NJDTechnologies

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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but returning after dark on Saturday night

Another major outbreak of JA openings in the West but no trans-Atlantic reports; Very good domestic and transcontinental openings in North America in spite of elevated noise; Geomagnetic conditions beginning to percolate ahead of next forecast storm; More reports for WA2XRM QRSS CW

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

This session was hot! At 0100z, after my evening CW session, I QSYed to WSPR for the overnight period and almost immediately registered reports, many of them at CW levels, from close to thirty stations.  What’s curious is that it wasn’t  a particularly quiet night.  It was clear the band was very open but it was unclear how far things would go overnight or whether there would be a repeat of the previous session that was so prolific for western and far eastern (Asia!) stations.  The QRN was a mystery.  The lightning map was generally clear during the evening and I have my doubts that what I was hearing was the result of diminishing storms in New Mexico as they advanced into Texas.  The band was much louder than those storms.  Areas of the US and Eastern Canada are iced-in so was this a result of precipitation static and iced-over power lines?  I doubt it but who knows?  The geomagnetic field was starting to ramp up but its much more active this morning than last night yet the QRN level during the morning CW session was lower.. what gives?

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12-hour North American lightning summary

 

I don’t have the answer to the noise problem but the band was very open on a number of paths, that is or certain.

Geomagnetic conditions are starting to become more active as a forecast G1 storm could pop at any time.  The Kp-index remains quiet but elevated during several reporting periods.  Solar wind velocities have increased to moderate levels, averaging 450 km/s, with excursions above 500 km/s.  DST levels are holding relatively steady near 0 nT with some variability reported in the Australian DST not seen in the Kyoto data.

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Ken, SWL/EN61, located in Indiana sent a very good capture of WA2XRM’s “RW” QRSS30 last night.  Its remarkable how loud Paul actually got, so much so that the “dog-bone” effect is observed:

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WA2XRM QRSS30 “RW” at SWL/EN61 in Indiana

 

Phil, VE3CIQ, reported in the early evening that in spite of the Winter weather impacting his match and forcing him to operate at lower power levels, he was being reported by more stations, 31, up from the recent norm of 28-29.  He also indicated that he was being heard at ZF1EJ with 40-watts TPO.  Losses are down and I am certain base current is up at Phil’s station.

Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, indicated at 0526z that propagation to the East was very good, with reports from 34 stations at that time.  He also indicated at 0544z that WG2XSV was “…-4 so good signal tonight”, suggesting better conditions than typically observed.  At 1127z Joe reported that propagation from West to East was strong but no openings at his station to VK or JA in spite of loud broadcast signals like JOUB on 774 kHz that was reported at Q4.  Joe added that he was decoded by 41 unique stations for the session.

Paul, N1BUG, reported that he decoded several new WSPR stations overnight, including VE7CNF, VE7BDQ, WI2XBQ, and WH2XCR, which was a new personal distance record of 5110 miles.  Paul is currently evaluating his station to determine the feasibility of shunt-feeding his 100-foot top loaded tower on 630-meters.  Paul has already shown that his receive system is pretty good at 472.  It would be great to have another CW man on the band.

Dave, N4DB, indicates that he had a -28 dB S/N report for WH2XCR at a distance of 7599 km from central Virginia.  He also decoded WI2XBQ in northern California for a possible “new one”.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, submitted these session comments:

“Continued very good trans-continental conditions, highs SNRs, and 13 unique decodes including my record 26 decodes of WH2XCR who, at 7357 km, is further than most of Europe from here.  Yet, even coastal WD2XSH/17 did not decode Europe, which is only around 6000 km from him!  G8HUH is only 5081 km. I don’t know the explanation beyond the fact that it’s a high latitude path. The possible 630M QRM in Europe doesn’t explain lack of decodes this side of the pond. As for my transmitting, we’ll see if I can climb the tower and fix whatever is wrong this afternoon when the wind is supposed to die down.”

John, VE7BDQ, experienced a solid night around North America, with two-way report at WE2XPQ, WH2XCR and reception reports into the eastern and northeastern areas of North America plus the Caribbean.  John submitted report details from his activity from 0100z to 1032z which can be viewed here.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded eleven WSPR stations and was decoded by 36 unique stations.  Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.

Neil W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV submitted the following statistics, comments and details:

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Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, reports that he was “… at ~20W ERP last night, letting everything dry out after rain, will be at normal condx tonight…heard by 66, no VK/ZL/JA – I guess it takes more than 20W”

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WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he was decoded by 61 unique stations including WE2XPQ and WH2XCR.

Trans-Pacific report details for the session are aggregated here.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that he decoded fourteen WSPR stations, including WE2XPQ and VK4YB but few eastern stations.  He was heard by 61 unique stations, including VK4YB, ZF1EJ, and many eastern stations.  Larry notes that it was noisy at his QTH and power output was lower than normal due to rain.

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WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Roger, VK4YB, received reports from all over continental Australia as well as ZL2IK, VK7TW, VA7BBG, WE2XPQ and two-way decodes with WH2XGP and WH2XCR.

Graeme, VK3GJZ, reported on the VK/ZL 600m reflector that WSPR signals from VK2COW, were strong “in the Latrobe Valley this evening.”

Mike, WA3TTS, submitted the following comprehensive statistics and indicates, “..A record number of WH2XCR captures overnight here in EN90xn. 34 decodes, best at -14, minimum at -31

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Mike added:

“No T/A decodes although it was relatively quiet to the NE and I was hearing LW BC stations for the first few hours after sunset before moving   to the NW EWE antenna around 0300 UTC.  Also ran 2200m with split receive arrangement from about 06200 on with 96 WH2XND decodes, best at -11.  73 Mike wa3tts”

Garry, K3SIW, was also tuning MF and LF and submitted these comments on LOWFER:

“Plenty of LF signals overnight on the wspr-2 frequencies (474.2 kHz and 136 kHz). Also, WA2RXM fired up QRSS30 on 479.903 kHz from Colorado. And noticed a new NDB signal on 407 kHz. It was decently strong on both USB and LSB tones and signed HCD. But rather than send continuously it sent 4 IDs, then rested, before resuming that pattern. The cycle time was 6.8 seconds and the tones slowly drifted in frequency (down for USB and up for LSB). Apparently this beacon is near Hutchinson/Butler, MN and used to be GYL, but that’s not absolutely certain.”

Steve, G3XKR, reported that he was seeing another carrier in the WSPR passband at 475.730 kHz, complimenting the other carrier located at 475.744 kHz.  I admit that I have not looked closely for the carrier at 475.630 kHz recently but that is likely because the waterfall resolution and band spread I am using in WSJTx  results in a less prominent feature.

The evening CW session was generally uneventful although QRN from somewhere increased as the evening progressed.  I received a “not strong but workable” signal report from N4DB in Virginia at 0005z.  WSPR results were good in spite of elevated noise, including  two-way reports shared with WH2XCR and reception reports from WE2XPQ.  Morning CW activity was typical with RST 559 reports from Eden, ZF1EJ.  My WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here and my WSPR reception reports can be viewed here.

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WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

WSPR activity was very high once again with 107 MF WSPR stations observed at 0140z and 108 MF WSPR stations observed at 0328z on the WSPRnet activity page.  How is that for consistency?  KB2HSH was observed for the first time as a receive station on 630-meter WSPR.  KH6Lwas also reported for what I believe to be the first time but his software was reporting that he was operating on the old frequency of 503.9 kHz.  He had no reports but given his proximity to WH2XCR I would have expected him to have decoded Merv with even the most minimal of antennas.  I have sent him an email with updated frequency information.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

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North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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South American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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African 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Central / Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Australian and New Zealand 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided WSPR reports for VA7MM, VE3CIQ, VE3EFF, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, WD2XSH/15, WG2XIQ, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XBQ, and WI2XJQ.  Those report details can be viewed here.

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ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, enjoyed another stellar night from high latitudes with reports in the south central US and West coast of North America as well as numerous JA’s, including 7L1RLL4, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JE1JDL/1, JH1INM, and JH3XCU.  Laurence also shared two-way reports with VK4YB and WH2XCR.  Laurence indicates that he will likely remain QRV 24/7 for the next few weeks in hopes of catching an opening over the pole to Europe.  His VK and JA report details can be viewed here.

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WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced good coverage across North America with first time reports at N1BUG in New England (Maine) as well as all along the eastern seaboard and into the Caribbean.  A number of JA stations, including 7L1RLL4, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JE1JDL/1, JH1INM, and JH3XCU, provided report Merv and similar conditions were observed in VK and ZL with reports from ZL2BCG, VK2EIK, VK2XGJ and two-way reports with VK4YB.  Merv also shared two-way reports with WE2XPQ.  He also submitted the following comments on the session:

“Another hot night here,  see JA decodes after sunrise here, of course VK4YB at sunrise etc. Laurence was in here at sunset ,  ZF decodes,  Looks like some new callsign the report also.  No complaints here for sure.”

Merv’s JA, VK, and ZL report details can be viewed here.

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WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, presents, “OBTAINING 630M SKY WAVE SAMPLES EVERY 3 SECONDS: ECHO MODE IN WSJT-X”:

“How can one monitor a nighttime 630m sky wave signal at 3 second intervals during a WSPR time slot?  Such monitoring would help portray 630m QSB—the stuff 630m CW ops face, not to mention their WSPR decoders!

My solution: Activate WSJT-X Echo mode to observe dB of signal strength every three seconds.  But more is needed. I configured a 50Hz-wide CW filter on my SDR to isolate one sky wave station. Otherwise, two or more WSPR stations would get mixed up in the audio dB level that the Echo mode measures.  I chose WG2XIQ’s signal because John transmits near the top of the WSPR band at 475.790 and can be separated from other WSPR stations I receive.

The test ran Nov. 17 evening because of the particularly steady band noise under storm-free quiet conditions.  That way avoided scrambling noise into data points when I wanted to track signal itself.

Today’s illustration shows 20 WSPR transmissions from WG2XIQ. Reception began about an hour after sunset on the path and ended about 3½ hours after sunset.  In all, 2½ hours of reception that evening last week yielded 2976 data points.  Of these, about 740 data points covered 20 actual WSPR transmissions from WG2XIQ. Each 110 second WSPR time slot yielded about 37 numerical data points, thanks to WSJT-X Echo mode.

I think that the E-field, the electric field vector, of such a 630m transmission should be our focus when following 630m propagation on this deep-dive time scale. Even if I could only hope to get a relative amplitude quantity from the original Echo mode (S+N)dB and not phase as well, I at least used the spreadsheet to estimate relative amplitude of signal electric field.*

The illustration shows remarkably clean, interesting amplitude variations in most of these WSPR receptions from WG2XIQ.** Unlike the statistical, more-random behavior of 630m SNR the WSPR decoder reports at the 2-minute time scale, these 3-second sample sequences varied much more deliberately.

The WSPR transmissions are identified by the time (z) that the WSPR decoder would assign to them.  For convenience, I also gave them letter-number designators, e.g. WSPR transmission A4 occurred 0040z, C3 occurred 0154z, etc.

How is one to make sense out of such different looking SNR patterns? A1 declined in SNR and then rose. B1, B5, C4, C5 and D5 mostly declined. Still other SNRs rose and then fell: A5, C1-C4, D1 and D2.  Transmissions A3, A4, B3 and B4 seem rather indistinct–probably because they are weak and very near the noise level.

Join us for another blog post to wrestle with this question of propagation interpretation!”

NOTES:  *Signal voltage magnitude per unit of greatest lower bound (glb) noise voltage is given by:
     S(μV/m  per unit) = SQRT{10^0.1[(S+N)dB -48.2dBref]  -1.0}
“(S+N)dB” symbolizes each given value of audio dB reported by WSJT-X Echo mode. In place of “48.2dBref” substitute whatever noise dB is the lowest value obtained in a receiving run at your QTH.  Noise variations remain scrambled together with the signal after applying the formula. The formula subtracts glb Noise dB from (S+N)dB, converts the difference to (S+N) power (μW per unit of glb Noise power), and afterwards subtracts the 1.0 noise power per unit to get per unit Signal power.  The square root SQRT converts the per unit Signal power to electric field strength of Signal in per unit μV/m relative to noise field strength.
**Receiving systems at high-performing 630m stations will feature less noise and more signal than happens at W5EST currently.  High-performing RX systems may receive more stations better but probably must more carefully separate out any one station for 3-sec. sampling using this Echo mode method.

 

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