OK, so here is the deal: WSPRnet dropped a LOT of spots overnight because of outages and server load. Fortunately I have received a number of emails from active operators with details and information about the band from their perspective which will help fill in the gaps. The WSPRnet website is just a convenience and an alternate site is being developed right now so WSPR is not going away but it may require you, the operator, to review your data in your WSPR console and determine if there is anything that is notable to report until the new system is functional. And, of course, this is not all about WSPR. We can spend time making 2-way QSO’s in a variety of other modes which has really slumped here in North America since the start of the year.
Now, on to the report.
It was a really strong session here in North America. Here in Texas, I was seeing reports of my signal from Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, at +11 dB S/N with comparable reports from others in the Midwest, North and Eastern US. I’m pretty certain that reports from WB0VAK in Minnesota were positive S/N values through the entire evening and much of the overnight. The path due north to Minnesota and Wisconsin has always been very good. Similarly the path to the east was very good, with very early reports at 2322z of Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, at -15 dB S/N. Doug was at CW levels for much of the night with a few curious fades during the mid-evening.
The solar wind was still at moderate levels, near 450 km/s and the Bz was pointing south for much of the session but has stabilized at this time, pointing slightly to the north.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported very good conditions from Vermont, with over 40-unique spotters of his signal and a trans-Atlantic report from DJ0ABR.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports that he has a 40 dB over S9 signal which he cannot identify at 474.5 kHz that is impacting his receive to a degree but still managed to have a very strong night of hearing and being heard by stations. Doug offered the following statistics:
Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, reported that my CW signal on 474.5 kHz was RST 579 at 0017z. I called CQ for approximately 20 minutes, starting at 0000z but no additional QSO’s were reported.
Jim, W5EST, reported my signal during the day at 2200z.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicates that he spotted Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, 144 times, with the best report at -12 dB S/N. Neil also reported 13 unique spotters of his signal with WH2XCR, WG2XIQ and WG2XXM in order of most distant reports. Neil had 109 decodes of WG2XIQ and notes that WH2XCR reported his signal 9 times with -19 dB S/N as his session best. Neil noted a large number of missed spots during the session.
This is what my WSPR waterfall looked like at 0055z from Texas (quite early for so many signals):
In spite of all the trouble with WSPRnet, activity was very high, with 83 MF WSPR stations observed at 0430z. N2KMF was the only new station noted through the session but there may have been others.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
The sole trans-Atlantic report for the session was previously reported between WG2XKA and DJ0ABR. There were no reports from the trans-African path.
EA8BVP reported EA5DOM and DK7FC once again from Canary Islands:
Its been my intention for a very long time to add the efforts of Halldor, TF3HZ, to my regular, daily reports giving his distance from population centers. For whatever reason, I have decided to start gathering this data when the data gathering is most difficult. Halldor spotted three European stations during this session:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported stations in the south and east through this session. Its possible that the longer-haul paths to the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii were lost as a failure of the WSPRnet upload process.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was not transmitting through this session but did provide reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, and Joe, NU6O / WI2XBV, as KL7L:
In the Pacific Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a large number of reports in spite of WSPRnet upload problems, including reports from JA1NQI-1 and TNUKJPM as well as KL7L and VK2XGJ. Merv also reported VK3ELV twice. The path to the North American mainland was very good with reports into the eastern US. The full magnitude of this very strong session won’t ever be realized but it was a very strong session for Merv and everyone else.
The following two reports were for VK3ELV, as reported at WH2XCR:
160124 1454 2 -25 0.3 0.4757764 VK3ELV QF33 37 2 8 0
160124 1516 1 -28 0.3 0.4757752 VK3ELV QF33 37 1 524 0
Mike, WA3TTS, sent the following reports for Merv that were lost in the upload process:
“Six XCR decodes overnight here in EN90xn on NW EWE antenna0624 -27 -0.9 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603
0642 -28 -0.9 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603
0748 -30 -0.8 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603
1004 -30 -0.9 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603
1014 -25 -0.8 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603
1018 -25 -0.8 0.475748 0 WH2XCR BL11 30 4603″
Additional anecdotes, reports, statistics and information:
Jim, W5EST, provided the following commentary about the path to WH2XCR from North America:
“Last Thursday, John XIQ via reflector offered an intriguing time window question–
21:52:22 W5EST Jim Fickle ionosphere, albeit some regularity, XCR-ja.
21:54:42 WG2XIQ John how does it vary to XCR day to day?…similar window for each station?
630m stations on both ends of the Hawaii-N.America paths are making it look steady, like tapping maple syrup, to receive WSPR decodes over the air. I used the “Sort By: SNR” database feature to read off times of peak SNRs into and from XCR by different days. I think a rough takeaway answer is either 9 Zulu or midpath midnight.
TABLE 1: best-path times to XCR become later (UTC), as one reviews stations geographically East coast to West coast.
TABLE 2: Best-path times from XCR to N. America seem to follow a similar pattern but less clearly, perhaps due to lower 1 watt XCR power. XCR-wi2xbq is the main reception exception, with peak SNRs timed all over, 06z-11z, depending on day and possibly affected by the storms that went through California last week.
TABLE 1: PEAK SNR HOURS* (z) FROM N. AMERICA TO WH2XCR
Path January 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Week’s Peak Midpath Midnight
VE7BDQ-xcr 10 X X 9 X 7 8-10 -7dB 1/19 0930z
WH2XGP-xcr 9 8-9 10-11 8-9 6 8 7-10 -1dB 1/21 0930z
WI2XBQ-xcr 7,11 7-9 11-12 10 6, 9 9 X -3dB 1/20 0930z
WG2XXP-xcr 7,9-11 9 7-8 7-8 10 8 10-11 -6dB 1/16 0910z
WG2XIQ-xcr 9 7-8 9-10 9 8-9 7 8-10 -5dB 1/18 0840z
WG2XXM-xcr X X X X X X 9-11 -10dB 1/22 0840z
WH2XZO-xcr X X X 8 8 X X -27dB 1/19 0815z
WG2XJM-xcr 9 X X X X X X -26dB 1/16 0820z
*Numeric hours Zulu means the entire hours beginning with the numeral. Give +/- 30 minutes wiggle room as well.
TABLE 2: PEAK SNR HOURS* (z) FROM WH2XCR TO N. AMERICA
Path XCR- January 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Week’s Peak
ve7bdq 9-10 8-9 10 8-9 8 9,12 9 -6dB 1/17
wh2xgp 9 9-10 10 9 9 9,13 10-12 -8dB 1/17
wi2xbq 7-8 8-9 10 8,10 11 6-7 6 -2dB 1/21
kk6eew X X 11,12,14 X X X X -25dB 1/18
w0jw 10 X X 9 9 6 X -23dB 1/18
wg2xiq 8-9 10-11 9 9 8,10 7-8 X -12dB 1/18
wg2xxm X X X X X X 12 -27dB 1/22
wg2xjm 10 X X 8 8 12 X -22dB 1/21
*Numeric hours Zulu means the entire hours beginning with the numeral. Give +/- 30 minutes wiggle room as well.”
Many of us in the ON4KST chat/logger got a chance to participate is some of the beta testing for the new WSPRnet alternative being developed by Winston, KJ6ICA. The system seems very sharp and as I am writing this report, Winston is apparently working on the data rendering module. Screen capture is below:
More details when appropriate.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!