I enjoy nights like this one although I realize that I am mostly in the minority. There is something about high instability that makes me consider the possibilities. It’s like the fisherman that knows a big fish is somewhere in the water so he casts his line with hopes of reeling in the prize. What I don’t like is the precipitation static that many stations are experiencing. That isn’t good for anyone and last night was no exception for stations in the Midwest and other areas that are about to be blasted with more snow and ice. I should feel lucky as we will be 72F today after a few nights of below freezing conditions.
QRN was low here although during the evening I could hear distant lightning crashes that I could not resolve to strikes in North America. I can only presume that they were coming from much further away. I hear a few of these crashes still this morning. Its possible that they are originating in South and Central America.
The geomagnetic field yielded many periods of elevated-quiet conditions followed by a pair of unsettled periods during the evening and overnight in North America which may have contributed to much of the observed variability in signals. The Bz remained near unity but tended to the South slightly for much of the overnight period as solar wind velocities have begun to trend downward from 600 km/s for much of the session down to an average of 590 km/s at this time. Its likely that isolated periods above 600 km/s will be observed again before this event is finished. Solarham reports that this trend downward will likely continue over the next 24-hours although G1 storm warnings will remain in effect. DST values continue at negative levels.
EA5DOM and G8HUH were the focus of trans-Atlantic openings for this session. WD2XSH/17 reported EA5DOM while VE1HF reported G8HUH. VE1VDM, reported both Luis and Tom. There were not a lot of reports for either but those details can be viewed here.
Spiros, SV8CS, reported on the RSGB-LF reflector that he received a decode once again from OY5FRA club station on Faroe Island:
“2016-12-10 19:52 SV8CS 0.475650 -25 0 KM07js 0.1 OY6FRA IP62oa 3290 334”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, experienced an interesting transcontinental opening in a very short timespan. He explains:
Trans-Pacific report details for this session (excluding KL7 and KH6) have been aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, reports that he has restored the North-Northwest beam and his first transmission netted JA3TVF. He indicates that it was worth the effort. He received additional reports from JA1NQI-2, ZL2IK, W7IUV, WE2XPQ, WH2XCR, VK7TW, and WH2XGP.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received decodes from 62 unique stations, including VK4YB, VK2XGJ, and ZL2BCG.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that freezing fog shut his system down at 1404z. He managed to receive reports from 48 unique stations including VK4YB and provided reports for ten WSPR stations including VK4YB on the W7IUV station configured for western reception. Larry provided the only decode for Roger in the Pacific Northwest.
After running WSPR during the daytime and netting a few reports from the Midwest, I transitioned to CW at 2300z and operated until 0100z. I detected a problem after-the-fact which led me to mis-tune the shunt element in the ATU, resulting in higher PA current draw and less power. Of course I didn’t find this problem until after this CW mini-session was over and I had transitioned to WSPR. I restarted WSPR running lower power for a few transmissions and reports were consistent with what I might expect from 1-watt ERP, give or take a bit. This was confirmed when I transitioned to 5-watts ERP which is probably more like 6-watts ERP at the moment when reviewing data from a number of stations that were reporting me relatively consistently while at QRP power levels.
WSPR numbers seemed to have stabilized as the session progressed into later evening and while a number of CW levels were reports on the North / South paths, quality East and West openings were slower to develops. I opted to run CW again around 0300z as I had a potential sked if the other party was able to become available for a few minutes. That didn’t end up happening but I did have an enjoyable hour of calling CQ while answering emails, even receiving reports from Mark, WA9ETW / WI2XHJ in Wisconsin at RST 569 – 579 at 0319z and Eden, ZF1EJ, at 0334z, reporting me at RST 559. Eden also reported me this morning at RST 549 at 1147z. Mark made this recording shortly after his initial report during a bit of a fade but there was still plenty of signal and it was easy copy:
Ernie, KC4SIT, filed an application for a Part-5 grant last night. Hopefully he will move through the system quickly and join the fun on the air.
Activity was high on the band during the evening and overnight and WG2XXM reported at 0049z that 110 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page. N4AAA may be a new receiving station although the call sign sounds familiar so this station may have been active last season. VE3INH was listening for possibly the first time although he was reporting the wrong frequency and had no reports. If anyone has contact with this station please verify he is listening on the correct frequency.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported VE3CIQ, VE3EFF, WD2XSH/15, WG2XIQ, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, and WI2XBV. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that his station continues to be affected by current geomagnetic conditions, which he indicates is typical anytime the A index increases above five. He decoded VK4YB, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, and WH2XXP. Laurence’s Pacific DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, continues to experience very good propagation in spite of high QRN from local storms. He was decoded as far East as WE2XGR, WA3TTS and ZF1EJ. Merv received the only JA reports of the session, with decodes from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, and JH3XCU. Merv also received reports from VK2XGJ and shared two-way reports with VK4YB. His JA and VK 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).