June 26, 2004

EA8 via es

I missed the start of the opening having woken up with a bad cold. I checked the cluster in the house and saw North West F already having Es into EA8. The weather is awful with heavy rain and 100m visibility so not normal conditions for good radio but this is Es.

Initially signals not so strong but then all QRB's were 2600km...

0933 EA8BWY 55 55 IL18uk
0953 EA8BWD 59 51 IL18uk

1000-1015 EA8/DL6FAW 59 59 IL18bs Nice chat with Bert running 100W into a 9ele, parked in his car 1080m up a mountain. Signals varied between 57 and 59+20db for about 30 minutes from him.

1021 EA8TJ 55 59 IL18ri
1024 EB8AHT 55 55 IL18sl

ALL in IL18 but can't complain, nor about the fact that CT3HF was on but not heard up here.

There was some discussion on KST that this maybe tropo and Bert was so strong for so long that I wonderered...but the signal arrival into UK was certainly Es else someone else would have heard them and the weather between here and Spain is particularly unfavorable for tropo at this time, also the beacon in EA1 was not heard here this morning.

Maybe there was tropo at the EA8 end to help keep EA8 signals in the Es, with fine WX there, Bert said it was 32 degrees....and thats 1000m asl high!

Posted by Tim at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

New format...oops, More Es though!

Hope you like the new format because I didn't save the old one then got into all sorts of bother trying to fix it, so there we are.

Nice Es again, two new DXCC again and still no PA/ON heard here, again.

0855 IK7HIN 59 59 JN81kc
0914 IW0GPN 59 59 JN62fb
1027 7X0AD 59 59 JM16jr new DXCC
1226 IS0CAK 59 59 JM49mb new DXCC
1229 IS0GQX 59 59 JM49oh

Thought it was over but then someone broke into my local qso....

1251 9H1TX 59 59 JM75fu
1253 IT9JLG 59 59 JM68ga

1302 IW9D...... JM67js sri lost in the noise

So we need a few more days like this to make up for the rubbish season so far....but I wouldn't mind a day off tomorrow.

Spare a thought for Udo DK5YA tonight, he will we formatting 100's of mails and thousands of 2m Es contacts tonight after such a widespread, prologned opening.

Didn't see any reports of double-hop which was surprising really.


Posted by Tim at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

Es back at last -two new DXCC

After a terrible Es seaon so far the sporadic finally returned to 2m here. A brief opening then a long wait and I nearly gave up waiting, glad I didn't:

12:05 9H1CG 59 59 JM75FW tnx! new DXCC

At 13:50 for about 10 mins IH9GPI was in/out the noise but no contact with JM56, pity.

Then whilst on WWC with G7RAU he said "you are in the right place now for Es to Italy any minute" ........ and within 30seconds: (thanks Dave!)

15:05 IC8CQF
15:05 IZ0CBD
15:08 HV0A !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 59+40dB WOW!!!!!!
15:10 I8MPO
15:10 IK8BIZ
15:11 IK0BZY Enrico

Two new countries Malta and Vatican City....and I haven't even worked Holland or Belgium yet!

Posted by Tim at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2004

First FAI QSO's

Es had been very strong on 6m but didn't get to 2m, I think the MUF reached about 100MHz.

Dave G7RAU had made a few calls and worked some Balkan stations, it was FAI but seemed to weak for me but I tried a QSO with Peter HA5OV (after finding him on KST chat) and WOW what great signals! my first real FAI qso.

I had struggled to believe that the QTF should be that far off from the direct heading...(like I remember hearing my first Aurora 20 years ago and turned the beam direct, immediately losing the signal!) but there was no doubt that QTF 70degrees was correct.

19:13 HA5OV 539 559 JN97nj QTF 070 1806km FAI

I called CQ on 144315 and was then called by S53J

19:37 S53J 529/539 JN75ev QTF 080 1529km FAI

A good day.

Posted by Tim at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

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 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2004

Who needs Es, 144MHz tropo to EA8 2800km

Sorry abt not blogging, I had a virus on this PC which took huge amounts of time to resolve, thanks Dave G7RAU for all your time on this.

Unfortunately it beat us and a full XP re-load was necessary.

On the 2nd June there was great tropo which came as a big surprise as there had been no trace of the normally reliable EA1VHF beacon...(it later transpired that it had lost power and was QRT!).

I had tried a couple of QSO's to the north of Spain at lunchtime via sked and these showed there was no tropo at 13:00UTC but later on 22:00 the tropo opened up.

At 22:28 EA8BPX was 53 here for a QSO and I heard EA8BVU briefly but didn't complete.

Various stations via ON4KST chat and EA1 QSP'd to Alex (RW1ZC/MM) and we tried a CW sked, Alex heard pings from me so we tried FSK but no QSO to IM21.

On 3rd June ( my birthday) there is often an Es opening but the Sun has been too active recently. Yesterday's tropo appeared to have closed so I set about tidying all the cables and organising the shack better, when I finally switched back on at 16:27 I made a quick call to see if the radio was all connected again ok and EA8TJ replied 59/59 2600km!

The log then looks like:

16:28 EA1TA IN53si 59+20dB
16:32 EA8BPX IL18 2600km
16:32 CT1ANO
16:34 EB1EHO
16:37 CT1DYX Pedro set up another cw sked for me with Alex who was now in IM23.....
16:54 RW1ZC/MM 529 549 IM23wb Alex, 2032km Excellent!!!!!!

Then random a while later as signals continued to improve....

17:16 RW1ZM/MM 55 57 IM23wb Vasili 2032km

So just as signals were getting really good I had to go out and put in fence posts for the local horse gymkahna with my tractor which was a pleasant evening but I do wonder if I missed CT3HF who was spotted on the cluster later.

By the time I got back the duct had closed to beyond EA1. Stations in IN53 were still 59++ as was the beacon which is back on now albeit with T6 tone.

Must try to blog on the same day in future!!


Posted by Tim at 12:13 PM | Comments (1)