The band was very good in North America in spite of early reports from Europe that the band was under performing for a few stations getting an early start in the MF CW QSO Party. I am located pretty much at ground zero for North American QRN during this session but it did not appear to impact many stations but more on that later. Trans-African and trans-Atlantic openings were observed once again and the trans-Pacific path to Asia is once again very good. The path to VK is mostly cut off at the moment as several stations in Oceania continue to clean up after recent strong storms. This weekend is the ARRL 160-meter contest so activity for the weekend was expected to be mixed, however, this session was comparable in activity to previous session.
Geomagnetic activity continues at quiet levels. NOAA is currently experiencing an outage so Solarham is unable to provide specific Kp information for the session. Another data source, likely from Europe and displayed in the ON4KST chat, suggests very quiet band conditions. The Bz has been pointing very slightly to the South but essentially at unity and solar wind velocities are very calm, averaging 320 km/s. DST values are nominal once again.
The trans-African path showed good results once again as Luis, EA5DOM, was decode by Michel, FR5ZX. That report detail can be viewed here.
Luis was also heard several times in North America by WD2XSH/17 through the evening. Those trans-Atlantic reports can be viewed here.
Tonight marks the start of the MF CW QSO Party in Europe. A number of stations got a jump on the event, making QSO’s and providing reports for others on Friday night, one night early. Mal, G3KEV, reports QSO’s with GW3OQK, G0MRF, DJ6CB, F6BWO, and LA3EQ.
Andy, F6CNI, reported that TM77T was QRV at 2100z on JT9 for another special event this weekend. Several European stations completed QSO’s with this station but there seems to be irregularities with the data, perhaps due to a coding problem related to two consecutive numbers in the call sign. This problem will have to be evaluated and resolved going forward as JT9 will continue to be a valuable QSO tool for 630-meters.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported a very good night, decoding eight WSPR stations and being decoded by 53 unique stations.
Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reports that he was without Internet for over eleven hours and that his reports did not begin until after 1100z. During that time frame, he decoded four WSPR stations and was decoded by 34 unique stations. Rick’s unique report details for the session can be viewed here.
Mike, WA3TTS, reported, “…Another solid night into KH6….but fewer west coast stations active.”
“Also 210 WH2XND decodes overnight on 2200m (best -10) with split IF output of my LF/MF converter and NW EWE antenna. XND was captured through most of mid day and into late afternoon on Friday, before losing the signal about an hour before sunset and then regaining it again about an hour after sunset. 73 Mike wa3tts”
Trans-Pacific report details for this session are aggregated here.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 74 unique stations including 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD, JE1JDL, and JH3XCU.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, received reports from 59 unique stations including JA1NQI-2 and JH3XCU.
I had an astonishing night. I had planned on a short CW session but was running late and with a large area of rain and storms approaching I decided I better put the barefoot U3 on the air and run QRPPP if I was going to be active at all overnight. You might recall that earlier this week I pulled the U3 out of dry dock on a whim and got it working again in a very minimal capacity. The unit had only one working BS170 and no on-board low pass filter, instead relying on my much larger QRO W1VD-design outboard low pass filter. Nothing was optimized about this unit, down to the unit just sitting on the floor without a case and connections wire-nutted together. I expect that the FET is producing about 75-mW TPO and while I am reporting 10 mW ERP, I don’t accurately know how much power is actually radiated. it could be 50 mW but the level is so low that it really does not matter – there isn’t much signal there so if you are hearing me, you are doing very well. The first night on the air produced very good results on a very noisy night. Last night being very quiet, produced baffling results. The unit ran from near 0000z until 0740z when the only FET failed due to mismatch from the rain (maybe even precipitation static could have destroyed the FET). In that time I registered 1000 WSPR reports and many of those S/N reports were very very good. Into the Northeast, N1BUG, was the furthest station to hear me, followed by ZF1EJ in the Caribbean, VA7JX in British Columbia and WH2XCR in the Pacific. I don’t really know what to say about the level of performance other than it was remarkable and clearly propagation was very good. After completing this report I will make a trip to the local parts house and pick up a few more BS170’s. I will likely continue to run a single FET rather than three on a completely populated unit as I am very intrigued by these very low level reports. UPDATE: I appear to have no signal from the DDS so game over. I will likely order another one as the U3 is very inexpensive. My WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here.
Activity was evidently very high in spite of many operators that were QRT for the ARRL 160-meter contest. KG7GVF and W8BT were observed as new or recent additions to the 630-meter receiving corp. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported VE1HF, VE3CIQ, VE3EFF, WD2XSH/15, WG2XIQ, WG2XPJ, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, and WH2XZO. Those report details can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to experience a strong path to Asia and also notable was the opening to WB0VAK which is beginning to be a difficult path, very close to the auroral oval, if not through it slightly. Laurence’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reported after the end of the session yesterday that storms were in his area and the system would bring a significant amount of rain to his area and lots of snow in the mountain areas. Merv also experienced a strong session to Asia and was hearing well enough to decode my very QRPPP signal. N1BUG reports that he decoded Merv’s signal in Maine so the band was in very good shape. Merv’s DX report details can be viewed here.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).