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 transcontinental conditions in North America lead to very strong reports, MP daytime reports, 9H1BT / EA5DOM first CW QSO between EA/9H, And QRP fun

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Conditions overnight in North America were quite good.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, indicates that quiet transcontinental conditions, the best for 2016 at his station in South Carolina, resulted in a much improved WH2XXP to WH2XGP spot ratio, now at 163:54.  Doug also reports that this session equalled all-time best reports for both stations, with WH2XXP at -6 db S/N and WH2XGP at -14 db S/N.  Doug adds that there were no reports to or from WH2XCR in Hawaii.  John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, transitioned to receive-only during the session due to high winds and generally poor weather conditions but reports that he heard 9 unique stations with openings to the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.

The geomagnetic field was quiet while the Bz component was generally southerly through the session. The solar wind was elevated with levels in excess of 500 km/s.

planetary-k-index 011116

Kyoto DST 011116

Kyoto DST for January 2016


Australia DST 011116

Daytime activity included a CW beacon from Steve, KK7UV / WH2XNV, in Montana, who was reported by Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, in Washington state  at RST 559 with QSB on the eastern BOG.  There were no other reports posted.

In Europe, EA5DOM and 9H1BT completed what is believed to be the first CW QSO between these two countries on 630-meters.  Other stations attempted QSO’s but its unclear which attempts were successful.

JD, KD4IDY, from the LOWFER list reported VE3OT’s “MP” during the day from Kansas.  He posted the follow screen capture to the LOWFER list:

MP QRSS6 KD4IDY 011116

During the evening, “MP” was loud, even audible here in Texas.

WSPRnet reports that 76 MF WSPR stations were active as of 0300z.  Several new (or newer) stations were present in North America during this session including WA3DSP, KF6SJ, WB4SIA and WA9VNJ.  I have a screen capture of my reports from WA9VNJ that I will share later in this report as it is pertinent to the discussion.

Jim, W5EST, provided the following daytime WSPR map from 1810z to 2110z during the session.  I appreciate this information gathering as the data gathering schedules are often complicated and I end up missing something.

W5EST Daytime 1810z_2110Z 011116

North American daytime WSPR activity 1810z – 2110z

Complete regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 011116

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 011116

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 011116

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 011116

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no trans-African reports through this session.

AA1A provided trans-Atlantic reception reports for DK7FC:

DK7FC AA1A 011116

DK7FC, as reported by AA1A


EA8BVP provided reports to DK7FC during this session from Canary Islands.

EA8BVP 011116

EA8BVP 24-hour WSPR activity


DK7FC EA8BVP 011116

DK7FC, as reported by EA8BVP


Ed, VP9GE, provided several reports from Bermuda during the session.

VP9GE 011116

VP9GE 24-hour WSPR activity

In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, both yield some very nice and similar reports from across North America.

ZF1RC 011116

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


ZF1EJ 011116

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, had a pretty good night in Alaska in spite of “warm” temperatures and high winds.  KL7L was the receive station though the session.

WE2XPQ 011116

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


KL7L 011116

KL7L 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ WH2XCR 011116

WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR


WH2XCR KL7L 011116

WH2XCR, as reported by KL7L


Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had yet another strong night with reports from VK, JA, KL7 and the eastern US.

WH2XCR 011116

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR JA1NQI1 011116

WH2XCR, as reported by JA1NQI-1


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 011116

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


Other reports, statistics, comment and information:

Jim, W5EST, provided some fun for this session, with a 630-meter “word puzzle”.  The answer will be listed at the end of this report.  Puzzle follows:


Using all 18 letters from the resource words, complete words for four connected things found at some 630m stations.  Enjoy!
_ A _ I _ _ S          _ _ R _ _ _ E T E _         V _ _ _ I _ _ L        T _ _ H A _


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, decoded 6 unique stations but was heard by 21 unique stations through the session.


Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, registered a +20 db S/N from Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM.  He also was heard by 49 unique stations while hearing 11.


Steve, VE7SL, reported a planned CW sked with VE3OT at 0700z if he was audible in British Columbia.  QSB was a limiting factor on the high latitude transcontinental path and was also reported by Larry W7IUV / WH2XGP.


I had a little fun last night.  I’ve been wanting to implement a second digital station for some time but have not had the time to actually work on this project.  The current main digital station is anchored by a Windows VISTA laptop with a hard drive from 2008 and while the system has been rock solid, even the battery holds a charge, I suspect that system’s days are numbered.  I also expect that the machine would fail at a critical moment so I cobbled together a new machine, testing it using WSPR in receive only mode some weeks ago on 137 kHz.  It seemed to work OK so it was just a matter of implementing rig control.  That was essentially the missing part and it worked out without any problems once I had the time to implement.  The RF portion is a Yaesu FT1000 Mark V, which has a surprising good receiver at 475 kHz plus the capacity to output RF drive all the way to 0.00 watts.  The transmit downconverter is my backup MF Solutions board developed by John Molnar, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, and requires 50-100 mW of IF drive from the 80-meter band.  This particular board was build with the crystal oscillator which has been retrofitted with a thermistor to act as an oven to heat the crystal case.  This arrangement works very well and as reported by Jim, W5EST, the drift was about 1 Hz per hour through the session.  That’s really pretty good and actually better than I receive from the main station that uses another MF Solutions board and a GPSDO (In this case, the IF, an FT920, is not very stable at all.)  While the converter will make 22-24 watts, I throttled the power back such that I had 6-10 watts of output for an ERP in the 100 mW range on 630-meters.  Running WSPR through the session under good conditions yielded some very good reports, many at CW and JT9 levels.  Mike, WA3TTS, near Pittsburg reported a best of -8 db S/N at 0437z, Steve, VE7SL, reported a number of reports of my signal at 0346z and Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported a best of +1 db S/N.  Doug noted that statistically, my signal was 13 to 17 db down from my QRO levels, which is about right.   Numerous reports were also uploaded by John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, in Vermont.  Candidly, the WSPR map this morning looked just about like it always does at QRO levels so I was not losing much at the lower power levels.  I would have liked to have been heard by Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, and I believe that it would be possible at these power levels in the future from Texas.  The take home message is that for someone starting out on 630-meters, a large amplifier is not necessary.  Spend time and money on the antenna and good results can be realized.


Other reports from this experiment follow:


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported my 100 mW signal twice during the session:
WG2XIQ 100mw WG2XSV 011116

WG2XIQ, as reported by WG2XSV


A new reporting station, WA9VNJ, like one of his Wisconsin amateur radio counterparts from the previous session, was hearing extremely well and reported my signal 53 times at 100 mW.  Just remarkable:


WG2XIQ 100mw WA9VNJ 011116

WG2XIQ, as reported by WA9VNJ

My hope next is to run JT9 and CW from this operating position when there are active stations for QSO’s.  At “full ” power, the converter develops 20-22 watts of output which appears to be good for about 0.5 watts ERP into my current antenna system.  One of the nice features of this new set up is that the receive pass-though is implemented on the MF Solutions board so when conditions are quiet and I can listen on the transmit vertical, I can run full break-in CW and never have to listen to relays in the RF chain clanking around.  Thanks to all for the reports.  I will do this again soon.


ANSWER TO 630 METER PUZZLE provided by Jim, W5EST, above (read backwards):  tahpot lacitrev retemoirav slaidar.  

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