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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
WSPR participation was high through the session, with 56 MF WSPR stations reported by WSPRnet at 0400z. Regional and continental WSPR activity follows:
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.
Mike, WA3TTS, sent these waterfall shots of his trans-Atlantic reception reports:
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, reported a number of distant stations including, VE7BDQ, VE7CNF, and WH2XCR. He was also joined by Roger, ZF1RC.
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, indicates that conditions in Alaska were poor to fair for the session:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had another very strong night, with reports into the eastern US and JA:
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.
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.
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