Persistent periods of geomagnetic storming have significantly increased high latitude attenuation on most northern paths. Southern paths generally enjoyed good propagation, although there was a report from Al, WI2XBV, in Florida that he was experiencing QRN from storms that were diminishing in the Atlantic ocean.
The geomagnetic field persisted at storm levels with only a few reporting periods of quiet conditions. The Bz was reported to be strongly South-pointing although it has turned back to the North and solar wind had been high, at nearly 550 km/s.
Nicholas, F4DTL, reported a first ever QSO between France and Spain on QRSS3 CW with Luis, EA5DOM. Nicholas also worked Spiros, SV8CS, for the second time (not shown).
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, was QRV again after being away for a bit on business and sent along these comments after a very good session that netted reports from WH2XCR in Hawaii:
Mike, WA3TTS, reported that a pipeline developed to WH2XCR while the Pacific Northwest path was likely non-existent. In a follow up message Mike noted that there was a persistence to Merv’s reports not often seen, particularly where the reports are higher than reports from WG2XJM, where ice and snow is possibly impacting Eric’s very good receive antennas.
77 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0430z. K2RWF was observed as either a new station or a recent addition to the 630-meter receive corp. Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session. UA0SNV was present from Asiatic Russia but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database from him.
Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, reported most of the active stations in the South and Eastern US with Eden also providing a reported for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR. Roger noted that the Internet was down during his evening but that he had an early report for WH2XZO. This contrasts the previous session where Roger’s first report was four hours later.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was either QRT or had no reports for this session but notes that he is operating WSPR-15 on both 2200- and 630-meters.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, received reports from John, VK2XGJ, JA1NQI-2, ZF1EJ and much of the US mainland, including WA3TTS and WG2XJM. Merv also reported decodes for Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, and Phil, VK3ELV.
Phil, VK3ELV, also had reports from JA1NQI-2 and TNUKJPM from late in the previous session:
Additional anecdotes, comments, statistics and information:
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, has been QRT due to driving wind and snow, making his antenna match difficult to maintain.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, noted that he only reported five stations but was reported by fourteen unique stations, including Claude, AC0ZL.
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicated that he decoded nine stations, with reports from 42 unique stations.
Jim, W5EST, provides this commentary based on a recent discussion of WSPR-2, and -15:
“Laurence, WE2XPQ KL7L in Wasilla, Alaska, transmits 10 watts ERP or so on 630m. He uses WSPR2 and WSPR15 at opportune times.
Japanese operators occasionally receive him ~5600km at JH1INM, JH3XCU, JE1JDL & JA1NQI-1 on WSPR2. Successful as they remarkably are, JA1NQI-2 logs many more WSPR15 decodes by comparison. In North America, VE7BDQ, W0YSE, KK6EEW land WSPR15 from Laurence. Who knows how much farther east in N.A. is possible!
Especially for aurora-prone higher latitudes where nighttime absorption prowls the 630m frontier, WSPR15 may help you dive down to -37dB and deeper. Ditto for nighttime DX stations who receive or transmit WSPR15. WSPR15 can help study 630m daytime prop at any latitude.
Laurence and John XIQ dialog next. Summary Q&A about WSPR15 follow after.
XPQ says: WSPR15 for 137kHz has a lot of merit. But I see a lot of pooh pooing it for 630m because of perceived faster and rapid QSB sometimes seen…WSPR15 being too slow to follow the deep and fast QSB and therefore give a positive decode. Over 4000km paths I sometimes see slower QSB than on shorter and higher angle multi hops.
Important: Both 137 and 475 are very variable beasts. Ionosphere is a very difference place both in geographic and magnetic latitude on a minute to minute to day to day basis. Like a global view of the swirling cloud patterns is how I view the ionosphere. Ionosphere varies from place to place & depends on TX/RX locations and directions, N/S better vs. W/E.
In Alaska, I typically gain using WSPR15 with improved decodes over WSPR2 on long hauls. I think the somewhat voiced negative view that WSPR15 is too “slow” for 630m needs another look. It’s worthwhile here.
I’ve had long haul receptions of WD2XSH/6 and /7 in Mississippi and Louisiana over 5KKms away. QRSS10 clear here at times…DFCW10 even better and even though I beam E to SE for them, and how much Auroral spread I’ve seen at 630m. QRSS speeds around 10 can be QSO-able speeds at this distance.
XIQ says: WSPR-15 needs more stable package than WSPRx. Get dual mode simultaneous decode with WSPR2 and WSPR15 like JT9 & JT65 in WSJTx. I need more TX stability for WSPR15. I used to use my U3 but its sitting on the bench.
XPQ replies: Yes…remove the grayed out box in wsjtx… I’m using U3 for WSPR15 on 475, and U2 for 137. They run off their own GPS’s. U2 GPS occasionally needs unplug-replug the GPS to sync the TX periods so both 137/475 TX/RX same time…fun to watch both TXs kick on and off in sync. Temp-stabilize shack and osc heatsink. I use parkmode 2…allows CPU run all the time with 65XXX offset. Clears up wobble. http://www.qrp-labs.com/synth/freqstab.html
How do you receive WSPR15 without leaving WSPR2? Answer: Open a second instance of your WSPR decoder client software. Set the mode to WSPR15. Set TxPct=0% in one client and TxPct to your desired percentage in the client for the WSPR mode you want to transmit. WSPR FAQs tell you how to give the 2nd instance of the client its own ID like JA1NQI has done: JA1NQI-1 and 2. (You can also open one or more ARGO software instances to their own audio center frequencies to receive QRSS elsewhere.)
Does the dial frequency for WSPR15 have to be different from dial for WSPR2? No, the dial stays at 474.200 KHz.
Where is WSPR15’s subband? WSPR15 is a 25 KHz subband at 475.800-.825. The 1/8 width compared to 200Hz WSPR2 subband at 475.600-.800 tips you that the WSPR15 signal itself uses 1/7.5 the bandwidth of WSPR2 and 1/7.5 the information rate and yields 1/7.5 the maximum possible number of reports to tell you SNRs.
How can I find WSPR15 decodes in the database? Go to the regular WSPR database except search by frequency. Or enter the WSPR15 TX station call sign like WE2XPQ and search by distance. Then eyeball the results for frequencies in the WSPR15 subband.
When is transmittingWSPR15 preferable to WSPR2? I’d suggest if WSPR15 can deliver more decodes at the desired RX station or region subject to the least favorable SNR, then try WSPR15. This condition assumes you have judged SNR will be at least as deep as -30dB during the entire 15 minutes of most of your WSPR15 transmissions. Otherwise, the decode probability of WSPR2 sometime during the 15 minutes is likely to yield at least one decode of its own.
If your WSPR2 TX has yielded 5 decodes/night or fewer for a given tough-to-reach RX station, try increasing your WSPR2 power and TxPct if your transmitter can stand it and you haven’t done so. If you’ve done all that on WSPR2, consider giving WSPR15 a try. Remember WSPR15 can harvest no more than about 20 decodes per station per night due to its 15 minute transmission interval twice per hour at 50% TxPct. Accordingly, it’s when WSPR2 yield already is only a handful or none each night that then you can justify the TX mode change to WSPR15. But on RX mode, you don’t have to choose. If somebody is sending WSPR15, just activate a 2nd decoder software instance to receive them and keep receiving WSPR2 from other stations too. And run ARGO instances concurrently as QRSS opportunities arise!”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!