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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR - but back tonight after dark for more CW

Exceptional trans-Atlantic openings overnight as trans-Pacific openings favor Oceania over Asia; Alaska remains in a haze

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Propagation was very good overnight between North American and Europe.   As geomagnetic conditions are not much different from the previous session, some other mechanism much be influencing these openings which were much less robust in recent sessions.  In the Pacific, openings between Asia and North America have disappeared while very late season reports with Oceania continue.  In Hawaii, openings continue to be almost as good as they were at the peak of trans-Pacific openings a few months ago.

QRN levels for this session are deceptive as many areas are experiencing  precipitation static from Winter storms that have pushed across many areas of North America over the past few days.  It was quiet here for the entire session aside from  a few odd static crashes, presumably from storms on the gulf coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.

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11-hour North American lightning summary

 

Geomagnetic conditions are very similar to the previous session as the Earth continues to move out of the solar wind stream.  Kp values are quiet but have experienced elevated periods through the session.  The Bz has been variable but continues near unity.  Solar wind velocities are averaging 530 km/s at the moment while DST values are also variable, reaching and remaining near unity.

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Trans-Atlantic openings were prolific during this session.  I still believe that high stations density and transmit duty cycle often mask weak signal openings but propagation has to be available for openings to develop and last night propagation was definitely present.  Trans-Atlantic reports for the session follow:   N1BUG reported G8HUH; WD2XSH/17 reported EA5DOM and G3KEV and was reported by F1AFJ/1, F59706, G0LUJ-1, G3XKR, G8HUH, G8LCO, and PA0RDT; WG2XJM was reported by F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, F59706, G0LUJ-1, G3XKR, G8HUH, G8LCO, PA0RDT, and PA7EY using 65-watts TPO; WG2XXM was reported by F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, F59706, G3XKR, and LA2XPA;  WG2XIQ was reported by F59706, G3XKR, and G8HUH.  Report details for these openings can be viewed here.

Jean-Pierre, F1AFJ, has been recently operating two receivers and antennas and provided this breakdown for each station as well as trans-Atlantic report details for each configuration:

“In WSPR, the RX F1AFJ is: SDR + K9AY qtf USA, F1AFJ/TEST or F1AFJ/1 is: SDR + Marconi (TXing antenna ) the last night was very good.

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Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicates that he received reports from 64 unique stations including LA2XPA, F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, G3XKR, and F59706.  His session best was eighteen decodes from F1AFJ/1, best at -19 dB S/N.

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations (including one bogus phantom) and was decoded by 21 unique stations.  Rick reports that it is getting cold again so watch for his signal to continue to improve to the East as base current increases.  His unique report details for this session can be viewed here.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports, “…This was a much improved session…altho not my best this season. N6PIG/5 is a new one for me, located in Arkansas. I had 24 unique spotters, of which these are my TX dx for this session:

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…and another 16 regulars, all up and down the western states. Thanks to all my regular listeners as well !!”

Trans-Pacific report details for this session (excluding KH6 and KL7) are aggregated here.

Roger, VK4YB, reports that while the WSPR map looks busy in the Pacific, signals from North America are few and weak.  Roger received reports from WA6MPG, which Roger believes is his first time to report VK4YB, VE7SL, W7IUV, JA3TVF, JA1NQI-2, and JE1JDL.

Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, was decoded by 62 unique stations during this session including VK4YB and VK2XGJ.

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WH2XXP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, decoded eleven WSPR stations as WH2XGP and was reported by 46 unique stations including VK4YB.  As W7IUV, Larry reported ten WSPR stations including VK4YB.

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WH2XGP session WSPR activity (courtesy NI7J)

 

My evening CW activity was typical with low QRN.  No additional QSO’s were completed and no additional mystery signals were observed as in the previous session.  I almost did not start WSPR last night due to evening workload but I’m glad I did as the rare trans-Atlantic opening in Texas yielded overnight reports for me at F59706, G3XKR, and G8HUH.  The band was quite good as above normal CW-level reports were observed.  I almost made time for a second evening CW session but it was best that I didn’t and I probably would have missed early reports from F59706.  Morning CW resulted in a report from Eden, ZF1EJ, who indicated at 1153z that I had ranged from between RST’s 529 and 559 during the previous 30-minute period.  I QRT’ed at 1300z for the day.  My overnight WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here and my WSPR reception reports can be viewed here.

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WG2XIQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

108 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0140z on the WSPRnet activity page.  New receive stations for the session include N9FBG, N5HYH and WF1B, the latter reporting the old frequency of 503.9 kHz and having no reports.  Its my suspicion that his receiver is on the wrong frequency.  If anyone has contact with this stations please direct him to this post.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

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North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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South American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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African 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Central / Asiatic Russian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

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Australian and New Zealand 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Eden, ZF1EJ, reported VE3CIQ, VE3EFF, WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XIQ, WG2XJM, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, and WH2XXP.  Report details for these stations can be viewed here.

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ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that Alaska remains in a fog with signals to and from KH6 down more than 20 dB from where they could or should be.

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WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, shared two-way reports with WG2XJM so lower latitude continue to produce very good results.  The path to ZF1EJ has been extremely consistent, more so than this time last year.  Why?  The path to KL7 continues to be compromised but I expect that path to improve in the coming days if the solar wind continues to improve.  Another geomagnetic event and all bets are off, however.  The path to JA netted reports from JA1NQI-2, JE1JDL, and JH3XCU and in Oceania, VK2XGJ provided reports for Merv in addition to the two-way reports shared with VK4YB.  Merv’s report details for this session can be viewed here.

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WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Jim, W5EST, presents a discussion and analysis of recent Echo receptions at SWL/K9 in Indiana:

“Today, let’s look at some 3-second 630m signal strength samples of John WG2XIQ as received Dec. 10 at Ken SWL/K9 1317km away near Gary, Indiana.  Ken’s equipment captured a beauty of a sequence. Noise dB spread was only 5dB, most of which I clipped from below in the graph after converting dB to electric field strength.

With a separate roof whip antenna and 40-50 Hz secondary RX bandwidth Ken SWL/K9 could isolate XIQ for Echo mode reception while running his main antenna into a main RX and main WSPR2 PC.

The SWL/K9 Echo mode SNR graph points for XIQ stand out as much as 12 dB above the noise. Inside of each 110 seconds WSPR timeslot, they execute deterministic trajectories.  Moreover, an interesting wavelike pattern of peak XIQ SNR extends across the night from about three hours after sunset until about three hours before sunrise. Ken SWL/K9 deserves credit for polishing the reception technique and setup over four nights and gathering these representative 10,000 graph points in the Dec. 10 nighttime stream.

Technical background to this post involves the “Echo” reception mode in the WSJT-X mode menu.  I used it to capture WG2XIQ here at W5EST in Arkansas and described some possible theory Nov. 22, 23, 25 and 28, this blog. In a nutshell, XIQ’s signal showed deliberately varying strength on the 3-second time scale rather than the statistical behavior characteristic of 630m over periods of 10 minutes to an hour.  I wondered if there was single hop QSB varying at 0.006 Hz and 2-hop QSB also including a 0.012 Hz component.

One idea goes like this: Two sky reflections can apply independent QSB “amplitude modulations” and get their QSB contributions multiplied together.  Presumably that multiplicative QSB process could lead to both sum and difference frequencies.  If the QSB rates (frequencies) were only slightly different at two different hop reflections, then there could be a difference frequency at less than 0.001 Hz.

Today’s upper graph illustration 02z-10z definitely shows cycles of slow QSB I’ve free-handed at approximately one hour intervals. That’s perhaps 0.3 mHz, and definitely in a range less than 0.001 Hz (1 mHz).

In the middle graph, Dec. 10 evening hour 04z in the sequence displays much faster QSB, roughly 4 mHz.  As time progresses into deep nighttime, typified by hour 08z, the hourly QSB becomes superimposed on much faster QSB operating on the scale of a few minutes, something like 8-18 mHz with QSB “AM” having very low modulation percentage.

Across the evening and deep nighttime of that Dec. 10 night, the hourly slow QSB became more pronounced as the modulation percentage of the fast QSB decreased. Ken SWL/K9’s results suggest that the prominent hourly slow QSB arises from some ionospheric process other than two-step amplitude modulation. In the two-step AM idea, the sum and difference frequencies would have relatively low amplitude compared to the constant signal level of the deep nighttime.  In other words, while mixed 1-hop and 2-hop may help account for the wiggles on the scale of a minute or so, something else is probably responsible for the tall hills and deep valleys of XIQ signal strength across the 630m night.

So far, the Echo mode data on hand represents paths from north Texas to the northeast–either to me in Arkansas or Ken in northern Indiana.  Information about paths in other directions and other latitudes can help tell us whether these results are typical, at least for this time of year. Would you consider running WSJT-X in Echo mode in other parts of North America and in Europe and Australia?   TU & GL!”

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