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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but will be QRV on CW somewhere between 472.5 kHz and 475 kHz after dark

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1030z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

WH2XGP decodes VK3ELV WSPR’s; JH1INM decodes WE2XPQ WSPR’s; DK7FC –> WE2XGR, WH2XZO; KP2XX makes another appearance ; WH2XGP QSO’s with WG2XIQ on JT9 and JT65A; More CW and Phone with VK4QC and VK4YB

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

630-meters had a lot to offer during this session.  While openings seemed slow in the East from my station in Texas, the band got significantly better as the evening progressed.  Later openings are a feature of longer days as the Earth begins to tilt closer to its Spring and Summer positions in the northern hemisphere.

Some interesting early openings did occur on the transcontinental path, as Steve, VE7SL, reported that VE3OT’s CW beacon was audible nearly two hours before sunset in British Columbia.  Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported Mitch’s audible signals at 0200z and periodically through the evening.  Mitch was curiously not audible here in Texas during the evening, which is abnormal since he has been heard here most nights that he has been active this season.  Mark, WA9ETW, reported that Mitch’s signal was down from typical levels during the evening and also reported that my WSPR CW ID was RST 589 at 0252z.  There was lots of variability in the band.

There was a moderate amount of QRN from storms in the south eastern US during the evening but that noise tapered off as the evening progressed.  It was obviously not enough of a problem to prevent Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, in South Carolina, from decoding DK7FC’s WSPR’s multiple times.  As Jim, W5EST, noted in the ON4KST chat/logger, imagine what the S/N reports might have been like with no QRN!  QSB was also a feature but it was generally insignificant.  Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, and I completed JT9 and JT65A QSO’s during the evening and even with variable signal levels, QSO’s were still easy to complete.

WH2XGP JT9 WG2XIQ 030216

WG2XIQ JT9 console from QSO with WH2XGP


WH2XGP JT65A WG2XIQ 030216

WG2XIQ JT65A console from QSO with WH2XGP


As a side note, I typically preach that because of the narrower bandwidth of JT9, it is more suitable for a 7-kHz wide band.  Larry notes that JT65A is actually somewhat better when conditions are unsettled.  I will have to examine this more closely.  While JT65A is considerably wider, Larry’s signal was audible in spite of being outside of the usual S/N range for audible signals, particularly in USB receiver bandwidth!

The geomagnetic field was quiet but elevated at points during this session.  Protons also were elevated during the late afternoon in North America while the Bz was variable.  Solar wind velocity was also elevated to moderate levels in excess of 460 km/s.

planetary-k-index 030216


Kyoto DST 030216


Australia DST 030216

John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, experienced an early weather-related shut down but had a strong session while he was transmitting and submitted the following report:

WG2XKA email 030216

WG2XKA 030216

WG2XKA 12-hour WSPR activity


Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reported that he would be operating QRSS3 during the evening on the 600-meter research group email reflector and followed the QRSS activity with WSPR.  Neil provided the following comments:

WG2XSV email 030216


WG2XSV’s QRSS3, as reported by W7IUV / WH2XGP


WG2XSV map 030216

WG2XSV 24-hour WSPR activity


Peter, VK4QC, posted the following information on the VK 600-meter email reflector about on-going activity with Roger, VK4YB, and anyone else interested in joining them:

“We’ll be up on 472.5 CW nightly from 0900 UTC then QSY 479 LSB for a while”


WSPR activity was very good, with 82 MF WSPR stations observed on the WSPRnet activity page at 0220z.  KP2XX was listening briefly but its possible that storm QRN from the south eastern US prevented him from hanging around for the duration.  John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reported that the path to Cayman Island opened later than normal.  Reports from Jim were just not meant to be this night.

Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:

NA 030216

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


EU 030216

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 030216

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 030216

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


There were no reports from the trans-African path.  UA0SNV was present from Asiatic Russia but no reports were found in the WSPRnet database.

Stefan, DK7FC, once again corners the market with trans-Atlantic reports.  He was decoded by WE2XGR, and WH2XZO:

DK7FC WE2XGR 030216

DK7FC, as reported by WE2XGR


DK7FC WH2XZO 030216

DK7FC, as reported by WH2XZO


Eden, ZF1EJ, and Roger, ZF1RC, were present and providing reports from the Cayman Islands.  Eden reported WH2XCR:

ZF1EJ 030216

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR ZF1EJ 030216

WH2XCR, as reported by ZF1EJ


ZF1RC 030216

ZF1RC 24-hour WSPR activity


Its always a good session for Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, when he is reported in Japan.

WE2XPQ 030216

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR activity


WE2XPQ JH1INM 030216

WE2XPQ, as reported by JH1INM


WE2XPQ WH2XCR 030216

WE2XPQ, as reported by WH2XCR


Merv, K9FD/KH6  / WH2XCR, received a few reports from John, VK2XGJ, and Roger, VK4YB, while providing reports for Roger and Phil, VK3ELV.  The path to Japan appears to be cut off again.  This might be related to an approaching weather system that Merv reported yesterday.  Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, reported that Merv was still being decoded an hour after sunrise in Washington state.

WH2XCR 030216

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


WH2XCR VK2XGJ 030216

WH2XCR, as reported by VK2XGJ


WH2XCR VK4YB 030216

WH2XCR, as reported by VK4YB


VK4YB WH2XCR 030216

VK4YB, as reported by WH2XCR



Phil, VK3ELV, received reports from Japan, Hawaii, and Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP in Washington state.  It is believed that this is the first reception report of a WSPR station in Australia by a station in the mainland US.  Also notable is that neither station is really close to salt water on the great circle path.  Larry reports that he was using an EAST -facing BOG that was  only 600-foot long.  So was the signal really coming out of the East or was Phil simply so strong that F/B did not matter?  Jim, W5EST, reports that storms in Phil’s region may have prevented him from hearing Larry for a two-way report.

VK3ELV map 030216

VK3ELV WH2XGP 030216

VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XGP


VK3ELV WH2XCR 030216

VK3ELV, as reported by WH2XCR


VK3ELV JH1INM 030216

VK3ELV, as reported by JH1INM


VK3ELV JH3XCU 030216

VK3ELV, as reported by JH3XCU


Additional comments, statistics, anecdotes, and information:

Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reports that he decoded eight unique stations and was decoded by 45 unique stations.

Jim, W5EST, provided the following discussion entitled, “ESTIMATING IONOSPHERE SURFACE TEXTURE AND DRIFT FROM 630M SNRs”

“This post is intended more to provoke your thinking rather than be reliably correct.  If you have some experience, some words of wisdom, or some book or article on this topic, e-mail us at this blog.

Let Δt represent a time interval between successive 630m 2-minute WSPR transmissions.  In the nighttime regime WSPR SNRs can vary significantly–sometimes 5 to 10dB from slot to slot. Here’s an example: 5w WG2XXM-no1d (OK-AZ)  0500-0758z on a 1399km path on Feb. 27, 2016. One XXM transmission every 4 to 6 minutes is the Δt time interval here. The SNR sequence for this one-hop path far from storms ran along as follows:

-4+1+0 -7 -6-13-7  -8  -2 -1+1+4  +4   (0500-0556z)

-2 -4 -1 -1 -4-12-5-11-12+0-4  -8 -13   (0602-0658z)

-5 -1+0 +0-7  -4 -5 -3   -2+0-2+0  +1   (0702-0802z)

Suppose the ionosphere was slowly changing in place, like the surface of water slowly coming to a boil.  Also suppose the reflecting ionosphere halfway from OK to AZ was moving horizontally in some direction as a mass.

Picture quilt-like clouds on an overcast day. The ionosphere could have a somewhat globular, cloudy texture of the plasma as “seen” by 630m RF. The texture is the imperfectly flat shape of the electron concentration contour surfaces. These surfaces enable sufficiently strong (and weak) 630m reflections to deliver the SNRs that the WSPR decoder generated at NO1D in Arizona.

I surmise that the minimum size scale of curvature of this texture is roughly 2λ, two wavelengths of 630m, perhaps 1500m of globular surface. That would be sufficient to offer plenty of surface area for reflection while also being sufficiently coarse so 630m signal SNRs would vary as much as they do.

Moreover, 630m SNRs vary substantially and rapidly on the scale of minutes.  By contrast, 2200m SNRs vary much more slowly and deliberately on a scale of a half hour or more. That suggests ionospheric texture variation that’s coarse to 630m and less-coarse to 2200m. The size scale of curvature in this texture is closer to the 630m wavelength than to the 3 times longer 2200m wavelength.

Suppose the ionosphere is moving near the place(s) of 630m reflection with a velocity v and has a somewhat globular texture having a spatial scale of Δx.  Then for the SNR to vary greatly during time interval Δt, at least one of the globular surfaces must present different parts of its surface to accomplish this. To estimate what the speed v might be under this assumption, I write a speed formula and substitute some plausible values:

    v  ~= Δx / Δt          (“~=” means “about equal.”)

    Δx = ~1500m, that is, more than 2 wavelengths of 630m

    Δt  = ~ 6 minutes = 0.1 hour

    The rough value Δt is the time scale of fast-varying 630m WSPR SNRs on single-hop paths.

The SNR variations might be due to slow changes of the texture without any motion. Consequently the velocity could also be less than the estimate here.

    v ~= 1500m / 0.1 hr

    v ~= 15 km/hr  or 9 mph.

This rough estimate suggests that the ionosphere as 630m sees it, most likely the E-region, can be slowly drifting in the deep nighttime.  What do you think?”


Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc?  Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD <at> gmail dot (com)!