June 11, 2004

FAI heard...

Well the Es has been very poor due to the high sun activity I guess, but I did hear FAI today for the first time....

The Es had been building during the day with G-S5 on 4m at about 18:00 but LiveMUF never showed MUF above 80MHz. I didn't think to try CQ in cw until chatting on WWC with IK2YXK and IK0BZY we decided to try tropo since Mau could hear the JN26 beacon, I called CQ for Enrico and he came back all excited "WOW WOW WOW", that's when I realised the beam was still at QTF 90 degrees! I turned it to the correct direct QTF 120 degrees for the next period and he quickly reported that the signal had disappeared.

I guessed this must be FAI mode so put the beam back to 90 degrees, signals returned. He called me back but had QRP so I only just heard him and occasional letters were discernable, enough to identify his call but not for a QSO.

The signal had a good tone but were too weak to tell if they had the reputed "flutteryness", nice thing was that compared to iono which is normally pestered by irritating meteor pings, there was NO ms at all so I could concentrate on trying to understand the cw...but it wasn't quite enough.

I need bigger antenna's, hopefully 6dB more antenna gain will do the trick and get a dB for dB improvement on FAI paths (which doesn't happen with ionoscatter where the increased gain is part offset by the effect of illuminating a smaller volume of the ionosphere).

A good day then, 2m has been very dull of late.

Posted by Tim at June 11, 2004 10:25 PM