This session was characterized by significant band instability where QSB dominated many transmissions. The geomagnetic field seems to have stabilized some but the effects are still seen on high latitudes paths, which may explain the generally poor conditions to and from WE2XPQ in Alaska and the low level of trans-Atlantic reports through this session. The Kp-index returned to quiet levels but the damage had already been done.
Daytime conditions from Texas were generally poor through the daylight hours compared to previous sessions. Reports were generally limited to WG2XXM and KF5JIA in Oklahoma.
In the Pacific Northwest, Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, operated JT9 through the afternoon in beacon mode. The first report that I could find was at 0005z from Steve, VE7SL,who indicated that Neil was S6.
Toby, VE7CNF, was reported to be running a CW beacon on 474.5 kHz through the afternoon, which was reported by Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, in Washington state at 2357z. The report was RST 569. Toby returned with JT9 at 0132z to be reported by Larry again at -5 db S/N.
Additional anecdotes and statistics will be shared later in this report.
Worldwide WSPR activity was once again very strong. At 0500z, 79 stations were operating MF WSPR in some capacity, more than any other band listed on WSPRnet at the time. Regional activity was as follows:
In the Atlantic, Ed, VP9GE, made another receive appearance but local noise or band instability impacted his reports through the session to some degree, only reporting two stations in the east.
In the Indiana Ocean, conditions were once again strong with Europeans being reported, including a new stations, Tom, G8HUH, representing the tenth station heard on Reunion Island on 630-meters.
Tom indicates by e-mail that his “antenna is a T with 11m vertical section with some base loading L of 190uH and 600pF top loading. I am using a class E amplifier about 100w giving me about 1.7w eirp on a good day.” Is Tom now the most distance station to be heard on Reunion Island? Who will be next?
Trans-Atlantic activity was very low. WD2XSH/17 reported Luis, EA5DOM, however. Luis has had a very interesting saga regarding his antenna construction and implementation that has played out recently on the RSGB “Blacksheep” reflector.
In the Caribbean, Eden and Roger continue to make reports from ZF1. Both were hearing WH2XGP during the session. Eden also reported John, VE7BDQ. I noted that some of ZF1RC’s reports seemed down compared to ZF1EJ and previous sessions and wondered if his antenna or receiver might have been impacted as a result of the storms on ZF1 at the end of the week while he was away or if local noise conditions were the sole contributing factor. It may be nothing at all.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, struggled to get a signal out of the north, where absorption is still very high and likely will be for some time. Laurence was still reported by a few stations in the west as Merv on KH6.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a very good night, receiving 609 reports from 23 stations and hearing 11. Merv also had a single report of Phil, VK3ELV, in Victoria, Australia. Merv was heard as far east as Jay’s, W1VD, QTH in Connecticut. The secret? Merv completed his power supply work and is now making about 100-watts into a matched load. The results are clear, based on the map below, and imagine how good it might be on a night where conditions are more stable. Congrats Merv! Now its time for the QSO’s to begin!
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicates that Merv reported him at +3 db S/N, the first time he has been heard in KH6 with positive numbers. Ken also indicated that he heard 10 unique stations, and was reported by 46 unique stations. Steve, VE7SL, indicates that Ken’s highest report was a +9 db S/N through the session.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicates that he was reported by 20 stations. Steve, VE7SL, reported that Neil peaked at +14 db S/N, which is remarkable given that John, VE7BDQ, is only 10-miles distant from Steve and typically is reported at +15 db S/N. Steve is receiving with his 70-foot lnverted-L where the top loading wires are over salt water and run parallel to the shoreline.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates that he was decoded by 36 stations, which was the most ever for him, including first time decodes from AC0ZL, W7MY, VE7SL, and KA8G. Doug and I also completed our first CW QSO with one another on 630-meters. Conditions were just strong enough at 0019z after seeing WSPR reports from Doug that were at -10 db S/N and improving. By the time we had finished, Doug was Q5 and fairly easy copy. Thanks for the two-way QSO Doug!
At 0138z Larry, WH2XGP, and I went on to complete a textbook JT9 QSO with his report at -21 and my report at -16.
During a CQ session on 474.5 kHz CW from 0150z to 0230z here at WG2XIQ, Larry indicated at 0207z that he can just hear bits of my CQ by was too weak at the moment for a QSO. At 0225z, Larry notes that he can now hear me in the speaker but unstable band conditions are resulting in fades with my signal. During this same session Ken, SWL/K9, in Indiana sent the following recording made at 0226z, just as I was coming to an end of the session:
My guess is that if I had come back at 0500z and called CQ again as I had originally planned I probably would have been able to complete another QSO in the west as their time in darkness had caught up.
My local CW sked at 1330z today went very smoothly with very quiet band conditions. Tomorrow morning we will resume the normal weekday schedule at 1130z on 474.5 kHz CW.
We had a big night for what I will refer to as “new” or “newer” receive stations. Some I have seen before while others I have no record.
N8WAC in Ohio was present but no reports were uploaded. I need to send an email and find out what his antenna is. He is joined by KA8G, N5JDT, NU6O, W1FRA, and our very own VE7SL, who is no stranger to 630-meters but has joined us in the WSPR melting pot. Welcome aboard!
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, has made contact with PY2VM and PY2XU about joining us on 630-meters. It seems that both operators are active JT65 users on 80-meters and the transition should be simple. It will be nice to see what is possible, particularly as our counterparts in Europe have had such success recently on the trans-equitorial path. Well done, Doug. You have been quite the trailblazer and we all benefit from your efforts.
So this session was a big one, it seems, with lots of concurrent but different activities. I am sure I have left something out.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!