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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

CQ 474.5 kHz CW and alternately tuning 472 kHz - 475 kHz for signals.

Quiet band conditions give way to strong trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific activity, Strong domestic conditions, QRSS activity begs the question, “where is XIQ transmitting?”

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Geomagnetic activity was elevated through the session but propagation seemed to be quite good with trans-Atlantic reports to and from Europe during the North American evening for the north east, strong domestic conditions, and an open path to JA from KH6.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported 4 decodes from WH2XCR in KH6 and a record +3 db S/N decode from ZF1EJ.  Still, some stations reported elevated noise levels which made operating a challenge.  Ken, SWL/K9, in Indiana reports a dusting of snow that increases his noise level by 9 db.

planetary-k-index 120215

The Kyoto DST moved negative but began recovery through the session.  The Space Weather Prediction Center indicated a southerly Bz component through the session and solar wind speed dropped below 500 km/s.

DST 120215

Kyoto DST for December 2015


Following the lead of Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, from the previous session, I decided to run QRSS10 through the daylight hours.  I had originally planned on QRSS30 but decided that would be too ambitious as the software estimated that the transmit time would be 19 minutes per cycle.  I’ve never been comfortable with a commercial HF rig operating as an exciter remaining in transmit, even with a low level carrier, for long periods of time and its one of the reasons I will likely never run WSPR15.   As you will also see, my station is not cut out for a high degree of frequency stability so its a moot point.

After Paul completed his successful overnight QRSS cycle at 1400z, I started QRSS10 on 474.5 kHz and got a relatively quick report from Ken, SWL/K9:

WG2XIQ QRSS10 SWLK9 120115

WG2XIQ QRSS10 as viewed in Indiana at SWL/K9

You can see a slight amount of bowing in the signal but its relatively stable.  Its presumed that Ken’s receiver is set to 473.5 kHz.  I knew that I was probably running 20-30 Hz high and fortunately he got this early capture to confirm that.  My exciter does not have a high stability oscillator or external GPS reference option like many modern rigs.  I do use a GPS reference on the transmit downconverter to limit the frequency movement to a single piece of hardware, specifically the exciter.  Generally speaking, the exciter remains stable through a session.  If I am 20 Hz high at the beginning of the session, I will be 20 Hz high at the end of the session.  The frequency stability issue did have its consequences in that no one knew were I was actually transmitting.  One of the complications is that the Argo waterfall has a limited band spread based on the speed selected.  Long story short, I remained outside of the window of many grabbers through the bulk of the day but found my way as late afternoon approached.

I also received screen shots of my arcing, drifting signal from several other stations:

WG2XIQ QRSS10 W5EST 120115

WG2XIQ QRSS10 as viewed in Arkansas at W5EST


WG2XIQ QRSS10 KU4XR 120115

WG2XIQ QRSS10 as viewed in Tennessee at KU4XR


At 2215z Jim, W5EST, requested a cycle or two of QRSS30.  Why not?  I was sitting at the console.  If a meltdown were imminent, I was monitoring the conditions and could shut down.  I received two shots of my two QRSS30 arcs:

WG2XIQ QRSS30 KU4XR 120115

WG2XIQ QRSS30 as viewed in Tennessee at KU4XR


WG2XIQ QRSS30 W5EST 120115

WG2XIQ QRSS30 as viewed in Arkansas at W5EST


WSPR participation was high through the session, with 56 MF WSPR stations reported by WSPRnet at 0400z.  Regional and continental WSPR activity follows:

NA 120215

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 120215

European 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 120215

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 120215

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


The trans-Atlantic path was very active through this session.  Mike, WA3TTS, indicated that this was the best opening since the October path to DH5RAE at his station.

F5WK WA3TTS2 120215

F5WK, as reported by WA3TTS/2


DK7FC WA3TTS3 120215

DK7FC, as reported by WA3TTS/2


DK7FC WG2XKA 120215

DK7FC, as reported by WG2XKA


DK7FC WE2XGR 120215

DK7FC, as reported by WE2XGR


F5WK WE2XGR 120215

F5WK, as reported by WE2XGR


F1AFJ WD2XSH17 120215

F1AFJ, as reported by WD2XSH/17


F5WK WD2XSH17 120215

F5WK, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DK7FC WD2XSH17 120215

DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


Mike, WA3TTS, sent these waterfall shots of his trans-Atlantic reception reports:

F5WK waterfall WA3TTS 120215


DK7FC waterfall WA3TTS 120215


WA3TTS 120215

WA3TTS 24-hour WSPR activity


In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, reported a number of distant stations including, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, and WH2XCR.  He was also joined by Roger, ZF1RC.

ZF1EJ 120215

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1RC 120215

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicates that conditions in Alaska were poor to fair for the session:

WE2XPQ 120215

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had another very strong night, with reports into the eastern US and JA:

WH2XCR 120215

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR JH3XCU1 120215

WH2XCR, as reported by JH3XCU/1


WH2XCR JA1NQI2 120215

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-2

Phil, VK3ELV, continues to see an open path to JA.  Its my belief that as long as this path remains open, the possibility of reports from VK in KH6 remain a possibility.  Noise in VK will determine the probability of reciprocity, however, and reports indicate that the noise levels is increasing significantly there.

VK3ELV 120215

VK3ELV 24-hour WSPR activity


VK3ELV JH3XCU1 120215

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU/1

Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported QRSS activity with John, VE7BDQ, through the North American evening.

The band was exceptionally quiet through the CW session here at 1100z.  Bill, N3CXV / WH2XRR, reported that my CW was RST 559 and airchair copy at 1131z.  My CW sked at 1130z was completed at 1200z and I returned to WSPR2 for the daytime session.

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicated that the path to the Pacific Northwest appeared to be open and activity levels appeared to have returned to normal in North America.

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he is still experience match problems due to recent flooding and is operating at reduced power.

Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page!