October 03, 2004

A most unexpected opening.. G to CT3 on 144MHz

Dreadful weather, windy and very heavy rain, not what you normally expect when there is great tropo. There was a contest in EA/CT so I thought it may be possible to hear a couple of contest stations on the North Coast of Spain but I couldn't hear any in about 1/2 hour listening, the band was quiet apart from EA1VHF at 559. I only switched on the amp because it was a bit cold then I noticed EA8BPX joined the KST chat, I beamed that way and listened, suddenly there was Spanish voices on on 144330, it must be EA1 stations that loud? but actually was:

0949 EA8BPX 59001 59024 IL18sk 2600km Massive signal.

And soon after:

1010 EB8BTV 53002 59007 IL18 2600km
1118 EA8BPX 59+++

A few EA1/2 contest stations appeared at good strength.

There had been lots of spots for Alex,CT3/CT1DIZ but couldn't find him. I sent SMS to CT3HF who unfortunately could not be QRV but he telephoned Alex who came on to 144300. We QSY'd to 144220:

1132 CT3/CT1DIZ 53008 55022 IM12nt 2150km New #/DXCC ufb!!

The sea duct didn't extend far inland, I know Avelino EA8BPX also worked G0CUH who is just 20km further inland than me but signals were dramatically weaker even with just this extra distance. At the end of a duct the signals seem to suffer dramatic attenuation which feels worse than free space loss, why is this??

The Spanish contest ended at 1400 and signals had already faded here by then with just the EA1VHF beacon audible at 539.

Since getting QRV from here 128 days ago I have heard/worked EA8 on 12 days....thats nearly 10% of days and I surely missed some too, amazing!

Hope that EA8 beacon is QRV soon.

Posted by Tim at October 3, 2004 03:25 PM

Congrats on the CT3 Tim, doesn't happen too often!

Noting your comment about the way ducts end abruptly, it's probably partly to do with the height at which the duct forms - any interruption caused by a land mass for a low-level duct would be terminal.

The duct *does* sometimes extend inland though, mostly when it forms reasonably high in the troposphere... lots of EA8 tropo qsos documented, and I do remember one occasion when CT3 was worked from G on tropo, some 10 or 15 years ago (certainly a while, anyway). I heard the guy from a very poor site in IO91SV: It was a German /CT3, and he was sending the call in a strange way. By the time I'd realised why he was peaking up to the south-west rather than the east, he was already being worked by one or two other stations in the midlands, after which he was too weak to work at my qth - c'est la vie!

Next target D44?

73, Mark G4PCS

Posted by: Mark - G4PCS at October 4, 2004 02:00 PM