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

Current Operating Frequency and Mode

OFF AIR but QRV after dark tonigth

SCHEDULED ACTIVITY: CQ 474.5 kHz CW by 1015z through sunrise most days, WX permitting

WI2XBV in Florida now QRV, Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Africa paths continue to be open, EA8 reporting Europe, QRSS30 in Colorado, WSPR15 in Alaska, and unsettled geomagnetic conditions persist

– Posted in: 630 Meter Daily Reports, 630 Meters

Propagation on 630-meters was “OK” through this session but as Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, mentioned in the ON4KST chat/logger this morning, it probably was not as good as two nights ago.  QRN was significantly higher as many areas of North America are experiencing active weather systems.  The geomagnetic field continues to be unsettled but is no longer classified at storm levels so perhaps a recovery is on the horizon.  The Bz component generally remained southerly through the session and solar wind speeds were classified as very high, in excess of 600 km/s.

planetary-k-index 121115

The Kyoto DST remained in negative territory and was generally trending downward.

DST 121115

Kyoto DST for December 2015

This morning’s CW session yielded no additional QSO’s and conditions were generally noisy compared to yesterday when the band was silent and QRN free.  Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported my CW signal at his station but noted S9 QRN accompanying my signal.

Paul, W0RW / WA2XRM, reported that his QRSS30 beacon was heard by Mark, KU7Z, in Utah and had the following comments,  as posted on the 600-meter research group email list:

WA2XRM comments 121115

There were no screen shots provided as of this report but they will be appended later if received, where applicable.

WSPR dominated the band, with 89 MF  stations reported through the North American evening on the WSPRnet activity page.  There was a significant number of US stations transmitting through the day with good results.  The following captures show the 6-hour window centered on local midday at each station to minimize the effects of local  darkness.

WH2XZO daytime 1500z - 2100z

WH2XZO 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


WG2XJM daytime 1500z - 2100z

WG2XJM 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


WG2XIQ daytime 1500z - 2100z

WG2XIQ 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


WH2XXP daytime 1630z - 2230z

WH2XXP 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


WG2XSV daytime 1630z - 2230z

WG2XSV 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, was on his maiden voyage through this session, performing some daytime testing and was amazed by his station’s performance at 100 mW ERP.  While he was only QRV for a couple of cycles during the daylight hours, his QRPPP signal was was reported at 396 km distance.  More about Al’s system later in this report.

WI2XBV daytime 1500z - 2100z

WI2XBV 6-hour daylight WSPR activity


WI2XBV Daytime first reports 396 km KC2QII 121115

WI2XBV, as reported by KC2QII


The regional / continental WSPR breakdown follows:


NA 121115

North American 24-hour WSPR activity


ER 121115

European 24-hour WSPR activity


JA 121115

Japanese 24-hour WSPR activity


VK 121115

Australian 24-hour WSPR activity


The trans-Atlantic path was limited to reports of DK7FC and EA5DOM once again and no North American stations were reported in Europe through this session.

EA5DOM WD2XSH17 121115

EA5DOM, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DK7FC WD2XSH17 121115

DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


DK7FC VE1YY 121115

DK7FC, as reported by VE1YY


The path to EA8BVP was once again open and Stefan and Luis took advantage:

EA8BVP 121115

EA8BVP 24-hour WSPR activity

The trans-African path was also open again and Stefan and Luis once again make an appearance at Michel’s, FR5ZX, station on Reunion Island.

FR5ZX 121115

FR5ZX 24-hour WSPR activity


EA5DOM FR5ZX 121115

EA5DOM, as reported by FR5ZX


DK7FC FR5ZX 121115

DK7FC, as reported by WD2XSH/17


In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, was alone again but did a nice job hearing stations in the south and north east, including WI2XBV.

ZF1EJ 121115

ZF1EJ 24-hour WSPR activity


In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, split his time with WSPR-15 activity.  Laurence received WSPR15 reports from John, VE7BDQ, and Mark, KU7Z.  Reports from John and comments from Mark are appended below, as posted on the LOWfer reflector:

WE2XPQ 121115

WE2XPQ 24-hour WSPR2 activity



WE2XPQ, as reported by VE7BDQ on WSPR15


WE2XPQ KU7Z WSPR15 121115

In the Pacific, Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, had solid reports into the mainland US and Alaska but nothing from JA or VK.  John, VK2XGJ, reports that he was listening on WSPR15 through the session so its possible that the path was actually open.

WH2XCR 121115

WH2XCR 24-hour WSPR activity


As reported earlier, Al, K2BLA / WI2XBV, received his grant yesterday and began low-power on-air testing.  At 100 mW ERP, Al had great success being heard over a nearly 400 km daylight path and could probably have spanned much further had he been QRV longer during those tests.  As darkness progressed to his station, his signal was at or near CW levels for many reporting stations, including here in Texas at WG2XIQ where he peaked at -7 db S/N, which is more than enough signal for a comfortable CW rag chew session.  Al continued his testing and was at 200 mW ERP by the end of the session.  Below are the 24-hour WSPR reports for his station and some additional comments he made via e-mail this morning:

WI2XBV 121115

WI2XBV 24-hour WSPR activity


WI2XBV comments 121115

Congrats Al and I believe many of us are looking forward to CW QSO’s as soon as you are ready!

I observed four new receiving stations through this session:  AC2PJ, N7RCF, W6ADZ, and N5OFQ.  Welcome aboard!

Yesterday we were joined by Jim, N0UR, in Minnesota.  Jim was QRV again last night, reporting WG2XXM and WG2XJM.  Jim started out using a 160-meter horizontal loop but switched the an 160-meter Inverted L.  Loops can be tricky because even a large 160-meter loop can look like a dead short at 472 kHz so its advised that one side of the connection to the rig or antenna be disconnected so the antenna looks more like a long wire.  This can be tricky in noisy environments.  Jim reports some broadcast band noise problems and will investigate fixes for this.  He uses a Flex SDR and is about 20-miles from the nearest AM transmitter site.

Eric, NO3M / WG2XJM, reports that his new ATU has been installed.  I worked him on CW using the unit yesterday and it sounds great.  Details at No3m.net .

Finally, as new stations come on board with MF and LF, many do so using WSPR.  Some of the older WSPR software defaults to the old frequencies, 503.9 kHz, for 630-meters which can be problematic if using CAT to control the radio as one can be listening on the wrong frequency.  The new frequencies are 474.2 kHz dial (0.474200) and signals will be centered 1500 Hz higher in a 200 Hz passband at 475.600 kHz (0.475600).  I typically send an e-mail to operators when I see the old frequency being reported if they have an email address on file with QRZ.com and if not, I guess with a try to <callsign> @ARRL.net.  The latter works surprisingly well.

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