It was a “scorcher” on 630-meters last night and as with sessions in the previous week, many of us are left scratching our heads and wondering how it can be that we are into March and band conditions continue to improve. As reported yesterday, Solarham is forecasting disturbed conditions in the coming days. As I develop this report, proton count is elevated, as is the Kp and the Bz is pointing south. Are we simply in the right place at the right time with the on-set of disturbed conditions elevating band conditions or is something else going on to help create the strong band conditions observed over the previous week. Its my hope that we are seeing real, lasting improvements that will continue to amaze as we progress towards solar minimum in the coming years.
Reality check: it IS March and Spring and Summer in the northern hemisphere is fast approaching. Surely we won’t continue to see really strong conditions as the noise begins to creep upward. Or will we?
The session started with significant daytime activity. There were a lot of stations, both listening and transmitting, through the day. I received an email from Ken, SWL/EN61, in Indiana pointing out this fact. Ken sent the following map during the mid-morning on Saturday and notes that he was copying WG2XKA at 1552z, much later than normal.
Near solar noon, I noted that WB0VAK in Minnesota was reporting my signal at -14 dB S/N, which seems ridiculously high for full sun, much less noon!
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports a “shocking” session, with reports across North America, Europe, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Alaska.
At this time, the disposition of VE3CVX is being investigated. John reports that he was the only stations to decode VE3CVX. With all of the receivers on the band it seems implausible that if he were in southern Ontario, as his QRZ address suggests, that he would not be heard by other stations like WG2XJM. Is this a “dumb luck” phantom that looks real enough? Is he really on Hudson Bay, perhaps travelling, almost as far North as Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, or is this an oversight with his grid selection in the software? Stay tuned for updates!
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, started the session with a JT9 QSO with Larry. It was a textbook QSO, quick and easy.
The session turned out to be very good for Neil, decoding nine stations and being decoded by 26:
Neil forwarded reports from Frank, K2NCC, which are posted below:
Ron, NI7J / WH2XND, returns to 630-meters and has a strong session. He reports that he and Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, had a very brief phone QSO on 475 kHz LSB.
Stefan, DK7FC, reported a strong night of trans-Atlantic activity from Germany on the RSGB LF reflector:
Hugh, M0DSZ, provided the following reports on the RSGB LF reflector:
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reports 14-unique decodes, including DK7FC, which in some ways may be the best of the season. He also notes some of the all-time best reports for the follow stations: WG2XXP -2, WH2XND +5, WG2XIQ +8, WG2XKA +13, WG2XXM +15.
VE3OT was relatively strong here in Texas during the early evening. It appears that Mitch and I were on the same frequency as I was calling CQ in the early evening. Mark, WA9ETW, noted that my CW was RST 539 / 549 while I was calling.
It should be obvious that WSPR activity was quite strong during this session. 79 MF WSPR stations were observed at 0220z on the WSPRnet activity page but I believe that this number was significantly higher as the evening progressed. K5ZIA, KD7AI and VE3CVX were new for this session. WY1R from New York City was also present again and was experiencing success from what must be a noisy location. In the previous session, he was reporting the old frequency of 503.9 kHz.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdown’s follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path. UA0SNV was present but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.
There was a lot of trans-Atlantic activity for this session for a lot of stations:
EA8/DL9XJ, experiences a strong session, providing reports for a number of stations in Europe.
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, produce solid reports for stations across North America.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, had a good session, reporting WG2XKA, WG2XXM, and WG2XIQ and being reported by a number of stations in North America. The path to JA appears to be closed at the moment. KL7L was designated at receive-only.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, experienced a solid session, with reports into the north eastern US, including WG2XKA in Vermont. The JA path is closed for the moment but the path to VK persists.
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, is experiencing some of the best propagation to JA ever reported from his station. The large number of JA reports seen in Alaska during this previous week have now shifted to a large-scale trans-equitorial path.
Additional comments, statistics, anecdotes, and information:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, decoded 14 unique stations while being decoded by 53. He also reported that he received 45-reports from KL7L, best at -20 dB S/N.
John, VE7BDQ, reports that in the twelve-hours prior to 1010z, his signal had been decoded by 37 stations, including both ZF stations, and he decoded eleven unique stations.
Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, reported that Stefan, DK7FC, was approaching CW levels during the major trans-Atlantic opening. At 0805z, he noted 36 trans-Atlantic reports.
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, and Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, were only receiving during this session due to heavy rain that was impacting their antenna match. Larry reported that in spite of the weather, he decoded thirteen unique stations.
Jim, W5EST, is sitting this one out today but should be back during the coming session.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!