After a light session at storm levels on Sunday night in North America, the band roared back with big openings for a number of stations. For only the second time this season, Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported a European station on WSPR2, with four reports for Stefan, DK7FC. WE2XGR/2 also reported DK7FC and WE2XGR reported EA5DOM. The Pacific path was also very good yielding what has once again become a regular opening for WH2XCR to Japan and Australia plus the added bonus of two-way propagation to VK3ELV, who is located quite far inland on the path to Hawaii. The most remarkable opening for this session was VK3ELV being reported by KL7L at a distance of 12285 km. I don’t recall ever seeing this path open since I started on 630-meters in 2012. Similarly impressive were the low ERP transcontinental transmissions in North America, many of which were reported at JT9 levels. Congrats to all on taking advantage of these fine openings.
The geomagnetic field made a strong effort to recover over this session, culminating in another spike in the Kp near sunrise in Texas. Was it this instability that yielded the trans-Pacific report between KL7 and VK3? The Bz was variable to mostly southerly during the evening. Solar wind ranged between 350 km/s to just over 400 km/s. There were a few periods of elevated proton levels.
WSPR activity dominated the session once again with 84 MF WSPR stations reported on the WSPRnet activity page at 0230z. A KC7 stations contributed to significant band map pollution as the result of poor band selection in the software. Please be careful when you are changing band or using CAT automation for band hopping.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports that the band may have been very long through the session with very good openings to the Pacific Northwest and West Coast but a void in the West Central US. John reports more than 1000 WSPR spots for the session and elevated noise levels from his location in Vermont.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported a great transcontinental opening from Vancouver, Washington to the Midwest and Eastern US, with many reports at JT9 levels.
Mike, WA3TTS, also notes a strong transcontinental path opening with reports in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
Toby, VE7CNF, posted the following session comments in the ON4KST chat/logger:
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
UA0SNV, W6SJP/BY, and EA9MH were present during this session but had no reports.
Trans-Atlantic reports included activity between WE2XGR, WE2XGR/3, K4LY, and DK7FC, EA5DOM:
Eden, ZF1EJ, must have only been QRV for a very limited time as he only reported me, WG2XIQ. As always, any and all reports are very much appreciated.
As reported earlier, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, had a very successful session. He operated both WSPR2 and WSPR15 at different times in the session and posted the following details on the VK 600-meter reflector and the RSGB “Blacksheep” reflector:
Steve, VE7SL, notes that Phil, VK3ELV, is using an “Icom IC706M2G, VK3XDK Transverter and an old HF amplifier modified for 630-metres, running 130 watts.” Steve goes on to report that “The antenna was an inverted-L, 18-metres vertical, 80-metres horizontal and top loaded.” This information was posted in the ON4KST logger/chat.
Laurence also reported me in Texas which is often an indicator of very good propagation. KL7L was designated as receive-only during the session. Merv also reported Laurence’s WSPR2 signal while it was on the air.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, also enjoyed a very productive session, with an opening to JH3XCU, and a two-way opening to VK3ELV, plus a receive path to VK2XGJ. Merv had numerous reports from the Midwest and Upper Midwest as well. Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, was still reporting Merv well after his local sunrise on Humboldt bay in California.
John, VK2XGJ notes that he was using the Kenwood R5000 and an E-probe built from locally available parts in VK during this session.
Additional anecdotes, statistics, comments and information:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported decodes for 8 unique stations using the High-Z receive vertical on WSPR2. He had no reports on WSPR-15.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, noted a very interesting T-index metric for ionospheric conditions on the same site from which I gather Australian DST data. The T-index can be viewed here.
Jim, W5EST, provided this very interesting introductory discussion on the art of QSYing on 630-meters when antenna bandwidth is very narrow:
“REMATCHING THE ANTENNA ON 630M: SWR AND SCOPE MATCH
The 630m event last weekend had some operators adjusting the match to their transmit (TX) antenna when going away 1 KHz or more from the WSPR band. Why was that, and how much matching adjustment? First, some background.
A 630m TX antenna amounts to an RLC circuit with inductance L and capacitance C. Antenna L and C are often constructed and tuned to resonate around frequency f=475.7 kHz, for an angular frequency ω=2πf = 3 x 106/sec or 3 million radians per second.
Stored power divided by power dissipated each RF cycle in the TX antenna system is called the quality factor Q. Antenna Q = ωL/R. For 630m at 475.7 kHz, compare your antenna system inductance L with 1 mH or 10-3 Henry, 1/1000. The system includes the inductance of the loading coil or variometer, plus inductance in vertical pipe, wires, top hat wires and radials. On 630m with 1 mH, TX antenna system reactance ωL is about j3000Ω.
With an antenna system ohmic resistance R about 30Ω, the ωL/R formula gives you a Q of 100. Unlike HF, MF/LF antennas run at that level of high Q.
MF/LF antennas expend almost all the transmitter’s power output (TPO) warming their earth ground and their antenna conductors! Why? Because, again unlike HF, the action of the 630m TX antenna converting TPO into actual RF radiated power is represented by an ohmic radiation resistance less than 1 ohm usually. Compared to the 30Ω nominal system resistance, that mere 1Ω makes just a very few percent radiation efficiency. That’s MF/LF physical reality for antennas that are small compared to a quarter-wavelength high–unless we ever get superconducting radials and antennas!
So much for background. Tomorrow let’s get specific. Why and how much would any operator adjust the match to the 630m transmit (TX) antenna when changing frequency less than even a few KHz of adjustment away from the 630m WSPR band?”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!