It was a bit noisy in the evening due to storms in the southeastern US but the band was very much open. It continues to be a mystery as to why trans-Atlantic paths have ceased to exist while trans-Pacific paths have rebounded, even flourishing in spite of Oceania being fully invested in Summer. Noise levels here in Texas this morning were generally in full retreat and it was eerily quiet as I called CQ on CW during the hours before sunrise.
Geomagnetic activity continues at quiet levels although the Bz continues to point slightly to the South as it has over the previous few sessions. Solar wind velocities are low, averaging 370 km/s. DST values are generally stable and have returned to near nominal levels.
I exchanged a few messages with Luis, EA5DOM, and the subject of his success with FR5ZX was mentioned. Luis has a very fine stations and a very high location. He explains in this brief excerpt:
“…The trick is to live in a 80m building block (26th floors) and this is part of the antenna. The PA and coil is in the top terrace. Then the coil HV output trought a vertical wire 11m high suportted in a fiberglass pole. At the top there are two 11m slopper wires which works as a 200pF topload.So this works as a 90m top loaded-top feeded vertical antenna. From PA to ground only RF current runs and the high voltage is in the last 10m wire section. Not only the radiation resistance must be in the order of a few ohms, but also important the radiation angle must be very low. Here are some pictures of the antenna arrangement:
I have made some tests lowering down power to antenna. Ended at 1mW (0dBm) applied to the antenna and got decodes from EB3FRN at 350Km using Opera32 in Deeep Search…”
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that high QRN, rain and unsatisfactory receive antenna experimental results were the name of the game during his session. He provided reports for nine WSPR stations and was decoded by 37 unique stations including VE7SL and WH2XCR.
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reports “pretty good conditions” in spite of QRN from storms in the southeastern US. Al was heard by WH2XCR at -14 dB S/N which he indicates was his strongest report ever from KH6. He adds that he also spotted Merv several times.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, provided the following statistics for the session:
Trans-Pacific report details for this session (excluding KL7 and KH6) are aggregated here.
Roger, VK4YB, reports “Noise started very low, and I got all my spots in the first hour after sunset. After that QRN has been building up and now there are very few decodes. I did not transmit in that first hour. I didn’t want to miss a possible decode from an east coast station.” Roger received reports from an astonishing number of JA stations, including JA1NQI, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD, JA8SCD5, JH3XCU, and TNUKJPM. He also received reports from VE7BDQ, VE7SL, WI2XBQ and W7IUV. Roger provided reports for WG2XXM, WH2XGP, WH2XXP, and WG2XIQ.
Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, received reports from seventy unique stations including VK2XGJ and VK4YB. Ward indicated that he was listening with an E-probe and old TS-440 as K7PO and didn’t have high hopes but he managed to spot six WSPR stations overnight.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, received reports from 54 unique stations including VK4YB and VK2XGJ. He provided reports for eleven WSPR stations using with eastern receive antenna. As W7IUV and using the western receive antenna, Larry provided reports to ten WSPR stations including VK4YB.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, received reports from 64 unique stations including VK4YB, WH2XCR, and WE2XPQ. Ken also received a number of broadcast quality reports (above +12 dB S/N) from KD0S.
I started WSPR around 2100z after Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, wanted a signal to perform some of his receive antenna experiments. Reports were mixed, as Doug did not report my signal until closer to sunset but stations like WA9ETW and KA9CDF that are to the North were providing consistent reports, aside from a few pre-sunset fades. Early evening reports were typical although QRN was elevated due to the storm system to the East. At 0200z I called CQ on 474.5 kHz CW for about 30 minutes as I was testing the Elecraft KX3 on receive. The KX3 is very poor at 472 kHz but when fed an upconverted signal with a 3.9 MHz IF, it does well. I’ve always struggled with the “sound” of the noise floor on the KX3 at HF and it was odd at 472 kHz as well. It doesn’t sound bad but presumably the A/D is what sets it apart from the Yaesu FT-1000 Mark V that I typically use with an upconverter for receiving CW. With the KX3 signals seem to jump out of the noise, in spite of the noise floor being very low, so low that it seems at times as if it is not working properly or my levels are set too low. While the first outing was not impressive to me, this mornings test during my CW session was better. I routed audio from the FT1000 to one ear and the KX3 to the other and I believe that what I am observing is that the KX3 is simply quieter. Performing the same test during a CW QSO will provide better data but listening to WSPR and NDB’s suggests that my assessment is accurate. Overnight CW yielded many strong reports, particularly stations to the North as well as VK4YB. Its nice to receive late season reports from Roger and it seems that maybe there is no seasonal delinations and openings will persist all year around. Receiving was down during this session, however, but I can’t say for sure that it was due to noise rather than propagation. My WSPR transmission report details can be viewed here and my WSPR reception report details can be viewed here.
There were a lot of stations QRV overnight and 101 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0115z on the WSPRnet activity page. I’m sure that number increased through the evening. N5TSP was observed as listening for what may be the first time. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, provided reports for VE3EFF, VE7BDQ, WD2XSH/17, WG2XIQ, WG2XPJ, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, and WI2XBV. Report details for these stations can be viewed here. As ZF1EJ/1 and employing the new transmit antenna, Eden provided reports for VE7BDQ, WD2XSH/17, WG2XIQ, WG2XPJ, WG2XSV, WG2XXM, WH2XCR, WH2XGP, WH2XNG, WH2XXP, WH2XZO, and WI2XBV. Report details for these stations can be viewed here.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced a pretty good night if you consider the stations that he interacted with overnight, including WG2XXM, WH2XXP, and KD0S.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, did well in North America, sharing two-way reports with WI2XBV and WE2XPQ. As Al reported, Merv’s reports of his signal represent his best ever. Merv was also reported at ZF1EJ’s stations as well as WA3TTS and provided reports for WH2XZO. Merv also received reports from JA1NQI, VK2XGJ and he shared two-way reports with VK4YB. 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).