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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

QRT but I'll be back tonight, WX permitting

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1000z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

Lower latitudes seem OK while some higher latitude paths continue to experience excessive absorption after more hits to the GMF over night; Two new Part-5 stations – WI2XFO and WI2XFI; JA and ZF1 paths are back for WH2XCR

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

This session turned out OK for many stations.  The lower latitudes generally experienced more favorable band conditions compared to higher latitude stations in the wake of addition impacts to the geomagnetic field over night in North America.  Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported that he decoded eleven stations while being decoded by 41 unique stations with Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, peaking at +12 dB S/N.  Ron was also reported by JH3XCU:

WH2XND JH3XCU 031716

WH2XND, as reported by JH3XCU


Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported better conditions but the high latitude transcontinental path continues to suffer.  This is contrasted by a report from Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, who noted very good band conditions with freezing local weather.

WG2XSV 031716

WG2XSV session WSPR activity


John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, experienced an early shut down due to local weather conditions.  I also had to QRT around 0830z due to impending storms that will likely continue until Saturday.

The graphs of the geomagnetic activity really speak for themselves; “Things” were active.

planetary-k-index 031716


Kyoto DST 031716


Australia 031716


Two new stations have joined the Part-5 ranks on 630-meters:  WI2XFO and WI2XFI.  John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, has been in contact with Ken, W8RUT / WI2XFI, who notes that his application was granted in only three weeks.  John forwarded an email containing Ken’s station details and future station plans, posted below:

WI2XFI 031716

Welcome aboard Ken.  We look forward to your station’s “first light”.  Hopefully we will get some information about WI2XFO shortly and hear this station on the air as well.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdown’s follow:

NA 031716

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 031716

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 031716

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 031716

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no trans-Atlantic or trans-African reports during this session.  ZS1JEN and UA0SNV were both present during this session but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database for these stations.

In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, operated two separate receivers and had the good fortune of catching WH2XCR on one of them.

ZF1EJ1 031716

ZF1EJ/1 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR ZF1EJ1 031716

WH2XCR, as reported by ZF1EJ/1


ZF1EJ 031716

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, is in receive-only mode for a bit and reported stations along the west coast of North America, the American southwest and Hawaii:

WE2XPQ 031716

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR WE2XPQ 031716

WH2XCR, as reported by WE2XPQ


In Hawaii the path to Japan returned for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR.  The path has been absent or spotty for over a week now.  Merv reports that a frontal boundary has finally pushed through as high winds and cold temperatures persist.  Merv was reported in the East by WG2XJM and ZF1EJ/1 and had two-way reports with VK4YB.  Curiously, VK3ELV was absent from Merv’s log, but Phil was reported by two stations in Japan.

WH2XCR 031716

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR JH3XCU 031716

WH2XCR, as reported by JH3XCU


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 031716

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCR VK4YB 031716

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, was reported by 7L1RLL_4 and JH3XCU.  Some reports were from late in the previous session.  Roger, VK4YB, was reported by WH2XCR.

VK3ELV 7L1RLL4 031716

VK3ELV, as reported by 7L1RLL_4


VK3ELV JH3XCU 031716

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU


VK4YB WH2XCR 031716

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR



“Can we tell how long the 630m season will last? For transatlantic (TA) 630m WSPR, I dug into the 600mrg archive, this blog and my log.

Shorter answer: 600mrg posts suggest at least to May 24. Last year, John W1TAG/1 reported 9 spots of Stefan DK7FC and one from Jan PA3ABK/2 into John’s WSPR RX the night of May 24,2015. Larry WH2XGP delivered one spot to Maine as well.

My log shows 2015-2016 TA season began at least as early as Sept. 24, 2015 for Stefan DK7FC lobbing 2 spots to David WD2XSH/17 in Massachusetts.  (Let us know if you have earlier TA in the log for August or September, 2015.)

In 2014 on May 20, John VE7BDQ was in there swinging and hitting to the outfield in New England—received at Jay WE2XGR/2 and John WG2XKA.  June 20, 2014 saw John WG2XIQ, Texas, and Eric WG2XJM W.Pa. doing a CW QSO.  Vermont:August 17, 2014, John WG2XKA achieved TA to John GM4SLV on Shetland.  From Texas Sept. 2, 2014 John WG2XIQ hit TA to Joe DL2FP in Germany.

Experience tells us that September-May offers transatlantic (TA) opportunities on 630m.  By contrast, N. America-VK offers two shorter seasons, the first one extending over many weeks August-October bracketing equinox. The second N.Am.-VK season got exercised Feb. 9-March 2 for the first time this year and may continue. VK-Japan season began as early as Nov. 1, 2015 and is continuing in March.  We don’t have enough experience of 630m VK-Japan to say what’s really possible.

Try a longer answer too? How long will the 630m “season” last generally?  Regarding band capabilities, the 630m season certainly depends on the path and regional storm behaviors, and to some extent on the mode.  One-hop paths out to 2800km are probably open year-round for WSPR and JT9, WSQ2 and OPERA between well-equipped stations at each end on a quiet night.

It’s not too “flip” to say the 630m season lasts as long as people operate it!  Operators understandably take a recess from 630m WSPR, depending on other strong priorities and opportunities. For instance, suppose a time comes late this spring when the 630m WSPR “return on effort” may have fallen considerably compared to more nearly average months. QRSS modes from QRSS20 and higher can perhaps more deeply probe the 630m band and offer attractive mode opportunities.

For recordkeeping on the strong majority of the 630m TA season, one statistical way of defining season-end, especially for long paths with low spot numbers, would record the half-monthly numbers of spots and sort the numbers from highest to lowest, keeping them associated with their half-month intervals. Then see which half-months are first-quartile, meaning they’re in the lowest one quarter of the sorted number list.

Season-end then can be arbitrarily defined for a given long path to be the latest half-month in a set of active months when that late half-month’s nonzero number of spots for the path enters the lowest quartile and historically no later half-month has had more spots.

Correspondingly, season-start for a given long path would be an early month in a set of active months when that early half-month’s nonzero number of spots for the path is still in the lowest quartile and historically no earlier half-month has had more spots.   A future blogpost can try out the computation and tune it up if need be.

Don’t let a quartile definition suggest to you that there’s no point exercising a path any later than that definition’s season-end or sooner than its season-start.  Amateurs and experimenters show us the way by demonstrating the surprises that 630m bestows on early birds and those who persist!”


Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!