What a spectacular session! Noise was low for an appreciable portion of North America for much of the evening and overnight and propagation, most notably at high latitudes, was amazing. There were trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, trans-African, and North American transcontinental openings during this session so it would be difficult to label much about this night as poor. This morning a few lightning-bearing storms in Arizona probably have those guys running for cover. I can just hear a few crashes this morning when listening that direction.
Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet. The Bz has turned around to the North again after several periods through the session that were pointing slightly to the South. Solar wind velocities are averaging 325 km/s and DST values remain relatively smooth and generally in positive territory. Storm levels are forecast for the coming sessions but it remains to be seen what the timing of those events actually are.
Trans-African reports returned for the first time this season as Luis, EA5DOM, made the long-haul across Africa to Andre, FR5ZX, on Reunion Island. That’s another very difficult path as signals will have to cross a significant amount of land. Report details can be viewed here. Luis posted the following comments in the RSGB-LF reflector:
“…The interesting point is that this happened when the good conditions East<>West for high latitude stations dropped.Unfortunately we have a bad weather this week here and have to fold down the wires untill weekend or so Keep QRO during this days. Some geomagnetic activity is predicted for wednesday and may be good conditions after that ?? Worths a try. Michel is also transmitting with 70W. But just getting spots from his friend FR1HF at the other side of the island He is working in a 4xIRFP460 and improving his slopper antenna 73 de Luis EA5DOM”
This won’t be the only North / South enhancement of the session. In fact, it seems to repeat many time over.
Unfortunately the path from North America to Europe was not terribly robust as biggest improvements remain in the West but WD2XSH/17 did manage to report G8HUH. Trans-Atlantic report details can be viewed here.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported a strong night with more transcontinental opening and he offered these comments and statistics:
“Continued very good trans-continental conditions to west coast, VE7, and Hawaii. I wonder why there is not also good TA conditions? Decoded 11 unique stations, most this season, and was decoded by 42 including overland to VA7BBG at 4120 km, two way with WH2XCR, and several other northwestern VEs. There have been a lot of newcomers to 630M the past few weeks. Welcome!”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, was reported in the Caribbean and notes very early near CW-level decodes of his signal at W0AY. He provided the following statistics and comments as well as screen captures of WA2XRM in Colorado running QRSS30, whose signal began to show up very early in the evening in Vancouver:
Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, posted the following comments about his recent QRSS activity on the 600-meter research group email reflector and announced his next operating schedule:
“Here are the November 2016 reception reports for WA2XRM, 480 kHz:
18-19 Nov. CW:
W0OGH, Larry, copied in AZ.
19-20 Nov. QRSS3:
W0YSE, Neil, copied in WA <https://join.me/742-833-966>.
He had some 1 – 3 minute drop outs.
20-21 Nov. QRSS30:
W0YSE, Neil, copied in Vancouver, WA.
KU7Z, Mark, copied in Ogden, UT.
KU4XR, Andy, Had perfect copy in Knoxville, TN.
Colorado Ground Wave: Mike, Mike WD2XSH/12, had no copy from Nederland, CO.
Probably getting coast to coast coverage.
Back on again tonight, 21 Nov. 2016, sending QRSS30 on 479.903 kHz.
Send your reception report to: firstname.lastname@example.org “
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded seven WSPR stations and was decoded by 39 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Trans-Pacific reports for the session have been aggregated here.
John, VE7BDQ, reported near 1000z that he had decoded nine WSPR stations including WH2XZO and WH2XCR as his best DX. He was decoded by thirty unique stations including VK4YB, N4DB,WI2XFO,WI2XFI,WI2XHK,WH2XZO, ZF1EJ, KU4XR,VE3CIQ, and WA3TTS to name a few.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he received reports from 60 unique stations in 12 hours including VK4YB. Ken adds that he received 99 WSPR decodes from WH2XCR, best +3 dB S/N at a distance of 6007 km.
Roger, VK4YB, reports moderate to high QRN levels, which impacted his hearing but he successfully decoded VE7BDQ, WG2XXM, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, and WH2XGP. Roger DX decodes include JA3TVF, JH1INM, VA7BBG, VE6JY, VE7BDQ, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR,ZL2BCG, ZL2IK, and EJTSWL.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that freezing fog forced his SWR protection to trip at 1000z. Nevertheless he made it to VK4YB, WH2XCR, WE2XPQ, and ZF1EJ/1 in addition to a full compliment of stations around North America.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, appears to have had a very abbreviated session likely due to anticipated weather over night an this morning.
Mike, WA3TTS, experienced a first for his station last night. He explains and provides the following details statistics:
“A bit of a surprise overnight when I searched the WSPR DB by distance…
I thought I would have a better chance of ever decoding a WSPR2 signal from Laurence on 2200m, but it happened on 630m first. I was using my NW EWE antenna and a split IF output from my MF/LF converter to monitor wspr2 on 630m and 2200m simultaneously. There is about 6dB of signal attenuation with the PRD 50 ohm hybrid combiner/divider, so the setup is not optimal compared to single band monitoring without the splitter, but XPQ overcame the few dB of difference for the wspr2 signal capture….As for XCR overnight, 19 decodes with the best at -15, which is just a few dB out of audible rangeAlso 165 WH2XND decodes overnight, best at -10 on 2200m. No joy with XPQ yet on 2200m, still a challenge for another evening. 73, Mike wa3tts.”
“KU4XR – SINGLE SESSION REPORT 11-20-2016
Strong and Steady band conditions here. QRN minimal. Report shows the best by – number of Decodes – Distance ( miles ) – SNr.18 decodes – most to date:
2016-11-21 07:18 WH2XCR 475749 -22 BL11je KU4XR EM75xr 445831 decodes – most to date:
2016-11-21 07:06 WI2XJQ 475608 -19 CN87ts KU4XR EM75xr 21178 decodes – not sure if this is the most to date:
2016-11-21 09:00 VE7BDQ 475735 -17 CN89la KU4XR EM75xr 21627 decodes – not sure if this is the most to date:
2016-11-21 06:30 WG2XSV 475743 -25 CN85rq KU4XR EM75xr 2107″
“I am interested in a late-model Palomar…these have the round cast aluminum knob with a black line on them. An original Jack Althouse (9 volt battery clip on back) or the new model by Hamcrafters (power socket on back) is OK. Early Palomars used a small black plastic knob with an external black plastic pointer.Real early Palomars had an so-239 on each end and no knob.”
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, experienced a remarkable night, reporting 13 WSPR stations – most notably WE2XPQ – and including VE3CIQ, VE3EFF, VE7BDQ, WD2XSH/15, WG2XIQ, WG2XPJ, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XZO, and WI2XJQ. Aside from the reports of DK7FC, this may be Eden’s best session yet. Maybe I am forgetting about something. WG2XSV reported that this was his first report from ZF1EJ this season. Congrats Eden and Laurence and everyone that made was on the air. Eden’s report details can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced a huge night with reports from seven JA stations as well as VK4YB and ZL1BCG. That’s not even the big news in my honest opinion. Laurence was decoded by ZF1EJ/1, WA3TTS, and me, WG2XIQ. This was a first for all of us and quite surprising. Also surprising was that in spite of being heard so well around North America, Asian and the Pacific, there were only four stations decoded at Laurence’s station. Thats a remarkable example of the diode effect. Its possible that it was just noisy in KL7 but propagation was clearly doing amazing things. Congrats to Laurence. He added that on the drive in this morning he was hearing Korean, Japanese and Indonesian-style signals on medium wave. We need stations in these locations for sessions just like this one. Laurence’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, left the door open again, allowing a number of JA’s, VK’s, ZF and North America stations in for this session. Merv received reports from five JA stations, three VK stations and ZL2BCG in the Pacific with great coverage to the Eastern portions of North America, possible providing at least one station their first report of KH6 on 630-meter WSPR (not confirmed). Jim, W5EST, notes that WD2XSH/15, at a distance of 6419 km, has been received by Merv six times on four nights in the past two-weeks. Merv’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “AUDIO STRENGTH SAMPLES EVERY 3 SECONDS: ECHO MODE IN WSJT-X”:
“Last Wednesday 11/16/16, WD2XSH/15 (Don W5OR) as usual was sending a piledriver 630m signal from 16 km west of me in Little Rock AR. My SNR reception procedure departed from the usual. Try this at your RX.
From the WSJT-X “Mode” pulldown menu, select “Echo” instead of WSPR2. Immediately data is presented nicely time-stamped in a new row every 3 seconds, and the 3rd display column lists values that track audio level dB. While adjusting audio level with a volume control in the receiving system, I verified that variations of values in that third column track with variations on the dB “barometer” of the WSJT-X display. (By the way, the dB barometer consistently registered about 25 dB lower in magnitude than the audio dB values.)
These WSJT-X Echo mode dB values of audio level evidently also track Signal-plus-Noise (S+N) dB. If the 630m band noise level is nearly constant, which is not always the case on 630m, then the dB values track variations in signal strength S (dB) too.
I monitored Noise N as an audio dB level until XSH/15 commenced, whereupon XSH/15 signal increased audio dB level about 20dB as reported by WSJT-X in its Echo mode. Due to a driver-based glitch, XSH/15 has a characteristic trough in signal strength about 15 seconds in duration and bottoming 18 seconds into the transmission. This behavior is reflected in the accompanying graph of values that I obtained that day. (For the procedure, see endnote.*) Since I can both hear the glitch and see it on the SDR waterfall, that glitch turned out to be a very useful feature of the XSH/15 signal for the Echo mode tests too!
Obtaining Echo mode dB values of XSH/15 ground wave in daytime led me to ask “Can one monitor QSB in a nighttime sky wave signal of a more distant station at 3 second intervals during a 110 second WSPR time slot?” Stay tuned for another blog post about that reception project.
Have you used this Echo mode? What did you learn? Send us any information and operating tips involving it!”
*NOTE: Click the “Stop” button at center left beneath WSJT-X Echo mode data screen to freeze the rows of data for copying. Do your copying. Later, click on the Erase button after copying if you wish. Restart later by pressing the “Monitor” button next to “Stop.”
Block copying from the screen was tricky for me at first. The best way was to block the desired material and mouse-right-click-copy/paste to Notepad first and then copy/paste to Excel. That procedure delivered the columns of Echo mode data into corresponding spreadsheet columns. Be aware that for each Echo data row, copying from Notepad provided one corresponding Excel spreadsheet row of data plus an unnecessary blank spreadsheet row as well.
Alternatively, there were also inconveniences pasting to Word instead of Notepad and then copy/pasting from Word to Excel . Using “Word” that way, I then would highlight in Excel only the column into which I had pasted, and then with the Data pulldown menu one does a “Text to Columns” conversion involving several keystrokes.
When the Echo mode data was finally set up in the spreadsheet, I then highlighted the column of dB numbers. Using Excel’s “Insert” pull down menu “Line” selection, I then line-graphed the column of dB values to yield the illustration of one WSPR2 110 sec transmission from XSH/15 as described above.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).