The details for December 31, 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.
The North American mainland was lightning free although a few storms were present at sea in the mid Atlantic region in addition to a few storms in the Gulf of Mexico. Europe was mostly storm free but a large system is approaching from the West which may already be bringing elevated noise levels. The western Pacific continues to experience strong storms including central Japan south into Oceania including the northwestern population centers of Australia.
Geomagnetic conditions are very quiet although unsettled to storm levels are expected in the coming days due to a geoeffective coronal hole according to Solarham. The Bz is pointing slightly to the South this morning and solar wind velocities are averaging near 355 km/s. DST values remain stable, at or above the center line.
Propagation started very slow during this session but in late evening the band really opened up for a large number of operator resulting in transcontinental QSO’s and reports. QSB made operating very difficult at times and was more active than in previous sessions. Trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific paths continue to show good results. Many lower latitude openings were observed on trans-Atlantic paths.
Reverse beacon networks 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.
Jim, W5EST, submitted the following screen capture of his WSJTx console showing JT9 activity observed at his station in Little Rock, Arkansas:
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!):
David, G0MRF, reported decreased radiated power levels due to poor weather conditions at his remote transmitter site but he managed FT8 QSO’s with OR7T, G3KEV, DL6TY, DK6XY, G4GIR and GM3YXM. JT9 QSO’s include DF6UO, DL6RCN, EA1FBU, DF6SM and F4DTL.
Mal, G3KEV, completed CW QSO’s with 9A3KB, F5OFK and DK1HW. Using FT8 he completed QSO’s with OR7T, DL6RCN and G0MRF.
Marcin, SQ2BXI, reported that “I copy on FT8: DK6XY (CQ and QSO with OR7T), OR7T (CQ and QSO with DK6XY) DL6TY (QSO with GM3YXM).“
David, G3YXM, reported a fun session on 630-meters and offered the following detailed comments:
“I started out on CW and worked G3XIZ but other signals seemed weak and they were going much too fast for me!
Then I went over to FT8 and worked a few, but I am finding it very difficult to control the software, I think it needs a few seconds wait before the next over as you don’t have enough time to react to what you have just received. Best on FT8 was DL6TY.
Then to JT9 which is a lot more manageable, DF8UO, EA1FBU, DK6SY and F4DTL were the best DX.
Thanks to David G0MRF who helped me practice making FT8 work.. chaos ensued!
At midnight I switched to WSPR but was only able to transmit until 0036 after which the TX tripped due to the antenna blowing about in the wind.
By 0530 the wind (storm Dylan!) was so strong that it took a branch off a tree which fell through a halyard and pulled the 472kHz antenna down. No more 472 until we get some clam dry weather.
In the mean time I received WSPR2 signals from…AA1A, W1IR and W4BCX as well as two-way copy with EA8 (he copied me before the TX tripped.)
I hope to be back on 472 early in 2018, I’ll be in GM for a few weeks.”
Frank, W3LPL, completed fourteen QSO’s using the PVRC’s W3GRF club call sign with great success. He completed CW QSO’s with KB5NJD and K9KFR and JT9 QSO’s with WA1OJN, N3FL, K3MF, KC3OL, WB4JWM, K5DNL, W7IUV, K9KFR, K9MRI, K9SLQ, VE3CIQ and ZF1EJ. Frank added that he has “…never heard W7IUV so strong as tonight, it would have been an easy CW QSO. I’ll be QRV on SKN shortly after midnight“
Wayde, K3MF, reported a strong session, completing a transcontinental JT9 QSO with W7IUV. Wayde indicates that Larry is his best DX QSO to date on 630 meters. He is using a “…homebrew transverter 30 watts TPO 40 foot T with 300 foot top” and noted that “This is as much fun as EME! I worked him EME also…” Wayde also completed QSO’s with W3GRF and VE3CIQ.
Ted, KC3OL, reported a JT9 QSO with WA1OJN, N3FL and W3GRF.
Ben, N1VF, completed a JT9 QSO with N6PIG/7 at 0652z per a second hand reception report from KL7L.
Ken, K5DNL, reported good receive conditions due to low noise. He completed JT9 QSO’s with WB4JWM, N3FL, W0YSE, AH6EZ and W3GRF. Using WSPR overnight, Ken reported thirty stations including VK4YB and KL7L. He received reports from 89 unique stations including KL7L, EA8BFK, K9FD (/KH6), ZF1EJ and nine Canadian stations.
Neil, W0YSE, reported that he “…had JT9 Q’s with VE7VV , K5DNL, and N6PIG/7 last evening. This morning I found a lot of KL7L decodes on my JT9 screen with a best of -20, but it was about 2 hours before I was up. On WSPR there were 35 who decoded my ~1w. ZF1EJ spotted me 3x with best of -26. Here are the most distant ones:“
Robert, KR7O, reported transcontinental opening and even received his own reports as he put his system on the air for some testing. He provided the following comments and statistics:
“No daytime propagation at all but great evening conditions and lots of 2-way activity on JT9.
I finally made my first transmissions with the ELAD with about 3W TPO. Unfortunately, I did not have any RX ability, because W7IUV was answering my JT9 test messages. On JT9 I was copied by at least 10 stations including K9KFR, KC3OL and a couple of VE6’s during the 10 minutes or so that I was on. On WSPR I was copied by 35 stations with 10 stations over 3500km including K0OD, W9XA, W3PM, WB0IQK, NC8W, KL7L, N2NOM, WZ7I, K9FD and ZF1EJ. This is the first time I have been copied by ZF1EJ and KL7L.
At least 15 stations were received on JT9 including W3XY, W3GRF (W3LPL) both calls copied, K3MF, VE3CIQ, K2BLA, K9KFR, NO3M, KL7L and ZF1EJ. W3LPL was calling N1VF at 0712Z but apparently Ben did not see him. Received 20 on WSPR with 11 over 2500km including WD8DAS, NC8W, K2BLA, W3LPL, VE3CIQ, W4BCX and W1IR.
ZF1EJ – 7 spots, -20
KL7L – 71 spots, -6 (many JT9 spots also)
K9FD – 87 spots, -3
VK4YB – 13 spots, -21“
Roger, VK4YB, reported yesterday his intention to look for openings to Europe late in the session and he posted the following announcement on the RSGB-LF reflector:
“I am transmitting WSPR on 475.768 kHz beaming NW to Europe every morning starting at 18:00 UTC until my sunrise at 18:50 UTC. I transmit 75% duty cycle. High summer static here makes receiving near impossible. I also transmit on my West beam to Re-Union Island and Canary Islands. EA8 is very near to my antipodal point and I get good strength reports on 160m. I am running 450 watts TPO and my beams are up to 120 ft high. I reckon I should be able to be heard in Europe at this time of year. Who will hear me first?“
It was a very slow start to the evening at KB5NJD which was probably OK given that I spent a brief time operating in the Stew Perry contest on 160 meter. Nothing serious, just a few calls. Returning to 630 meters, I briefly worked KF5RY, my neighbor across town, who was doing some testing after some work on an RF switch. It was mostly quiet in spite of a number of reverse beacon network reports until 0130z when I heard a signal below me calling CQ on 474.2 kHz. It was W3GRF, the PVRC club stations, and he was loud but crazy QSB meant that just as I was calling him the signal dipped into the noise. I called him but could not hear the reply and moments later he QSY’ed to JT9, working a number of stations. I learned after an email that it was Frank, W3LPL, at the operating position and was very happy to see him to return to CW after working a number of stations on JT9. We exchanged RST 559/569 reports with one another and just as quickly as his signal peaked, he was gone again. I struggled to hear his confirmation of having received my report but ultimately did making it a good QSO. I called it a night after this QSO, stopping while I was ahead. Tonight’s activity depends on weather. The antenna is already icing so I will evaluate the match closer to dark.
Trans-Atlantic WSPR summary follows:
ZF1EJ -> LA2XPA
K5DNL -> EA8BFK
PA0A -> N1BUG
G8HUH -> K4RCG, KA1R, N1BUG
EA4GHB -> AA1A, KA1R, N1BUG
W4BCX -> EA8BFK, EB8ARZ/1, G0LUJ, G8HUH, LA3EQ, PA0RDT
AA1A -> EA2HB, EA8BFK, F59706, F6GEX, G0LUJ, G0MRF, G0VQH, G8HUH, GM3YXM, LA2XPA, LA3EQ, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2
W1IR -> DH5RAE, DJ0ABR, DL/PA0EHG, DL0HT, EA2HB, EA8BFK, F1AFJ, F1AFJ/1, F4DTL, F59706, F6GEX, G0LUJ, G0MRF, G0VQH, G3WCB, G4KPX, GM3YXM, LA3EQ, M0NKA, M0TAZ, OR7T, PA0EHG, PA0O, PA0RDT, PA3ABK/2, PA7EY
Trans-Pacific WSPR summary follows:
7L1RLL -> K9FD
JA1PKG -> K9FD
KL7L -> JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JH1INM, JH3XCU
K9FD -> 7L1RLL4, JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM,VK2XGJ, VK4YB, ZF1EJ
VK4YB -> JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM, K5DNL, K9FD, KL7L, KPH, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF, SWLCN74XP, VE6JY, VE6XH, VE7BDQ
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
Eden, ZF1EJ, completed a JT9 QSO with W3GRF. He reported 26 WSPR stations and he received reports from 59 unique stations including LA2XPA. He shared two-way WSPR reports with K9FD.
Laurence, KL7L, called CQ on JT9 and was received this morning by K0KE but no QSO as Keith found these reports when he awakened this morning:
Laurence reported eight WSPR stations including VK4YB and he received reports from 23 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA1PKG, JH3XCU and JH1INM. He shared two-way reports with K5DNL, K9FD, KA7OEI, KR6LA, N1VF and W0YSE.
Merv, K9FD (/KH6), reported twenty WSPR stations. He shared two-way reports with 7L1RLL, AA1A, JA1PKG, K2BLA, K5DNL, KA7OEI, KL7L, KR6LA, KR7O, N1VF, NC8W, VK4YB, W0YSE, W3LPL, WA3ETD and ZF1EJ. Merv received reports from 64 unique stations including JA1NQI/2, JA3TVF, JE1JDL, JH1INM, JH3XCU, TNUKJPM and VK2XGJ.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com)!