June 30, 2006

Nothing much

Not much to blog about, propagation is dire. Not even a trace of tropo from the high pressure system, lets hope that changes in time for the contest when C37RC will be on from Andorra with 300W and a 17ele M2 at 2150masl.

I want to just mention the problem of cluster abuse or "cluster monkeys" as KH2D would say. The LiveMUF program that many hams use to predict sporadic E on 2m depends on data from the dxcluster yet it seems that many who use the program also use the DXC for chat and reporting their log book after the event! this activity causes false alerts for 1000's of hams using LiveMUF, so a heart felt plea..DON'T DO IT!

Use the DXC to report Es QSO's on 6m and 2m, especially short QRB 6m qso's and report 2m qso's as quickly as possible and if you don't spot them within 5 minutes then don't bother....save it for the DK5YA log reporting.

I imagine Dave and others have spent 1000's of hours unpaid to produce this marvellous tool and yet many of those who might, and many who do benefit from it still mess it up by lack of thought.

End of rant.

Posted by Tim at 02:30 PM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2006

Log for 27th June..

Log for 27th June is:

1729 CT1HZE 144300 MHz IM57NH 59 59 SSB 1452km
1745 CT1DIZ 144303 MHz IM58KP 59 59 SSB 1311km

This was actually quite a strong and long opening but the paths were mostly into the sea from here. EA8BEX was heard in other places in UK apparently. I spent most of the opening trying to hear pings from 5T5DUB on 144305 but heard nothing sadly.

Posted by Tim at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2006

Morocco/Canaries opening

There was strong FM up to 108MHz from Morocco and Spain but 144300 was silent so I made a call on FM and was immediately answered by CN8JH.

1122 CN8JH 145.5MHz 59 59 FM Hamed, Rabat

After some more calls CN8TM appeared and was 59 for several minutes chatting in Arabic, called by me and several French stations but made no qso's. Apparently from IM52 square so very frustrating!

1155 144300.0 SSB EA8AVI 55 56 IL28fc 2610km

Nice to hear EA8 again as tropo has been a non-event so far this year.

I was delighted to see that EA8AVI then went on to enjoy a double hop opening into Romania for a new world record 4293km with YO4FNG. Many congratulations to both stations.

Posted by Tim at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2006

Brief opening.

Checked early today, 6th sense maybe. It wasn't much of an Es opening but YU1EV was a huge signal at G4LOH for a few minutes:

07:14 YT1VV JN94US 59 59 ES 1954km
07:14 YU1EV KN4CN 55 55 ES 2000km
07:16 YZ7NOU KN4AX 59 59 ES 1968km
07:20 IC8FAX JN7CN 55f 55f FAI 090/330 1842km

The only new square was a lot closer to home though, thanks Gordon!

08:09 GW8ASA IO81EM 59 59 TR 193km Tnx #215

Later on there were several clouds, the only one close enough to IO70 enabled:

At 1650 IH9GPI beacon was heard on 144468.2 ( it is very close to a local IO70 beacon on 144468.0), later made this recording of it:

IH9GPI Beacon 144.468 MHz JM56xt 2016km

1710 IW9HLM JM77mn new #216
1715 9H1TX JM75fu

Posted by Tim at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

More scattered openings

There was a brief opening yesterday when IH9GPI beacon (JM56xt, 2012km) was heard at G4LOH between 1130 and 1200, I was sure I had the recorder on and was looking forward to post it but it seems it was off. There is apparently no operator on 144MHz on Pantilliera Isl. but maybe next year.

20/06/2006 1132 9H5SN 59 59 JM75FW 2231km made the log, thanks Mark.
20/06/2006 1201 IT9PMZ 52 55 JM68PD 1977km

This morning 21/06/2006 there was a brief opening in which SM3JLA was heard whilst the tube was heating but gone when it was ready, and OH6PA called G4LOH at 0712 but incomplete, hope this doesn't set the tone for the day....

On a positive note check out the new EI5FK Blog , Charlie manages some great dx from IO51 (including the current 144MHz IARU Region 1 tropo DX record) and always has a very high average QRB in the big Es openings. Good luck with the blog Charlie and may you always have plenty of blog fodder to feed it with.

Posted by Tim at 08:27 AM | Comments (1)

June 20, 2006

Yesterdays log.

The Es season is in full flow right now and I am missing many openings but the were two good openings at G4LOH yesterday:

19/06/2006 13:42 UT5ST KN28IW 59 59 SSB ES 2148km #212
19/06/2006 13:49 YO5TP KN16SS 59 59 SSB ES 2139km
19/06/2006 13:55 YU7EW KN5HP 52 59 SSB ES 1978km
19/06/2006 13:59 YO5OHY KN17SP 59 59 SSB ES 2106km
19/06/2006 14:09 YO2LEA KN6WK 59 59 SSB ES 2033km
19/06/2006 14:25 LZ2FO KN13KX 59 59 SSB ES 2218km
19/06/2006 14:27 YU1LA KN4FR 59 59 SSB ES 2009km
19/06/2006 14:32 9A3JH JN75AD 59 59 SSB ES 1539km
19/06/2006 14:35 IC8FAX JN7CN 55f 55f CW FAI 1842km
19/06/2006 14:39 I8MPO JN7FP 55f 55f SSB FAI 1852km
19/06/2006 14:43 9A6R JN83FM 59 59 SSB ES 1795km

Many other stations heard.

19/06/2006 15:49 OH6KTL KP2OJ 59 59 SSB ES 2102 Tnx new DXCC and #213 Lasse, thanks.

19/06/2006 15:50 OH6PA KP2PL 59 59 SSB ES 2110km
19/06/2006 15:51 OH6JKW KP2RN 59 59 SSB ES 2122km
19/06/2006 15:52 OH1MDR KP1VJ 59 59 SSB ES 2079km #214
19/06/2006 15:52 OH1XT KP1UK 59 59 SSB ES 2077km
19/06/2006 15:52 OH1AF KP1TK 59 59 SSB ES 2073km

Surprising, strong short opening. It's a very difficult path from here as the land rises sharply to the North East. Thanks to all.

Posted by Tim at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2006

Azores opening

Last night the beacon CU8DUB got fantastically strong here, over S9 on my radio.

14th June 2006 22:40 UTC CU8DUB 599+

I and several stations were waiting for Fred to appear, most had given up when I made one last CQ call before closing down, just before midnight local time.

Last CQ call before closing 22:47 14th June 2006

22:51 144300MHz CU8AO 55 57 IO70jc-HM49kl 2350km

We chatted for about half an hour although his signal dropped below noise a few times. Fred told me that he had been unable to be qrv that evening but he would be out portable (today) by midday. Unfortunately by 0900 this morning the beacon was almost gone here and by midday absolutely nothing heard from Azores Islands.

No Es here either today and the Sun has suddenly become active which may dampen it down for a while also.

Posted by Tim at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2006

Water, water, everywhere...

Made the usual quick check of beacons this morning 1000 utc and suddenly found CU8DUB was 599 on tropo from HM49kl 2350km.

CU8DUB 144.420MHz Tropo in 2.3kHz

and a later recording ...

1214 UTC CU8DUB 144420MHz in 100Hz

Tried phoning, e-mailing, cluster announcements no stations from CU at all.

Just a beacon in the midst of all that water..............

Finally CU8AO got a message and raced home to be QRV:

1131 144300 CU8AO 53 55 HM49 2350km Tnx!!

CU8AO QSO part1

CU8AO QSO part 2

CU8AO QSO part 3

Thanks for the contact and new country Fred.

Posted by Tim at 11:50 AM | Comments (3)

June 13, 2006

FAI runs late into the night

So late in fact that I am blogging this after midnight so blogger has put the 13th on it...this is what happened on the 12thJune....

I switched on early and heard EA1VHF strong on tropo, Joe, CT1HZE could hear it too so we tried a sked....

12/06/2006 08:38 CT1HZE IM57NH 429 529 1452

Now even though we could both hear the beacon, it is a difficult mountainous path and I think this was actually an ionoscatter qso, Bob at G0KPW could hear him at the same time, it's an ideal distance and the signal had the characteristic ionoscattered tone.

I thought I heard Sporadic to OZ on Band 2 FM at 10am but it turned out to be Welsh from just over the Bristol Channel...oops. By late afternoon there was no mistake though and 88-108MHz filled up with Russian and Danish stations.

12/06/2006 16:39 OK2BFH JN99FN 59 59 1691
12/06/2006 16:44 HA7NKV KN7BM 59 59 1867
12/06/2006 16:50 HAMK KN8TA 59 59 1957
12/06/2006 16:52 YO5OHY KN17SP 59 59 2106
12/06/2006 16:55 YO5TP KN16SS 59 57 2139
12/06/2006 16:59 HA6ZB KN7BV 59 59 1855
12/06/2006 17:08 OM6NR JN99TC 59 59 1784

I heard US5WU KO20di which would have been nice but didn't get through. Big pile up and many nearby stations calling on 144300 again, impossible to make contacts, what can be done about this??

The main event for here was the extended FAI opening that followed. No exotic distances or locations but great to hear so many new callsigns (as well as familiar ones) calling on FAI.

12/06/2006 17:18 S54T JN75EW 55f 59f 1523 085/
12/06/2006 17:19 OK2VSO JN89XK 53f 55f 1658 085/
12/06/2006 17:22 S57LM JN76HD 55f 55f 1531 085/
12/06/2006 17:24 9A2SB JN95GM 57f 59f 1836 085/
12/06/2006 17:27 S54O JN75NT 55f 57f 1581 085/

Had to go out for 3 hours....but it was still open when I got back:

12/06/2006 20:31 I8MPO JN7FP 55f 58f 1852 090/
12/06/2006 20:45 I4XCC JN63GV 55f 55f 1507 085/330
12/06/2006 20:47 IK5OEA JN53WM 53f 559 1487 090/
12/06/2006 20:57 IKBZY JN61GW 52f 55f 1637 090/
12/06/2006 21:04 I5WBE JN53JR 55f 59f 1402 090/350
12/06/2006 21:05 I4RHP JN76EF 55f 55f 1509 085/335 ssb
12/06/2006 21:05 I4STU JN54IW 57f 55f 1322 085/ ssb
12/06/2006 21:09 IW2BAI JN45SF 57f 55f 1227 085/320 ssb
12/06/2006 21:11 IZ5EME JN52NS 55f 57f 1488 085/345 ssb
12/06/2006 21:12 IC8FAX JN7CN 56f 55f 1842 085/355
12/06/2006 21:19 IZ4BEH JN54WL 55f 55f 1427 090/
12/06/2006 21:35 IKBZY JN61GW 57f 55f 1637 090/
12/06/2006 21:38 IK1EGC JN35 53f 53f 1045 090/
12/06/2006 21:45 IV3DXW JN65QQ 53f 53f 1465 075/
12/06/2006 22:14 SP6GWB JO8HK 42f 52f 1546 075/
12/06/2006 22:18 IWFFK JN61DT 52f 55f 1630 085/

Marco sent me this great recording of our QSO, many thanks! IW0FFK - G4LOH FAI

There were still stations calling at 23:30UTC but quite weak by then.

Copy was very difficult at times when many were calling, the FAI causes such distortion there was just a "general noise lift" when I stopped transmitting, very difficult to decode any letters at all for several minutes at a time. Sorry to those that didn't make it, thanks for trying and thanks for all contacts completed.

13th June Report:

Only 3 qso's

13/06/2006 10:03 EA6SA JM19IR 59/59 1309km new dxcc
13/06/2006 10:10 7X2VX/M JM16 59/51 Location "Algiers, capital city" 1648km 145.500MHz FM
13/06/2006 21:05 I8MPO JN7FP 53f 56f FAI 085/350 Again strong reliable FAI for hours this evening, only station worked was Lucio.

Posted by Tim at 12:28 AM | Comments (2)

June 11, 2006

Great Es day..CU/7X and CN!

Today started early, too early for me!, there was Es in the morning from East G to OK/HA but I wasn't in the shack. It did leave a useful FAI patch over JO41 though and IC8FAX and IK2YXK were both heard.

At 1127 9A7W was a great signal on FAI and 9A1CCY also appeared.

F8DBF spotted CU8DUB as 599 on sporadic into IN87, I listened and heard it too, could not contact Fred CU8AO and although CU3EU qsy'd from 6m he wasn't heard. I tried FM but no replies, it was nonetheless exciting to hear the beacon via Es.

More sporadic in the afternoon but it was too far south...or so I thought. I did hear EA6VQ briefly but the hotspot was quite close to EA6 so skip was into the desert for me so I thought I would try FM.

A few CQ's on 145.500 and up popped 7X5RC and we had an excellent 59/59 contact, he didn't know his QRA but told me he was in Bejaia which puts him in JM26ml, excellent!

11-6-2006 1623 7X5RC 59 59 145.500MHz FM Bejaia, Algeria JM26ml ...how rare is that!!

It then got better with an amazing double hop (or was it tropo plus ES...the debate will no doubt rage on a while) opening from EA8 to OK/DL/PA and distances over 3000km being worked. Here I found :

1812 CN8SG 59 59 IM64qg new DXCC and sq.
1813 EA7AFM 59 59 IM66tg
1815 CT1HZE 59 59 endstopping the meter
1840 CN8LI 55 53 IM63nx new sq.

then just as I am blogging it all..

1905 CN8IG 59 59 IM75hn no one else so I tried calling on FM...

1909 CN8IG 59 57 He had the same idea!

In between I have been completing the electronification of my log book, the current result is:

40 DXCC's without EME or Meteor Scatter

7X Algeria
9A Croatia
9H Malta
CN Morocco
CT Portugal
CT3 Madeira Is.
DL Germany
EA Spain
EA8 Canary Is.
EI Ireland
F France
G England
GD Isle of Man
GJ Jersey
GM Scotland
GU Guernsey
GW Wales
HA Hungary
HB Switzerland
HB0 Liechtenstein
HV Vatican
I Italy
IS Sardinia
LX Luxembourg
LZ Bulgaria
OE Austria
OK Czech Republic
OM Slovak Republic
ON Belgium
OZ Denmark
PA Netherlands
S5 Slovenia
SM Sweden
SP Poland
SV Greece
T9 Bosnia-Herzegovina
UA1,3 European Russia
UR Ukraine
YO Romania
YU Serbia & Montenegro

Getting harder to find new countries without resorting to MS or EME (or anything digital!).

The squares total is now 204, the map is below...also worked but off the map is IL10 ;-))


There is plenty of low hanging fruit to go for ...like IO90!! IO81!!!

Posted by Tim at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

FAI opening or something

Not sure exactly what the propagation was yesterday, the MUF was very high and HA1FV appeared briefly on sporadic E

1650 HA1FV 59 59 JN87jj 1635km Es

then a whole bunch of stations all started calling with best signal 095 degrees from here:

complete contacts were:

1651 IW4ARD 59 59 JN64fd
1651 IW4CJM 55 55 JN63hv
1652 9A3JH 55 59 JN75ad

I guessed it was FAI but the signals were not distorted, it was not Es.

Sometime before Es opens you here signals weakly, like listening to someone though a closed door....then the MUF gets a bit higher and all of a sudden the door is opened...that's what is was like. I guess it was ionospheric side scatter with the MUF just below 144 from here.

Posted by Tim at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2006

Es report again and "the big one" for 2006 in IO70jc

One of those days when the Es kicks off early, everything looks great, 6m hopping, band 2 wide open many directions, it's promising to be the opening that will be referred to years afterward as "the big one".

Well there are some stations in the log including a new Es ODX for me:

1008 LZ1KG 55 59 KN31cs 2583km excellent distance, right at the start of the opening as the science would suggest.

1010 YU1EV 59 59 KN04cn
1012 YT1VV 59 59 JN94us
1012 LZ1ZP 599 599 KN22id
1014 LZ1AG 599 599 KN22id

1023 YZ1RA 559 nc

Kept checking the shack all day but nothing else.

Now I don't want to sound ungrateful especially to those who have missed all the openings so far but today just didn't live up to expectations.

Posted at 1525pm, day ain't over yet......I hope.

WOW it was the big day ... 60 Es QSO's this afternoon.

1643 DK5RQ 59 59 JN68bv kicked it all off (almost the shortest distance!!) and for the next 30 minutes it was often 3 qso's per minute all 59+++++. You try to get through everyone calling hoping there is some mega distance underneath but this was a "quantity" opening.

It is always nice to hear voices of those who you see in the chatroom and those who you have qso's with for many years including DL5MAE, OE5MPL, OE1SOW and many others.

From here the opening was to JN88, JN87, JN97, JN99 all populated area's making a huge pile up. Countries worked were DL, OK, OM, SP, YO, HA, S5, 9A, YU, OE and IT9..... yes, IW9CER on CW at 1729 2095km on a different cloud. All the other contacts were between 1200km and 2000km.

There were at least 3 distinct clouds working but badly positioned for chordal hop between anywhere populated.

Highest MUF was DL5MAE 174MHz.

I haven't put the whole log in as I couldn't type fast enough so it's all on paper at the moment, it's going to take a while to type it all into VQlog now.

Thanks to all those who called me and sorry if you didn't get through. In particular I remember contacting HA5AVY for whom I guess this was their first 2m ES and was being fed the words to say by Dad in the back ground, I hope another generation of radio enthusiasts is being nurtured out there.

73 to all.

Posted by Tim at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2006

A little more Es

A little opening this afternoon but hardly worth blogging really...not that it isn't nice to hear old friends again.

1712 I8MPO 59 59 JN70fp
1713 IW0BET 59 59 JN61fs

1713 IT9XDJ JM77nn 2133km 59 nc

That was it.

I had heard pings from CU8DUB during the day but the tropo path hasn't opened yet. There is also tropo to France and across the North sea but can't access it from here today.

Posted by Tim at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2006

Extra-Random EME

Radio was just left on and I was surprised to hear RN6BN in cw on 144300....it was "extra random eme", the extra randomness because it was only by chance that I was beaming in the right direction for moonrise. We very quickly exchanged 579-579 reports at 1251.

The MUF didn't seem as high as yesterday but we finally got some Es here in the afternoon.

I heard SV1BTR for about 15 minutes 1445-1500 on 144295 but even my pa couldn't get through the pile up of French stations, an unusual experience for me ;-)

Finally at 15:04 144280 SV3GKE 52 59 io70jc-km08vf 2505km

I wasn't sure he had my call correct as there was great qrm but he quickly spotted me so all seemed OK.

Also heard IK7UXY in jn90 very loud.

Posted by Tim at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)