It seems that storms off of the eastern coast of Australia have made listening tough and its possible that propagation may have been poor as well now that the geomagnetic field is calming down again.

Roger, VK4YB, reports that this session brought  a “Near collapse of the TP path with lean pickings. Heavy QRN did not help. Path to Japan was open weakly.”  Roger’s session statistics follow and his session details not found elsewhere in this report can be found here.

“Rx 2*wh2xnd (-24) 4*wh2xgp (-24) 4*wh2xxp (-25) 26*wh2xcr (-15)

Tx 2*wh2xgp (-28) 1*we2xpq (-30) 25*wh2xcr (-3) 1*jf1lks_3 (-27) 5*ja3tvf (-25)”

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 58 unique stations in 24-hours but only one decode by VK4YB.  That report can be viewed here.


WH2XXP 12-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, was decoded by 57 unique stations in 24-hours but only one decode by VK4YB as well.  That report can be viewed here.


WH2XND 12-hour WSPR activity


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded fourteen WSPR stations overnight, including VK4YB and a few stations in the eastern areas of North America.  He used the East BOG for the bulk of the night, switching  to the West Flag two hours before his sunrise.  Larry was decoded by 39 unique stations including VK4YB and ZF1EJ but he adds that all paths were down to some degree.  “‘Local’ signals very strong with the AZ boys frequently going way above +10 SNRs.”   The reports of VK4YB  can be viewed here.


WH2XGP 12-hour WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)


My session started with CW about 15 minutes prior to sunset.  I called CQ on 474.5 kHz until about 0130z when I transitioned to WSPR for the night.  This morning’s CW session started at 1020z and similar very quiet band conditions were observed.  No additional QSO’s were completed and being a weekend, I did not have a CW sked booked so I called CQ while I gathered overnight data for this report, QRTing at 1235z.  Yesterday I received a very nice SWL report from Bob, W5WOM, near El Paso, Texas about 500-miles to my West.  Bob reports:

I was listening at about 5 AM MDT on 630 meters and I heard you calling CQ. (I lie in bed with an IC-735 next to the bed as I wake up often. I copied your code in my head. I believe you were having a conversation with a ham yesterday morning at 4 AM but you turned it back with giving call numbers) I am located in Clint, TX which is near El Paso, TX. Your RST was a 579, very clean CW…So…at about 5:10 AM MDT on 10/29/16 I heard WG2XIQ calling CQ with an RST of 579″

Bob adds that he takes great interest in these frequencies and hopes that the FCC acts soon.  Thanks Bob.  I really enjoy and appreciate these types of receptions reports and hope that I will be able to work a lot of these stations that have been reporting very soon.

As I alluded to at the beginning of this report, WSPR reports were good all night long but may have been better during the first half of the overnight period compared to the early morning hours.  Was noise and precipitation static higher for some receiving stations this morning?  The lightning map suggests that to be the case for stations in the Midwest.  Receiving was better at my station during this session than the previous few days with almost twice as many reception reports of other stations compared to the previous session.  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



Central / Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity



Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity



Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reporting stations in African during this session.

Eden, ZF1EJ, returned for this session just in time to provide reports to Phil, VE3CIQ, in Ontario and John, WG2XKA, in Vermont.  WH2XGP and many southern stations were also in the mix, taking advantage of the good propagation:


ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, appears to have been “receive only” again during this session as the trans-Equatorial path to VK4YB appears to be open.  More stations in the western US were also reported which is a good sign that the absorption is beginning to subside.  Reports for VK4YB and WH2XCR for both of Laurence’s stations can be viewed here.


WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity



KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, sent a note indicating very early reports at his station:

“Turned on WSPR early again,  wow 0148Z –  XGP at -26   2 hours plus a few mins before sunset.”

It was another strong showing with two-way reports in VK as well as decoding WH2XZO and being decoded by WG2XJM, both in the eastern US.  With the poor path from North America to Oceania are we beginning to see a transition to better openings in the central Pacific and specifically KH6 from North America?  Merv’s VK reports can be viewed here.


WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


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