Looking over the session data, there were a few interesting features to point out. It was a good night for QRP and transcontinental openings and that can often mean lots of bogus decodes, of which there were plenty. The band was generally stable with some QRN to start the evening for many in the South that moderated as the night progressed. Domestic propagation was strong and generally predictable and East / West paths were equally open as North / South paths. If you wanted to work a few stations, hear a few stations, or be heard by a few stations, you could have accomplished this goal overnight.
Geomagnetic conditions continue to be relatively consistent with Kp-indicies in the quiet to elevated-quiet category. The Bz continues to point slightly to the South with solar wind velocities averaging 440 km/s that are expected to decrease further over the next day or so. Aurora is expected to continue in polar region over the next 24 hours, per Solarham. DST values continue to show stability near nominal levels.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he was decoded by 53 unique stations with 96 WSPR decodes from WH2XCR as his best DX with best report at -1 dB S/N.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports “Rain and high winds now and forecast. Despite QRN, conditions were quite good- 10 and 38- esp. paths to VE7 and Hawaii. QRT since 4 AM local because of weather.” Doug also added that William, PY2GN, has installed an L400-B on a fencepost in his antenna farm. Doug checked the remote receiver during the day and indicated that it was noisy and that NDB’s and BC stations previous heard on the dipole were not heard on the probe. Stay tuned!
Steve, VE7SL, reported that he decoded fifteen WSPR stations and was heard by 44 unique stations. He also added that he decoded VK4YB 23 times, best at -13 dB S/N.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he decoded eleven WSPR stations and was decoded by 32 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details can be viewed here.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, experienced a strong session, with QRP decodes by ZF1EJ and others. Neil submitted the following comments and statistics:
“28 spotters of my 2w ‘EIRP’ with Eden at the top of the distance column <SMILE> I am surprised that it was a -21 report with only one decode….Also only one decode each from Phil, VE3CIQ and Mike, WA3TTS. Thanks to all the great ‘ears’ !!
…and I heard these: WH2XCR, WE2XPQ WG2XIQ VA7JX, VE7CNF, VE7SL, WG2XXM, , WH2XGP, WH2XXP, WI2XJQ. On 2200m I decoded several JT9 from John/BDQ and wspr’s from Ron/XND.”
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was back on the air last night after the holiday weekend and offered these comments and statistics:
“Following a crazy holiday period complete with periods of freezing rain, conditions seemed pretty good. There was no T/A activity, but there were both-way spots involving the PNW and far west. Freezing rain forecasts may limit activity this week if the weather guessers are correct.”
Trans-Pacific report details for this session are aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, wonders, “Another night of heavy static. XPQ, XCR, XXP & XGP made it yesterday. Can they do it again?” Roger reports that he decoded WH2XCR about 10-minutes before sunset in Queensland so that’s a good start. Roger was heard by a large number of stations including but not limited to JA3TVF, JH1INM, VA7BBG, VA7JX, VE6JY, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, VE7SL, VK7TW, W7IUV, ZL2BCG, and ZL2IK.
John, VK2XGJ, reports high noise conditions as observed at VK4YB. John indicates that he will do his best to continue to receive today. Watch out for lightning!
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 59 unique stations, including JA1NQI-2, VK4YB, ands ZL2BCG.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, received reports from 49 unique stations including ZF1EJ and ZL2BCG. He decoded fifteen WSPR stations using the eastern BOG designated as WH2XGP. As W7IUV, Larry decoded thirteen WSPR stations including VK4YB and ZL2BCG using the western receive antenna.
Paul, N1BUG, reported at 0445z that he had crystal-clear copy on WH2XXP’s CW ID and anticipated a good night.
Mike, WA3TTS, reports, “…Favorable NW transcontinental propagation overnight, and some propagation for the path to WH2XCR. No T/A propagation to the NE:”
“I ran a split IF output from the MF/LF converter for 630m/2200m wspr2 and the EWE antennas to the NW all night. Propagation to WH2XND seemed average at 162 decodes and SNRs from -13 ro -32 on the 2200m path. 73 Mike wa3tts”
Evening CW was interrupted due to an obligation which meant that I transitioned to WSPR about 45 minutes earlier than normal. WSPR yielded numerous consistent CW reports into the Northern US, Midwest, eastern US and British Columbia. The band really was in good shape and seemed to get better as storms to the East of me dissipated overnight. Morning CW resulted in reports from ZF1EJ, who reported me at RST 539 at 1145z and WI2XBV, who reported me at RST 579 at 1202z. The band was very quiet and would likely support communications to any number of locales this morning. My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, experienced another good night, providing reports for VE3EFF, VE7SL, WD2XSH/15, WG2XIQ, WG2XKA, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, and WH2XZO. Its good to see openings into British Columbia and New England. Report details for these stations can be found here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, decoded ZL2BCG and VK4YB on the trans-Equatorial path. He also shared two-way reports with WH2XCR. The high noise conditions in VK during this session have likely prevented Laurence’s being heard in Australia and New Zealand. He received late reports from VE7SL, however, 90 minutes after sunrise in British Columbia. Laurence’s DX reports can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, shared two-way reports with VK4YB, ZL2BCG, and WE2XPQ and was received by 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, and JH3XCU in addition to ZF1EJ and VK2XGJ. Merv’s DX reports can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, presents, “630M SUNRISE, 630M SUNSET: PART I”:
“What do we think we know about sunrise and sunset on 630 m, things that operators might care about?
Ordinarily, the low-lying D-region blankets 630m days with sun-induced RF absorption. I think of the D-region as a series resistor-capacitor circuit that gets charged up with absorption at sunrise and discharged at sunset. The charging time constant at sunrise is relatively short while sunset’s discharge time constant is longer.
With the time constants as backdrop, the stage is set for our 630m TX and RX players. Both sunrise and sunset are times of dynamic change in the ionosphere as the terminator crosses overhead. Sudden and temporary propagation opportunities, sometimes called “bumps” become present and then vanish on 630m paths into and out from the near-nighttime side. 630m grayline propagation along the terminator itself, if such 630m propagation exists, does not make itself as obvious as on some HF bands.
As the D-region blanket thins and dissipates, 630m reflection by the E-layer takes over in local evening and night. Possibly F-layer reflection sometimes makes a contribution, although I think we have yet to learn the specifics.
630m “sunrise enhancement” can make the difference between a DX WSPR decode and nothing at all. A sunrise enhancement can occur in the middle of your night if you are the westward station and the other station’s longitude lies far eastward in a time zone where sunrise is coming. On shorter paths, 630m sunrise enhancements may temporarily raise SNR above the threshold of decodability or audibility for a mode you could not otherwise work.
Sunrise enhancements challenge prediction. Possible explanations: 1) The oncoming gray line “front” ripples the E-region. 2) Solar radiation increases E-region electron concentration so that surface contours of equal electron concentration slant downward to lower altitudes toward daytime and create a mirror. More than one strong RF ray from the TX reaches the RX station, enhancing reception.
Both these explanations lead to the idea that sunrise enhancements should be more likely when the rays of sunrise are parallel to the 630m TX-RX path. Then the gray line would be perpendicular to the path and might significantly contribute by reflection to it. In the northern hemisphere for E/W paths and NW/SE paths, those “perpendicular” times respectively approximate equinox and winter solstice.
Even so, sunrise enhancements occur on other paths and other times of year, perhaps due to lateral skew reflections. Can we be sure that 630m sunrise enhancement is real–that it does not simply happen as randomly as intervals of high SNR do during the night? 630m guards its mysteries well!
Stay tuned for more Parts that discuss the rubbery timescale of seasonality in these sunrise and sunset propagation regimes, and what it means for us. In the meantime, let’s blog your remarkable experiences of 630m sunrise and sunset operations! TU & GL.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).