The details for December 30, 2016 can be viewed here.
The UTC amateur registration database is here.
The current band plan used on 630 meters can be viewed HERE
Operator lists detailing stations that are two-way QSO-capable can be viewed here.
North America was mostly storm free although a few lightning strikes were reported in the Pacific Northwest. The Gulf of Mexico had a few storms this morning and there were intermittent periods of noise on the mainland during the evening, presumably from storms in the Atlantic. Oceania remains a focal point for storms and noise, impacting almost all of continental Australia.
Geomagnetic conditions were quiet. The Bz is variable but generally pointing to the South this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 360 km/s. DST values continue to look great and remain at positive levels. Solarham indicates that unsettled to storm conditions are on the horizon.
Propagation was pretty good but rapidly changing openings and QSB kept things interesting. NO3M reported multi path on WSPR signals from K9KFR based on variations in reported S/N and DT values and also noted that many signals had an echo. W0YSE noted that the auroral oval was extending southward out of eastern Canada which may have been the cause. Activity may have been down a bit for the session. A number of stations were impacted by weather and associated power outages. Trans-Atlantic openings favored high and low latitudes. Low-power transcontinental openings were also a feature of this session.
Reverse beacon network reports follow:
Frank, W3LPL, reminds us that “Straight Key Night is 0000-2359Z January 1. Any mechanical key — including a bug — can be used.” While I expect most activity to be spread out through the evening and overnight in typical fashion, if you are reading this and plan on being active on 630-meters at a specific time and frequency, send me a note on the CONTACT page and I will compile and distribute a list in hopes of maximizing your operating experience. Frank added that “It would be great to hear 630 meters full of straight keys and bugs on January 1. It could sound just like 500 kHz (kc?) in the old days except for the lack of chirpy transmitters. I’ll on 630 meters and also on HF using my Viking Valiant and 75A-4.”
In addition to Straight Key Night, January 1 also means the start of the ARRL’s Grid Chase event, which includes QSO’s on 630-meters and 2200-meters. Details can be viewed here. Don’t forget to upload your logs to LoTW because it gives the ARRL statistics to show that there is interest in these bands. As one of their staffers related to me when we were working to get MF and LF added to the event, they don’t have much understanding or frame of reference for these bands so we have to show and educate them about what is possible.
The following stations provided reports of their two-way QSO’s and/or any additional activity that might have occurred during this session (this is not necessarily a complete list – only what was reported!):
Boki, 9A3KB, completed his first 630-meter CW QSO with DK1HW.
Mal, G3KEV, reported FT8 QSO’s with DL6TY, DF6SM, DL6RCN, DF8UO, DG3LV, G4IJM, G4FGJ and LA3EQ. He completed CW QSO’s with SO5AS and G4FGJ.
Ken, K5DNL, completed a JT9 QSO with KC3OL. Using WSPR overnight, Ken reported 23 stations and he received reports from 89 unique stations including EA8BFK, K9FD (/KH6), ZF1EJ and nine Canadian stations.
John, WA3ETD, reported transcontinental openings, noting “Astounding WSPR propo here while ultra QRP – ran 8W TPO, both ways W7IUV, K9FD, heard by KPH. Interesting!“
Wayde, K3MF, completed a JT9 QSO near local noon with NO3M.
Ted, KC3OL, completed JT9 QSO’s with NO3M and K5DNL.
Robert, KR7O, reported “W7IUV copied throughout most of the daylight hours. Decent JT9 activity until about 0500Z and then nothing until 0800Z. Copied TC NO3M, K9KFR, W3XY (first time) and KL7L. Only a few stations copied on WSPR before 0500Z, but K4SV was in there, so I think it was more an activity vs propagation issue. 17 stations copied on WSPR including, K4SV (80/-17), WA3ETD (-28), W4BCX (22/-19), K2BLA (3/15) and ZF1EJ.
ZF1EJ – 11 spots, -21
KL7L – 54 spots, -5
K9FD – 111 spots, -2
VK4YB – NIL“
Neil, W0YSE, reported that he continues to operate near 1-watt EIRP as he awaits the arrival of a newly purchased power supply with hopes of cleaning up amplifier harmonics. He had a strong session and offered the following statistics and comments:
“…and I heard these 8 wspr-ers: AH6EZ, K5DNL, K9FD, KA7OEI, KL7L, KR6LA, N1VF, and W7IUV.
As for JT9, I saw evidence of these stations on my screen this morning: KL7L (-26), N1VF (-22), VE7VV (-11), and K5DNL (-26).“
Al, K2BLA, reported “Worked WA1OJN on JT9 last night for his best DX ever on 630m. Our QSO added almost 20% to his best DX to 1670 km. Shortly after our QSO I was besieged with huge lightning-like noise raising my noise floor more than 40 dB and making receiving anything either difficult or impossible. Checked Blitzortung and could see showers off shore in the Atlantic not too far away but only a little lightning activity. I assumed it was local. However this AM it’s gone. I will assume that the showers were far enough off shore to be out of radar range and not being accurately reported by Blitzortung lightning detectors. If it was local and permanent that would be the end of 630m for me. Whew! WSPR: heard by 60 including K9FD at -16 (that’s good for 7558 km) and KPH at -18. Heard 25 including K9FD.“
Roger, VK4YB, has experienced recent late success to JA and has plans for using the same technique for attempts to Europe. Let’s wish him luck and make sure we give Roger a wide berth when it comes to frequency utilization. Doing so will give him the best possibility for success.
At KB5NJD the band was open but openings seemed to be moving around quite a bit which was corroborated by a number of stations. The weirdest observation of the evening was when the band went from dead quiet to very active lightning crashes. According to Blitzortung and other lightning maps, the lower-48 and surrounding areas were clear with the only active weather located between the US East coast and Bermuda. Just prior to my observation, K2BLA reported a wideband noise in Florida but indicated this morning that he also experienced strong lightning crashes. I received a number of mid evening reverse beacon reports including first time reports from W3LPL. Activity seemed down but that may have been the result of moving propagation and subsequently missing a calling station during a brief opening.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:
PA3ABK/2 -> AA1A
EB8ARZ/1 -> N1BUG
K4SV -> EA8BFK
K5DNL -> EA8BFK
G8HUH -> K3RWR, AA1A
W4BCX -> EA8BFK, G8HUH
ZF1EJ -> EA8BFK, LA2XPA
AA1A -> EA8BFK, G8HUH, LA3EQ
Trans-Pacific WSPR summary follows:
7L1RLL -> K9FD
KL7L -> JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD5, TNUKJPM, VK4YB
K9FD -> 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, KL7L, TNUKJPM, VK2XGJ, VK4YB, ZF1EJ
VK4YB -> 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD, JA8SCD5, JH3XCU, K9FD, KL7L, KPH, KR6LA, TNUKJPM, VA7JX, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ, VE7VV
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported nineteen WSPR stations and he received reports from 63 unique stations including EA8BFK and LA2XPA. He shared two-way reports with K9FD.
Laurence, KL7L, operated a bit of late evening JT9 in Alaska, receiving a single report from N1VF in the San Fransisco area. Laurence reported seven WSPR stations and he received reports from 24 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JA8SCD5 and TNUKJPM. He shared two-way reports with K9FD, KA9OEI, KR6LA, VK4YB, W0YSE and W7IUV.
Merv, K9FD (/KH6), indicates that the most recent weather system to affect his local weather may have had an impact on his propagation:
“Weather front passing, and my “wierd” idea of propagation related to earth weather proves its self again, JA opens up, fronts coming from that direction as a excellent indicator, really wish there were some other activity in that area I think I have propagation to a number of Asia locations.“
Merv reported sixteen WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with 7L1RLL, K2BLA, K4SV, K5DNL, KA7OEI, KL7L, KR6LA, N1VF, VK4YB, W0YSE, W3LPL, W5OXC, W7IUV, WA3ETD and ZF1EJ. Merv received reports from 55 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM and VK2XGJ.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!