A cold front moving across North America into the southern US created lightning noise and precipitation static for many stations in the central, eastern and midwestern US. Extreme cold and high winds created problems for others. Even so, propagation seemed to be pretty good ahead of the next geomagnetic event that may result in a few days of unsettled conditions. Maybe it will help propagation or maybe it will hurt it – we don’t know yet and it will likely depend on where an operators is located.
Geomagnetic conditions have been in the quiet-elevated range through the session with periods of elevated protons and a Bz that has persistently pointed very slightly to the South. Solar wind velocities continue in the low range, averaging 365 km/s. DST values had been showing persistent periods of increase but have dipped into negative territory again during this session ahead of an anticipated disturbance expected in the coming days.
Trans-Atlantic paths from North America to Europe during this session shifted some of the energy to the West, allowing a very long-haul opening to develop between WH2XXP in Arizona and DJ0ABR. WD2XSH/17 also came up big, providing a report to DL6TY and receiving reports from DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, DL-SWL, F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, G0LUJ-1, G3XKR, G8HUH, G8LCO, PA0RDT, and TF3HZ. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he received decodes from sixty unique stations, including eighteen WSPR decodes from WE2XPQ, best report -19 dB S/N and 74 WSPR decodes from WH2XCR, best report +2 dB S/N.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, not only experienced a good overnight session on the air but also a good afternoon of outreach to a local ham interested in 630-meters. Neil’s statistics and comments follow:
“We have a new listener, Larry, W7HGC at the bottom of my list this morning. He lives 3 miles from me. He spent about 2 hours here in my shack yesterday learning about 630m. Here is a list of who Larry received this session:
He could hardly believe that he could hear XXP in AZ, and now I see that he even decoded XXM in OK. I’ll bet that blew him away this morning….His antenna was a G5RV, and rcvr is an old 32 tube (all tubes soldered into the circuit) radio. Larry is now thinking about how to get an experimental license…”
Trans-Pacific report details for this session (excluding KL7 and KH6) are aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, reported, “95F and humid today, a little cooler after thunder storm. QRN quite high but Ward, Larry and Laurence (two-way) decoded from your side. Terry N6RY provided 5 decodes which was a surprise.” Roger also received reports from JA1NQI-2, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, and JH3XCU.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 63 unique stations, including VK4YB and VK2XGJ.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that he decoded nine WSPR stations on the western receive antenna, designated W7IUV, including VK4YB, ZL2BCG, and WE2XPQ. This was the antenna that was broken yesterday but Larry was able to get it repaired quickly. As WH2XGP on the eastern receive antenna, Larry decoded eleven WSPR stations, including WD2XSH/17 and WH2XZO. He was decoded by 52 unique stations, including VK4YB, ZF1EJ, “and a number of east siders.”
Winds were very high here and the vertical was dancing all over the place and there was fear that a tree branch might break, compromising a guy rope and thus compromising the vertical so I opted to only receive overnight. I’m guessing that the match would have changed drastically overnight as ground and trees froze and the top wires moved around in the gusts. Reports were about what I expected as there was a slight amount of noise on the band and due to static potential I chose to listen with the E-probe until this morning which was impacted my more broadcast trash than normal. Winds are down this morning so I hope to operate in some capacity overnight if this trend continues. I likely wont operate CW until we are above freezing sometime tomorrow once the variometer motor is unfrozen again. My WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.
Band activity was very high through the evening as WG2XXM reported 111 MF WSPR stations on the WSPRnet activity page at 0036z. We were joined in the ON4KST chat by Raoul, ZS1C, who indicated that he was working on a transmit downconverter for 630-meters. Also previously mentioned Larry, W7HGC, who received his first taste of 630-meters overnight. SWL/JMS was present but had no reports during the session in spite of being located in Pennsylvania where a number of loud stations were reported. His software was reporting the old frequency of 503.9 kHz. If anyone knows who this station is (since not a ham call, not in QRZ, so no email available), please direct them to this blog post. Also notable was an extremely poor band change by a WB5 station on the gulf coast which resulted in significant map pollution for the session. Please be careful when switching band, making sure that the software has gone through an idle cycle before transitioning to a new band. It really does make a difference. That said, the North American map presented below has been severely compromised and should be be considered sparingly.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for VE3EFF, VE7BDQ, WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, and WI2XJQ. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that the fallen “acres high” probe has been returned to normal service and it seems he did very well overnight, sharing two-way reports with VK4YB and WH2XCR and decoding WG2XXM in Oklahoma. Laurence also appears to be enjoying a period, however brief, of very good propagation once again. His DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, continues to experience good results in spite of local weather conditions and high QRN. He shared two-way reports with WH2XZO WE2XPQ, ZL2BCG, and VK4YB as well as reception reports from ZF1EJ, VK2XGJ, JA1NQI-2, JA3TVF, and JH3XCU. In addition to the previously reported two-way reports with WH2XZO in South Carolina, Merv was also received by WA3TTS in frozen Pittsburgh. Merv’s DX report details for this session can be viewed here.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).