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

North Texas operating redux from St. Patrick’s day solar storm of 2015

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

In spite of NOAA’s low latitude auroral warnings and a K index of 8 which rendered most of the amateur bands largely debilitated, 630-meters did not seem to suffer as badly in North Texas.  Daytime signal reports were consistent from the Midwest and points North and the daytime lateral path to WH2XND in Phoenix was stable and largely unaffected.

This is what the auroral oval looked like last evening:



Here is a quick summary that I posted to the 600-meter research group:

“Late yesterday afternoon (2200z) saw numerous early WSPR pings  from Midwest stations.  This seems to generally be North/South propagation and the path to XND which had existed for most of the day was now gone.  Other stations noted similar N/S path behavior (XKA –> W0RPK) and numbers were erratic from cycle to cycle.

We typically see numerous pings during the approach to local sunset but that was not the case last night.  Ground wave paths were typical but longer haul sky wave paths were hit or miss with reports down near the WSPR detection limit (early WA3TTS spots).  At one point I noted that XXM and XSH/15 were being heard by Pat, XSH/6, but my signal, being closer, we not heard.  About 20 minutes later, Pat began reporting my signal.  Similarly, ken, SWLK9EN61, reported some time earlier that XXM had disappeared but he was still hearing me.  So that was interesting to me…

About 15 minutes after dark, conditions began to open up and the east-west path began to show some results.  K8RZ, near Atlanta, who has had good success at submitting reports during the day through the winter was finally hearing and reporting the signal.  Additionally the path to W0RPK and N3CXV began to report.

As the evening wore on, some numbers were down a few db but there were plenty of single digit S/N numbers through the night and looking at the data and the WSPR map, the overnight really did not look much different than any other night.  The path the KH6 was there at much reduced frequency and S/N.  This was also the case with XGP and XKA.  No KL7.. Sorry Laurence..

I switched transmit cycle from 50% to 30% around 0700z so I was unable to track the QSB as effectively as I would have liked but seems like CW QSO’s with a few guys would be possible and JT9 or other digital modes would have worked.”

Of note, and not mentioned in the above summary, the XJM grabber yielded not a trace of signal early in the evening at times when his quiet location would typically be actively reporting signals.

The WSPR map, as noted below, looks largely typical through the overnight session.