It seems just about everyone benefited from improved geomagnetic conditions through this session. Solar wind speeds diminished and the Bz stabilized so it seems that we will attempt to return to normal once again.
The Kyoto DST ramped towards zero through the session, even peaking above for a short period near sunrise in the central US.
Daytime reports of WG2XIQ included WH2XZO in the southeastern US and SWL/K9 in the Midwest in addition to ground wave reports with Oklahoma.
WSPR activity was high, with 74 MF stations reported on the WSPRnet activity page at the 0400z census. The worldwide breakdown by continent and region follows:
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, are present, reporting a number of stations from around North America. Eden did not see a repeat of WH2XCR’s signal from KH6, however, in spite of very good conditions at the lower latitudes.
There were no Atlantic or trans-Atlantic reports through the session. This is interesting because it seems that the higher latitude paths were less effected through this session, which can be seen in the somewhat enhanced reception reports at Laurence’s station, KL7L / WE2XPQ.
In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had a record night, being reported by three stations in Australia, plus JA1NQI-2. Additionally, Merv reported Phil, VK3ELV. It seems that Merv and Phil’s reports coincided on a single transmit cycle, which will be an important improvement if a QSO is to ever be possible.
David, VK2DDI, added the following supplemental exhibits which show his console containing the WH2XCR reports in addition to his waterfall, which clearly shows the traces of Merv’s signal. I could only be so lucky to have my traces show up so clearly in VK!
David also indicates that summer QRN over the past few weeks has been very bad in VK2, but last night was an exception with the best report at -21 db S/N at 1220z.
John, VK2XGJ, sent along the following console shot. He indicates that his first reception was at 1030z but that one failed to upload. John was using the R-5000 and “mini-probe #1”, which he reports is his favorite. For future reference, his other set up is “…the W-J 8718a and Mini-Whip #2 but it isn’t as good a system as the R5000 and #1.”
As I was reviewing data this morning I noticed a new call sign on the map, WH2XZM, which belongs to Julie, AC0WN in Oregon. I think this might be the first time Julie has been reporting on 630-meter WSPR. Its also my belief that she is using an E-probe antenna, but that is not confirmed. Well done, Julie, and welcome aboard. We look forward to hearing your signal shortly!
Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reports that conditions in Washington state were good but not great, as he was not reported in VK or JA as he had been in the previous session. He also indicated that he was reported by 43 stations through the session.
Al, K2BLA, has been issued WI2XBV and is now in a holding pattern as he awaits NTIA approval and grant issuance.
In the early evening in North America, I continued my tests with the low noise receive vertical, as specified on VE7SL’s blog. Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, sent a number of CQ’s at varying power levels while I cycled through my various receive antennas, checking for his signal. At QRO, Eric was audible on all antennas, including the 25-foot, transformer-coupled wire vertical. The main difference was in the noise presented with the signal, which is no big surprise. At QRP levels, Eric’s signal was buried in the noise on most antennas and while he was very weak on the short wire, I could discern a signal that could not otherwise be heard due to noise on other antennas. That said, I think there is value in further developing this antenna at WG2XIQ. Its possible that simply listening with the transmit vertical and adjusting the RF gain would yield similar results. Much more testing is necessary. Generally speaking I prefer to improve S/N by implementing directivity in my receive antennas, but this can be challenging when living in the central US with two coasts to watch and make reports.
The antenna is between 23-25 feet long currently, built from wire and hanging from a branch of a pecan tree not too far from the branch that currently holds my E-Probe. The transformer was hurriedly constructed from a junk-box power core and presents 50 ohms at 472 kHz. The next step will be to try to increase the vertical height a bit while improving the transformer with the proper “J” core. I note that while this antenna seems to hear NDB’s very well in the 200-400 kHz range, it was virtually deaf when listening for WWVB on 60 kHz. On the 12-inch E-probe, WWVB is 30-40 over S-9. So there are some opportunities for improvement.
This morning’s CW session was tiring. Evaluating receive antennas requires constant switching of antennas and directions and is an active process so as to not miss a calling station. If you are calling me, please use very long calls so that I increase the chance of cycling past your direction at the same time or post a message to me in the ON4KST chat/logger.
My morning CW sked with Steve, KF5RYI / WG2XIQ/1 went as normal this morning and I returned to WSPR at 1202z for the daytime session.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!