This session was characterized by very good propagation in the south in spite of thunderstorms that extended from the gulf coast into the upper Midwest. High latitudes seemed to be impacted by some absorption from rapidly changing propagation, possibly the result of approaching geomagnetic storm levels bringing elevated Kp-indices, solar wind and south-pointing Bz. Even so, stations like John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, experienced an open trans-Atlantic path, yielding a report for Stefan, DK7FC. John noted an average night with varying signal levels which is consistent with the variability seen in other areas through the evening.
Before sunset in Texas I noted in the ON4KST chat/logger that the path from WG2XIQ to WG2XJM in Pennsylvania appeared to peak an hour before local sunset. It is likely that the increased thunderstorm noise was a contributor to the perceived weakness of the path closer to sunset. Larry, W7UIV / WH2XGP, noted at 0054z, pre-sunset in Washington state, that WG2XIQ was reported early at his station. In addition to elevated noise conditions through the evening, at 0250z signals became watery, even appearing smudged on the waterfall before completely dropping out. Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, noted a dead band while dealing with elevated local noise conditions. This fade persisted for about 5 minutes before the band stabilized and signals returned.
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, noted very good band conditions in spite of QRN. Doug has had some changes at his station in South Carolina that has impacted his operation including progress in improving the receive capabilities of his HI-Z receive array on 630-meters. Its exciting to see improvements in his receive capabilities as there are a lot of these HI-Z systems in use in the US ham community.
WSPR activity was as strong as it has been in over a month with persistent periods of 80+ stations noted on the WSPRnet activity page. 87 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0045z and 89 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0345z. Two new or newer/returning stations were observed during this session: WA9EIC and KB4RG. Welcome aboard!
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
HAMWSPR continues to perform very well as the developer continues to add functionality and fix bugs. The system forwards reports to WSPRnet and interested users can begin porting data to this alternative system by modifying the HOSTS file located in drivers/etc to add the following redirect record using notepad that is “RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR”: 18.104.22.168 WSPRnet.org . Once saved (NOT AS A TEXT FILE!), closing and reopening the WSPR / JT9 console will establish a new, rerouted connection.
There were no reports on the trans-African path. UA0SNV was present from Asiatic Russia but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
Trans-Atlantic reports were better than they have been in some days with DK7FC and EA5DOM reported in New England by WG2XKA, W1VD, and WE2XGR/3.
Eden, ZF1EJ, had a surprisingly good session with stations in the south and east in spite of the elevated noise levels.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, once again operated WSPR15 on 630-meters under weak visual aurora conditions. Laurence notes many WSPR2 reports for WH2XCR and WH2XGP that were at CW levels around 0830z. He will operate WSPR15 once again this evening. KL7L was designated as receive-only through this session for WSPR 2 and 15.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, sent the following report and comments about the WSPR15 session, along with a screen shot of his waterfall.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, enjoyed a return of the path to JA, with reports from JA1NQI-2 and JH1INM, in addition to the northern path to Alaska. The mainland US path was also very good although noise conditions in the east yielded only one report for Merv at -23 dB S/N by Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, in western Pennsylvania.
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, received two reports from TNUKJPM in Japan late during the previous session.
Additional anecdotes, comments, information and statistics:
Ken, SWL/K9, in Indiana reports a new noise source impacting him that appears to be active only during the day. Ken suspects that this noise is related to utility meters in his neighborhood. Similarly, Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, reports that he has extremely strong noise that he cannot null with his receive loop and suspects that its related to a ballast for lighting at a local “grow” house. More than likely the noise is back-feeding the utility lines which are acting as antennas, which would explain why the noise cannot be nulled. Hopefully both stations can find a peaceful resolution.
Jim, W5EST, provided the following 630-meter word puzzle. Answers are at the bottom of this page:
“TODAY’S 630M PUZZLE
Using all 18 letters from the three resource words, complete the five words for “Something important to many 630m stations.” Enjoy!
_ _ _ R S _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I _ _ _ _ T _ _
POTION, GLASSWARE, ION”
Vinny, DL6II, notes improved transmitter stability during last night’s WSPR15 session with reports from DG3LV and possibly F6CNI, but the email that confirms this latter report cannot be found at the moment.
The Midwinter 630-meter activity weekend will start on February 6 at 0000z. Join US experimental stations, Canadian Amateurs, and the Marine Radio Historical Society for a fun weekend and test your receiver and antennas!
ANSWER TO TODAY’S 630 METER PUZZLE: oi are so not lan gip sw. (missing letters backwards):
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!