The band continues to impress as the northern hemisphere progresses into late Winter and spring thunderstorms begin to impact the noise floor. Last night was quite good with very low noise levels allowing me to continue to listen on the transmit vertical. High activity did not hurt matters either. This season has been impressive as the number of “new” reporting stations has been significant. Many people have received their first taste of 630-meters from WSPR, others participated in the activity nights, and even a few of those have applied for their own Part-5 experimental licenses so they can prepare their stations and “learn the ropes” as we wait for the FCC to implement the band under Part-97. These are good times to be a medium wave operator.
The geomagnetic field was quiet, the Bz was stable, pointing slightly to the North, and solar wind velocity was less than 400 km/s, in the low category. Maybe its almost surprising that the band was as good as it was with such calm conditions.
David, G0MRF, reports the results of a recent test and announces an upcoming portable operation from a commercial tower site:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported strong domestic band condition over night and offered the following comments and band map:
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, sent this report of his stations activity during the session. Note that the station mentioned as providing extremely high S/N reports has been contacted to determine specifics about the hardware in use. Its the belief of many that he is utilizing narrow bandwidth to generate such strong reports. Doing so is not a problem but it helps in data analysis for us to know that the standard USB bandwidth is not being used.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicates that he was heard as far East as Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, in Pennsylvania in addition to hearing six unique stations and being heard by 21.
WSPR activity was high, with 77 MF WSPR stations observed at 0130z on the WSPRnet activity page. VE6QPT was observed making spots. I cannot confirm whether this was his first night or not but it was the first time that I recall seeing his call sign. Another station, presumably an SWL, was active: ZO1TAN in Portland, Oregon. While this station did not have any MF reports for the session, he is apparently active on the WSPRnet forum. If you know him or know how to contact him, we would be interested in knowing what his station hardware is.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session. EA8/DL9XJ, UA0SNV, and W6SJP/BY were all present during the session but had no reports in the WSPRnet database.
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, experience an almost identical night of good reports from stations in North America.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was only receiving during this session.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received early reports from John, VK2XGJ. Merv notes that he got a bit of a late start and was fortunate to begin transmitting in time to receive these very early evening reports in Australia. The path to Japan remains cut off.
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, and Roger, VK4YB, received the following reports from WH2XCR during this session:
Additional anecdotes, statistics, comments and information:
Roger, VK4YB, a recent convert to 630-meters, has information about his antenna system posted on his QRZ page.
Jim, W5EST, provides Part I-A in a series of discussions on the topic of daytime propagation on 630-meters:
“PART I-A: 630M DAYTIME PROPAGATION & CALENDAR-BASED PREDICTORS
Is 630m daytime prop perhaps just due to low sun elevation in temperate latitudes away from the aurora zone and within plus/minus several weeks of winter solstice? Maybe 630m daytime prop is just due to a decline in D-layer absorption in months when the sun is low in the sky.
I’ve added some predictors to TABLE 2 using calendar intervals. False Negatives Rate and the Precision are computed for all of these predictors of 630m daytime prop. The best predictor among them is “Nov-Jan15.” Based on the 4 months of data on hand, it satisfies the 630m prediction quality goal I offered on Feb. 25.
If a USA station followed this “Nov-Jan15” predictor and activated in daytime all the days Nov. 1-Jan. 15, 630m daytime prop would happen more than half the days predicted positive. The station would miss fewer than 1 in 10 daytime prop days by going off in daytime on the 47 days that the predictor calls negative in the last 4 months. (47 days is 123days less 76 days predicted positive).
Let’s do remember such calendar-based predictors while keeping John XIQ’s dictum in mind: We don’t have data for other times of year, not to mention other years, so let’s not jump to conclusions about strong months of daytime prop itself too soon.
Tomorrow, let’s compare what we’ve learned so far with solar flare satellite data from GOES-15.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!