This was an exciting session with a significant number of receiving stations that were hearing very well. Once again QRN was very low for much of North America during the evening but increased during the overnight in advance of at least a couple of storm systems. I don’t have a real feel for what the band sounded like this morning as I QRT’ed at bed time due to the high likelihood of high winds and lightning before morning. It was a good call on my part.
Geomagnetic conditions were quiet once again although the Bz is currently pointing to the South slightly at -2 nT. Solar wind velocities are low, averaging 345 km/s and DST values are nominal.
Albert, PA0A, once again made the long journey to UA0SNV-1. I reported yesterday that Vasily had installed a second station and made the assumption that he might have two opposite-facing receive antennas given the results in the previous session. That does not appear to be the case, as Albert was reported on “the other receive configuration” during this session. I know a Russian language forum that Vasily visits so I will have to track him down and find out the details for this new system. This very long-haul receive report detail can be viewed here.
Trans-Atlantic openings exploded during the early evening in North America, with a number of stations providing or receiving reports. They include N1BUG, a newcomer to 630-meters, who decoded WSPR from DH5RAE, EA5DOM, and G8HUH. NO3M reported EA5DOM and G8HUH. WD2XSH/17 reported EA5DOM, G8HUH, and PA0A. WG2XPJ reported G8HUH and was decoded by G0LUJ-1. WH2XZO was also decoded by G0LUJ-1. Finally WG2XKA, received reports from G0LUJ-1, G0LUJ-5, G3XKR, and G8HUH. Geoff, G0LUJ, indicates that the G0LUJ-5 report for WG2XKA was from the built-in WSPR decoder in the KiwiSDR. Aggregated report details of these trans-Atlantic decodes can be viewed here.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, also provided these comments on his very successful session:
“A very good session here despite a new batch of holiday noisemakers. The entire US mainland was well represented, and XKA was spotted multiple times by G8HUH, G3XKR, and several G0LUJ receive experiments. WH2XCR reported multiple times, the best at -25. Receive noise continues to plague me here and it appears the only solution is to relocate up north somewhere…”
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported that this session was good but not as good as the previous at his station in South Carolina. He decoded seven WSPR stations and was decode by 43 unique stations including the previously reported G0LUJ-1.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he was decoded by 59 unique stations including VK4YB and KP2XX. Ken’s trans-Pacific report is aggregated with other reports from this path and can be viewed here.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, managed to squeak out a transcontinental report during this very good session and offers these comments and statistics:
Doug, KB4OER, posted the following comments and statistics from the session on LOWFER:
“I monitored both WSPR2 on 474.2 kHz and QRSS on 185.3 kHz last night. WSPR did pretty well, but I didn’t get anything on QRSS…..not even SJ who
in the past has been consistently strong. Starting to think I may have some sort of problem on my end.
12:28 WH2XZO 0.475669 -18 0 EM85wb 2 KB4OER EM86ui 144 354
11:54 WH2XXP 0.475659 -21 0 DM33 10 KB4OER EM86ui 2810 75 2016-11-18
10:28 WG2XKA 0.475718 -27 0 FN33lq 1 KB4OER EM86ui 1132 227
10:28 WG2XXM 0.475710 -17 0 EM15lj 5 KB4OER EM86ui 1332 81
09:30 WH2XGP 0.475685 -26 0 DN07dg 5 KB4OER EM86ui 3292 98
07:18 WG2XPJ 0.475696 -26 0 FN34lp 10 KB4OER EM86ui 1207 223
03:28 WG2XIQ 0.475788 -26 0 EM12mp 2 KB4OER EM86ui 1404 69
03:08 WD2XSH/15 0.475727 -27 0 EM34rt 2 KB4OER EM86ui 942 77″
Mike, WA3TTS, split time between 137 and 472, enjoying transcontinental reports and beyond on 630-meters. Mike offered these reports and statistics:
Mike closed with these comments:
“I ran a split IF out of the LF/MF converter and also had 193 decodes from WH2XND on 136 kHz wspr2 last night, best at -2, so the conditions were quite good. Unfortunately I continue to have high noise levels to the NE direction, which is preventing most T/A reception. 73, Mike wa3tts”
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded seven WSPR stations and was decoded by thirty unique stations. Rick’s unique report detail can be viewed here.
All trans-Pacific report details have been aggregated here for this session.
Roger, VK4YB, was decoded by VE7SL and provided reports from WH2XGP, WG2XXM, and WH2XXP. Roger adds that five VK6 stations were active during this session. Furthermore he spent much of his operating time on the “JA beam” but has been unable to find an opening in a few days.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded twelve WSPR stations including WG2XPJ using the eastern BOG. Larry does not believe that he was heard Brian before. This is a good test for Brian’s new shunt-fed tower. Larry reports that he was decoded by 56 unique stations with good coverage around North America. Like many of us, Larry noticed that the trans-Pacific path has degraded over the past couple of weeks. I think this is all new territory for us as last year activity on the path was sparse this late in the season. Time will tell exactly how late this very long-haul path will remain open.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 64 unique stations including trans-Pacific reports from VK4YB and ZL2BCG.
Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, reported activity this coming evening on 630-meters on the 600-meter research group:
“WA2XRM will be back on the air tonight, 18 Nov. 2016, starting at 2300z, (1600 MST).. Sending CW on 480 kHz from Colorado Springs, CO.”
It really was a great evening session and I only wish I could have remained on the air overnight. Additionally, because I was fooling with the website migration, I didn’t operate CW at sunset or any time during the evening. Now that the frontal system is through the area and we are in clear air, I should be able to resume activity, starting tonight around 2300z. One positive that presented itself from QRTing early was that my evening WSPR data was preserved… Its remarkable that in less than four hours of operating, almost 1000 reports were registered. My WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here and my WSPR reception reports can be viewed here.
Activity was high during the evening, with 100 MF WSPR stations registered at 0053z and 109 MF WSPR stations at 0247z. That is very good persistence for spectrum below the AM broadcast band. As I have said before, we have become the new mainstream! Also joining us during this session were N4AB, SWLEM62UP, and W6ADZ. At least one of these call signs looks new to me but the others may be just now returning for this season. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, experienced interesting results which may have a logical explanation. ZF1EJ received very limited reports while ZF1EJ/1 reported an all-star cast in North America. Its unclear to me whether this was propagation or something related to that receiver / antenna / decoder configuration. ZF1EJ’s report details can be viewed here and ZF1EJ/1’s report details can be viewed here.
Also in the Caribbean, James, KP2XX, reported WG2XXM, WH2XXP, and WH2XZO. I reported in the previous session that KP2XX was remotely activated by K4LY / WH2XZO but this is incorrect. I got information confused for some other stations that Doug did, in fact, activate remotely. I have since updated yesterday’s reports but just know that James was QRV under his own actions during this session. Thanks for being there James! Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that high winds have forced him to only listen during this session. Laurence’s reports for WH2XCR are included with Merv’s DX reports below.
If you ever wondered what it took to tune a big system at high current, check out Laurence’s new vacuum capacitor. It can handle the current without heating up (too much!):
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced good coverage into New England, reporting WG2XKA and receiving reports from WH2XZO and WA3TTS. JH3XCU was providing reports from Japan and VK2EIK and VK2XGJ provided reports for Merv while VK4YB shared two-way reports with him. Its nice to see so much ground being covered. Merv’s DX reports can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “PART 3. THE FUTURE: HOW TO FIT HUNDREDS OF HAMS INTO 630M?”:
“The Nov. 15 blog discussed some bandwidth concepts of spatial multiplication and time-sharing on 630m. 630m customs and technology were considered. The November 17 blog surveyed 630m band planning in IARU Regions 1, 2, 3 and the WD2XSH band planning.
Today’s illustration shows my speculation what a 630m band plan might look like a few years from now in Region 2. WSPR will continue to usefully aid 630m propagation reporting and operators’ decisions when to change from WSPR to a digital QSO mode or CW. I presume that 630m QSY will continue to be somewhat inconvenient for many stations. So let’s put space for QSO modes close to the WSPR band.
Moreover, in a scenario of hundreds of hams on 630m, I think it makes sense to band plan every kilohertz with JT9, WSPR2, & WSPR15 (purple, red, blue) in the same relative frequency positions every kilohertz. That way, hams operating in each kilohertz segment or “neighborhood” of 630m can change frequency by as little as about 80 Hz (47x.790 QSY to 47x.870) or as much as about 750 Hz (47x.790 QSY to 47x.040) depending on what WSPR frequency they start from. Of course they can QSY further into other kilohertz neighborhoods as they wish, subject to the bandplan recommendations there.
This imagined repetition every kilohertz assumes that RX antenna systems and receivers are much more robust across the whole 472-479 band than post-TX couplers and TX antenna systems often are. TX frequencies would tend to stay moderately anchored in their neighborhoods due to the technologically-imposed inconvenience of QSYs, moderate and extreme.
In a future context of high amateur usage of 630m, the RX side of the station should be able to upload spots of WSPR and other digimodes decoded from anywhere in the band and to detect a response to one’s CQs from anywhere in the band. Among other things, kilohertz repetition motivates possible extensions of SDRs and WSJT-X to conveniently decode WSPR from multiple kilohertz neighborhoods. You may already have information to share about your experimentation with multiple receivers and SDRs, and you may have already set up CW spotter software and/or multiple instances of the WSPR2-15 & JT9 decoders on your computer(s). Help us blog your techniques!
Customary usage would continue on the 630m band. WSPR and JT9 in the historic 475 “Kilohertz Center” of today’s 630m would spread out to the kilohertz neighborhoods on either side as the band fills up with hams in future years. Current CW calling and QSOs in the 474-5 and 476-7 full kilohertz neighborhoods would also continue.
Indeed, CW and all QSO modes would find plenty of QSO capacity in the dashed-line “wings” of every kilohertz neighborhood astride the WSPR bands. The international CW calling frequency would continue 472.5. Entire 472 and 478 full kilohertz neighborhoods would be especially appropriate for transoceanic nighttime DXing as a specialty. CW DXing would rule top and bottom: 300 Hz seated at 472 KHz and likewise the top 175 Hz nudging 479 KHz.
Operation at 630m’s extreme ends is not common today due to antenna retuning and QSY difficulty from Kilohertz Center. But in a highly active future, the 472-3 and 478-9 kilohertz neighborhoods would attract aficionados. That said, DX is welcome on any mode, and any power anywhere in the 630m band, subject only to the governing regulations of applicable country and regional bandplan there.
Beyond the suggested legends, I leave whatever may be the mutual interference possibilities between modes to be ironed out by compliance with governing regulations, evolving custom, and plain old good sportsmanship in the ham spirit.
I would reserve 473.000-.999 for transmissions only by stations having EIRP less than 27 dBm (500mw). This 473 single-kilohertz neighborhood would inherently enjoy spatial bandwidth multiplication by a factor of at least two. Low-power stations could still transmit anywhere in the 472-479 KHz band along with higher power stations subject to modes recommended in the band plan. SSTV’s 200 Hz bandwidth and low EIRP density in mw/Hz easily fits into two channels in 477.825-478.3 KHz in local “greater nighttime” and all dashed areas 472-478.3 KHz in local daytime. If a digital voice mode can fit where SSTV is shown, that’s fine to use too.
“Short Daytime” would abrogate the recommended 27 dBm power limitation in the 473 neighborhood. Short Daytime would mean the interval beginning one hour after local sunrise and ending one hour prior to local sunset. (Thanks to various websites, every station can quickly determine the times of their local sunrise and local sunset.) That way, time for stations to explore the post-sunrise and pre-sunset propagation regimes would be assured.
Because of the 8x spatial multiplication of band capacity in Short Daytime, wideband modes like USB and LSB single sideband and experimentation with any other modes up to similar bandwidth would be invited in the range 476.825-479.000 KHz. Long-distance daytime propagation events would be wide open to amateurs all over the band. Such 630m daytime prop events are particularly frequent in late fall and mid-winter and occur more occasionally all year long.
This post represents just my attempt at thinking about the topic, of course. I recognize that others have deeper experience. Readers, tell us your insights and better bandplan wisdom for IARU Region 2. If you live in another IARU region especially, do suggest what improved provisions you think band planning in your region should consider. TU!”
The server migration went well with only a couple of DNS-related problems. If you are seeing this report you obviously migrated as well. Thanks to all for your patience. As I develop today’s content I’ve noted that the WordPress development environment is much faster than the previous server. So lets get on the air and generate content for me to report so I can try to fill up this server!
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).