Judging from overnight data, propagation was reasonable with the return of trans-Atlantic reports and the continuance of trans-Pacific openings. The geomagnetic field was stable although changes are on the horizon in response to a recent coronal mass ejection. Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that propagation was mostly North / South at his location in the Pacific Northwest:
“…it was pretty much a N/S night. Penetration to my east was minimal. There seemed to be a “wall” running N/S thru the middle of Montana. If the salt path to Hawaii was “land”, I probably would not have penetrated much in that direction either.”
I was QRT during this session due to a number of storm systems that will move through the area between now and Thursday but judging by the lightning map it was likely very noisy here overnight:
Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet for now with a variable Bz that has moved back to the North during this session and solar wind velocities below 300 km/s, averaging 290 km/s. It has been quite a while since we have observed solar wind speeds so low. DST values are nominal:
Perhaps the big news for the session was that NO3M / WG2XJM reappeared as WD2XSH/46. Eric reported this weekend that he accidentally let the WG2XJM grant lapse but that he has filed for the renewal and expects it to come in the normal 30-60 day time frame. He indicated that he was going to request the use of his old call sign under the ARRL’s experimental grant, WD2XSH/46, which was evidently granted because he was on the air last night. In fact he was decoded by G3XKR and G8HUH. Those report details can be viewed here.
WD2XSH/17 decoded DK7FC and G8HUH. Those report details can be viewed here.
Ken, ZS6KN, was reported as active on WSPR again overnight. Luis, EA5DOM, reports that he has been in contact with Ken, who apparently has a tremendous amount of noise on MF. He also appears to be band hopping which further reduces the chances of a WSPR decode on 630-meters. Stefan, DK7FC, suggested that the path to VK may be better but so far it has not yielded results.
Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, received reports from VI4SEA, VK2XGJ, and ZL2BCG. Those trans-Pacific report details can be viewed here.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that the path to WH2XXP and WH2XND was open through the day. He shared two-way reports with VI4SEA and was decoded by ZL2BCG. He also reported that he decoded eleven WSPR stations using the omni receive antenna. He was decoded by fifty unique stations, including a few eastern stations. His report details for the trans-Pacific openings can be found here.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by VI4SEA, VK2DDI, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, and ZL2BCG. John, VK2XGJ, reported that his first decode of Ward was at 0802z, about an hour after local sunset. Those trans-Pacific report details can be viewed here.
Roger, VK4YB, reports that VI4SEA was down for a few days due to illness so he hopes to “play catchup” in the final few days of operation. During this session, WI2XBQ was decoded at VI4SEA, in addition to others detailed in this report. VI4SEA was decoded by N6SKM, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, VE7CA, VE7SL, WH2XNV, VA7JX, and ZL2BCG. Report details not found elsewhere in this summary can be viewed here.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported at 1105z that he was receiving “+9@ XCR, but no TP. 4QR weak here tonight…Some W-E prop ve3iqb and ku4xr.” Joe was eventually decoded by VI4SEA and those report details are included with VI4SEA’s data.
John, VE7BDQ, shared two-way reports with VI4SEA and was received by ZL2BCG. Those report details can be viewed here.
Steve, VE7SL, reports that he decoded thirteen, including WD2XSH/46 and nine decodes of VI4SEA. His trans-Pacific reports are included with VI4SEA’s data.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 23 unique stations. His unique station detail report can be viewed here.
Regional and continental breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, successfully decoded a number of stations in the Northern US, including WG2XKA in Vermont, WH2XGP in Washington state and WD2XSH/46 in Pennsylvania:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that it was a poor night in Alaska. He had no trans-Pacific reports and the path moving North, based on a review of data, was not as good as in the previous session, although a number of stations were reported. Laurence’s two-way reports with WH2XCR can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, also experienced North / South openings for the most part with the absence of JA and the southerly path across the US. Merv shared two-way reports with VI4SEA and was received by VK2EIK, VK2XGJ, VK5ABN, and ZL2BCG. Merv’s trans-Equatorial reports can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “TENTATIVE 630M WSPR-TO-CW SNR RULE OF THUMB*”:
“Estimate the WSPR SNR at which your ears can hear the desired station’s WSPR signal itself about 50% of the time. 100% copy and 0% CW copy on 630m will be about +/-6 dB WSPR SNR above and below that SNR for audibility 50% of the time. You probably have a decent chance to try a 630m CW QSO by QSY and switching to CW when the WSPR SNR nears that 50% SNR point or better.
This rule of thumb takes different band conditions into account since poor band conditions will depress WSPR SNR and reduce CW readability. But the rule of thumb does assume one 630m QSB depth, which in reality may vary for one same path at different times and nights, and for different paths the same night, in your CW work.
A reference model behind the rule of thumb assumes the 630m operator copies CW at the same 1400-1600 Hz audio pitch on the CW QSY frequency as the WSPR signal pitch on its WSPR frequency. My own ears copy CW better at 600-700 Hertz audio pitch rather than at the 1400-1600 Hz nominal WSPR pitch range. Your own best audio pitch to copy 630m CW may differ too. Also, SNR for audibility of a WSPR signal 50% of the time is not necessarily equivalent to SNR for CW copy 50% of the time.
Further, depending on your preferred CW-specific filtering and noise reduction settings of receiving equipment, actual “heard” CW SNR may depart from the WSPR SNR, given equal strength CW and WSPR. That means the 50% audibility WSPR SNR may differ from the 50% CW copy SNR by you on your equipment and require station-specific adjustment of the rule of the thumb by a few dB.
So there’s plenty of room to adjust and improve this tentative 630m WSPR-to-CW SNR Rule of Thumb. Try it yourself and help show us how you would adjust and improve it!
*NOTES: The Rule of Thumb is based on a sinusoidal 630m QSB reference model. With a stopwatch or mental time-counting, listen to 630m WSPR stations like I did. Count up the audible duration and divide by WSPR’s 110 sec. time slot duration to estimate duty cycle F of your audibility in that slot. As the WSPR decoder reports that slot’s SNR, enter it in the TABLE too. From today’s TABLE of two hours of my evening listening on 630m, I found 50% WSPR audibility SNR was -6dB at W5EST. Your ears are probably better than mine!
50% of the time that spans the SNRs of sinusoidal SNR lies in the angle range +/-45°, and sin 45° = 0.707. Consequently, the median estimated SNR interquartile range SIQ of QSB inside a WSPR time slot was 8dB from my listening, and the estimated peak-to-peak SNR spanned about 11dB. 8dB SIQ is about the same as the all-night SIQ of 630m WSPR2 generally. Duty cycle Fest of CW readability is estimated in my reference model as:
Fest = 0.5+(1/180°)arcsin[(SNRWSPR– SNR50%) /(0.707 SIQ)]
TABLE: 630m WSPR AUDIBILITY TIMES AND WSPR SNRs AT W5EST 11/4/16
G33DDC bandwidth 1.9KHz USB Dial 474.200. MEDIAN SIQestCW = ~8dB from this Table.
Audible Inaudible F WSPR SNR TIME(z) Stn.^ SIQestCW^^
0 110 0% -18 0002 xiq na
4 106 4% -12 0022 xiq 8dB
110 110 100% +5 0018 xsh/15 na
35 75 32% -7 0052 xiq 3dB
0 110 0% -21 0054 xxp na
15 95 14% -17 0100 xxp 17dB
100 10 91% +1 0102 xiq 10dB
0 110 0% -17 0106 xnd na
110 0 100% +2 0108 xiq na
20 90 18% -22 0116 xzo 42dB (ignore outlier)
10 100 9% -12, -11 0118 xnd, xiq 7dB
0 110 0% -28 0120 xzo na
90 20 82% -3 0128 xiq 5dB
10 100 9% -17 0130 xxp 16dB
10 100 9% -15, -15 0136 xxp, xnd 13dB
90 20 82% -3 0138 xiq 5dB
50 60 45% -3 0146 xiq 19dB
25 85 23% -18 0148 xxp 22dB (ignore outlier)
40 70 36% -8 0154 xiq 7dB
0 110 0% -12 0200 xnd na
^ xiq (474.792). 0052z xiq audible first ~35sec. xsh/15 (475.730). xxp (475.662). 0102z xiq freq difference buzz vs. xsh/15. xnd (475.787). xzo (475.649). Band noise crackling and popping about 1-2 sec. 0127z. Tstorms NM, & a few in AZ and sFL.
^^SIQestCW is estimated by solving the reference model to get an SIQ equation, and plugging values from each TABLE row into that SIQ equation. Then, in the reference model I used the median of the estimated SIQ values from the TABLE and generated the tentative Rule of Thumb from the model for other stations to compare with and adjust on. “
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).