Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

CQ 474.5 kHz CW and alternately tuning 472 kHz - 475 kHz for signals.

Average session after an early, strong start on Pacific Northwest path

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

This session appears to have been only average at best.  The noise level here in Texas was elevated, and the geomagnetic field, which was already elevated, appears to have taken a hit early this morning.  S/N reports were still good compared to previous sessions but the big, persistent reports through the overnight period were less common.  There were early reports for VE7BDQ, WH2XGP, WI2XBQ and VE7CNF at uncharacteristically high levels, which was the highlight of this session in my opinion.  Solar wind continues to remains low, under 300 km/s with a variable Bz.  At this time, the Bz is pointing north.

planetary-k-index 020116


Kyoto DST 020116


Australia 020116


WSPRnet received some support yesterday as the administrator investigated the recent performance problems.  It appears that a few individuals were running their own scripts to upload and download data automatically and this was creating an impact on the system, but the problems may go much deeper than these scripts.  A system upgrade was scheduled for the late evening in North America but the outcome is not known.  Performance this morning appears to be good. Time will tell if it holds.

At 0045z, 72 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page.  Activity from transmitting stations in North America was down as the CQ 160-meter CW contest drew to a close and several DX-peditions continue to be active on 160-meters.  No new stations were observed through the session.

HamWSPR continues to work well and is seeing more traffic.  This system provides an alternative entry point for WPSR data and forwards content to WSPRnet when the main website is operational.  Parties interested in the redirect procedure can simply modify their HOSTS file in the drivers/etc directory using administrative privileges for the text editor (Windows users will use notepad.  Right click and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR!).  Add a record with the following information: WSPRNET.ORG .  Save as a flat file, without an extension.  The most common mistake appears to be saving the file as type .txt.  If you open a browser and navigate to wsprnet.org, you should be taken to hamwspr,com.  If you have a WSPR console open, close it and reopen the program to establish the connection through the new entry point.  Your data WILL be forwarded to WSPRnet when that system is operational.  If you decide to reverse the process at some point, add a # in front of the IP address like this:  # WSPRNET.ORG .

Here is a screen capture for North America using HAMWSPR during this session:


HAMWSPR data rendering for North American WSPR activity


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 020116

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 020116

European 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 020116

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 020116

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session.  UA0SNV and TF3HZ were present during the session but no reports were found in the WSPR database.

Eden, ZF1EJ, provided very similar reports as the previous session, with WH2XGP as his best DX.  WG2XKA was QRT for maintenance during this session but should be QRV this evening.

ZF1EJ 020116

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced an poor session with a bright green auroral band to the north.  KL7L was designated as receive-only during the session.

WE2XPQ 020116

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


KL7L 020116

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity



Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR will be QRT for a bit as he chases a few DX stations on 160-meters that have been neglected earlier in the season.

In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, was reported by JH3XCU late during the previous session.

VK3ELV 020116

VK3ELV 24-hour WSPR activity



VK3ELV JH3XCU 020115

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU


Additional statistics, comments, information and anecdotes:

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, indicates that he was decoded by 43 unique stations, decoded 8 transmitting stations and notes good receive activity with a few missing transmitting stations.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, did not observe the same wide scale successes to the Pacific Northwest from his QTH is South Carolina that I observed in Texas.  He provides the following session comments as well as a discussion of the potential variables, both known and unknown at this point, and pitfalls in useful data analysis on 630-meters:

WH2XZO email 020116

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, corroborated my comments yesterday that Don, W5OR / WD2XSH/15, in Little Rock, Arkansas was stronger in recent days.  Jim, W5EST, reports that Don repaired a local oscillator problem with his system which has resulted in an estimated 8 dB improvement.

Jim, W5EST, provided Part 3 in a series of commentaries on 630-meter propagation.


Recall from Part 2 that propagation potential difference or “prop potential” VP means relative ability (dB) of two TX stations to deliver their peak SNRs at a given same RX station after adjusting for TX powers, path distances, and possible multi-hop.  Prop potential compares paths between different pairs of stations. That’s a bit like measuring voltage differences in a circuit.

Peak SNRs portray the ionosphere for each path at its best during the observation interval and with any multipath more likely in-phase. Be aware that prop potential values can be affected by RX antenna azimuth/elevation pattern variation between paths, by local structures and terrain near the RX station, and by imprecise TX EIRP estimations.

Okay, so let’s work through some data for the USA night January 30 Zulu.  Let the baseline path be from John’s WG2XKA (VT, station i) to Doug’s wh2xzo (SC, r).

What is the prop potential of Larry’s WH2XGP (WA, x) path to wb0vak (MN, j) relative to the south-north path from John’s WG2XIQ (Texas) path to wb0vak that night k, Jan. 30?

Using the WSPR database, prepare a Table for all the paths you want, such as one including these three:


dBm  TX-rx           KM      PEAK SNR   DATE  #SPOTS    HOURS     REMARKS

30  XKA-xzo        1235         +1              1/30/16     60      2040-1212z  Baseline Path

40  XGP-wb0vak  2075         +2              1/30/16     75      2302-1548z

37  XIQ-wb0vak   1304       +10             1/30/16    172      2056-1526z   & daytime


Neither path distance calls for a multi-hop adjustment, so omit it. The potential formula becomes just this:  

                                VP =(Sxjk – Sirk) – (Pxk – Pik) + 10 log10[(dxj / dir)2].

(A computer can use the full potential formula to color the various path lines all over the continent, by the way.)

One way to figure Jan. 30XGP-wb0vak propagation potential relative to XIQ-wb0vak is:

VP = (+2 – (+10)) – (40 – 37) + 10 log10[(2075 /1304)2 ]

VP =         (-8)   –     (3)      +     (4)    =   -7 dB.

To figure prop potentials between large numbers of path-pairs, do it this way.  Plug in XGP-wb0vak path numbers relative to baseline path XKA-xzo.  XGP-wb0vak comes out -4.5dB.

VP = (+2 – (+1)) – (40 – 30) + 10 log10[(2075 /1235)2 ]

VP =         (1)   –     (10)      +  (4.5)   = -4.5dB

Ditto, plug in to get XIQ-wb0vak potential and get 2.5dB:

VP = (+10 – (+1)) – (37 – 30) + 10 log10[(1304/1235)2 ]

VP =         (9)   –     (7)      +  (0.5)     =   2.5 dB

Subtract. The Jan. 30XGP-wb0vak propagation potential relative to XIQ-wb0vak is:

                                          -4.5dB -2.5dB = -7dB.

This way, one can figure prop potentials for large numbers of path-pairs by simple subtractions instead of doing the whole formula over and over.

PART 4 will compare the prop potential method with the ratio method on numbers of WSPR decodes as applied by Doug WH2XZO, K4LY.


Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page!