No complaints on this session from here in Texas. The night was pretty good, much like the previous several sessions. The noise level was very low but the paths during the evening seems variable and sporadic as reported for yesterday’s session. Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, observed similar S/N levels as in previous sessions and reports that his WH2XXP to WH2XGP spot ratio for the session was 81 to 17. John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates very good domestic conditions, with over 1000 spots of his signal through the session as well as strong, reciprocal, high latitude transcontinental path openings to the Pacific Northwest and west coast of the US, including a first time spot from N6SKM. Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, commented this morning that the path to Asia on 160-meters was very strong and in the past has indicated that the correlation to 630-meters is typically about 75%. That said, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, reports over 40 spots to JA1NQI-1 with the best signal level at -16 db/ S/N. At higher latitudes, however, conditions have been what has come to be considered typically poor. Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, was in receive-only mode last night, reporting only a few stations in the Pacific and Pacific Northwest. So it seems that a thin window of very strong conditions developed across the northern tier of states and across the Pacific to Asia. There were no trans-Atlantic reports during this session.
The geomagnetic field was generally very stable with the Bz component reported at or near 0 nT through the session. Solar wind has been moderate, consistently remaining near 450-km/s.
At 2015z, John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, observed a pair of signals that peaked on the east-west path at 475.725 kHz and 475.536 kHz. These signals persisted through the evening, disappearing at some point over overnight, returning this morning. John suspect a signal riding the power line and will investigate further. No other stations have reported seeing these signals.
In preparation for the upcoming 630-meter Midwinter Activity Weekend, Mitch, VE3OT, operated the “MP” QRSS3 beacon from his station in London, Ontario. Mitch reports a slight mismatch in tuning but that did not stop a multitude of reports from coming in. Mitch was heard here in Texas well before sunset, in spite of being very close to the null in his east-west oriented transmit loop.
Europe has seen a spike in JT9 activity in preparation for the MF QSO Party scheduled for this Friday starting at 2000z. I plan to have receivers listening in the 474.2 kHz 1000 – 1300 Hz JT9 window in addition to WSQ2 in hopes of hearing stations. I also hope to listen and decode via the webSDR in the Netherlands. The best chance for trans-Atlantic QSO’s on these frequencies once the US has amateur status and amateur access is using these low baud rate modes. As much as I love conventional, aural CW, it will take very good ears and large stations for those types of QSO’s to be a possibility, at least based on what we know at the moment. Below is a screen capture of Stefan’s, DK7FC, WSJTx window that he posted on the RSGB LF reflector showing quite a bit of European activity.
WSPR activity was at typical levels, with station totals in the 80’s during the North American evening, as reported by the WSPRnet activity page. No new receive stations were observed through this session.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
As stated earlier, there were no trans-Atlantic reports through this session. While reported as present through the session, there were no reports found for FR5ZX or EA8BVP. VP9GE was not present during this session.
EA8/LA3JJ, on holiday, had his strongest night yet from EA8, reporting five European stations (NOTE: My selections of database content were faulty so bands other than 630-meters are included below. Each station was, in fact, reported on 630-meters by EA8/LA3JJ but rather than me trying to recreate the gathered data, much of which has already cycled off the database, please visually filter the bands that are not 630-meters – sorry about that):
The Caribbean experienced another good night with reports from Roger, ZF1RC, and Eden, ZF1EJ. Eden also had reports for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR. I think Roger is making progress on managing his noise situation as his reports have improved significantly and I’m not sure it can be strictly attributed to improved propagation.
Tough night in Alaska for Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, as the good conditions enjoyed by many in the lower-48 were absent under the auroral oval. Still a few stations managed to be heard in Alaska, something that has become a rare occurrence for my station here in Texas. Laurence reported on the ON4KST chat/logger that he had a high noise level due to arcing power lines that resulted from high winds.
As previously mentioned, the path to Asia from Hawaii was very good during this session, with Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, being reported by JA1NQI-1 over forty times. Merv also indicates that I reported him at -12 db S/N which is almost at CW levels. We are looking for a CW QSO so perhaps we are getting close to being able to make that happen. Merv also had a single report from Phil, VK3ELV.
John, VK2XGJ, inadvertently turned off his upload during the session so reports for both WH2XCR and VK3ELV are not in the database. John sent screen captures of his WSPR console:
In Australia, Phil, VK3ELV, was reported by JA1NQI-1 and TNUKJPM during the previous session, following my reporting period.
Other anecdotes, comments, reports or statistics:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, indicates that he received reports from nine unique stations and was heard by 47 unique stations, the best at +19 db S/N from Ken, SWL/K9, in Indiana.
This morning’s CW session was noisier than the previous. No additional QSO’s were recorded. During tomorrow’s session I hope to start out on JT9 on 474.2 kHz at +1200 Hz for at least half an hour starting at 1100z. I may transition to CW afterwards on 474.5 kHz.
A portion of Fritz Raab’s quarterly report was summarized in the ARRL news yesterday. As this pursuit has partially become a marking chess match to populate the band with operators, just about any publicity for what we do is good publicity at the moment. You can read the article here.
Details about the upcoming 630-meter Midwinter Activity Weekend will be forthcoming. Steve, VE7SL, is awaiting one more confirmation from the VE contingent before the press release is ready to be passed up the chain for publication.
Jim, W5EST, sent the following profile for reports uploaded by N6SKM last night:
“Occasionally let’s profile a station’s reception. Steve, N6SKM east of San Francisco has decoded 630m stations from New England to Hawaii. Jan.4 he even bagged two daytime spots of VE7BDQ around local noon—1940 & 2020z.
*SNR range encompassing the middle 50% of TX spots ranked by SNR for Jan 5.
“SIQ” is SNR Interquartile Difference.”
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!