These titles are getting longer and longer and only scratch the surface but I suppose this fact is a testament to the amount of activity currently in progress on 630-meters. The sweet spot, which has been between the Thanksgiving holiday and New Years day in recent years is about a month behind this year so we seem to be right in the middle of improving conditions and hopefully they continue for a long time.
The geomagnetic field was stable through the session. The Bz component, as reported by the Space Weather Prediction Center, was generally very near 0 nT and ranging up to +4 nT through the session. The solar wind was moderate, reported in the mid-450 km/s range.
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports that the path to the Pacific Northwest was open to and from his station in Vermont. This high-latitude path has been closed for some days but yielded reports for and from Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP in Washington state. John indicates 33 unique WSPR reports of his signal through this session while Larry reports 40 unique reports while hearing 10 stations.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates similar improvements in the higher latitude path where the spot ratio of WH2XXP and WH2XGP improved from over 10:1 in previous recent sessions to 5:1 overnight. As reported yesterday, 2:1 has been considered good/normal at Doug’s station. Overall, conditions were reported as similar or slightly down over other paths from South Carolina during the session.
As reported in a previous session, David, G0MRF, had a planned portable operation using a large antenna from a hilltop location with power during this session. Details follow:
As it turns out this event was a huge success and gave a number of us here in North America and Europe a lot of fun on a Saturday night. David reports that he was successful in making QRSS3 QSO’s with SV8CS and SV3DVO, which represent his best QRSS3 success on 630-meters. Screen captures follow.
After 0100z, the plan was to try for a QRSS3 QSO between G0MRF/p and Joe, VO1NA, in Newfoundland. As Steve, VE7SL, quipped last night, Joe is half way to Europe from his location. Good locations never hurt! Here in Texas I was listening between WSPR’s on a 2nd receiver but knew that my best chance to keep track of the action was to listen on the University of Twente WebSDR located in the Netherlands. John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, was listening with a Yaesu FT-857 and low noise vertical from Vermont and Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, was listening from South Carolina. It is unclear which receiver Doug was using but I suspect his receive antenna was the HIZ 160-meter array.
I could easily hear the G0MRF/p QRSS on the webSDR and was able to provide cues for both John and Doug when signals might be present. Both stations started out on 477.7 kHz and while I was hearing David’s portable signal, Joe’s signal from NewFoundland was neither audible not visible on the webSDR running at real-time speeds. John was a little more lucky than Doug and I, seeing just a trace of what we believe to be Joe’s signal via RF in North America. John indicates that the signal was just above the noise floor and QSB was present through the experiment. Four screen captures are provided below:
David reports that after these shots were taken, the two decided to split their frequencies, with Joe remaining on 477.7 kHz and David moving to 477.1 kHz. Here in North America, we found out after the move had occurred so no further reports were observed. David sent a very nice screen shot of Joe’s signal, shown below, followed by another screen shot from Joe as David is calling . Fades were deep so a QSO did not occur on this night but it was fantastic fun trying and living vicariously through both David and Joe.
WSPR activity was generally very good through the session although load and connection issues with the WSPRnet server make an accurate depiction of the session difficult as many stations are reporting that uploads were failing and spots were subsequently lost if not manually uploaded once again. At one point in the session, 56 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page. Ten minutes later, 87 stations were reported. Take your pick about which value is more accurate for the session as a whole.
Daytime activity was one again very good with numerous stations operating through the daylight hours. Note the daytime reports are incomplete and unfortunately do not show all active stations through the session.
There were several new or newer stations receiving during this session, including K9RQ in Florida and K2NCC in Oregon. Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports that VE6ZC and VE6JR were new but I was thinking VE6JR had made a previous appearance. At any rate, we have had so many new stations – really a record season so far – that it is difficult to keep up. Neil indicates that Frank, K2NCC, stumbled onto 630-meter WSPR after finding the other bands generally dead and was rewarded and pleasantly surprised by eight reception reports and 378 total spots through the session. Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicated that Frank provided him with 38 spots. Its not too often that a station that shows up on a whim has such success so quickly. Congrats and welcome aboard.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There was a single trans-Atlantic WSPR report for DK7FC, provided by WD2XSH/17:
EA8/LA3JJ, UA0SNV, and VP9GE were present through the session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
The trans-African path was very active once again, with many Europeans being reported by Michel, FR5ZX, on Reunion Island.
Also of note, Michel is apparently testing his transmitter as there were reports from Mondon, FR5DN during the session.
In the Caribbean, both Roger, ZF1RC, and Eden, ZF1EJ, experience strong reporting conditions. Eden had nice reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR and Roger had some very nice and numerous reports for stations into the Northwestern region of the US. Roger continued his experiment, this time running the FTdx5000 and InLogis loop as a single receive pair with two separate decoders. ZF1RC was designated to the WSJTx decoder and ZF1RC/2 to the WSPR-X decoder. Roger reports that the WSPR-X software crashed during the session while WSJTx operated fine without problems. Thanks to Roger for his efforts and his clarifications.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was in receive-only mode through this session.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, is reported by two in Japan and two in Australia, including John, VK2XGJ, who reports that Merv was heard early, starting during a noisy, rainy late evening at his QTH. Also notable, its my belief that one of the JA station, JH1INM, is reporting Merv for the first time. If anyone knows for sure, please send me a note to confirm or deny.
Other anecdotes, statistics, and comments from the session not previously reported:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he heard 11 unique stations and was reported by 52 unique stations through the session.
I heard 12 stations and had 50 unique reporting stations through the session here at WG2XIQ in Texas.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, sent this nice screen capture and graphic of his session:
Jim, W5EST, had the following comments for this session:
“630m reception of Europe at FR5ZX grew and changed shape like a geographic amoeba. Starting 2030z in Germany followed by Spain, then Netherlands showed during a first 2 hours. Italy came in 2300z as Netherlands faded from that coverage. Finally the coverage contracted until only Germany and Spain were left by 0200z.
VK3ELV was qrv since 1318z but nil into Hawaii’s WH2XCR all night, even though he decoded XCR once at 1354z. Propagation took until 1754z to put VK3ELV into Japan’s JA1NQI-1.
XCR enjoyed a 4 hour string of 13 decodes at VK2XGJ. WH2XGP in Washington state peaked at XCR much sooner and had faded before VK evening could admit him to Australia.
Propagation smiled on Merv XCR into JA1NQI-1, who decoded peak SNR -15dB 1202z–tops in at least two weeks! XCR peaked during a one-hour outcrop of signal–up 6 dB in that 6 hour group of 27 NQI decodes. At 6300 km JH1INM did well, pulling in 13 decodes of XCR over 3 hours.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!