Radio: it's not just a hobby, it's a way of life

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but will be QRV on CW somewhere between 472.5 kHz and 475 kHz after dark

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1030z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

Geomagnetic storms continue; WH2XPJ –> DL4RAJ; VK4YB, VK3ELV –> WH2XCR –> VK2XGJ, ZF1EJ; WH2XHY CW beacon active.

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Note:  some sections of today’s report are abridged due to draft errors with Word Press.  I didn’t have time to go back and recreate content.  Hopefully tomorrow is better.

In spite of persisting geomagnetic storms, the band was really not too bad for stations in the continental US.  Station activity was high and while I might expect absorption to have a significant impact, many reports through the overnight hours were as good or better than the previous session.  I’m sure this is not the case at higher latitudes.

The geomagnetic field was at storm levels for much of the session with a variable Bz that was mostly south-pointing.  Solar wind speed was high, with value in excess of 600 km/s observed.

planetary-k-index 021816


Kyoto DST 021816


Australia 021816


Steve, WD8DAS / WH2XHY, indicated that he was QRV with a CW beacon on 475 kHz at 0200z.  Mark, WA9ETW, noted that he was RST599+ in the ON4KST chat/logger.

Nicolas, F4DTL, reported a QRSS3 CW QSO with DC8CE on the RSGB “blacksheep” reflector and provided the following screen capture:

DC8CE QRSS3 F4DTL 021816

DC8CE QRSS3, as visualized by F4DTL


John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported that  almost all of his reports for the session were east of the -97 meridian with the exception of WH2XXP.  John also noted that in spite of the clearly impacted propagation, he received over 1000 reports in a 12-hour period.

WG2XKA 021816

WG2XKA 12-hour WSPR activity


John also noted an adjacent signal to VE3OT’s CW beacon on 475 kHz during the early evening.  Any ideas what it might be?  I don’t believe that WH2XHY was QRV that early but perhaps he was testing.

VE3OT WG2XKA 021816

VE3OT with adjacent signal, as reported by WG2XKA in Vermont


Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 021816

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 021816

European 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 021816

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 021816

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-African path.  UA0SNV was present but no reports were observed in the WSPRnet database.

Clemens, DL4RAJ, reported WG2XJP on the trans-Atlantic path.

WG2XPJ DL4RAJ 021816

WG2XJP, as reported by DL4RAJ


Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, provided very good reports from the Caribbean.  Eden had the good fortune of reporting WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 021816

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1RC 021816

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR ZF1EJ 021816

WH2XCR, as reported by ZF1EJ


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, experienced high absorption during this session but still managed reports from John, VE7BDQ, and Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR.  KL7L had no reports during this session.

WE2XPQ 021816

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ WH2XCR 021816

WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a nice surprise with first time reports for VK4YB.  Merv was also reported as far EAST as WG2XJM and WH2XZO in the eastern US.

WH2XCR 021816

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR WE2XPQ 021816

WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 021816

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


VK4YB WH2XCR 021816

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR


VK3ELV WH2XCR 021816

VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XCR


Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JA1NQI-2 and TNUKJPM:

VK3ELV JA1NQI2 021816

VK3ELV, as reported by JA1NQI-2



VK3ELV, as reported by TNUKJPM


Jim, W5EST, provided the following discussion entitled, “THE FRACTIONAL QSO: JOURNEY INTO 630M WONDERLAND?”:

“Today I take up a question unknown to ionospheric physics. The matter is even foreign to information science, Claude Shannon and all that. It’s a question I think that could only occur to amateur radio operators, namely, “What is a QSO when spatial diversity of receiving antennas is involved?”  Compare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_(amateur_radio)

To us a QSO at minimum generally means communications in some order such as 1) an initial transmission by some station that sends least their call sign, 2) a second station sending their call sign and a signal report, 3) the first station sending a signal report to the second, and 4) some indication of acknowledgment by the second station, if only “R” or “dit dit.”  A QSO is or isn’t. There is no in-between… Or is there?

I suggest that what a QSO usually means to us tacitly assumes that there is either just one receiving antenna at each station or that the distance between multiple receiving antennas is vanishingly small compared to the distance between the stations having the QSO. But now recall the blog posts Feb. 5 and 14 about 630m spatial diversity reception. If a contact involves something like the four parts above, then I further suggest the fractional QSO number that occurred is:

         QSOf = [[1 – 2 max dxk / dxi] + [1 – 2 max dij / dxi] ] /2.

Maximum of distances dij is the distance between the transmitter of station i and the most distant receiving antenna j being used by station i either on its own or as a diversity antenna. Ditto by analogy for distances dxk regarding the second station x and antenna k.  If that distance more than half the distance dxi between transmitters, then it’s capped at the half-distance.

In other words, a fractional QSO can indeed exist and that fraction comes from the average represented by

 [[1 – 2 max dxk / dxi] + [1 – 2 max dij / dxi] ] /2.

For paths across the globe, baseline distances between diversity antennas can be rather long and still be meaningful when used to establish QSOs.  For paths across regions, use of shorter diversity baselines would be more nearly analogous to the ham concept of a QSO.  A QSO using a diversity antenna situated halfway or farther than that between the stations should count, but not as much as a full QSO, since it significantly includes an Internet play to cover a lot of the distance.

For instance, if a station in N. America solely used VK information obtained from a grabber in VK to contact that VK station in the 4-part sense, while the VK does their part the traditional way by receiving the N.A. station and replying, that’s half a QSO, I think: (1+0)/2 .  If two stations on the opposite coasts of North America each use diversity antennas 1/20 the distance between the transmitters, then it’s a 95% QSO (0.95 + 0.95)/2. Etc.

Nevertheless, as Joe WI2XBQ pointed out, using diversity antennas situated all over the globe may be vital for scientific purposes such as mapping the ionosphere.  So, diversity for purposes of a QSO is one thing, diversity for other amateur purposes may mean quite another thing.  We can rightly be proud of 630m WSPR successes. Moreover, any “QSO fraction” on 630m merits our hearty congratulations!”


Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!