August 26, 2007

..and on...

0900 CU8DUB upto 559 again with slow QSB back to almost noise level.

The beacon was in all day, finally in the evening getting really strong to 599+20 and CU8AO was also that strong. Fred worked MW1MFY and G7RAU also.

I tried several times with CU3EQ but later it turned out that I was off frequency as he was using WSJT to generate his CW. By the time we figured it out the beacon had faded to almost nil.

So that was it, 4 days tropo to CU with a real peak at the end.

Posted by Tim at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2007

Atlantic tropo goes on..

The Flores beacon CU8DUB HM49kl 144420.0 MHz was audible here in the morning and then again at lunchtime through the evening. Strength in the early evening was upto 559 and it looked like we might get a really good opening but it slipped back to 529 and stuck at that level.

No stations from any of the islands were heard at all.

Similar to yesterday when it was copied morning and evening.

Edit 22:00

CU8AO HM49kl 55-59 Nice chat with fred, beacon also heard by Dan MF1MFY in South Wales.

Posted by Tim at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2007

Atlantic Tropo at last

It has been a very poor season for Atlantic tropo (how can I say that after working D44TD ? ), the jetstream stayed south all summer causing heavy rain and flooding in the UK. Even when there was obviously some great ducting from EA8 to EA1 it just didn't reach G. I think there have only been 3 days open to EA8 from here this year.

Today the forecast looked good so I switched on a lunchtime and was pleased to hear CU8DUB on 144420.0 559, I e-mailed Fred and made a QSO after some minutes:

13:28 144300.0 CU8AO HM49kl 31 53 2350km ssb

I tried also with CU3EQ HM68 but nothing heard either way.

The beacon faded slowly down and by mid afternoon there were only enhanced pings. The forecast is good so I am hoping for a stronger opening in the coming days as the high pressure system is expected to persist for a while.

Posted by Tim at 07:54 PM | Comments (1)

August 06, 2007

D44TD audio recording of G4LOH

The tests last evening were received on WSJT and recorded. This is the file received at 20:11.30:

0-26 seconds G4LOH received at D44TD 144290.7MHz

26-52seconds G4LOH received at D44TD 144290.7MHz

I believe this is a 25 second burst. It may be a meteor or a high altitude aircraft. It is not clear how far the duct extended from D4 but there was no duct evident from IO70 to the South West at the time.

Split into two parts due to limitation of Moveable Type Blogging software.

I was sending a beacon signal with the CW keyer set to slowest holding both paddles to send a di dah di dah di dah with a "di dah" sequence taking approx one second.

Given that the recording is in 2.3KHz it would have been about 539 in a narrow CW filter. The tone appears to be very close to the expected 700Hz. (edited. DL4YHF says the tone is 820Hz which fits with my experience that the radio at D44TD is approx. 120Hz LF)

I have started looking at the file with DL4YHF's audio analyser and I am more and more convinced this is my transmission.

Apparently there is another burst, shorter and louder also on the HDD with Norbert.

Anyone who can provide audio analysis to really bring out the keying and maybe look for signs of doppler would be most welcome.

This event makes 4 consecutive days in which signals have been received over the 4000km path, most likely by the tropo + ms combination mode.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to DL8YHR and DL8LAQ (the team at D44TD) who have been largely without sleep for many days now and yet never hesitate to give more of their time to this fascinating project.

I hope many others will now explore DX beyond the "normal" 2500km limit and that the DX records we have set are short lived by your efforts.

I made this picture with Spectrogram 15:

Waterfall analysis G4LOH at D44TD 5 8 2007 20 11 UTC.jpg

It appears to show a linear doppler shift from 865Hz to 807Hz over 34 seconds. My guess is that this was an aircraft over the Bay of Biscay enabling my signal to access the extensive duct North from D4.

Update 17:44
I listened carefully to this playing it through Spectran, setting the bandwidth filter to about 30Hz (you have to be cute with the left and right mouse clicks to track the doppler) but the da di da di da seems very clear when listening like this. No way 539 like I guessed before though!...about 319-419 at best!

20:05 UTC

Tried sked again with D4 since 18:30 nothing heard at all today.

Posted by Tim at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)

August 05, 2007

More Atlantic tropo dx and G4LOH-D44TD meteor scatter

The duct that supported the QSO to D4 yesterday had this morning drifted North and produced some strong signals from EA8 this morning in the contest:

The log was as follows:

07:54 EA8ACW/P IL28EC 59 033 59 043 CW TR 2599
07:55 EA8BWY/P IL18UM 59 034 59 047 CW TR 2575
07:58 EA8BFK IL38BO 55 037 57 018 SSB TR 2499
07:58 EB8AYA IL18RI 59 036 59 051 SSB TR 2600
08:01 EE1URO IN62GE 59 040 59 053 SSB TR 897
08:01 EA8BPX IL18SK 55 039 57 047 SSB TR 2589
08:01 EA8TJ IL18RI 55 038 59 034 SSB TR 2600
08:08 EA1AEN/P IN51PW 59 041 59 025 SSB TR 947
08:14 EA1CFA IN53UH 59 042 57 SSB TR 791
08:50 F6KHM IN78RJ 59 043 59 047 SSB TR 196
09:44 CT1ANO IN51RE 59 044 59 057 SSB TR 1024
09:50 CT2IUM IN60CG 52 045 52 052 SSB TR 1305
11:43 EA2BFM/P IN83FE 59 046 59 205 SSB TR 779

Last night I was also able to work T77NC on tropo to make 3 new DXCC on the day C3, D4 and T7 !!!

After a wet afternoon the weather improved. D44TD reported that they could hear EA7 stations. We tried some more meteor scatter tests:

[19:52:12] Tim says: rr 290 then full 1 minutes is OK also
[19:52:29] Tim says: 144290.7
[19:53:31] Tim says: 144290.700 da da da now. see in waterfall??
[19:58:09] Frank @ D44TD says: YESS! a burst
[19:58:15] Tim says: :))
[19:58:28] Frank @ D44TD says: wow! that's cool :-9
[19:58:33] Tim says: would it be enough for FSK441 decode?
[19:58:51] Frank @ D44TD says: yes, it was almost 1 sec
[19:59:01] Tim says: da da da
[19:59:09] Tim says: wow!!
[19:59:30] Frank @ D44TD says: I have monitor on.
[20:00:59] Frank @ D44TD says: It was excatly on the audio freq 700Hz. JT spec center 1270 minus abt 500-600 with doppler
[20:01:43] Tim says: ok i am tx exactly 144290.700 by GPS reference
[20:11:43] Frank @ D44TD says: WOW! AMAZING!
[20:11:51] Tim says: another?
[20:11:52] Frank @ D44TD says: the next one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
[20:12:01] Tim says: what u hear?
[20:12:01] Frank @ D44TD says: a few seconds
[20:12:06] Tim says: how sound?
[20:12:14] Frank @ D44TD says: weak, but CW
[20:13:02] Frank @ D44TD says: 2011 UTC

I have a .wav file to put here but it's too big for Moveable Type blogger so it'll have to wait 'til I figure it out!

[20:14:00] Frank @ D44TD says: and see the trace.
[20:14:12] Frank @ D44TD says: we can do it later
[20:14:31] Frank @ D44TD says: speclab should do it
[20:14:43] Frank @ D44TD says: yes, I think so.
[20:14:55] Frank @ D44TD says: when was the 1st burst?
[20:15:11] Tim says: 1957
[20:23:07] Frank @ D44TD says: the 1st burst is much shorter. what was the time of the 1st?
[20:23:17] Tim says: 19:57
[20:23:51] Tim says: that long one may be an aircraft
[20:29:00] Tim says: meteors should be much better in early moring....this is the worst time!!
[20:48:39] Frank @ D44TD says: I will send the file fromhome.
[20:48:50] Tim says: OK many thanks enjoy dinner
[20:48:57] Tim says: gn
[20:48:58] Frank @ D44TD says: tnx gn

Two good bursts received in under an hour, not at peak time or peak shower over 4040km! amazing.

It is also worth noting that our antenna's are not ideal for MS since mine are stacked vertically and two antenna's side by side at D44TD.

Posted by Tim at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2007

D4 tests continued

Just as the tropo finally opens to UK from closed from D4 to CT.

D44TD reports that even CT1HZE only 31 now in Cape Verde. So I guess the chance is now gone. The low latitude jetstream that has caused so much disruptive flooding in the UK stopped the tropo duct reaching south west England.

Modest compensation was provided by:

13:15 C33IU JN02TO 59/59 for a new DXCC

Well not so fast...conditions continued to improve with many stations in South France and EA1 EA2 EA3.

Then at 18:17 EA8AVI was 55.

I called D44TD and we tried again:

[18:24:06] Tim says: Can you listen for my morse dashes beacon??
[18:24:50] Frank @ D44TD says: qrg?
[18:25:14] Frank @ D44TD says: "&%
[18:25:16] Tim says: 144185.00
[18:25:31] Tim says: 200-400 packed with contest stations!
[18:25:51] Frank @ D44TD says: RRR!(%CW
[18:25:58] Frank @ D44TD says: 185
[18:26:15] Frank @ D44TD says: cw will rx..have some mailwork so no problem
[18:26:32] Tim says: will start next odd min (second per) at 18:27.00-59
[18:26:55] Tim says: one minute TX, one minute resone minute TX etc etct
[18:27:09] Tim says: running
[18:29:23] Tim says: running again now - - - - - - - - :)
[18:29:51] Frank @ D44TD says: ok
[18:31:18] Frank @ D44TD says: da da da
[18:31:22] Frank @ D44TD says: da da da
[18:31:25] Tim says: yes!!!
[18:31:29] Tim says: ms?
[18:31:31] Frank @ D44TD says: are you tx?
[18:31:34] Tim says: yes
[18:31:39] Tim says: i send da da da
[18:31:44] Frank @ D44TD says: ok..go...hear it
[18:31:54] Tim says: tropo?
[18:31:59] Frank @ D44TD says: yes
[18:32:05] Tim says: rest one minute now..
[18:32:13] Frank @ D44TD says: ok..
[18:32:21] Frank @ D44TD says: me first 00 02 04
[18:32:22] Tim says: you warm your amp??
[18:32:26] Tim says: OK
[18:32:27] Frank @ D44TD says: is warm
[18:32:29] Tim says: :)
[18:33:20] Frank @ D44TD says: you now
[18:33:23] Tim says: r
[18:39:15] Frank @ D44TD says: $!) A BIT LIKE AURORAL

It took until 18:53 before I had enough of callsigns and then a nice 45 seconds when I copied 419. Started sending r319.

Then at 19:10 copied "RR" via a meteor enhancement.

[19:10:29] Tim says: HEARD RR on MS!!!
[19:10:32] Frank @ D44TD says: you went DOWN !== IN TX
[19:10:37] Frank @ D44TD says: YEP
[19:10:42] Tim says: wow
[19:10:52] Tim says: that's it then!!
[19:10:56] Frank @ D44TD says: you went down a bit?
[19:11:08] Frank @ D44TD says: NO REAL TROPO:::A BIT MIX
[19:11:29] Frank @ D44TD says: best 429 10 419 noisefloor
[19:12:07] Tim says: was sending final rrr but not needed
[19:12:19] Frank @ D44TD says: yep
[19:12:25] Frank @ D44TD says: sending 73
[19:12:37] Tim says: I am going to make DX spot on cluster
[19:12:57] Tim says: :) ready for your pile up?
[19:13:06] Tim says: wow " 73" hrd
[19:13:29] Frank @ D44TD says: many tnx
[19:13:41] Tim says: HK86no
[19:13:57] Tim says: ?
[19:14:53] Tim says: - - - - - - - - - - - - - again for you
[19:14:54] Frank @ D44TD says: yep

So In the log:

4-8-2007 19:12 D44TD 144.185MHz r319 419 HK86NO 4049km


Posted by Tim at 03:17 PM | Comments (3)

August 03, 2007

D44TD tropo test again...

I got an early call from Joe CT1HZE who was hearing D44TD well on tropo even though they were beaming at 70deg elevation, so it seemed the duct as far as CT was strong.

We made a sked on Skype. I called them on 144270.0 CW one minute periods, just sending dashes and was heard again. "419 for one second" at 07:23.

This is surely MS with tropo extension to 4050km.

Still no QSO though :-(

So At 11:23 when the moon has just set in Cape Verde we tried again:

here is a transcript of the Skype chat as it unfolded:

[11:23:31] Tim says: Your moon is set now??
[11:33:42] Frank @ D44TD says: YEP
[11:33:54] Frank @ D44TD says: "%= SSB
[11:34:15] Tim says: Frank...cpi me??
[11:34:30] Frank @ D44TD says: 250?
[11:34:33] Tim says: rrr
[11:35:17] Tim says: do you hear Joe cw?? I adjusted my TX to be exactly same frequency as him ...please tune to it?? OK
[11:35:32] Tim says: Sending _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4 you now
TX morse dashes 11:35.00-59 (to make high duty cycle beacon and type at same time)
[11:36:22] Frank @ D44TD says: "%=
[11:36:24] Frank @ D44TD says: 250
[11:36:27] Frank @ D44TD says: will rx
TX D44TD de G4LOH 11:37.00-59
[11:37:01] Tim says: I am 50Hz lower than before to be exactly on frequncy Joe was using...did you copy him??
[11:37:17] Frank @ D44TD says: joe is full house
[11:38:14] Tim says: :)
[11:38:20] Frank @ D44TD says: you tx always ?
[11:38:47] Tim says: I TX ODD mins (second per)
TX Morse dashes 11:39.00-59 and 11:41.00-59
[11:39:00] Tim says: I TX now...!
TX D44TD de G4LOH 11:43.00-59
[11:43:42] Frank @ D44TD says: HEARING calls i think
[11:43:45] Frank @ D44TD says: no da da da
[11:43:57] Tim says: yes!! sending calls!!!
[11:44:00] Tim says: wow
[11:44:05] Tim says: ms or tropo?
[11:45:48] Tim says: _ - - - - - - - again

[11:46:31] Tim says: I need to stop for 20 minutes to sort out a cow....can you still be QRV in 20 mins??
[11:45:15] Frank @ D44TD says: 529 on burst..419 tropo
[11:47:12] Tim says: Is exact on freq or you have RIT in?
[11:47:12] Frank @ D44TD says: 429
[11:47:24] Frank @ D44TD says: ok will qsy 300
[11:47:26] Frank @ D44TD says: call me here
[11:48:19] Tim says: OK, will call here in 20 mins...I have to do Artificial Insemination on a cow now!!!

[12:06:32] Tim says: OK, hope the cow is pregnant now....lets try QSO again :)
[12:07:17] Frank @ D44TD says: ok
[12:07:43] Tim says: calling _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
[12:07:53] Frank @ D44TD says: will rx 270
[12:08:02] Tim says: 270?
[12:08:19] Tim says: OK 270 is fine
[12:11:06] Tim says: Do you tx?
[12:11:13] Frank @ D44TD says: no
[12:11:17] Frank @ D44TD says: just rx
[12:11:27] Tim says: ok, sending dashes again...
[12:13:37] Frank @ D44TD says: you tx only second periode right?
[12:13:40] Tim says: rr
[12:13:59] Tim says: see in spectran??
[12:14:07] Frank @ D44TD says: yep
[12:14:24] Tim says: wow...
[12:17:07] Tim says: So can we make a qso??
[12:19:03] Frank @ D44TD says: think yes
[12:20:08] Tim says: great let's do it...
[12:20:34] Frank @ D44TD says: call you
[12:20:37] Tim says: ok
[12:24:20] Frank @ D44TD says: nothing sorry
[12:24:26] Tim says: :(
[12:24:37] Tim says: still see in spectran?
[12:25:28] Frank @ D44TD says: no more
[12:25:42] Tim says: dashes again now
[12:35:54] Frank @ D44TD says: breakfast time
[12:36:08] Frank @ D44TD says: we have to try in the evening again
[12:36:32] Tim says: enjoy food, 73

So again one way 429 with 529 MS or aircraft enhancement across the Bay of Biscay where the low pressure has already upset the possible tropo duct.

Not heard anything this end though, still not convinced I have the frequency exactly right for my narrow CW filter.

I just hope the cow is pregnant.

Tried again later in the day when D44TD was 599++ with CT1HZE and EB8AYA spotted in IN52.

[16:30:13] Frank @ D44TD says: ja
[16:32:24] Frank @ D44TD says: REAL TROPO
[16:32:32] Frank @ D44TD says: $!) $") QSB
[16:32:41] Frank @ D44TD says: 419 429 qsb


[16:48:12] Frank @ D44TD says: break
[16:48:55] Frank @ D44TD says: 529
[16:49:00] Frank @ D44TD says: callled you
[16:49:12] Tim says: HOw can this be!! I hear nil

[16:49:55] Frank @ D44TD says: it was you vy sure
[16:50:11] Tim says: I am very pleased but very frustrated!!!

Still I cannot hear them.

If I do hear good signals there will not be dialogue on the Skype until after calls and RST are properly exchanged....if only!

Another test for 30mins in the evening:

[20:28:24] Frank @ D44TD says: good ping from you loud

One ping only :-(

Weather is very bad for tropo now. Light rain. Forecast is better tomorrow.

Posted by Tim at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2007

D4 one way... 429 over 4050km

D44TD G4LOH Path.jpg

I tried a CW tropo sked with D44TD expedition on 144250.0 MHz this afternoon.

I heard nothing but apparently they were sending me 429 reports having heard me "for a short while". A few minutes earlier in the sked Joe CT1HZE reported hearing me backscatter via 20 second Meteor burst.

The tropo over the Bay of Biscay still seems closed.

I think they may heard the meteor with tropo extension since the tropo duct to CT from D4 was open at the time.

I have long since felt that tropo plus ms combined is a very useful combination for long DX contacts.

Hoping for some improved tropo in the next few days and to crack the 4000km tropo barrier from here with a full QSO.

Posted by Tim at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)