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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but hope to be back by 1115z Saturday morning if I don't oversleep

‘Horrible QRN’ blanketed North America during the evening so no repeat of the previous session but morning conditions were a significant improvement; Geomagnetic storm conditions may be returning – will we see an onset enhancement?; W5EST presents: ”Is There a 630m Voice Mode Distance Barrier?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for November 6, 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.

Spot stations calling CQ on any mode here on DXSummit and help them find a Q


It was a very noisy evening in North America, particularly for the East, as a line of storms moved through the Midwest, stretching into New England.  These storms dissolved in the late evening, leaving very quiet band conditions this morning.  Oceania continues to experience very high noise levels after hopes of improving noise conditions in the previous session.  It’s Spring “down-under” so none of this behavior is out of the ordinary.  Southern Europe continues to experience strong storms through the Mediterranean region.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions are very quiet although G1 storm conditions are possible within the next 24 to 48-hours according to Solarham.  The Bz is pointing to the North and solar wind velocities are averaging near 300 km/s.  DST values have remained very near the centerline through the session with a few excursions to positive and negative levels.




Propagation was weaker than the previous session, but this is the case most of the time.  Many big openings within North America and particularly in the East were masked by very high noise levels, which is evidenced by the evening QSO totals and trans-Atlantic reports of European stations for this session.  The trans-Pacific path from North America was probably quite good based on reports of VK4YB here but listening in Oceania was nearly impossible.

Reverse beacon network reports for the session follow:


PSKReporter summary for the session follows:

Courtesy PSKReporter


Jim, W5EST, submitted the following screen capture of his JT9 console detailing one half of NC0B’s QSO with W7RNB and CQ’s from K5DNL:

Courtesy W5EST


The following stations provided reports of their two-way QSO’s as well as any additional activity that might have occurred during this session (this is not necessarily a complete list – only what was reported!):

Al, K2BLA, completed a JT9 QSO with ZF1EJ this morning through very quiet band conditions.  The same could not be said for last night, where he experienced “horrific QRN”.  On WSPR, Al received reports from 43 unique stations and he reported eleven unique stations including VK4YB.  He shared two-way WSPR reports with K9FD.

Ken, K5DNL, reported JT9 QSO’s with KC4SIT and NC0B. Overnight on WSPR, Ken reported fourteen stations including VK4YB.  Ken reported 85 unique stations including seven Canadian stations.  He shared two-way WSPR reports with K9FD and ZF1EJ.  Ken also submitted this image of his new amplifier, including a few comments, as he continues to test and make changes to improve performance on the air.

Rick, W7RNB, reported JT9 QSO’s with VE7VV  (-03/+06) and NC0B    (-21/-24).  Overnight he operated WSPR and submitted these unique report details.

Larry, W7IUV, completed a JT9 QSO in the evening with VE7VV, noting rapidly increasing noise through sunset.  On WSPR, Larry reported VK4YB as W7IUV/W.

Roger, VE7VV, completed an evening JT9 QSO with W7IUV.  This morning Roger reported that he decoded WSPR from VK4YB between 1218z and 1225z which was not uploaded to WSPRnet.

Dave, AA1A, completed a JT9 QSO with ZF1EJ this morning at an average S/N of -15 dB.  Dave also had a good night of trans-Atlantic WSPR decodes detailed later in this report.

Ernie, KC4SIT, reported that he “…made three attempts at JT9 contacts but only one, with K5DNL, was successfully completed. Signals would peak them rapidly drop. No traces appeared in my waterfall as a result of my FT8 CQ attempts.  I was decoded by 74 stations in WSPR mode with those over 3000 km distance shown below. I provided decodes to 13 stations with NC0B the most distant at 2100 km.  Successful 2-way WSPR contacts this month include AA1A, W1TAG, VE3CIQ, WA#ETD, ZF1EJ, K2BLA, K5DNL, K4LY, N1DAY, KN8DMK, W9XA, W8RUT. Due to rig and antenna problems I have experienced since the band was opened to amateurs many of these contacts are first time for me. I will include updates in my reports as warranted.”

If the band was open during the evening, it was wasted for me (KB5NJD) due to the extreme noise from storms in the Northeast.  I spent time passively listening but didn’t hang around long.  A check later in the evening suggested that noise levels may have improved but  the lightning map suggested otherwise.  This morning was better.  I worked NO3M on CW at 1024z.  Eric called me as I was switching around listening directions and we completed a solid QSO at RST 549 in spite of obviously weaker band conditions.  As Eric pointed out, there was virtually no noise whatsoever this morning.  I continued to listen until first light before QRTing to get the day started.  Don, W0DJK, located in Minnesota, reported that I was RST 569 this morning.  I received a few reverse beacon reports as well, mostly standard fare.  Since the time change I have less morning darkness than just last week.  I hope to adjust my operating schedule a bit as I get into the work week.  I never remember from year to year what I’ve done previously but its often dictated by activity.

Trans-Pacific WSPR report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.

Hideo, JH3XCU, submitted this link detailing DX -> JA decode totals and DX -> JA S/N peaks for the session, as reported on the Japanese language 472 kHz website.

Roger, VK4YB, indicated at 1235z that “Storms are only just arriving now. QRT for safety. WSPR: hrd by 29, best N3FL (15308km),NO3M (14978km),K2BLA (14737km),K5DNL (13442km), W5GNB (12732km).” Roger received WSPR reports from CF7MM, JA1PKG/2, K2BLA, K5DNL, KJ6MKI, KL7L, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF, N3FL, N3IZN, N6GN, N6SKM, NO3M, VE6JY, VE6XH, W5GNB, W6SFH, W7IUV/W and WA6OURKIWI.  He shared two-way reports with K9FD.  Roger submitted these comments and noise capture from this session:

“Here’s a snap shot of my P3 pan adapter scanning 470 to 480 kHz. It has been like this all evening. I call it a “Red out”. At least I can enjoy seeing all the reports coming in. You will notice a wide spread of reports from all corners of USA. The straight jacket of the “Mackerel Sky” has completely dispersed. When the mackerel sky holds sway, I will only get reports along one narrow corridor, usually aimed at the PNW.”

courtesy VK4YB


Trans-Atlantic WSPR report details can be viewed here.  The trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:





Doug, K4LY, reported summer-like QRN and noted that “…Somehow 15 unique spots inc. K9FD who got thru for 3 decodes. “

Robert, KR7O, reported “good cdx to VK4YB. 32 decodes 0944-1226z. Best -21, many -22. ZF1EJ – 5 decodes. KL7L – 76 decodes, best -9.  Quite a bit of 2-way activity last night (compared to normal), with NC0B showing up for the first? time with a good signal.”

There were 132 MF WSPR stations reported by the WSPRNet activity page at 0000z.  Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR summary


European 24-hour WSPR summary


Japanese 24-hour WSPR summary


Oceania 24-hour WSPR summary


Eden, ZF1EJ, returned to air, calling CQ on JT9 this morning and completing QSO’s with K2BLA and AA1A.  Eden also received a JT9 reception report via Internet this morning at -22 dB S/N from KN4OK.  Overnight on WSPR he reported ten stations and he received reports from 44 unique stations including LA2XPA.  He shared two-way reports with K9FD.

ZF1EJ session WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L, reported no JT9 stations received at his station overnight.  He CQ’ed this morning but no QSO’s or reports of his signal have been submitted at this time.  Overnight with WSPR he reported six WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from eighteen unique stations including JA1PKG/2. He shared two-way reports with K9FD, KR6LA, W7IUV and W7RNB.  Select DX report details can be viewed here.

KL7L session WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD, operated WSPR though the session, reporting thirteen stations including VK4YB. He shared two-way reports with ZF1EJ and KL7L. Merv received reports from 49 unique stations including JA1NQI, JA1PKG/2, JA3TVF and JH3XCU.  Select DX report details can be viewed here.

K9FD session WSPR activity


Jim, W5EST, presents, “Is There a 630m Voice Mode Distance Barrier?”:

“Last week’s five blog posts from here discussed 630m voice operations and concepts. Today’s illustration graphs my modeling results showing combined 1-hop and 2-hop 630m signal strength (in blue) out to 1-hop maximum distance 2500 km, and beyond to 3800km path distance. (Endnote*).  The model included a TX vertical antenna elevation pattern 3dB down at 4° from the pattern dB at 13° elevation angle, and with its pattern dB declining steeply below 4° elevation.

The illustrated graph of combined 1-hop and 2-hop signal strength dB (blue) not only declines with distance (100 km units) by an inverse-squared law. Also, it declines ever more steeply with distance to RX because the TX vertical pattern loses dB as the 1-hop launch angle decreases.  Assuming a 120 km nighttime E-region reflection altitude, 1-hop prop ceases at about 2500 km path distance and leaves only 2-hop at the farther distances.

The model estimates relative signal strength (blue) at top of phasing QSB swells, compared to modeled signal strength at 400km. 4dB sky loss for 1-hop was assumed, and a total 14 dB of 2-hop ground & sky losses. 3-hop was ignored.

Superimposed (in red) is a graph of rate of change with distance of that combined signal strength. Its hump represents a possible 630m SSB distancebarrier for path distances ranging 2200-2700 km.

Why would a distance barrier confront 630m SSB but not JT9 or WSPR? The curves indeed apply to all modes. Since the SNR threshold for intelligibility for SSB is a high bar, steepness in signal strength (blue) vs. distance presents a possible barrier (red) to SSB and only a speed bump for JT9 and WSPR.  Beyond about 2500 km of distance, phasing QSB may lessen since 1-hop prop is absent.  If your 630m voice at 5w EIRP could reach 1-hop maximum distance, you would probably be received beyond it.

Can this possible SSB distance barrier be penetrated by 630m amateur radio SSB or some other 630m voice mode at 5w EIRP? To be successful, another voice mode will likely call for a freely downloadable, aggressively compressive vocoder (open source) that transmits into a 300 Hz RX bandwidth or less and can send your speech as fast as you can speak.  A long wish list!

TU & GL with 630m voice!

*ENDNOTE: Model concepts are based on 11/3/17 blog and some formulas from the 10/20/17 blog. Calculate a vertical vs. horizontal dimension ratio r by formula (1) with conventional single-hop or multihop in mind. It assumes propagation by one or more hops N with half-hop distance D/2N, and RE=6371 km Earth radius.  Let L1 signify one sky reflection loss in dB for 1-hop. For 2-hop, use L2 to signify combined losses in dB from two sky reflections and one ground reflection.
           r =[h+RE(1-cos(D/2NRE))] / RE sin(D/2NRE)                                                           (1)
Attack angle α (alpha) at which the signal ray reflects from the ionosphere is given by:
α=arctan(r)                                                   (2)                                                             
To apply dB of elevation pattern E(η) of the TX antenna, first find launch elevation angle η (eta, ay’-ta, in radians) of an RX-destined signal ray from the TX antenna.
 η = α -D/2NRE = arctan(r) -D/2NRE                                                                          (3)
1-hop launch angle to cover whole-path distance D is designated η1: the value obtained by using N=1 in equations (1), (2), (3). Similarly, η2 is the 2-hop launch angle by using N=2 above.
TX antenna elevation pattern E(η) in dB for a short vertical example is illustrated in the 5/9/16 blog.  Piecewise pattern E(η) functions for the model were introduced:
 2.0*{1.5 ln(10sin(5η°/57.3)-3.3}          [η°<11°] (For diff. ground systems vary parameter 2.0);
          1.5 ln(10sin(5η°/57.3)-3.3   [11°< η°<23°];
                         -0.1(η°-23)            [23°< η°<45°];
Combine dB of 1-hop and 2-hop prop as described in the 2/5/16 blog. Apply further signal loss as inverse-square of path distance as an approximation at 1-hop and 2-hop distances.  (Antipodal focusing gain is ignored at these short distances relative to distance to antipodes.) Assume that sky and ground reflection losses are independent of their respective reflection angles.
For inverse-square distance purposes, define D’ to figure a ray’s sum of half-hop lineal distances for a whole path. As a function of great circle distance D, write sum of squares of numerator and denominator of Equation (1). After simplifying, obtain:
DN2    = (2N)2[h2 +2RE2(1+h/RE)(1-cos(D/2NRE))]                                                       (4)
Express a combined relative signal strength S(D) in dB as a function of the TX antenna pattern E(η), inverse-square of ray’s lineal distance D’, and reflection losses L applicable to 1-hop and 2-hop respectively. Formula (5) expresses whole-path combined signal strength of 1-hop and 2-hop:
       S(D) =10log10{10^0.1[E(η1) -10log10D12   –L1]  +10^0.1[E(η2) -10log10D22   –L2 ]}      (5)
Dref = 400 km is taken as a distance reference. It’s a convenient placeholder for some path distance where 630m sky wave outdoes 630m ground wave.  Using a spreadsheet compute S(D), then find what value pertains to 400 km, and then subtract to get relative signal strength dB:
Srelv =S(D)-S(Dref).                                                                                                          (6)
The graph of relative signal strength S(D)-S(Dref) forms a relative signal strength curve (blue) in today’s illustration.
Finally, successive values of the relative signal strengths are differenced to obtain a rate of change with respect to distance.
       Sdiff = Srelv(D)- Srelv(D+200km)                                                                                         (7)
Graphing (red) shows a 630m “voice barrier” peaking about 6 dB decrease-per-200km as illustrated.



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