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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

QRT but I'll be back tonight, WX permitting

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1000z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

CME attacks geomagnetic field now at K=6 but band pretty good, WH2XND, WH2XCR reported by JA1NQI, First stable CW QSO between WG2XIQ and WG2XJM in quite a while

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

The most recent CME finally arrived, sending magnetometers worldwide off the charts.  The Space Weather Prediction Center issued a warning overnight that indicated the K-index was at 6.  Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ,  reports visual aurora overhead and completely dead bands.  Woe is the radio operator that has to live and work under the auroral oval.

planetary-k-index 122015

The Kyoto DST took quite a dip. I suspect we are in for a roller coast ride over the coming days but perhaps this turbulence will give a needed boost for low latitude paths.  Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, was reported this morning by JA1NQI, while the event was in progress.  This same path was not open in the previous session.  There is not enough data to pin this report on the CME but as an operator, I have a hunch that they are somehow connected.

Kyoto DST 122015

Kyoto DST for December 2015


The Australian DST took a serious dip through the session.  Perhaps in the southern hemisphere a threshold has been crossed which prohibited Phil, VK3ELV, from being reported in JA, a path which has been open over the past few sessions.  As a strong proponent of the idea that RF avoids paths containing high electron density, this condition appears to be met under the circumstances and might explain why Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was not reported during this session in VK.

Australia DST 122015


It seems like on air conditions should have been horrible but that wasn’t the case in the lower latitudes for the most part.  Selective fading was present through the session which was often visible on the waterfall but not all paths were impacted.  At 0210z, Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM and I had a CW QSO that I would characterize as the most stable since the late Fall/ early Winter season.  Its been since September that we have observed a truly stable path that allowed for an unimpeded, generally easy 10-minute QSO.

Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, was supposed to be QRV with 15-wpm CW through the overnight but Jim, W5EST, indicates he was not heard and apparently reported some problem during the previous session that may have also kept Paul off the air last night.

WSPR activity through the session was extremely high, higher than in previous weeks, with 89 MF WSPR stations reported on the WSPRnet activity page at 0330z.  Two new(newer) stations were observed although I think both have been listening before: N4LQ and AC2EU.  Welcome aboard!

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 122015

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 122015

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 122015

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 122015

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session.

EA8BVP is once again hearing G8HUH, in addition to regulars, DK7FC and EA5DOM.

EA8BVP 122015

EA8BVP 24-hour WSPR activity


Eden, ZF1EJ, had a nice session, reporting 10 stations, including Frank, K3DZ / WH2XHA, which may have been his first report from ZF1.

ZF1EJ 122015

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, operated WSPR15 with the hope of possibly some signal making it out of his backyard as aurora filled the skies.  Unfortunately, he reported only himself through this session.  I’m not certain which stations might have been listening for WSPR15 so its possible and likely that his signal might have been decoded in the lower-48 or Hawaii on WSPR-2.

In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a good session with reports once again from JA1NQI and JH3XCU, WE2XPQ who was under boiling skies, and much of the east coast of the mainland US.

WH2XCR 122015

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR JH3XCU 122015

WH2XCR, as reported by JH3XCU


WH2XCR JA1NQI1 122015

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-1


Merv also reported very fast QSB through the session in the Pacific.  Below are screen captures he sent showing the differences between just a few transmit cycles.

Fades at WH2XCR 122015

A fade at WH2XCR.  There are signals present in the waterfall if you look closely.


peaks at WH2XCR 122015

A peak at WH2XCR


JA1NQI-1 reported Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, during this session:

JA1NQI2 122015

JA1NQI-1 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XND JA1NQI2 122015

WH2XND, as reported by JA1NQI-1


Other anecdotes, statistics and comments from the session:

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that his SWR protection tripped around 0700z due to antenna icing.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported good conditions aside from the northern paths which were attenuated by a few db.  He also indicates that only WH2XND and WG2XIQ were heard by more than 40 unique stations through the session, both with 44.

WSPRnet was quite reliable through the overnight session.  Bruce, W1BW, reports that he has a few security patches to install tentatively between 0100z and 0200z tonight.  He also hopes to have a discussion about the future direction of WSPRnet.

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