30 Sep 2014

FR1GZ WSPR

Just took a look at http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/spots for FR1GZ spots both given and received. It is amazing that he has so many real DX reports in the log. I guess this is partly because Reunion Is is very remote. Already he has been spotted here 14 times and he has spotted me 3 times so far today.  Many of his reports are  greater than 16000km .

RSGB president request

Today I was asked if I could provide a photo of my 8.97kHz TX so the RSGB president could use it at a convention in Northern Ireland. I was happy to oblige.

If anyone else needs to use photos from my website at www.g3xbm.co.uk or this blog I am usually happy to say "yes" but it is polite to ask first.

"Poor" 20-30MHz conditions?

Sunspot count has fallen to 160 today and 20-30MHz conditions are supposed to be "poor" yet on 10m VK3KCX (16883km) has been spotted 6 times on 10m WSPR today, spots have been exchanged with FR1GZ (9724km) multiple times, CX2ABP (11127km) has spotted my 2W WSPR more than once and 4X1RF (3519m) has been spotting me multiple times and 10m is wide open to the USA! 10m really is a truly fascinating band.

There is no shortage of Europeans on 10m WSPR either. Not sure if they are being copied by F2 backscatter or Es.

29 Sep 2014

VLF receivers

To detect VLF amateur signals it is pretty essential to use a good receiver (with frequency locking so extremely narrow bandwidths can be received for hours or days on end) and Spectrum Laboratory software. Spectrum Lab has options to lock to one of the powerful MSK signals near 20kHz and this transforms stability.

For reception of natural VLF emissions it is somewhat different as signals tend to be stronger and of much shorter duration. There are several VLF natural receivers on the net. See http://www.vlf.it/romero2/explorer-e202.html for a typical example.

10m WSPR - recent results

Good conditions continue on 10m with WSPR. These are recent results around teatime. There are plenty of USA spots both ways. Currently I use 2W ERP and a Par 3-band end-fed antenna. In recent days 10m has been open to the USA every day.
Recent 10m WSPR results at teatime today.
UPDATE 2000z:  Maybe  this is like last night and the USA have only disappeared for now to return later, but in the last hour G0LRD (25km), G0VQH (15km) and M0MJH (5km) are the only stations spotting me. It is as if "the big DX switch" has been turned off.

UPDATE 2140z:  Still no further DX this evening.I have just noted that 20-30MHz conditions are now described as "poor". Again, I'll leave WSPR running overnight to see what happens WRT Europeans in the early (before breakfast) hours.

6m TEP WSPR

Looking at wsprnet I see VK4TVL and JH1GYE have been spotting each other at a range of 6243km on 6m WSPR earlier today. This is clearly 6m TEP. None noticed on WSPR between the Med and southern Africa or USA to South America. No transatlantic F2 on 6m WSPR seen.

10m - USA today

The first station in the USA, K4RCG (5995km) was spotted at 1218z.  Since that time, there have been lots of USA stations spotted and spotting me. 4X1RF (3519km) has also been spotting me from the other direction.

10m WSPR - excellent start

HB4FL spotted me many times before breakfast starting at 0430z. I was also being spotted in Italy before breakfast. Writing this at 0922z, I see EA is now being spotted. I assume this is Es?

VK3KCZ (16883km) has been spotted a couple of times, so far, although he is running 10W (high power for WSPR).

Sunspot count today is 200 (good, but expect blackouts) and 20-30MHz propagation "normal". Some decent F2 openings are likely on 10m.

28 Sep 2014

Quiet evening on 10m?

At the moment it looks like 10m is now quiet with just locals and the odd European. There seems to be a total lack of North Americans now on the band. I'll be monitoring for a few hours more and things may yet change. 10m has a habit of throwing surprises.

UPDATE 2045z:  Yep, surprises!  Just been spotted on 10m WSPR by three north eastern USA stations. As I half expected, just when the band seems "closed" it opens again to the USA. 10m is indeed a band of surprises!

Long sunny days no more? Until next year.

As the nights get longer and the days get shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is useful to know when the sun rises and sets. A useful UK reference is http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/nao/miscellanea/UK_SRSS/. 

It amazes me that we are half way already to the shortest day! I don't want to wish my life away, but I always welcome the time when the days start to lengthen again. Even more, I welcome the return of migrant birds from Africa in April such as Swallows, House Martins and Swifts.