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.

Extremely strong band with very low noise and high participation in spite of the persistent WSPRnet outages

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

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.

planetary-k-index 012316

Kyoto DST 012316

Kyoto DST for January 2016


Australia DST 012316

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported very good conditions from Vermont, with over 40-unique spotters of his signal and a trans-Atlantic report from DJ0ABR.

WG2XKA 012316

WG2XKA 24-hour WSPR activity


WG2XKA DJ0ABR 012316

WG2XKA, as reported by 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:

WH2XZO email 012416

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):

WG2XIQ console shot at 0055z 012416

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:

NA 012316

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 012316

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 012316

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 012316

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


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:

EA8BVP 012316

EA8BVP 24-hour WSPR activity


DK7FC EA8BVP 012316

DK7FC, as reported by EA8BVP


EA5DOM EA8BVP 012316

EA5DOM, as reported by EA8BVP


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:

TF3HZ 012316

TF3HZ 24-hour WSPR activity


EA5DOM TF5HZ 012316

EA5DOM, as reported by TF3HZ


DK7FC TF3HZ 012316

DK7FC, as reported by TF3HZ


G8HUH TF3HZ 012316

G8HUH, as reported by TF3HZ


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.

ZF1EJ 012316

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was not transmitting through this session but did provide reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, and Joe, NU6O / WI2XBV, as KL7L:

KL7L 012316

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR KL7L 012316

WH2XCR, as reported by 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.

WH2XCR 012316

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity



WH2XCR, as reported by TNUKJPM


WH2XCR JA1NQI1 012316

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-1


WH2XCR KL7L 012316

WH2XCR, as reported by KL7L


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



WH2XC VK3ELV 012316

WH2XCR (and others), as reported by VK2XGJ


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 antenna
0624  -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.



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.



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:

HAMWSPR test 012316

More details when appropriate.



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