Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

Probably QRT tonight and in the morning due to storms in the area

WSQCall QSO between W0YSE and VE7CNF – first in North America with this mode on 630 meters?; KA1AL first time JT9 QSO with NO3M; KA1R reports first time trans-Atlantic WSPR reception; W5EST presents ”Visual Detection of Weak 630m WSPR”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The details for November 27, 2016 can be viewed here.

The UTC amateur registration database is here.

HERE are a few mode-specific comments addressing where modes are located now and probably where they are best placed in the future

Operator lists detailing stations that are two-way QSO-capable can be viewed here.

Spot stations calling CQ on any mode here on DXSummit and help them find a QSO


The Caribbean was extremely active during the evening and overnight, so much so that ZF1EJ was QRT following the CW contest.  This same system created quite a bit of noise on the mainland.  The West coast was also active during the evening.  A few storms were active in northern Europe in addition to the eastern Mediterranean region.  Oceania continues to struggle through periods of strong storms including New Zealand, southeastern Australia and southwestern Australia.

11-hour worldwide lightning summary


Geomagnetic conditions remain quiet although the next coronal hole should be geoeffective by now and elevated solar wind levels should be forthcoming according to Solarham.  G1 storm levels are possible in the coming days.  The Bz is pointing firmly to the North this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 425 km/s, up significantly from the previous session and now in the moderate category. DST values are peaking above the centerline in positive territory, which is common before the bottom falls out.




Propagation was not as bad during the evening as might have been expected but activity seemed down after a robust Saturday night session.  Higher latitude paths to Europe were open and the lower latitude domestic and transcontinental paths were largely  open later in the evening allowing a number of contacts to be completed.  Maybe tonight will bring an onset enhancement for this coming event.

Reverse beacon network reports for the session follow:


PSKReporter partial digital distributions for the session follow:

courtesy PSKReporter


Jim, W5EST, submitted the following WSJTx screen capture showing JT9 signals received at his station located in Little Rock, Arkansas:

courtesy W5EST


The following stations provided reports of their two-way QSO’s as well as any additional activity that might have occurred during this session (this is not necessarily a complete list – only what was reported!):

Neil, W0YSE, reported that he and VE7CNF may have completed the first WSQCall QSO in North America last night.  Neil added that lower case characters result in an almost two-time increase in transmission rate.  He offered the following comments in addition to this transcript of the QSO:

“…Toby and I had a successful QSO with WSQcall tonight. I started out in a quasi beacon mode (called a “sounding” message) and then started typing other text into the tx buffer window. I was surprised to see Toby come back to me, so we continued in QSO for awhile as you can see by the attached transcripts (red = w0yse, green = ve7cnf). 

I got my power down to about 0.2w ERP (~.33w EIRP) and Toby was still copying me. But when Toby dropped his power to about 1/2w, I was getting very little of it. I did copy him at his .5 watt level however.

Neil also completed JT9 QSO’s with VE7SL and KA7OEI and he added that “This morning I woke up to see that Ken, K5DNL had been calling CQ on JT9. I had 12 decodes of him ranging from -27 to -17.”  Using WSPR, Neil indicated that he received reports from forty stations with many over a distance of 2000 km:

Neil also indicated that he “heard 13, including Roger, VK4YB again. This time there were TWO decodes of hi signal, one at -33 and one at -29, so the band mus have been quiet aroud 1130z. The others I heard were AE5X, K5DNL, K9FD, KA7OEI, KL7L, KR6LA, N1VF, N6GN, NU6O, VE7CNF, VK4YB, and W7IUV.

Al, K2BLA, reported that “…lightning noise and wimpy signals this AM. Wkd few on JT9 last nite but saw no JT9 activity this AM. WSPR: HB 49 and hrd 17.”  One of the evening JT9 QSO’s for Al was with WB4JMW.

Eric, NO3M, reported that he worked a new station, KA1AL, located in Connecticut, using JT9 during the evening.  Eric was also active on CW, working someone on 474 kHz during the mid evening but I did not hear who it was.  This morning Eric indicated that he was unsuccessful at getting the attention of KA7OEI, who was CQing using JT9 during the 07z hour.

Ted, KC3OL, completed another JT9 QSO with K9KFR during the evening.

Joe, NU6O, completed a JT9 QSO with KA7OEI, located in Utah.

Wayne, K9SLQ, was heard on CW at very nice signal levels during the mid evening.  He also completed a JT9 QSO with someone but I’m not clear who it was, perhaps N9RU.  WB0DBQ called Wayne but it does not appear that a QSO occurred.

Ken, K5DNL, was CQing with JT9 this morning but had no takers.  Overnight using WSPR, Ken, reported 21 stations and he received reports from 95 unique stations including one decode from F5WK and reports from ten Canadian stations.  Ken shared two-way WSPR reports with K9FD (/KH6) and VE3CIQ.

Robert, KR7O, reported that it was…

Another good night for TC and JT9 activity in spite of high noise and lightning crashes Had some weak CW from KB5NJD and possibly another station later in the evening, but lost him while changing modes.  Short, intermittent CQs on CW can easily get lost in the noise of strong digital signals when listing in an SSB filter.  Stick around for a while. 

Copied 10 on JT9 including K9KFR (-24), K9SLQ (-22), K9MRI (-26), NO3M (-18).  Had several decodes on each of the 9s.  On WSPR copied W1IR (5 spots,-24), WA3ETD (-24), K2BLA (-20), K4SV (-26), and W4BCX (-26).

KL7L – 22 spots, -14

K9FD 95 spots, -3

VK4YB 2 spots, -26

Jay, KA9CFD, reported his session best WSPR DX was K9FD (/KH6), which was decoded at 1256z, just six minutes before sunrise at his station.

This was a slow session at KB5NJD.  It is my perception that activity was down during the evening with decent propagation for much of the country.   Noise was up during part of the evening, probably from Gulf and Caribbean storms but I didn’t think it was a major factor.  I worked K9KFR using JT9 at good signal levels and had a persistent caller on CW that I never could identify.  I never heard K4EJQ, who was reported to be active on CW last night, but NO3M was as loud as I have ever heard him in a mid evening QSO with a station that I never identified.  Reverse beacon reports were typical for the evening.  This morning RBN reports were significantly better, particularly to VE6, which has been absent for a number of days, probably due to the CQWW CW contest more than anything.  No additional QSO’s were completed but a few pings were heard that, like last night, were too weak to identify.

Hideo, JH3XCU, submitted this link detailing DX -> JA decode totals and DX -> JA S/N peaks for the session, as reported on the Japanese language 472 kHz website.

Trans-Pacific WSPR report details, excluding KL7 and KH6, can be viewed here.  The trans-Pacific  WSPR summary follows:



Trans-Atlantic WSPR report details can be viewed here.  The trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:






Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

North American 24-hour WSPR Summary


European 24-hour WSPR Summary


Japanese 24-hour WSPR Summary


Oceania 24-hour WSPR Summary


Laurence, KL7L, reported that he was off air for much of the night due to high winds but has remotely triggered the WSPR transmitter this morning.  He reporter nine stations and received reports from 22 unique stations.  Laurence shared two-way reports with VK4YB, K9FD, KA7OEI, KR6LA, N1VY, N6GN, NU6O, W0YSE and W7IUV.  Select DX report details can be viewed here.

KL7L session WSPR summary


Merv, K9FD (/KH6), reported sixteen WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with VK4YB and KL7L. Merv received reports from 37 unique stations including JA1PKG, JA3TVF and JH3XCU.  Select DX report details can be viewed here.

K9FD session WSPR summary



“I tried a comparative “shoot-out” between WSJT-X (left, black & white) and WSPR-X (right, blue & white) in the first illustration. Daytime reception of K5DNL via the low-performance attic antenna here at W5EST provides a convenient, steady on-air WSPR signal near WSPR decode threshold. First illustration’s time 1600z is 10 a.m. local. I’m emphasizing visual detection via the WSPR waterfall since it can outperform the decoder itself.

Visually, I’d say WSPR-X at right is the winner due to clearer definition of its WSPR signal bars compared to the snowy noise background. At left, image gain adjustment of a WSJT-X black background suppresses the snow, but it also has cut up the WSPR bars in a way that seems unrelated to frequency shifts in WSPR itself.
Now, consider the effect of the “N Avg” adjustment on the bottom toolbar of each waterfall.  N Avg = 5 setting delivered the WSPR bars in the lower, earlier slots. At right on WSPR-X, when N Avg was increased  to the N Avg = 20 setting, the upper WSPR bars became more clearly defined and the noise background became less snowy and more uniformly blue.
Moreover, at the higher N Avg values the time slots become desirably compressed so that more WSPR slots can be stored for a screenshot later. Not only are 2 minute waterfall timelines compressed, but also a stream of shack time test pulses every 10 seconds is smudged together. Unless you want to scrutinize QSB inside a time slot, the time compression at high N Avg values confers an important advantage to screenshots.  To closely look at QSB or precisely resolve timing inside a slot, lower values of N Avg are useful.
Consider as well that each WSPR bar becomes somewhat widened at higher N Avg, perhaps 5 Hz-wide at N Avg=5 and visibly widened out to 8 Hz-wide at N Avg=20. Even with the widening, I see no degradation in frequency resolution–because fainter/narrower bars seem as difficult from which to read frequency as clearer/wider bars.
One caveat with such bar-widening, though. A strong near-frequency WSPR signal will already be widened due to its strength even at N Avg =5. So, you may find some compromise necessary if DX is competing with an adjacent strong signal.
On the WSJT-X waterfall at left, I similarly increased N Avg up from N Avg = 5 to N Avg=15, not quite so much as I did with WSPR-X.  The feathery, wispy WSPR bars on WSJT-X corresponding to N Avg=5 became more compressed and brighter at N Avg=15 on that waterfall as well.
Bottom line on waterfall visual detection: For visual detection of faint WSPR bars, such as for DX or in the 630m daytime, try N Avg =20 among your judicious adjustments of the waterfall.  WSJT-X has a good waterfall, while WSPR-X as illustrated gives an even better weak signal WSPR visual display I believe.
What about the shoot-out as to decoder performance?  The second illustration reveals 15 decodes from WSJT-X WSPR mode and only 11 decodes from WSPR-X WSPR mode. (K5DNL-w5est, 430 km, 1712-1832z 11/25/17). Interestingly, no visible QSB showed up during this mid-day test run. That’s probably due to D-region absorption sufficiently attenuating sky wave compared to steady-strength ground wave.
In other words, in this test comparative decode results were reversed compared to the visual results. I had set WSJT-X to “Deep” WSPR decode by using the menu item “Decode” on the upper toolbar and then choosing “Deep” among the choices “Fast,” “Normal” and “Deep.” WSPR-X lacks such a choice, as far as I could tell.
If WSJT-X gives more decodes than WSPR-X while WSPR-X visualizes weak signals better, then: “What to do?”  Run both decoders?  That’s fine unless you want to receive JT-9 on WSJT-X.  Then you might consider setting up two instances of WSJT-X, which can be done but takes some effort.
TU & GL on 630m/2200m !”

click to enlarge


click to enlarge


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