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.
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:
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.
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.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
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.
Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, provided very good reports from the Caribbean. Eden had the good fortune of reporting WH2XCR.
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.
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.
Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from JA1NQI-2 and 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)!