Much like the previous session, the band was in very good form in North America and probably other points around the globe as well. QRN was higher than the previous session and the only source I could find that seemed logical for what I was hearing was in the Yucatan during the evening. This morning lightning crashes were present but much more like what I observed yesterday, close to the noise floor and not really hurting anyone. I’m sure there are individual operators around North America that experienced noisy conditions in spite of being so near the Winter Solstice. Tis the season for snow static. Full-blown thunderstorms have historically been generally unheard of this time of year in the numbers we have seen thus far in North America so noise floors may be a little higher than what’s been observed over the past few years. Roger, VK4YB, reported that the rare low noise day experienced yesterday was replaced with wall-to-wall QRN today. That’s one of the occupational hazards of being so close to the Summer Solstice and trying to operate low bands in the southern hemisphere.
Geomagnetic conditions continue at quiet levels with a Bz that has been variable once again although this morning it is pointing to the North. Solar wind velocities continue at low levels, averaging near 350 km/s. DST levels have also been variable. Solarham reports that a coronal hole will be geoeffective in the next 24-72 hours and G1 storm levels will be possible.
Significant high latitude openings from western US stations to Scandinavia were observed as WH2XGP was reported by Rolf, LA2XPA. Also reported by Rolf on what is likely a less severe path were WG2XXM and WG2XKA. WG2XKA was also reported by G0LUJ-1, G3XKR, and G8HUH. WG2XXM was also reported by F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, and G3XKR. I, WG2XIQ, was reported by G8HUH. WD2XSH/17 once again was the big winner, providing reception reports for G8HUH and receiving reports from F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, F6GEX, G0LUJ-1, G3XKR, G8HUH, PA0RDT, PE1KRT, and TF3HZ. Its interesting that Dave was the only station to be received by TF3HZ but not LA2XPA. Reports details for these stations can be viewed here.
Ken. K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he was decoded by 67 unique stations including LA2XPA, G3XKR, F1AFJ, and F1AFJ/1. He also received 94 WSPR decodes from WH2XCR, best at +6 dB S/N at a distance of 6007 km.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reported, “W-E path slightly enhanced. Heard by 30, best dx 3888km VE3CIQ, No TP, BC signals way down from VK & JA.”
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, experienced a strong night and indicates that “the map says it all”:
Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, reported that he would be QRV with a 20-wpm CW beacon at 479.9 kHz overnight. He was seeking East coast reports and indicates that he has a new SWL QSL card available. I suspect he will be QRV again tonight and possibly through the week.
Andy, KU4XR, reported a number of CW beacons overnight, as reported in a few emails on the 600-meter research group email reflector:
” Hearing Frank very well tonight just south of Knoxville, TN. My resting noise level with 500 Hz BW is S-3 … WH2XHA is pushing the meter up to S-6 !! Very nice copy here at 7:30 pm Eastern time [at 479.700 kHz].”
Later Andy reported:
“I’m in the process of setting up a newer computer at my radio desk.. my old one was getting to flaky to use..Loading lots of software, and putting it to the test…
Copy tonite of WA2XRM in Colorado on 479.900 KHz was very tough .. at best a 459 report with heavy QSB on the path between us .. it took several sequences for me to copy the full message at 20 wpm, along with lots of filtering for noise .. here is a link to a 60 second reception as heard here in Friendsville, TN.
( note – – – audio is very busy with QRN so start with the volume low )
I dropped in on WG2XSB on 471 KHz and am getting a very readable copy of his Slow CW from Stow, MA at 02:45 UTC ..
Signals in the WSPR segment are quite strong from the usual Big Guns .. peaking at 20 over S-9 .. That is extremely strong for my 160 meter antenna on 630 meters.”
Jay, KA9CFD, reports that he “…let wsjt-x run all night. best dx heard was WI2XBQ in CN70 on 630m.”
Rick,. W7RNB / WI2XJQ, reported that he was “receive only” during this session, decoding 12 unique stations including a few first time reports of East coast stations. Rick’s unique report details for the session can be viewed here.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that a new version of WSJTx has been release and can be downloaded here. Larry’s highlight of the session included reports by LA2XPA as previously reported.
Trans-Pacific openings for the session (excluding KL7 and KH6) are aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, reports “Very high and near continuous static here in VK. Poor propagation, short, high angle and weak. Probably the worst night since early August.” In spite of poor conditions, he received reports from 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI-2, and JA3TVF. He also provided reports for WH2XXP.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from 70 unique stations including VK4YB and ZL2BCG.
Ground wave reports at my station were strong through the day, no surprise there. Skywave opening seemed to start a little later than normal, perhaps only an hour before sunrise rather than mid-afternoon but precipitation static has been present for many common stations in the Midwest so this may be masking signals a bit. Overnight signal reports were very good and like the previous session my receive reports for the session were very similar in number to my transmission reports. it was nice to receive a few reports from Tom, G8HUH, as well as two-way reports with WE2XPQ, which is a new occurence this season. My WSPR transmission reports can be viewed here and my WSPR reception reports can be viewed here.
Evening CW started later than normal, around 0140z, ahead of a CW chat that was scheduled for 0200z. I received reports prior to the sked from Mark, WA9ETW / WI2XHJ, located in Wisconsin, who indicated that I was ranging from RST 539 to RST 559. The sked was a good CW rag chew for about 35 minutes with WG2XIQ/1 (Steve, KF5RYI, at the key). Mark also noted that while it was mostly ESP, Steve’s 1-watt TPO signal and 80-meter inverted-V configured as a Marconi was detected in Wisconsin. That should provide some hope to stations that think they might not be able to make an antenna work on this band. The path to the North is always very good.
Morning CW yielded no additional CW QSO’s. I expect to be QRV with CW again tonight at 2300z. WSPR will follow by 0100z.
109 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0300z. WA0DEL was observed as a new receiving station for this session but he had no reports and his software was reporting the old WSPR center frequency of 503.9 kHz. I suspect this station may be using WSPR 2.x with CAT to control their rig and is thus on the wrong frequency. If anyone has contact with this station, please direct them to this blog post with information on setting up the old version of the software to point to the new frequencies. Oh, and welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for VE3EFF, VE7SL, WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XIQ, WG2XKA, WG2XXM, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, and WH2XZO. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Roger, ZF1RC, provided reports for VE7SL, WD2XSH/15, WD2XSH/17, WG2XIQ, WG2XKA, WG2XXM, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, and WH2XZO. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was reported once again by JA1NQI-2, a path that has been absent for at least a week. He was also reported here in Texas by me as well as in Minnesota and shared a healthy number of two-way reports with WH2XCR, ending only when Merv QSY’ed to 160-meters. Laurence indicates that he has a tremendous amount of noise from Asia and the Pacific and suggests that the next geomagnetic event may be trying to take hold now. His DX report details can be viewed here.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, has long observed propagation enhancements on the low bands that could be tied to terrestrial weather. A most recent storm front brought him nothing, however, and one has to wonder just how seasons seem to play into this. Merv provided the following comments:
“Interesting thing happened with the weather front, mentioned that a large front that normally brings the propagation was going to pass through, something I have not seen happened, the front approached but as it got to the west most island just altered course and dropped south , so it did not pass over us as normal. And I did not see any enhancement of propagation. We had rain and cooler temps and now clearing off. Kind of disappointing. Will see what the next front brings, sure hope this is not a new path that becomes normal, will cut off my good days of propagation on the low bands.”
Merv sometimes relies on these enhancements so hopefully this most recent event was just an anomaly. He had a nice night during this session, receiving reports from JA1NQI-2. While Merv shared two-way reports with VK4YB and receiving reports from ZL2BCG and VK2XGJ, this path was a little more unforgiving during this session due to high noise levels as the Summer Solstice approaches in the southern hemisphere. The path to WE2XPQ was fairly solid, with two-way reports shared through the night. Merv was heard at WA3TTS and signals from WG2XKA and WH2XZO made the long haul to KH6. 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).