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Bizarre one-hour trans-Atlantic opening during geomagnetic event and a repeat in the Pacific with KH6/JA/VK

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Trans-Atlantic activity returned in a big way for this session but it only lasted for an hour.  This bizarre opening gave reports to many along the east coast of the US, including first time trans-Atlantic reception reports for Rob, K3RWR / WH2XXC, and possibly Ralph, W0RPK, who I am not aware of hearing any Europeans on 630-meter WSPR since moving to the east coast.  The Kp indices were persistently reported at 6 and the Bz component was reported to be pointing to the south.  Solar wind generally remained below 500 km/s.

planetary-k-index 010116

Kyoto DST 010116

Kyoto DST for January 2016


Australia 010116

As Steve, VE7SL, pointed out this morning in the ON4KST chat/logger, a southerly pointing Bz is usually the “kiss of death”, particularly at high latitudes.  From my experience on both 630-meters and 160-meters, its generally not so good down here at the lower latitudes either.  Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported deteriorated conditions from his station in Washington state.  Jim, W5EST, indicates that S/N reports compared to the previous session were down 4-10 db.  What’s curious is that John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, in Vermont had a very strong two-way path to Europe during the hour-long east -west trans-Atlantic opening, all of which was on a high latitude path.  Observations of the auroral oval suggested that these paths should have been compromised if not completed deteriorated.  Somehow John and others were able to take advantage of otherwise deteriorating conditions.  Perhaps we are seeing a textbook case of a duct that briefly developed as the E and F layers were impacted.   The time table seems right for this type of behavior.

WG2XKA TA report 010116

Reporting time line for the European opening from WG2XKA in Vermont


Even more curious was the fact that that Dave, WD2XSH/17, who is often the first to report trans-Atlantic activity due to his seaside location, had only one report for DJ0ABR and two for DK7FC.  This was a very rare event and seems to add support for a spotlight / duct mode event.

When this event was over, it was over.  The band seemed to flatten out and reports appeared to be much poorer until 0800z when conditions stabilized and uncharacteristically high S/N reports were being observed here at WG2XIQ.  It was during this time that Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, was reported at my station for the first time since Joe began operating on 630-meters.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicated that higher latitude reports from his station were not as good as the previous session but the lower latitude S/N reports were excellent.  The complete dataset for this trans-Atlantic episode will be detailed later in this report.

WSPR dominated this New Year’s eve session with 86 active MF WSPR stations reported on the WSPRnet activity page at 0430z.  No new North American stations were observed through this session.

Daytime activity and openings were significant and while I was able to capture reports for myself and WG2XXM, it was too late by the time I began gathering data for WG2XJM and WG2XKA, both of which were already under the influence of approaching darkness.  Daytime band conditions yielded a few reports approaching JT9 levels.

WG2XXM daytime 123115

WG2XXM daytime WSPR activity, 1500z – 2100z


WG2XIQ daytime 123115

WG2XIQ daytime WSPR activity, 1500z – 2100z


Regional and continental breakdowns follow:

NA 010116

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 010116

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 010116

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 010116

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


The trans-Atlantic report details for the session follow:

DJ0ABR W0RPK 010116

DJ0ABR, as reported by W0RPK


DJ0ABR WH2XXC 010116

DJ0ABR, as reported by WH2XXC


DK7FC WD2XSH17 010116

DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DJ0ABR WD2XSH17 010116

DJ0ABR, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DK7FC WG2XJM 010116

DK7FC, as reported by WG2XJM


DJ0ABR WG2XJM 010116

DJ0ABR, as reported by WG2XJM


DK7FC WG2XKA 010116

DK7FC, as reported by WG2XKA


DJ0ABR WG2XKA 010116

DJ0ABR, as reported by WG2XKA


DH5RAE WG2XKA 010116

DH5RAE, as reported by WG2XKA


PA0A WG2XKA 010116

PA0A, as reported by WG2XKA


WG2XKA DJ0ABR 010116

WG2XKA, as reported by DJ0ABR


WG2XKA G3XKR 010116

WG2XKA, as reported by G3XKR


The trans-African path also showed results through this session, with Michel, FR5ZX, on Reunion Island reporting DK7FC and EA5DOM:

FR5ZX 010116

FR5ZX 24-hour WSPR activity


EA5DOM FR5ZX 010116

EA5DOM, as reported by FR5ZX


DK7FC FR5ZX 010116

DK7FC, as reported by FR5ZX


Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, provided reports from the Caribbean through the session.  Eden had two reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR.  Roger is examining the difference in reports from his station compared to Eden’s station.  Both are located fairly close together and using the same antennas but its possible the noise environment at Roger’s QTH is much more active than that experienced at Eden’s QTH.  This is in some ways similar to the divergent reports seen by VE7SL and VE7BDQ who are located quite close to one another but see very different signals on each of their stations.


ZF1RC 010116

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1EJ 010116

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR ZF1EJ 010116

WH2XCR, as reported by ZF1EJ


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was in “receive only” mode through this session due to wind damage to the toploading wire of his 630-meter transmit antenna.

KL7L 010116

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had an almost carbon-copy session from the previous.

WH2XCR 010116

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR VK3ELV 010116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK3ELV


VK3ELV WH2XCR 010116

VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XCR


WH2XCR JA1NQI1 010116

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-1


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 010116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, had reports from TNUKJPM and JA1NQI-1 in addition to the two-way reports with WH2XCR.

VK3ELV 010116

VK3ELV 24-hour WSPR activity


VK3ELV JA1NQI1 010116

VK3ELV, as reported by JA1NQI-1



VK3ELV, as reported by TNUKJPM


Also notable was an email from Dave, G0MRF, about an upcoming operation:

G0MRF email 010116

Note that times are UTC.

Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, reminds users of the ON4KST chat/logger that server space and electricity costs money so don’t forget to make a paypal donation to Alain, ON4KST, on the “Menu”.  I think it was this time last year that the donation request began posting for operators as they logged into their chat session.  $25 is a worthwhile contribution for as much as we use that system.  Please consider this if you are able.

I had best intentions to operate ARRL straight key night during the evening on 630-meters but got caught up in the trans-Atlantic drama as well as a few pressing projects.  Perhaps I will make a contact before the end of the event as darkness approaches the central US.

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