Around 0030z several of us in the ON4KST chat/logger were commenting about how the solar wind had spiked in excess of 600 km/s. It sure seemed like the session was going to be poor pretty much everywhere. I knew that my participation would be very limited with storms bearing down on my location here in Texas. I was fortunate, however, to get the station secured only moments before the first big BANG of the night. It seems that while others might have been impacted by the storm noise and local QRN, like Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, or Mike, WA3TTS, signals were propagating fairly well. Doug also notes that he had no reception reports for WH2XGP last night and only 28 for WH2XXP so the spot ratio resets to 28:0, XXP/XGP. Doug was heard in VE7 and KH6 in spite of having to relinquish one of the trees that was supporting one of his top loading wires.
I suppose the recent unsettled behavior in the geomagnetic field has done something to create useful turbulence. Whether that’s true or not is anyone’s guess but the reality is that conditions were unsettled and there were still some very good signal reports and band openings reported, including trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and quite a number of reports for WE2XPQ in Alaska. Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, indicates very atypical S/N excursions on reports between WH2XGP and WH2XCR during sunrise in Washington state. Steve, VE7SL, reports very different conditions on the other side of the Cascades, where his east coast reports were down compared to what was reported by Larry. John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports very good conditions from Vermont with early openings to and from the Pacific Northwest in addition to a single spot by Kurt, DJ0ABR. Larry also confirmed the improved state of the the high latitude east/west path and generally improved S/N levels in this session.
VE3OT was once again on 475 kHz running QRSS6 as “MP” through the session. Because my station was QRT, I did not get any screen captures of Mitch but its my understanding that he was present and copyable through the session.
Steve, WD8DAS / WH2XHY, was reported concurrently on frequency with Mitch, running a CW beacon. Steve transitioned to WSPR2 shortly there after where he reports that he was being heard in spite of reduced system current and power output. No further details are available at this time.
WSPR activity was generally high, with MF station counts in the mid-80’s during the evening in North America, as reported by the WSPRnet activity page. There was a station in Wyoming that executed a poor band change, resulting in WSPR map / data pollution. There were no new stations reported by anyone through the session.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path through this session, although Michel, FR5ZX, was reported to be present. EA8BVP, UA0SNV were also present but had no reports in the WSPR database.
The trans-Atlantic path was improved through this session with John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported by Kurt, DJ0ABR, and G8HUH reported by WD2XSH/17:
EA8/LA3JJ continues to report a number of stations in continental Europe:
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, does not seem negatively affected in the least by the unsettled geomagnetic conditions.
In Alaska, Laurence, WE2XPQ / KL7L, reports that he was running just over 500-watts through the session to compensate for losses. It appears to have made a positive difference as he was heard by many along with west coast of North America as well as Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR on KH6. Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicates that he had at least 12 spots for Laurence, the best at -18 db S/N. Laurence’s received signals were down so it seems that the influence of the auroral oval is still being demonstrated at higher latitudes.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had another very good session with reports from JA1NQI-1, KL7L, ZF1EJ and VK2XGJ, in addition to many in the eastern US. Interesting for this session was that John’s, VK2XGJ, report was very early and there was only one. Perhaps the local weather in VK, which has been very stormy, influenced further reports or the path was compromised by the unsettled geomagnetic activity. I will leave that fact-finding and analysis for someone else.
Phil, VK3ELV, had a late spot from the previous session with JA1NQI-1:
Other comments, anecdotes, statistics:
Jim, W5EST, brings this profile of a recent session at WA3TTS:
Mike, WA3TTS near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has decoded stations from New England to Hawaii lately. On January 6, six daytime spots of Oklahoma’s 5 watt 630m WG2XXM showed up 1594km away at WA3TTS/2 in full midday—1744-1814z. Mike’s DX WSPR peak SNRs in early December included G8HUH -27, F5WK -23, and DK7FC -22dB. Mike’s westward profile looks like this:
Regarding the trans-Atlantic report for John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, Jim, W5EST, adds the following:
“John XKA threw an endgame long pass completion to dj0abr a half hour before Germany sunrise. The singleton -29dB decode at 6285km looks like some mixture of three E-region hops and two F-region hops aided by pre-sunrise enhancement.“
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!