Average to above average propagation was observed during the day on 630-meters with some degradation in the evening on some paths. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good night for most stations that were QRV in the lower-48 as well WH2XCR in the Pacific, but generally speaking the S/N numbers were down for most stations while numbers of spots were probably pretty consistent with other sessions. If you were hoping for all-time best numbers, last night was probably not the night.
After generally quiet conditions through the daylight hours in North America, the geomagnetic field returned to unsettled conditions. Solar wind speeds were generally in excess of 550 km/s through the session and the Bz component was generally to the south with a few northerly excursions.
VE3OT’s QRSS6 beacon “MP” was not visible during the daylight hours here in Texas and was only marginally visible during the evening, which represents a very strong difference from previous sessions where this beacon was audible and arm-chair copy.
During the afternoon hours and at Jim’s, W5EST, request, I operated a QRSS30 beacon on 475.3 kHz at an estimated 100 mW ERP. The transmissions ceased at 2330z. Jim reports that he was unable to detect the signal but Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, reports that the signal was quite visible in western Pennsylvania. Using comparisons with my WSPR signal shortly after QRSS30 transmissions ceased, its possible to surmise that the 100 mW signal was probably near -30/-31 db S/N.
WSPR station activity was in the upper-70’s when the WSPRnet activity page was checked during the early North American evening. W9BS has returned during this session.
Daytime activity was good and several stations were active and yielding strong signals for daytime. I am not aware of any daytime QSO’s at this time.
Regional and continental breakdowns follow:
AA1A provided a single report for DK7FC:
There were no trans-African reports through this session.
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, both report the same stations so its possible that Roger has made significant advances in his noise abatement process.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, showed sparse WSPR activity until early this morning after JT9 operation lead to a mishap in restarting WSPR later in the evening from what I am gathering. Needless to say, Laurence received some reports after the restart. No word on the outcome of the JT9 activity. KL7L is designated for receive only.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a pretty typical night, although reports on the mainland US stopped before reaching the Mississippi river once again.
Additional statistics, anecdotes and reports:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, operated 1-watt TPO during the overnight session due to antenna icing and had really remarkable results, being heard in the west as far as K9HDE. As I stated yesterday, QRP can work very well on this band when using the right modes.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports 113 spots for WH2XXP in Arizona but Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP was QRT due to ice on the antenna so there is no band quality ratio to report today.
Dave, WB0VAK, who is one of our recent new receive stations from Wisconsin sent a note with reports today and indicates that he is using a North/South oriented Double Bazooka with the apex at 65-foot and the ends at 10-foot and a Kenwood TS-590 receiver, both of which are doing very well. All of Dave’s spots of WG2XIQ were at CW levels as well as a long list of levels that could be serviced by sound card digital modes. I look forward to a QSO with Dave once the band opens to hams! Dave had 71 total spots during his listening time but the list was sufficiently long that I could not format the data on this screen properly. I have instead included Dave’s spots of my station.
Jim, W5EST, provides the follow session profile for Ralph, W0RPK:
“Ralph W0RPK in coastal North Carolina on Jan. 1 has bagged the farthest south trans-atlantic (TA) spot into USA so far this season. Wee hours of New Year’s Day 2016 posed unfavorable Bz and Dst together with strong aurora south of Greenland in the North Atlantic. Excellent TA propagation into W0RPK nevertheless yielded two decodes of 200 milliwatt DJ0ABR -25dB 0136-0142z from 7154 kilometers distance.
Ralph actively receives 630 meters–and 2200 meters as well–from an urban residence using a do-it-yourself E-probe antenna 20 feet up and old TS-430S receiver. He picks reception nights featuring little or no local thunderstorm QRN. Regional storm activity Jan. 1 may nevertheless have increased the SIQ* compared to 630m usual 6-8dB. The storms probably spread out the SNRs of 630m USA stations at Ralph’s receiver.”
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