What a great session! Night two of the Berlin Treaty CW Special Event is now in the books! I am not even sure that I am up to the challenge of putting together a complete report because so much happened last night. It did not help that I fell asleep at the operating position with headphones on around 0500z. Fortunately for me I had relinquished the 474.5 kHz circuit to Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, in western Pennsylvania around 0330z so that I could tune around the band and listen for VE stations. Thankfully participants have been sending their reports and I have been trying to make sense of the overnight transcript on the ON4KST chat/logger . We will get through this with some sense of organization, I assure you.
As typical, I am going to start with a propagation assessment and then transition to the special event content, which will be very detailed and probably very long once again. In many cases the information won’t be a story, rather a data dump. Remember that I am not trying to win a Pulitzer or make the New York Times best seller list, only to preserve the data and information for the future. If its a good read, great! I will finish up with the WSPR report which is extensive for every session.
Propagation was very good. I think that even the regional variations seen in night one of the special event were less pronounced although I did hear a few comments about fast QSB in the west and Pacific. From here in Texas, the band seemed quite stable although the noise level was slightly higher as the evening progressed which was likely the result of rain and storms to my south. It was by no means constant or a washout. Signals from the north east were strong, with three pieces of message traffic passed to my station by WG2XJM and propagation to Mike, AI8Z / WD2XSH/12, in Nederland, Colorado was as strong as I have ever heard it. Mike was a true RST 579 at the end of our QSO during our session and Mike’s beacon near 473 kHz later in the evening was every bit RST 579 through the course of his message. Steve, VE7SL, indicated at 0308z that HF was considerably better than the previous session, which was important since Steve and other VE stations were operating cross-band with 630-meters, giving out QSO’s to stations around North America and the world.
It seems the CME that was destined for Earth did not arrive or did not have the expected impact as the Kp was quiet through the session.
Similarly, the Kyoto DST returned to near zero through the session and the Bz component, reported by the Space Weather Prediction Center, was northerly through most of the reporting period.
The big addition to this session was the participation of coastal station KSM and Red Oak Victory Ship, operating as KYVM from the San Francisco bay area by members of the Marine Radio Historical Society. Amazingly their signals were heard across the Pacific, West and Pacific Northwest, and I even had a brief moment at 0120z on 426 kHz when KSM was were heard here in Texas. I assure you that it was not an NDB although they were masked by a switching power supply carrier. Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reported them at RST 599 in KH6. Not surprising for 10kw and a salt water path. These stations also handed out reports of Canadian and experimental stations heard, in fact, Steve, VE7SL, received the following nice surprise:
I found reports from KYVM for Rudy, N6LF / WD2XSH/20, at QSA 3, Mark, VA7MM, at QSA 2, and Toby, VE7CNF, QSA 2. I am sure there were others reported that are missing here. If you were reported and not listed here, please send me the details and I will make the addition.
While the list is incomplete at this time, I have the following reports from Canadian stations who successfully made cross-band QSO’s during this session that I have gleaned from the chat transcript:
VE7CNF Toby: K7CW, VE7KW, VE7BDQ, VA7DXX, W0YSE, K9FD/KH6, VE7CA
VA7MM Mark: K9FD/KH6, W0YSE, K7SS, VA7DXX
VE7SL Steve: VE7KW, KK7UV, VA7MM, K6GZ, VA7TA, K7CW, K6LG, VE7BDQ, VA7DXX, VA7JX, K9FD/KH6, NO3M, K7SF, K7SS, KG0D/7, W2VJN (Oregon)
VE7CA Markus: K7CW
VO1NA Joe: reports pending
VE7BDQ John: VE7CA, VE7CNF, VE7SL, K7CW, VA7JX, VA7DXX, K9FD/KH6, K7SS, K6AIG
Note that Mark, VA7MM, was operating on battery power and this was Markus’, VE7CA, first operation on 630-meters.
John, VE7BDQ, also had the following comments with his report:
The take-home message should be that there was a LOT of activity and many stations worked over the session and the weekend. Be sure to check Steve’s, VE7SL, blog for updated reports over the coming week.
John, W1TAG, reported that he “…could visually see VO1NA on 477.7 after 0100, but he never got strong enough to copy by ear with a 30 Hz audio filter in line.”
John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates that he was heard by a number of stations and also heard Warren, K2ORS / WH2XIL, who was operating on 460.1 kHz using a ground-based dipole antenna.
Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, reports the following from the session:
Apparently Eric and Steve completed their QSO on a very narrow signal peak. Well done guys!
Eric also passed three messages to me, one of which was a reply to a message I sent in the previous session, one a QSN report for the 600-meter research group e-mail reflector, and one message to be relayed to WD2XSH/12 who had transitioned to beaconing near 473 kHz by that time.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR sent the following report this morning. Merv had a very good night.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported copying QSA’s from KYVM with included VE7CNF receiving QSA2, VE7MM QSA1, WD2XSH/20 QSA3, in addition to NDB BOISE, MOG, and other medium wave beacons.
Here at WG2XIQ, I started a CW wheel on 474.5 kHz at 0000z, calling at 30-second intervals. I received a number of reports and recordings, the first from Bob, WA5JOT, in Bryan, Texas, about 140 miles to the south of my station. Bob sent the following recording:
A few minutes later I received a recording from Richard, KQ4KX, in Winter Haven, Florida who was listening on his Kenwood TS-590S and 124.5-foot long wire, coupled with a 9:1 UNUN. Here is what Richard heard at 0025z:
This morning I had a nice email from Dean, W5PJR, in Tijeras, New Mexico which about 25-miles south east of Albuquerque. Dean had the following to report:
Finally, Mike, WA3TTS, made one of his patented YouTube videos of Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, and I passing a piece of message traffic on 474.5 kHz. When I saw this video I had to laugh because this message was a reply from Eric to a humorous, fake message that I had sent during the previous session. To be clear, Honolulu harbor IS NOT under siege and maritime traffic does not need to divert.
That’s what I have to offer for the Special Event at this time. I am certain additional information will come in as the day continues and I will add those details as they are received. I want to close this section of the report with an e-mail that was posted on the Topband reflector by Bruce, K1FZ. I have long felt that the long term success of 630-meters was not centered around beaconing, but rather making or trying to make two-way contacts. 630-meters has made great strides to become more of a mainstream band and its success under Part-97 will absolutely be dependent on the willingness of operators to populate and use the band. Many active Topband stations are already well equipped to take on the challenges that 630-meters has to offer. You only have to suspend your disbelief and preconceived notions, which can be challenging at times. Now, Bruce’s email (click to increase the size):
Don’t forget that even with so much that has happened on this band over the past 15+ years, we are still only at the ground floor.
Now, on to WSPR activity for the session. Because I was active in the special event, I did not take the census at 0400z but when I joined the WSPR stations for the overnight session, activity seemed high and typical for what has been observed over the past few weeks.
Daytime activity from Texas was reasonable, with reports from the Midwest on the skywave path in the mid -20’s.
Regional and continental WSPR break-down follows:
Not too far from JA, I noticed RA0CEN was reporting from Asiatic Russia. He would be a very nice catch. Merv? Laurence?
There were no trans-African reports through this session.
There was a single trans-Atlantic station reported by WD2XSH/17.
In the Atlantic Ed, VP9GE, once again reported only Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM in Oklahoma.
In the Caymans, Eden, ZF1EJ, reported Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, in Washington state as his most distant station and had the following offering for the session, including more reports for WD2XSH/15:
Alaska once again saw activity very similar to the previous session. Perhaps we are starting to turn another corner.
In Hawaii, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, split time between the special event and reporting / being reported by WSPR stations. Merv heard Phil, VK3ELV, but his signal was not reported in VK or JA during this session. Merv is hopeful that his replacement FET’s will arrive on Monday.
TNUKJPM continues to report Phil, VK3ELV. This path had appeared to be broken for a few days but has become persistent once again. Perhaps its due to local weather conditions influencing noise.
I absolutely concede that I have left out important details of this session. There was simply too much happening. Please send additions, corrections, clarifications, etc., to me on the Contact page. Thanks!