Last night was a lot of fun. It was an interesting session with some major variability that does not necessarily add up but I suppose that is one of the reasons that we do this stuff in the first place. The band was very noisy here in Texas well before dark due to a cold front that had pushed through earlier in the day touching-off thunderstorms in east Texas and Louisiana. As early as 0023z, John, W1TAG, indicated that the signal of John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was down significantly from normal. From a discussion in the ON4KST chat/logger it was suggested that the reduction in signal was caused by wet foliage from recent storms that had come through WG2XKA. W1TAG indicated that he too had wet conditions and was hearing Rob, K3RWR / WH2XXC, in Maryland at normal levels while Jay, W1VD, was hearing WG2XKA like normal. This all boils down to some interesting ionospheric activity since W1TAG is only 221 km away from WG2XKA. If that sounds confusing just know that W1TAG typically hears WG2XKA much louder than he was for that time of night. To confuse matters further, the entire situation resolved itself for everyone by 0237z when the band really began to come alive (that does not imply good or bad conditions necessarily) for pretty much everyone in darkness. A review of S/N data by WG2XKA and confirmed by W1TAG indicates that conditions improved for just about everyone in the east. Perhaps there was some interesting phase cancellation between ground wave and sky wave in the east and New England, in particular. Here in Texas the noise level decreased drastically through the evening.
Similar “high strangeness” includes WG2XKA reporting my signal early in the evening, and Mike, WA3TTS, reporting Ward, K7PO / WH2XXP, as early as 0132z. Note that these reports were prior to the recovery reported at 0237z.
In other parts of the country conditions seemed generally unchanged. Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that in the Pacific Northwest conditions seemed about the same from the previous two sessions, with deteriorated or non-existent high-latitude east / west propagation but strong conditions with KH6. Larry made an early appearance here in Texas but was absent for much of the evening. I blame the apparent absence on local storm noise that decreased through the evening.
Geomagnetic conditions appear to have improved through the session with the Kp decreasing and stabilizing somewhat.
The Kyoto DST seems to have stabilized as well, hovering very near zero.
Daytime conditions from Texas were improved from the previous session with reports from WG2XJM later in the afternoon and persistent reports from KU4XR throughout the day.
WSPR activity was at an all time high with 92 medium wave stations observed on the activity page of WSPRnet at 0419z. Several new or newer reporting stations joined the activity through the session. Randy, K5RHD in New Mexico emailed Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, to say that he was using a Pixel Magnetic loop and a Flex 6300. Randy was joined by W7SZ, who had been present in the previous session, W7CQ, and N6GN. Welcome aboard.
Worldwide WSPR activity breaks down as follows:
Atlantic activity included reports of John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, in Vermont from Ed, VP9GE, in Hamilton, Bermuda.
There was a nice surprise for Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, who was reported for the first time by Eden, ZF1EJ, while John, VE7BDQ, gets the award for the furthest station from ZF to be reported during the session. Eden was also joined by Roger, ZF1RC.
In the Indian Ocean, Michel, FR5ZX, reported Riccardo, IW4DXW, twice through the session.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, continues to enjoy his time in Maui while his station in Alaska appears to have had a much improved session compared to the previous few.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a very nice session while running only 15-watts as he awaits the arrival of his replacement FET’s.
Laurence, KL7L/KH6, reported hearing Merv’s reduced power WSPR signal / CW ID at RST 559 while on Maui.
Other anecdotes and statistics:
In the previous session, John, VE7BDQ, started an experiment using a short wire vertical in a tree for receive. The wire was determined to be 6-10 db down from his usual antenna. The purpose of this experiment was to make comparisons with Steve, VE7SL, who has previously reported Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, with positive S/N numbers while my signal, originating only 200 miles south of Ken, was near the detection limit of WSPR. John, VE7BDQ, typically reports my signal significantly higher than the detection limit so this has created a real mystery. John indicated that last night’s test still showed more reports of WG2XIQ than at VE7SL while WG2XXM continues to pound into VE7SL’s station only 10-miles away. Steve added this comment to me, “The mystery continues with BDQ having 8 spots already from you and zero here yet my 41 spots of XXM versus his 19..weird!”
During an impromptu CW session at 0110z, Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, answered my CQ and was easily copyable in spite of the local QRN, which was raging at the time. There was zero QSB whatsoever over the 10-minutes that we chatted and he was RST 579 on the E-probe, which was actually quieter and giving stronger signals than the directional loop I was using to try to get away from storm noise. It was pretty surprising to say the least.
Vinny, operating as OZ0IL, made the following post on the RSGB reflector about seeking additional CW QSO’s while operating from EU-029. Its great to see that his group has had such great success on the air!
During this morning’s CW session, Al, K2BLA, in Florida reported that my signal was S8 on 474.5 kHz. With a little luck, Al will have a grant of his own soon so that he can participate with us. He indicates that his stations is ready and waiting for authorization. My morning CW sked started almost on time at 1130z and I returned to WSPR at 1200z for the daytime session.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!