I hope we did not use all of the good propagation during this session since the Midwinter 630-meter Activity Weekend starts tonight! The band was very strong over night with a number early reports, all time highs and persistent CW-levels (even phone levels) for a number of stations. The noise level, at least here in Texas, was better than previous sessions where storm noise was a major influence but last night was still off the all time lows. The geomagnetic field was quiet although elevated once again. The Bz was generally pointing south but has since stabilized and solar wind is elevated to moderate levels, exceeding 450 km/s. As has been speculated in the past, these more active conditions seem to be more beneficial than a perfectly quiet session more often than not.
In Europe, Spiros, SV8CS, and Luis, EA5DOM, completed what is believed to be the first QSO between those two countries on 630-meters. Stefan, DK7FC, and Ottar, LA1TN, also got involved in the action. The report from RSGB “Blacksheep” is below:
Eden, ZF1EJ, reported that Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, was RST559 on CW at 0328z. I did not see the message until about 15-minutes later and when I listened on usual CW frequencies, I did not hear him.
WSPR activity was once again very high, with 83 MF WSPR stations observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0100z. Three new stations were observed providing reception reports during this session: W9NED, VE3FEFF (not a typo on my part), and N2NXZ. Welcome aboard!
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported lower than average noise levels in Vermont, with a good path to the Pacific Northwest and West coast with 42-unique reporting stations total.
Mike, WA3TTS, had another nice receive session with WH2XCR and others and provided these very detailed statistics:
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, had a very strong night and sent the follow statistics. His best DX, KB0BRY, is one of the recently active stations in Minnesota that seems to hear so well.
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, decoded 11 stations and was decoded by 45 unique stations on WSPR2 and reports that he heard WE2XPQ on WSPR15 the entire night. His WSPR15 reports do not appear to be visible in the WSPRnet database, however.
John, VE7BDQ, decode 10 stations and was decoded by 30 unique stations on WSPR2 and reports that he had “many” decodes of WE2XPQ on WSPR15.
Eden, ZF1EJ, also reported that he decoded 12, which was an all-time best for him and noted that my signal reached positive numbers through the session, including a +12 dB S/N around 1100z.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, had the following comments out the session and this coming session:
I wanted to also comment on the stations in Minnesota that seem to hear incredibly well pretty much all the time. This northern path from Texas appears to always be open to some degree. As I am developing this report, I am seeing JT9-level reports of my signal from WB0VAK. Some of the other notable players from this region include KB0BRY, NX0P, and WD0AKX. Perhaps extremely quiet local conditions allow for strong reports, or perhaps it goes deeper and involves similar longitudes and magnetic lines of force. I don’t know the answer but I look forward to being able to make QSO’s with each of these stations and only hope that I can hear as well as they do.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
HamWSPR.com continues to render WSPR reports. Below is a screen capture of North American activity:
There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session.
EA8BVP on the Canary Islands returned for this session, providing reports from EA5DOM and DK7FC:
As previously reported, Eden, ZF1EJ, decoded 12 WSPR stations during this session, which is an all-time high, including WH2XCR on KH6:
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, operated WSPR15 with great success, being reported by a number of stations including JA1NQI-2 for a second consecutive session. Laurence notes that WD2XSH/20 was at CW levels around 1300z but that WH2XCR was not as strong as normal. This may be the result of the storm system approaching KH6. Laurence also reported my signal, WG2XIQ, which is often indicative of very good conditions since this path does not appear to open very often. KL7L was designated for receive only on 472 kHz.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, was decoded by John, VK2XGJ, Eden, ZF1EJ, and many stations in the eastern third of the US. The path to JA was closed to KH6, however, and might be related to the open path for WE2XPQ to JA or perhaps the terrestrial weather phenomenon that Merv has observed to have an impact on his propagation on a number of occasions. Similarly, the path to and from Alaska was down from previous sessions. Merv notes that he could see Laurence’s WSPR15 signal in the waterfall but QSB was very active, moving from audible levels well into the noise.
John, VK2XGJ, provided the following screen shot showing Merv’s signal on the waterfall. This report was extremely early in the session but has come to be a common theme on this path when it is open.
Additional statistics, comments, information, and anecdotes:
Jim, W5EST, provides the following interesting discussion on signal variability over short distances and some solutions to the problem that involve diversity reception:
“VIEWPOINT: JT9, RX ANTENNAS, AND SPATIAL DIVERSITY
Yesterday I offered a scatterplot of diverse Doug WH2XZO wspr SNRs decoded at Jay W1VD and John WG2XKA. Today, let’s look at the accompanying chronological sequences of those SNRs.
Plenty of times during the evening and night W1VD received JT9-favorable XZO SNRs while WG2XKA simultaneously received XZO SNRs far less favorable to JT9. And vice versa.
The green rectangle over most of the night shows that if it were somehow possible to use the decodes at both XKA and W1VD for a poor man’s diversity reception, long stretches of the evening and night would be favorable for JT9 on this path. By contrast, the areas below the green rectangle shown numerous times when one station or the other would be suffering unfavorable JT9 conditions. (JT9 is more robust than the -15dB low-end SNR shows, but you get the point.)
Would it be possible for ops at two receiving stations not far from each other to combine the one-minute JT9 receptions so to speak? For instance, could one of them provide a real-time JT9 decode screen image over the Internet for the other to use to send a responsive transmission to a remote station like XZO? We know how to put a near-real-time grabber waterfall image on the internet–how about doing it for the JT9 screen for the savvy 630m JT9 operator to use along with his own JT9 screen?
Bad idea, old news, already tried? You be the judge based on your experience of what’s possible with JT9 and internet technology in a TX/RX-dense region like New England, Texas, California, or Pacific Northwest. And if you have an even better idea for accomplishing something like spatial diversity on 630m, let us know.
JT9 screenshots in last October 28’s blog* show 3rd-party JT9 receptions of a QSO. Toby VE7CNF monitored Larry XGP JT9 with John XIQ. Eden ZF1EJ and Ken SWL/EN61 monitored Doug XZO JT9 with John XIQ. GL and go JT9 more!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!