I, along with a few other stations, had to watch from the sidelines during this session due to stormy weather or antenna problems from previous storms. A number of active stations reported that it was a noisy night and given the storms that blew through here during the evening, I suspect it would have been tough to listen to over night. Fortunately for my station its now clear, dry air and should mean a return to evening CW starting at 2300z with WSPR to follow.
A number of stations reported very good nights, particularly on long haul paths so it was clear that the band was doing well in spite of (or as the result of?) unsettled geomagnetic levels that have yet to hit their full potential.
Geomagnetic conditions have thus far only peaked to unsettled levels, returning, for the moment, to elevated quiet conditions. The Bz is pointing only slightly to the South at -1 nT and solar wind velocities are averaging 425 km/s once again. DST values have been impacted and are currently in negative territory but are recovering and have yet to experience significant decreases. So far this event looks similar to the previous geomagnetic storm that provided significant enhancements for a few sessions. I can only hope that we can continue to flirt with disaster for a few more nights which may be advantageous as we move into the holiday weekend here in the US.
Trans-Atlantic openings returned after taking a session off as high latitude paths found a way to open for a few lucky stations. WD2XSH/17 received DK7FC, G3KEV, and G8HUH. N1BUG reported DK7FC and G3KEV and WG2XKA gets the award for the sole crossing from North America to Europe, being reported by G8HUH. Those report details can be viewed here.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, provided these addition comments on his trans-Atlantic reports and the session in general:
“Possibly the best session so far this season, after losing two nights to ice. The PNW was very active early and the entire west coast appeared for the first time this year. WG2XSV spotted XKA for the first time this season. This station was also spotted by WH2XCR and G8HUH. The East was very well represented as usual.”
Phil, VE3CIQ, had a great session with first time two-way WSPR reports with WH2XCR on KH6. Phil provided the following comments:
“The last couple of weeks have been a joy. Decodes are sooner, farther and need much less power. Highlight last night were the two way decodes with WH2XCR, but it’s always satisfying to be heard anywhere on the west coast. Thanks for that.”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, continued his quest for WA2XRM screen captures, spending much of the session listening. He was successful, receiving a number of stations on WSPR as well as WA2XRM. He added at 1443z that he was still decoding WH2XCR and WE2XPQ with the E-probe, about 30 minutes prior to local sunrise. Neil provided the following fruits of his labor:
“Got the following RX decodes with XCR 84x best of -10, XKA 1x at -23, and XPQ 30x with best of -13 (and several -16’s).”
Brian, VA7BBG, reported that this was his maiden voyage transmitting on 630-meters – Congrats!:
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded eight WSPR stations and was decoded by 26 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Trans-Pacific report details for the session are aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, received reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU, VA7BBG, VE6JY, VE7BDQ, WH2XGP, and ZL2IK. Roger reports, “Strange condx, the spotlight stayed on VA7BBG most of the evening. He decoded my signal 45 times.”
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 54 stations, including 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU, and VK4YB. Ward adds that he was back to normal operating conditions at 39-watts ERP and that the band was pretty good overnight. He also clarified that his lack of reports on Monday was the result of blowing a fuse in the PA. Even so, Ward managed reports at driver levels.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that his transmitter was down for much of the session due to rain impacting his SWR and shutting down the PA. On receive, Larry indicates that he decoded twelve WSPR stations using the omni receive antenna. For the time that he was transmitting, he received reports from 48 unique stations including VK4YB, JH1INM, ZF1EJ and a number of eastern stations.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports the return of QRN but that and even antenna problems didn’t bring his activity completely to a halt:
“…only 8 unique decodes with number of VE7 and Hawaii decodes down 90% from previous night. The high winds earlier this week broke one top hat wire which was dangling down the tower. I climbed the tower and cut it off, leaving 5 top hat wires. With less top hat capacitance, my homebrew 3/8th inch copper tubing coil didn’t have enough inductance for me to find a resonate tap on my Bud coil and my previous used Alpha Delta ~70 uH coil had too much! No Goldilocks moment here. Maybe today, I’ll get something working. “
Andy, KU4XR, copied the WG2XSB CW beacon at 0500z located in Stow, MA on 471 kHz. Andy provided his receive conditions in addition to an mp3 audio recording of Ted’s signal:
“Receive setup: Kenwood TS450S – Dual 500 Hz Filters – IF shifted slightly to the low side – RF Gain backed down to lessen the AGC action from the static – Audio ran thru a 70 Hz Active Filter into the soundcard – Recorded with SpecLab and using filtering at 40 Hz BW, with the DeNoiser engaged .. Antenna is the 160 OCF, up 30 feet, with the top load extended out to 300 feet ..”
Andy also provided the following very clean capture of WA2XRM in QRSS10 overnight:
Mike, WA3TTS, had another big night on the transcontinental path from Pennsylvania and provided the following report and statistics:
“John: I listened on the NE EWE last night up to 0730 UTC but no T/A events despite having some very strong WG2XGA decodes on the first iono reflections in that direction. I was hearing BBC R4 on 198 kHz at Q5 signal intelligibility at times as well as France International on 162 kHz, and Euro 1 on 183 kHz. But those LW BC signals were not outstanding in signal strength, perhaps moderate at best. So there appeared to be no association with LW BCs and the 630m T/As or lack thereof overnight.”
Mike closed with this:
“I ran the split IF output from my converter for 630m and 2200m dual wspr2 reception with 88 WH2XND decodes and several WD2XES (FN42) decodes overnight on that band. 73 Mike wa3tts”
Rick, VK6XT, recently joined the transmitting brigade in southwestern Australia and posted the following comments on the VK/ZL 600m reflector:
“Just joined the group so thought I had better post an introductory msg. Have been operating wspr and JT modes for about 6 years and finally decided to try transmitting on MF. Currently I am putting around 40 watts into a coil loaded 1/4 wave antenna working with a ground system of 3 earth rods and 100m of farm fence. Would be keen to try some JT9 contact’s soon. Have noted some comment about me operating right on the band edge. I have analysed 500 spots on 30 metres. Noting the frequency spread of un-calibrated receive spots……..the lowest frequency noted was 14 Hz below the band edge.On the other extreme one station reported my frequency at a whopping 205 Hz above what it really was. I check my frequency against a gpsdo from time to time and think it is accurate within 2Hz normally. It would appear that there is about 15Hz of “buffer zone” at the edges of the wspr “band”. 73 all de VK6XT……..Rick”
John, VK2XGJ, reported very noisy conditions due to local storms. As he put it, “I don’t like my chances”.
Pete, ZL2IK, reported VK4YB during the previous session and a single report of ZL2BCG who has been transmitting intermittently. A transcript of the email that Pete posted on the VK/ZL 600m email reflector containing those report details can be viewed here.
Luis, EA5DOM, posted a clarification to the email posted in the previous session regarding the disposition of ZS6KN and FR5ZX:
“I’m exchanging emails with Ken ZS6KN and Miche FR5ZX. Ken has changed his schedule now 20h00 to 02h30 utc for the next weekBut from his waterfall screenshot it seems that he is plaged with local noise. Let see if he can receive Michel FR5ZX is actually using a 70W PA. The QRO PA with the 4xIRFP460 seems to be still under construction Would be nice to get a signal from there coming into EU ! 🙂73 de LuisEA5DOM”
“As you all have seen in the WSPR server map: Vitor, CT1FSC is QRV from Lisbon. He is using an IC7300 and DeltaLoop for 40m. Suboptimal Rx but could decode me I’m exchanging emails with him to optimize his setup. Would be interesting to get some activity from CT. Specially for Rx to USA stations this should be a very nice location Next step is to use a loop antenna for Rx 😉73 de LuisEA5DOM”
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports to VE3CIQ, WG2XKA, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, and WH2XXP. Those report details can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reported that his decoder had stopped overnight but was restarted at 1352z. Nevertheless, even with unsettled geomagnetic conditions which almost always upset the balance at his latitude, Laurence had another big night to JA as well as reports in VK and KH6. It really is great to see so much activity in JA and I’m happy to see that they are having a real chance to be active at 472. Laurence’s report details for KH6, VK and JA can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced a similar session to Laurence on the paths to VK and JA but his lower latitude made openings to the North American mainland a good possibility. As previously reported, Merv shared two-way reports with VE3CIQ and was hearing WG2XKA. Merv was also heard by WH2XZO, WA3TTS, WB0VAK, ZF1EJ, and KE7A in the central and eastern areas, to name a few. Merv’s JA and VK report details can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “INTERPRETING SAMPLES/3sec.: ECHO MODE IN WSJT-X”:
“Yesterday’s blog graphed QSB of the WG2XIQ evening sky wave WSPR signal at 3 second intervals Nov. 17. I applied a 50Hz narrow SDR filter to isolate WG2XIQ and then turned on WSJT-X Echo mode to automatically tabulate dB of his signal strength at W5EST every three seconds. My spreadsheet calculated per-unit electric field strength and delivered the graph shown yesterday and today.
What does that graph mean? Can we satisfactorily interpret the wide variety of signal strength behaviors encompassed in the approximately 740 data points from those WSPR transmissions? For your convenience, I’ve posted the graph again today– this time venturing into interpretation.
Today, let’s try out a 1st Assumption: Some sort of big physical process somewhere along the path causes the variations in signal strength. Because there’s a physical process going on, then once it’s started it’s likely to continue, at least for a while. Since WG2XIQ signal strength went down and then up in some intervals and went up and then down in other intervals, then it seems reasonable that the up-down behavior would continue to be the outcome of that process whatever the physical process might itself be.
A 2nd Assumption proceeds to assert that the resulting WG2XIQ signal strength was a nearly periodic variation sampled and depicted by the signal strength graph pieces showing WG2XIQ WSPR transmissions during the evening of November 17 as received at W5EST. This assumption seems reasonable because I can superimpose periodic curves (dashed red) on the graph and get reasonable correspondence with the signal strength points. (Think of viewing a periodically curving graph through spaced intervals in a picket fence.) With periodic curves I can explain why some transmissions have signal strength that goes down and then up, others have signal strength that goes mostly down, and still others have signal strength that goes up and then down.
A 3rd Assumption is only a little more complicated and is added on top of the first two: If the signal strength is approximately periodic, then whatever signal-relevant ionospheric physical matter is involved is also behaving periodically in some way. The periodicity might be either timewise in one place or due to some horizontally moving spatially periodic distribution of ionospheric matter. The motion might involve expansion and contraction of ionospheric plasma at an RF signal reflection point, or horizontal motion of a compression wave, or bulk horizontal motion instead. In particular, we focus on the vicinity of place(s) where the radio wave is refracting and reflecting.
From the red lines of today’s graph, we see the period of the variations did change somewhat. A constant-period, periodic curve does not perfectly fit the timing of the actual variations, even if such a curve does fit remarkably well. For the interval 0022-0128z, about 23 cycles of variation occurred—that’s a 2.9 minute average period. Between 0136-0248z, about 24 cycles of variation occurred– a 3.0 minute average period.
In addition to departures in timing of strength variation from the average, the amplitude of the signal strength variations was less pronounced for some of XIQ’s WSPR transmissions than for others. (See B1-B5 compared with C3, C4, C5 for instance.) Another aspect of the strength behavior departed slightly from a sine wave by inserting a puzzling wiggle in some of the curves such as B5, C4 and D3.
After the USA Thanksgiving holiday, let’s dig deeper into interpretation in another blog post. TU and GL!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).