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Current Operating Frequency and Mode

CQ 474.5 kHz CW and alternately tuning 472 kHz - 475 kHz for signals.

High latitude paths continue to struggle but great conditions to south, WH2XCR reported by JA1NQI-2 and ZF1EJ, IW4DXW is #11 reported at FR5ZX, and more CW action!

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Propagation on the northern paths continues to struggle.  The path to and from Alaska has been a real challenge for all stations, particularly Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ.  Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, in Washington state and John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, in Vermont both commented on the lack of a transcontinental high latitude east-west path and only one lower latitude trans-Atlantic report was made through the session.

The Kp-index persisted at or near 4 through the session, a departure from seemingly improving conditions in the previous session.  It seems solar wind from a coronal hole is having an impact again but conditions should begin to relax over the coming days so a recovery attempt can begin.

planetary-k-index 110915

DST 110915

Kyoto DST. Note the slight downward trend as we return to unsettled conditions.

 

Daytime conditions seemed only marginally better than the previous session with sporadic reports from the Midwest and east.  John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported that only Mike, WA3TTS, reported his signal over the ground wave path through the day.  John went on to say that conditions throughout the session were generally down, with reports sub-par compared to the previous session.  As mentioned earlier, the Northern east-west path was very poor.

Medium wave activity was high, with 87 stations showing to be active in some capacity on 630-meters as of 0216z.  Here are the worldwide WSPR maps for the session by region:

NA 110915

North American 24-hour WSPR activity

 

EU 110915

European 24-hour WSPR activity

 

JA 110915

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity

 

VK 110915

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Trans-Atlantic reports were low with WD2XSH/17 only reporting Luis, EA5DOM, who happens to be located below 40 degrees latitude.

EA5DOM WD2XSH17 110915

EA5DOM, as reported by WD2XSH/17

 

The Atlantic path to VP9GE seemed better than the previous session but weaker overall compared to the first session when Ed joined us this past weekend.  Its possible that increased noise from terrestrial weather systems could be at fault.  WG2XIQ was not reported during this session while Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, only 200-miles to the north was reported by Ed 13 times, the best report being -20 db S/N.

VP9GE 110915

VP9GE 24-hour WSPR activity

 

In the Indian Ocean,  #11 to be reported by Michel, FR5ZX, on Reunion Island is Riccardo, IW4DXW.

FR5ZX 110915

FR5ZX 24-hour WSPR activity

 

IW4DXW FR5ZX 110915

IW4DXW, as reported by FR5ZX

Riccardo was joined by three other Europeans that have previously been reported on Reunion Island.  Michel reports that he is currently looking for more power but his antenna is a 14-meter  tall vertical made of TV twin lead, with a total length of 24-meters plus a 20-meter Moxon at the top which is acting as toploading.

As reported earlier, Laurence’s, KL7L / WE2XPQ, signal from Alaska was suffering while he enjoys Mia-Tai’s and hula girls on KH6, apparently en route to Asia.  I suppose no better time like the present to get away from the glowing, angry skies.  He certainly won’t need the tin-foil hat on KH6.

WE2XPQ 110915

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity

 

In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ and Roger, ZF1RC, are continuing to make solid reports.   Eden had a nice surprise this morning, reporting Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR.

ZF1EJ 110915

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR reports

 

WH2XCR ZF1EJ 110915

WH2XCR, as reported by ZF1EJ

Merv reports that this is a very difficult path for him but what is very remarkable is that the report was made after local sunrise at Eden’s QTH on ZF1.  Congrats to both of you!

 

ZF1RC 110915

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity

 

Merv had another nice surprise this morning with multiple reports from JA1NQI-2.

WH2XCR 110915

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity

 

WH2XCR JA1NQI2 110915

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-2

All I can say is “RESPECT!”  It’s really great to see Merv have such success and I think it will only continue from here.  Next stop VK?  Even if we are too late in the season for a VK report to happen in 2015, perhaps the noise levels in Spring 2016 and certainly by Fall 2016 will allow that path to be very common.

Last week Merv’s signal was reported very often here in Texas with little or no problems.  I noted late last week an interesting situation that I had not observed before where he was actually quite strong on the E-probe but not reported at all on the transmit vertical.  This time of year the transmit vertical is quite good for receiving, with the noise floor lingering around S2-3.  By December the noise floor on a storm-free night has been seen in previous years to be S0 – 1 on the vertical, where signals seem to just jump out of what little noise there is.  The E-probe has been a nice alternative in the summer but since this is the first season with one deployed at my station I am not sure what to expect in the winter.  It is certainly noisier than the vertical at the moment but who can argue with success?  Last night I listened on the vertical again, cutting my transmit cycle to just 20%.  I only had a few decodes of Merv’s signal.  This is a curious situation and one that I will continue to examine.  Merv is hearing WG2XIQ very well through the night.  As Merv has indicated, perhaps we are seeing an episode of one-way propagation so often seen on 160-meters.  It could also be something as simple as noise on Merv’s frequency plaguing my receive.  I noted a “blob” signal that periodically manifested on 475.750 kHz, very close to Merv’s carrier frequency.  Similarly, Mike, WA3TTS, reported a “fat plasma (TV) line at .750” so its possible that this might be the culprit.  Further examination is warranted.

Something also very notable about the previous few sessions but last night’s session in particular is that Merv was reporting WG2XIQ about 15-minutes prior to his sunset on KH6.  This behavior has been A-typical over the course of Merv’s participation on 630-meters but only recently become somewhat commonplace.  Conversely, Merv seems to be heard here in Texas later and later.  Perhaps these episodes are related.

Other anecdotes and statistics from the session:

Steve, KK7UV / WH2XNV, in Montana reported that he was QRV with his CW beacon operating on 475.55 kHz at 23:53z.  The only reports of Steve’s signal that I am aware of are from Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, who indicated that the signal was weak at 0248z but building at 0302z and Larry also notes a corrected reporting frequency of 475.439 kHz.

Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, took a break from ARRL CW Sweepstakes to call CQ on 474.5 kHz at 0045z.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates good copy and  Dick, K4IQJ, in Alabama reports that Eric is RST 579.  Dick is using an SDR and has expressed an interest in learning more about what happens below the AM broadcast band.  This was his first time to listen on 630-meters.

Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports hearing WD2XSH/12 in Colorado and WH2XCR in Hawaii for the first time and that he had several all-time best S/N reports through the session.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports decoding 10 stations and being reported by 43 unique stations.  Ken indicates that conditions were fair in Oklahoma.

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV was not transmitting instead he was evaluating  the differences between an E-probe and his transmit vertical on receive with two separate receivers.  Perhaps Neil will post a report on his website soon.

Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported poor north-side propagation, which is the east-west transcontinental path but reports good S/N towards the lower side of the Midwest.  Larry did not transmit for a full session as local rain tripped the SWR protection on his system.  He indicates 100z as the time of the trip but I suspect that is a typo as I am sure I heard him after 0100z.  I suspect he dropped a “0” and it is really 1000z.

Mike, AI8Z / WD2XSH/12 is QRV once again on WSPR  as he performs system check out in preparation for this coming weekend’s special event .  Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicates that  Mike’s signal is very strong at 0244z.

I called CQ briefly  at 0140z on 474.5 kHz CW to see if anyone was around.  Amazingly a station began to call me that was building and almost Q5.  It was a WD2XSH station but every time they sent their designator number (EVERYTIME!), a wash of presumably lightning static would cover them up.  He was hearing me well.  Based on what I could make out, it was either WD2XSH/12, /23 or /22.  We briefly chatted even exchanging signal reports (RST 539/549) and I asked for a few repeats of the call sign, each time the relevant information being covered up.  I finally signed, asking the person to send me an e-mail letting me know who they were.  The signal was fine but its almost as if I were on a 2-meter repeater and someone was keying up when the other station was providing some vital bit of information.  As it turns out it was Mike, WD2XSH/12, in Colorado who was doing station check out.  I had a good laugh, enjoying my “Who’s on first” moment.

This morning’s CW session at 1100z did not yield any QSO’s other than my local CW sked.  Eden, ZF1EJ, noted in the ON4KST chat/logger that my signal was RST 559 at 1112z while calling CQ.  At 1200z I returned to WSPR for the daylight session.

New (or newer) WSPR stations observed through the session were WZ9B, WW6D, and KE7ADL.

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