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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but QRV after dark tonigth

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1015z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

Good domestic propagation as geomagnetic conditions quieten for much of North America but longer haul paths are tough, Alaska engulfed in aurora but a few signals still reported

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Generally speaking this was a pretty good session.  Nothing flashy happened but the noise level was pretty low and signals within North America were very strong.  John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports that the transcontinental high latitude path to the Pacific Northwest was open in both directions from his station in Vermont and I can report that Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, was very strong during the evening, with reports exceeding +15 db S/N on several cycles.  It was interesting to watch on the waterfall and the signal audio had a different character to it.  If I didn’t know better, I would swear Ken was adjusting the power but I don’t believe that to be the case.  I think the spot light was simply very bright and moving around.  A lot.

The geomagnetic field was quiet and generally very stable and perhaps we are moving into another few days of quiet conditions with the magnetic field.  I know that Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, could use some relief from the electron reservoir that is fuelling his aurora under otherwise quiet conditions.  The Bz component was generally southerly through this session, as reported by the Space Weather Prediction Center and solar wind remains in the mid-400 km/s range this morning.

planetary-k-index 121415

The Kyoto DST was very stable through the session.  Its curious that Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, has not had any reports from JA through these recent periods of calm geomagnetic conditions.  Referencing a previous comment made by John, W1TAG, conditions may be too calm.

Kyoto DST 121415

Kyoto DST for December 2015


Australian DST was generally above zero index units but noise and longer days are likely major contributors to the recent lack of activity from VK.

Australia DST 121415

Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, reported that he would be QRV on 479.904 kHz with QRSS120 through the overnight period in North America until dawn.  I have not seen any reports or screen shots for his operation yet but will add them if they become available.

WSPR activity remain high, with 76 MF WSPR stations reported during the North American evening on the WSPRnet activity page.  This, in spite of significant access problems to the website during the evening.  This morning access to the site was very good which leads me to believe that there is either a bandwidth or overloaded server processor(s).  I am picturing thousands of amateurs worldwide pressing F5 to refresh the page again and again, only adding to the problem.  Three new WSPR receive stations were recognized during this session:  W8QYT, WB7ABP, and KF6SJ.  Welcome Aboard!

There are no daytime reports for this session.  Daytime activity was generally low and I only observed WH2XXP QRV through the daylight hours, who was being reported by NO1D on a ground wave path.  I suspect everyone was either drying out or preparing for inclement weather.  My station was operating at reduced power while guy ropes dried out from the previous night’s storms.

The regional and / or continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 121415

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 121415

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 121415

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 121415

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


Trans-Atlantic activity was limited to reports by WD2XSH/17 of DK7FC and EA5DOM:

EA5DOM WD2XSH17 121415

EA5DOM, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DK7FC WD2XSH17 121415

DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


There were no reports from the trans-African path.  Michel, FR5ZX, was QRV through the overnight session, however.

EA8BVP continues to report DK7FC and EA5DOM:

EA8BVP 121415

EA8BVP 24-hour WSPR activity


In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, had an almost carbon copy night of previous sessions, hearing most of the active stations in the US.

ZF1EJ 121415

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


As previously mentioned, Alaska is shrouded in auroral activity fuelled by electron’s precipitated from the ring current reservoirs.  Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, found some success through the session, however, running a complicated combination of WSPR-2 and -15 on 472 kHz and 137 kHz.

WE2XPQ 121415

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a pretty good night, hearing Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, in the east.  Its possible those two could complete a JT9 QSO on a night when the long haul paths are a little stronger.

WH2XCR 121415

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, was reported by JH3XCU/1 late in the previous session.  I am including it here due to complexities with the International Date line.

VK3ELV 121415

VK3ELV 24-hour WSPR activity


VK3ELV JH3XCU1 121415a

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU/1


Other anecdotes and statistics:

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates that nine stations were reported at his station, while he was reported by 34 unique stations, which includes WH2XCR and was 3-db better than previous sessions at W5EST and WD2XSH/17, with -7 db S/N and +10 db S/N, respectively.  Doug also reports that his recent work to increase antenna height from 69-foot to 82-foot has yielded 42 of 50 all-time best S/N reports, occurring in just three days.  This is very good news and a good education for any would-be 630-meter operators and station builders.  Doug also reports that the ends of his top loading wires have remained at the same height, apparently showing no detrimental impact to station performance, in fact, quite the opposite.

This morning’s CW session yielded no additional QSO’s but I did receive a report from Bill, N3CXV / WH2XRR, in Maryland as he was QRTing for work at 1130z that I was an “easy RST559”.  Thanks for that report, Bill!  Always appreciated.

Peter, VK4QC, posted the following on the VK/ZL 600-meter Yahoo group:

VKCW 121415

Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page!