Major X9 solar flare – Aurora all around!

Wednesday saw a massive sun eruption not expected (especially that strong) being so far down the solar cycle already. In fact it has been the strongest solar flare in Cycle 24! spaceweatherlive.com has an interesting article about it.

After hearing about it on Wednesday evening and knowing most of it would be earth directed it was clear there would be some radio Aurora around about 48 hours later. That’s the time it needs to travel from sun to earth to then hit our  planet’s magnetic field (which is protecting us from the rays’s effects mostly) and produce Aurora. I took care to be able to get home from QRL today a little earlier than usual at the moment, i.e. not working 11-13 hours a day. When I saw the first Aurora spots appearing on the DXcluster I called it a day at QRL and went home to join the fun.

It’s been a great opening lasting about 6 hours in total overhere. I was able to do over 100 QSOs. 😎 Also worked a lot of southerly located stations which really needs a very big opening. Normally even with good Auroras you can work as far south as the JOx0 squares, sometimes down to JNx8 as well. But working as far south as Croatia, Austria, Hungary and even Italy is really rare. This time it even reached down to Serbia (KN04) and even Bulgaria (KN13), amazing! 😎 The reflection zone got that far south at the end (around 18z) that I was north of it  (!) meaning I could not hear any signals anymore while UK stations did work down into Croatia and Italy at the same time! Peter, SM2CEW (KP15), did a number of Aurora forward scatter QSOs into the UK which is also very rare! It did not work further “south”, i.e. at Lasse, SM0KAK, around the Stockholm region …

These very southern stations were worked, most of them with me beaming around 80°:

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
14:30  LZ2FO         KN13KX   52A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1204
14:34  9A1UN         JN65VG   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    881
15:50  S51ZO         JN86DR   55A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR    733
15:52  IK3VZO        JN55XA   55A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR    922
15:54  YU1EV         KNØ4CN   53A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1053
15:57  9A6DDA        JN85OK   55A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR    888
16:00  9A9C          JN85LI   57A   57A    2 m.   CW    AUR    893
16:04  9A2AE         JN86HF   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    793
16:10  S5ØC          JN76JG   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    770
------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course distances are not that big for the QSOs mentioned above, it’s more about their rare nature. You can do much bigger distances into west and east. But even there distances bigger than 1.400 km are something special not happening too often. Keep in mind I’m only running about 600 watts and a single 9 ele LFA Yagi! Of course running a kilowatt or more and a group of 4 antennas or more you can certainly do much better. 😉 I was very happy and excited being called by Serge, RD3FD. Not only was our QSO a great distance but also a new square,  too, #556. And I was his only contact into Germany! 😎 Also the QSO with Andy, RV3IG, in LO17 was quite remarkable …

Here are the QSOs over 1.000 km distance:

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
13:22  GM3WOJ        IO77WS   59A   59A    2 m.   SSB   AUR   1257
13:33  R3DX          KO85OG   55A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1505
14:01  RD3FD         LOØ5UT   55A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1787
14:06  RK2P          KO93AD   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1581
14:07  RV3IG         LO17FJ   55A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1834
14:09  R3IS          KO76WU   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1433
14:30  LZ2FO         KN13KX   52A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1204
15:04  G4RRA         IO8ØBS   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1263
15:07  F8DBF         IN78RI   56A   52A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1418
15:42  EW8W          KO42TO   51A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1034
15:54  YU1EV         KNØ4CN   53A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1053
17:34  G4KUX         IO94BP   57A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1063
17:55  RX1AS         KO59XW   59A   57A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1314
------------------------------------------------------------------

You can find my full log here. As you can see I concentrated on 2 m. There was simply nothing very interesting to be worked on 6 m and our 4 m special permit sorrily expired a week ago. 🙁 Also nicely visible: just a very small number of SSB contacts! With all the spread understanding voice reflected by Aurora is really difficult. I tried CQing myself on sideband a few times but mostly couldn’t make out the callers … CW rulez! 🙂

Posted in Aurora, Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on Major X9 solar flare – Aurora all around!

SCC-RTTY 2017

After a very busy week of QRL in the Netherlands and (for a change) no other plans this weekend (summer weekends are usually quite crammed with activities) I decided to give the SCC-RTTY organized by the Slovenian Contest Club a go again. Luckily the SCC sent out a reminder a few days ago. 😉

I took it rather leisurely doing a few QSOs every now and then. Waking up after a late afternoon nap I even found 10 m open via Sporadic-E early Saturday evening but unfortunately not much activity, just a hand full of QSOs made. Enjoyed a great 20 m run later that night before testing out condx on 40 & 80 m. Went into bed 23z with about 250 QSOs in the log.

Got up early Sunday morning (5z) and while activity was not too high yet 15 m opened slightly into the Far East even allowing a few QSOs with South Korea and Japan. A few Japanese were real s9 signal strength but it all seemed quite localized. Suppose there was some Sporadic-E involved along the path as current sun activity would probably not allow any direct F2 openings on 21 MHz. Speaking of Sporadic-E 10 m was open Sunday morning, too. Not very consistently, i.e. changing open directions randomly, and again not too much activity but still good enough to keep me going most the time. Thus decided to continue on 10 m only and put in a single band entry. Who knows, maybe the result will be good enough for a world win. 😎 After all there was just one 10 m entry last year with 17 QSOs that took the world win. But Dusan, YT8A, was active this year, too (although on different bands but that does not indicate what category he sends his log in, as with myself 😉), and the South usually has much better ES condx … so we’ll wait and see. At least my result is about 50% higher than the current European 10 m record. 😎

                    SCC RTTY Championship

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB/10 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 12 h (all bands)

Summary:
 Band   QSOs  Mults
-------------------
   80:  (40)       
   40:  (74)
   20: (101)      
   15:  (54)      
   10:  141    54   
-------------------
Total:  141    54  Total Score = 14,256

Comments:
Elecraft K3, KPA500, 550 W + 6 ele OWA Yagi @60ft.
Posted in Contesting, Propagation, Sporadic E | Comments Off on SCC-RTTY 2017

BBQ @DP9A

Sorrily I couldn’t make it to the annual BBQ at DP9A last year so was glad to make it this year. Only drawback was the traffic. 🙁 Was going the 550 km trip with the YL on Friday afternoon but traffic was tremendous with traffic jams all around so the way there took us over 8 hours. 🙁 Going back today on Sunday was just a tad faster with 6,5 hours (normally it takes just 4,5 to 5 hours). Anyway, had an enjoyable time Saturday morning visiting the famous Lutherstadt Wittenberg which is celebrating 500 years of the Reformation this year. While I’m not church-related at all it’s been an interesting visit from an historical perspective nonetheless.

In the afternoon we visited the DP9A club & contest station. Their yearly BBQ is always a nice gathering of good friends with coffee and cakes in the afternoon and a great BBQ in the evening. Lots of interesting talks and lectures, this time by Paul, DL5CW, about the XX9D expedition, as well as Siggi, DL7DF, about their recent VP2E trip, while Chris, DL1MGB, gave a status about the WRTC preparations. All in all a great day and evening again and perfectly suited to free up my mind from all the current QRL stuff. 😎 And, it was great to see DP9A’s new 40+ m high tower with a 40 m 3 ele fullsize beam on top! Wish we could install something like that at our station, too. 😉

.

Posted in Antennas, Contesting, DX, General stuff | Comments Off on BBQ @DP9A

Perseids Meteor Shower

Unfortunately I didn’t have much time this year so most of my Perseids activities concentrated on the weekend when the peak was forseen to happen the night from 12th to 13th of August. But I didn’t recognize any distinct peak this time. And all in all I found conditions much worse than last year

I took the chance to try out the new MSK144 mode for Meteor Scatter. It has some real advantages over JT6M, i.e. no rubbish decoding anymore, shorter tx/rx periods for faster QSOs, real-time decoding, a.s.o. Almost all traffic has already changed to MSK144 on 6 m! Amazing how fast new modes take over. It is less common on 4 & 2 m but a few use it there, too. In it’s latest version MSHV 1.42 has support for MSK144 as well but it felt like decoding worse on FSK441 than with older versions and compared to WSJT. Meanwhile (i.e. when writing this report) LZ2HV has released v1.43 but I didn’t try it out yet. Overall I like MSHV much better than WSJT as it neatly integrates everything into one window …

The guys of EI9E were activating a rare one again. While I had already worked IO61 on 6 m in the past it was a new one on 4 & 2 m. Also Mek, SP7VC, was very busy activating rare squares on 4 m, this time in Latvia. Glad to catch him in KO35 and KO36 at least, all of his other square activations were sorrily not fitting into my QRL schedules … Dirk, ON5GS, deserves a big thank you, too. He has been activating rare ones during the last few years as well and IO54 was indeed still a new one on 2 m overhere. LB8DC (ex LA9DFA) was worked from his family’s hut in JP60 on 6 &  2 m for another new square. Unfortunately he had some equipment trouble on 4 m so no luck on this band. It took several tries before finally succeeding with 9A4ZM on 4 m, thanks for your persistence, Maki.

Although no new ones other interesting QSOs included short distance ones with PA2M & PA3ECU direct path on 4 m, DH6DAO direct path on 6 m, and SP3CFM on 6 m and DL4ALI on 4 m both using backscatter reflections. Made around 60 QSOs in total, full log can be viewed here

Posted in Meteor Scatter, Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on Perseids Meteor Shower

OZ5E/P IOTA 2017

When thinking about where to spend this year’s family holiday I thought it might be a good idea to combine it with some island activation as it conincided with the yearly IOTA contest last weekend of July. It’s been a few years since I last activated an IOTA reference.

Paul, DL5CW, had been active during July’s IOTA contest from Hjarnø Island, EU-172, for a few years in a row. So the idea arose to do the contest together. I booked one of the wooden huts on the Hjarnø Campsite for the family while Paul booked his usual hut near the campsite’s field as the radio shack.

Our fiberglass pole with the youth campers in the background – luckily no interference 😉

Arrived with the family Thursday before the contest and Paul joined on Friday. Antenna and station setup didn’t take too long. Paul had prepared everything quite well. We tried out one of the new Arial-51 OCF (off-center fed) dipoles for 80-6 m (Model 807-L) on a DX-Wire 15 m GRP “EXTRA” heavy-duty fiberglass pole. Weather was fine, almost no wind, so work was finished in about 1,5 hours. While the field is usually empty there was a youth group camping this time. The landlord had separated them from the rest of the campers. Obviously they were there for some party time. 😀 Of course our activities attracted their interest so a small group of girls came by after a while to ask what we were doing there. A good chance to explain what amateur radio is all about. They had never heard about it but easily understood it’s the same basics of radio for their mobile phones, too. 😉 An interesting conversation about the island and it’s history evolved, it turned out the family of one of the girls originated from Hjarnø. The whole group met there for party after finishing college and now meet up every year to keep in touch. Nice tradition! 😉

Antenna mast in wind – not good!

Weather changed rapidly on Saturday. Paul started the contest and wondered why QSO rates were so poor after about an hour. See reason on the picture left – antenna ends on the ground and feedpoint not much higher either! 🙁 Although we used 2 sets of guy wires they were probably too far apart so the mast bent dramatically. Luckily we used the HD mast version which probably saved the contest! Can’t imagine a “normal” glassfiber pole would have survived in that wind conditions. So we took it down hastily and reset the guy wires and also lowered the OCF’s balun position a bit to be on the save side. No problems afterwards and rates much better again. 😎

Conditions were quite okay being aware we’re almost in sunspot minimum. 40 & 20 m were the day-time “money bands” with 80 m close to them during the night. Even worked a good share of DX although we were only running 100 watts from an Elecraft K3.

There were a few small Sporadic E openings but activity was not very high thus not too many QSOs made on 15 & 10 m, a real pity! Certainly could have worked much more but as the bands were not very productive we QSY’d down soon again not to miss too much.

Yours truly checking condx before the contest.

Sunday brought a heavy thunderstorm late morning. It was difficult to still work somebody as the bands were full of static crashes and noise so we probably lost another good number of QSOs. Luckily it got much better after about an hour so we were able to run again.

All in all we’re quite happy with the result. We had expected to do some 1.000+ QSOs and finished with almost 1.300 – not too bad for just a hundred watts and a small wire antenna. 😎 The result will probably not be good enough for one of the leading positions because even in the low power class the competition is using better antennas (and more operators to errect them!) but we sure had lots of fun! Having the XYL cooking was certainly a small plus point, too. 😉

Contest         : IOTA Contest
Callsign        : OZ5E/P
Mode            : MIXED
Category        : Multi Operator - Single Transmitter (MS)
Overlay         : Dxpedition
Band(s)         : All bands (AB)
Class           : Low Power (LP)
Zone/State/...  : EU172
Locator         : JO55AT
Operating time  : 24h00

 BAND   CW/IOTA  SSB/IOTA  POINTS   AVG 
----------------------------------------
   80  232   37   94   26    2980  9.14 
   40  348   46  146   27    4130  8.36 
   20  318   31   62   13    2650  6.97 
   15   40   12   25    8     585  9.00 
   10   14    9    5    4     215 11.32 
----------------------------------------
TOTAL  952  135  332   78   10560  8.22 
========================================
        TOTAL SCORE : 2 249 280

Operators       : DH8BQA, DL5CW
Soapbox         : 2O1R1A = 2 Operators, 1 radio, 1 antenna ;-)

Many thanks to Andrew, OZ1XJ/OZ5E, for lending the short contest call! Made life much easier than operating CEPT style … Of course we do have lots of ideas what could be made better next time and also discussed where to go next year. If only these contests wouldn’t come so “surprisingly soon” all the time. 😉

Posted in Antennas, Contesting, Expeditions | Comments Off on OZ5E/P IOTA 2017

July VHF contest – claimed scores

Seems I do not need to grieve too much over my oversleeping Sunday morning in the July VHF contest. 😉 The points missed would not have changed anything in the standings. It’s just not possible to win from our northeastern-most location as long as somebody is on the hilltops in JN59/JO50 which is almost exactly in the middle of Germany! We’re simply too far away from the main activity centers … Nevertheless, always big fun! Especially enjoying our high kilometer averages with almost every QSO being DX. 😉

Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on July VHF contest – claimed scores

IM86 square #653 on 6 m

No QSOs sofar this week, QRL taking it’s toll. Small opening on 6 m tonight to Spain. Not expecting much, just tuning the band and only hearing 2 stations. Quite happy to see EA7CD was in IM86qs providing another new square on 50 MHz. 😎

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on IM86 square #653 on 6 m

Aurora & ES – just returned from HAMRADIO fair

Just returned from the HAMRADIO fair in Friedrichshafen. Good show and great to meet some old friends again like Enrico, I5WBE. Have worked him several times on 2 m Meteor Scatter some 20 years ago in HSCW (high speed CW, i.e. 1.000 lpm). Always nice to remember “the good old times” together although I like today’s world, too. 😉

After returning home this afternoon I was very astonished to see Aurora QSOs reported on the DX cluster! Switched on the radio and immediately worked GM4ZUK/P for my first ever Aurora QSO on 4 m! 😎 Concentrated on 4 & 6 m this time as Heiko, DG1BHA, was at the station, too, trying his luck on 2 m. So only two contacts on 144 MHz this time but with R3CT some really good DX included!

6 m opened very selectively via Sporadic-E afterwards, too, even on double hop to EA8! Good to hear some signals again, July has been rather disappointing sofar after the great ES openings in June …

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
15:28 GM4ZUK/P       IO86RW  55A    55A    4 m.   CW   AUR    1141
15:43 LA2QM          JO59HN  55A    59A    6 m.   CW   AUR     742
15:46 YL2JZ          KO26AW  59A    57A    6 m.   CW   AUR     751
15:50 SA5K           JO78LH  59A    59A    6 m.   CW   AUR     572
15:52 SM7FJE         JO65ML  59A    55A    6 m.   CW   AUR     266
16:06 R3CT           KO86QF  53A    57A    2 m.   CW   AUR    1518
16:22 SMØLPO         JO89TE  55A    55A    6 m.   CW   AUR     699
16:25 SM5EPO         JP8ØMC  59A    56A    6 m.   CW   AUR     788
16:32 SM6CVX         JO78FM  59A    55A    6 m.   SSB  AUR     593
16:38 YL2FZ          KO37QI  53A    59A    2 m.   CW   AUR     952
16:46 SM6CMU         JO57XK  55A    55A    6 m.   CW   AUR     493
16:49 SM6OEF         JO68KI  52A    55A    6 m.   CW   AUR     580
17:01 AM625VQ        JM19HN  599    599    6 m.   CW   ES     1751
17:03 EA4AA          IN8ØBK  59     59     6 m.   SSB  ES     1964
17:04 EA8DBM         IL18OH  59     59     6 m.   SSB  ES     3747
17:07 EA4DE          IN8ØLL  59     59     6 m.   SSB  ES     1918
17:09 EA8AQV         IL28ED  59     59     6 m.   SSB  ES     3700
17:11 EA1ASC         IN7ØDX  59     59     6 m.   SSB  ES     2016
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in Aurora, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Aurora & ES – just returned from HAMRADIO fair

July VHF contest … stupid me!

Well, not very satisfied! Reason is I completely overslept Sunday morning! Seems I either didn’t hear the alarm clock (had even set 2 different times to be safe!) or set it wrong, not sure. Just wanted to take a break of 3 hours but woke up only 6,5 hours later! Oh boy, this could easily have been a 200k points contest if it wasn’t for that stupidity. Certainly missed some 50+ QSOs and 20k+ points which would have brought me above the “magic” 200k points mark easily. 🙁

Despite that condx were not too good, lots of QSB due to the bad weather all over Europe. Working the DX was struggling but still caught most of the regulars. Total result is also better than last year, think it might even be the second best July result ever from this location, will check that later.

At least I got up just in time for the short 2 m ES opening! While SP1’s just 40 km north of me worked into UA4 it was NIL overhere. 🙁 But that’s the nature of Sporadic-E, I even experienced openings in the past were there were stations 5 km away to be worked and nil here and then vice versa a few minutes later. After all that’s what’s fascinating about ES openings, too, isn’t it? 😉 Let’s see what this so far very good (although I missed a number of openings due to QRL) ES season will bring during the next few days/weeks.

Fidel, EA1HRR, reported hearing me for 30 seconds on a really good MS burst but couldn’t make it through the DL pile-up with his QRP setup, pity! Normally July is good for 1-2 MS (enhanced) QSOs, too, but not lucky this time (you know all has to fit perfectly then) …

Contest Report from DH8BQA in JO73CE at 144 MHz
===============================================

Contest : DARC-JULY-CONTEST 2017
Date    : 2017 Jul 01 - 02
Section : 01 144MHz Single OP
QTH     : Woltersdorf

TX      : IC-7400 + PA, 750 W
RX      : IC-7400 + MGF1302
Antenna : 10 ele DK7ZB Yagi, 20 mAGL, 70 mASL
Log     : TACLog by OZ2M, 1,995, http://www.qsl.net/oz2m

QSOs    :  437
-invalid:    0                                        points/QSO
-valid  :  437     QSO-points (*1)    :    184844            423
WWLs    :   86     WWL bonus (0)      :         0              0
DXCCs   :   20     DXCC bonus (0)     :         0              0
                   ------------------------------         ------
                   Total score        :    184844            423

ODX     : 9A4V in JN95KI at 935 km

Worked World Wide Locators:
JN37:   2  JN78:   4  JO20:   1  JO47:   1  JO68:   1  KN08:   1
JN38:   2  JN79:  18  JO21:   1  JO50:  19  JO70:  24  KN09:   3
JN39:   6  JN85:   1  JO22:   2  JO51:  16  JO71:  11  KN18:   2
JN47:   5  JN86:   3  JO30:   4  JO52:  13  JO72:   4  KO00:   1
JN48:  14  JN87:   3  JO31:  13  JO53:   4  JO73:   9  KO02:   2
JN49:  10  JN88:  12  JO32:   3  JO54:   1  JO80:   7  KO10:   1
JN57:   2  JN89:  11  JO33:   2  JO55:   1  JO81:   2  KO12:   1
JN58:   5  JN95:   4  JO40:   8  JO59:   1  JO82:   2  KO13:   2
JN59:   5  JN96:   1  JO41:  10  JO60:  17  JO83:   2  KO14:   2
JN67:   1  JN97:   2  JO42:   9  JO61:  18  JO90:   4  KO15:   3
JN68:   6  JN98:   4  JO43:   7  JO62:  14  JO91:   1  KO22:   1
JN69:   9  JN99:  14  JO44:   3  JO63:   1  JO92:   1  KO24:   1
JN75:   1  JO02:   1  JO45:   1  JO64:   5  JO94:   4  KO25:   2
JN76:   4  JO10:   1  JO46:   1  JO65:   8  JO96:   2  KO33:   1
JN77:   4  JO11:   1   

Worked DXCCs:
9A  :   5  G   :   1  LY  :   8  OM  :  16  PA  :   7  SP  :  30
DL  : 227  HA  :   7  OE  :  14  ON  :   2  S5  :   7  UA2 :   1
EU  :   4  HB  :   4  OK  :  83  OZ  :   9  SM  :   7  UR  :   2
F   :   2  LA  :   1   

Top 10 QSO-points:
20170702 0007 9A4V       559  264    599  203     JN95KI     935
20170702 0005 9A8D       559  263    599  213     JN95LM     919
20170701 2353 9A7D       51   261    59   171     JN95CI     918
20170702 0754 EV4R       51   273    59   030     KO33VI     903
20170701 2355 9A1CRS     51   262    59   249     JN95IT     882
20170702 0913 G4SWX      559  317    559  003     JO02RF     865
20170701 2311 9A9R       559  252    599  220     JN85OQ     862
20170702 1032 HG3X       59   338    59   197     JN96EE     834
20170701 2249 S59DEM     59   246    59   426     JN75DS     825
20170701 1542 HB9KAB     57   081    59   070     JN37WA     821
Posted in Contesting, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on July VHF contest … stupid me!

SV5 – Dodecanese, DXCC #34 on 4 m and square #652 on 6 m

Not even a handful of QSOs today but all very special! First of all I caught TZ4AM on 6 m!  It didn’t take long to find out his split listening tactics so I didn’t need more than 2 calls to nail him. 😎 While I had worked Mali on 6 m before (TZ6EI/IK62 in 2009) IK51 was a new square, now up to #652 … Then I finally caught Mike, SV5BYR, on 4 m. 😎 I had been chasing him through the whole season of 2015 as well as this year! I had heard him a few times but signals were never strong enough for my tiny 4 m QRP signal to be heard on his end. But now we made it. Now only SV9 missing from that region so keeping fingers crossed I’ll be able to work some of the Crete guys on 4 m, too, before our special permit ceases end of August.

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
16:58  TZ4AM         IK51XH  599    579    6 m.   CW    ES    5058
17:16  SV5BYR        KM46CK  599    599    4 m.   CW    ES    2156
17:22  9H1PI         JM75FW  599    599    4 m.   CW    ES    1918
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on SV5 – Dodecanese, DXCC #34 on 4 m and square #652 on 6 m

Another evening ES & square #651 on 6 m

4 m continues to open in the evenings which is great for guys like me who spend their day time at work. 😉 Tonight it was open to Finland again. As usual with these openings I was almost too close meaning I need a higher MUF than the rest of Germany to work somebody, therefor “only” 4 QSOs in the log … Also great to work Ulli, DK2BJ, expeditioning in Norway activating JP44 which was a new square on 6 m. 😎 He was also QRV on 4 m but unfortunately the skip was not right for us there …

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
17:45  OH6CT         KP24WV   599   579    4 m.   CW    ES    1457
17:47  OH1TM         KPØ1VJ   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1018
17:48  OH1LEU        KPØ1VF   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1002
17:52  OH8WW         KP24HP   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1403
18:21  LA/DK2BJ/P    JP44XA   59    59     6 m.   SSB   ES    1228
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Another evening ES & square #651 on 6 m

TF – Iceland, DXCC #33 on 4 m :-)

Another great ES to be caught after finishing QRL, love these evening openings! 😉 Especially glad to work TF3ML for another new 4 m DXCC country. 😎 Distance is at the very edge of what’s possible with one hop and indeed I had to wait for quite a while until his signal came up to workable levels!

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
16:48  EI8IQ         IO62SF   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1391
16:49  G3XDY         JOØ2OB   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES     885
16:50  G4TVR         IO92BI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1083
16:50  G8GFF         JOØ1FS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES     943
16:51  GW6KLQ        IO82IT   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1169
16:58  EI3GYB        IO53OT   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1516
16:59  G4GFD         IO83RL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1110
17:01  GW4HBK        IO81KP   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1185
17:02  MØAJJ         IO83NN   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1131
17:03  GD3YEO        IO74RD   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1236
17:06  GM4ZMK        IO75TW   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1232
17:07  GØJHC         IO83PQ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1119
17:11  EC1AJL        IN73CI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1829
18:30  TF3ML/P       HP93KU   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    2325
18:47  CT1FFU        IM59KK   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    2336
19:10  EA1HRR        IN83JJ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1679
19:50  G4VCJ         IO94JQ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1020
20:03  G6TGO         IO83UJ   57    56     4 m.   SSB   ES    1094
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on TF – Iceland, DXCC #33 on 4 m :-)

More ES on 4 m tonight …

After the great 2 m opening early afternoon 4 m saw a nice opening during the evening, too, this time into the UK allowing a few more QSOs than usual:

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
13:05  S51DI         JN76VL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES     754
13:11  EA2BCJ        IN91MP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1710
19:13  G4ASR         IO81MX   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1164
19:18  G8XYJ         IO82PJ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1138
19:19  G4IOQ         IO82KT   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1157
19:20  G4PEO         IO91UB   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1015
19:20  EI4GNB        IO63WE   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1350
19:20  GW4ZHI        IO82AH   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1223
19:22  MWØGOV        IO71LS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1309
19:23  EI8IQ         IO62SF   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1391
19:26  GØJHC         IO83PQ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1119
19:27  G7RAU         IO9ØIR   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1094
19:30  GU6EFB        IN89RK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1233
20:43  GØGMB         IO92NB   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1023
20:44  G3NPI         IO92MA   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1030
20:44  G3TA          IO81XS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1109
20:47  G8CMU         IO81RW   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1138
20:54  2EØNEY        IO81VK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1130
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on More ES on 4 m tonight …

Fantastic Sporadic-E opening!

Wow, what a great 2 m ES opening today! Already when driving between two of our QRL locations around 8z this morning I had this gut feeling. Checked dxmaps.com around 8:30z and saw things evolving. Unfortunately I had to be back in the office for another meeting but when done around 10z and looking at the MUF map again I saw those big red colored squares all over the place! Luckily no other meetings scheduled for today so I rushed into the car to drive home and was QRV by 12:30 local time. And my first QSO was already a new one! 😎

Worked a number of Russian and Ukrainian stations. Had the feeling activity was not that high but that might have been due to the fact we were not optimally located, it was even better further south west. As you can see on the map (big thanks to Gabriel, EA6VQ, for his great service!) there were at least 3 different clusters of high MUF E-clouds. So it was not astounding that around 12z while 2m was still wide open into UA4 it also opened into south-west France. But only one station hrd/wrkd here (again much better about 100 km south). Although no additional QSOs in the log the band was still open until about 12:30z overhere, the usual UA4’s from LN29/LO20 were still pounding in but no fresh meat anymore … Speaking of UA4’s: RX4CQ provided a new square, too. Had tried with him on MS in the past without luck so even more happy to catch him on ES now. 🙂

Also worth mentioning is the QSO with UT3BW at under 1.000 km which is a sign for an extremely high MUF, must have been in the 170 MHz’s or so …

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
10:30  UA6LNS        LNØ7KM # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1980
10:37  UA4AQL        LO2ØQB   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    2161
10:38  RA4A          LO2ØQC   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2159
10:41  UA4ALU        LN29LA   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2178
10:54  UR5LX         KO7ØWK   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1514
10:55  UR4LSK        KO8ØCA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1552
11:05  UT3BW         KN29UA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES     925
11:09  RN3ZU         KO7ØTA   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1514
11:11  UW5EDK        KN78MH   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1555
11:13  R3WW          KO81DF   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1514
11:14  RL3QDD        KO91OQ   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1694
11:19  UA3QIN        KO91NP   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    1689
11:21  RX4CQ         LO3ØLV # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2234
11:25  UR5GKD        KN66RU   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1538
11:30  UR3GS         KN66QR   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1541
11:31  UR5GKD        KN66RU   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1538
11:31  US1GCH        KN66RU   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1538
11:33  UA4ALU        LN29LA   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    2178
11:35  URØGE         KN66RT   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1541
11:38  UR3GS         KN66QR   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1541
11:39  UR8GZ         KN66RT   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1541
12:04  F4ARU         JNØ3QL   55    55     2 m.   SSB   ES    1432
------------------------------------------------------------------

After the band had closed here, meaning we were too close to the clouds then, F2CT worked far into Russia on double hop ES with distances > 3.800 km! I’m quite sure he opened a bottle afterwards … 😉

All in all 2 m was open for 4,5 hours continously! Glad I at least caught 2 hours of it. Doesn’t happen very often. And it really sounded like 20 m at times. 😎

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Fantastic Sporadic-E opening!

4O – Montenegro, DXCC #32 on 4 m

Not much worked recently, missed most of the fun due to QRL and other commitments. But good to catch this late night opening today and even work a new one with Dule, 4O6AH. 😎

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
19:28  9H1PI         JM75FW   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1918
19:36  SV2JAO        KN1ØDN   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1530
19:51  9A6R          JN83FM   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1087
20:11  4O6AH         JN92PL   559   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1249
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on 4O – Montenegro, DXCC #32 on 4 m

Double hop on 4m, triple hop on 6 m

Good to see 4 m open via double hop today. Unfortunately EA8ACW didn’t know that DLs are only allowed between 70.150 and 70.180 MHz and despite a few hints on the DX cluster he didn’t QSY away from 70.200 MHz. A real pity, so still no IL28 wkd. 🙁 Unfortunately I was once again too close to the E-clouds into Finland thus only 2 contacts made. Much more was possible a little further south … but was lucky enough to catch TY2AC on triple hop ES on 6 m later on. Had worked him on CW in the past already and wouldn’t have called him now again if he would have had any callers …

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
10:37  EA1UR         IN53TF   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1993
10:38  EA8DBM        IL18OH   59    59     4 m.   SSB   2xES  3747
10:39  EA1BFZ        IN81SS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1774
10:54  EA2BCJ        IN91MP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1710
13:23  LZ2WO         KN23AL   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1298
13:24  OF1XT         KPØ1UK   57    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1020
13:27  OH1TM         KPØ1VJ   57    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1018
13:32  DL7PV         JO62NL   569   559    4 m.   CW    TR     107
14:21  OK1DIG        JO6ØXJ   579   579    4 m.   CW    TR     311
16:07  TY2AC         JJ16EI   55    55     6 m.   SSB   3xES  5316
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Double hop on 4m, triple hop on 6 m

Japan on 6 m

Before packing everything this morning (yes, my yearly “ES holiday” is over again, sigh) I took advantage of a quadruple hop ES opening into Japan. CW sigs were all too weak but there was plenty of activity on JT65! Unfortunately only one QSO made as I’m currently only QRP on 6 m. Saw decodes from about a dozen different Japanese but couldn’t make it through the JT65 pileups. 🙁 Nevertheless glad to catch my only 2nd ever JA opening on 6 m and to at least have worked another new square. 😉

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
07:39  JHØRNN        PM97OV  -03   -05     6 m.   JT65  4xES  8588
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Japan on 6 m

Two new squares on 6 m …

Not much VHF propagation today in JO73. Although there were a few openings and even 2 m Sporadic-E again it was all too far away from here. Only made a handful of 4 m QSOs in the late morning. But it was great to catch two new squares on 6 m in the afternoon. 😎

Also tried with OJØJR via Meteor Scatter on 4 m in the evening but reflections were sparse. While I heard him okay he didn’t copy anything from me despite only a 3 dB power difference. Well, he’ll be back on Market Reef in August so maybe better luck then. Just for fun I caught him afterwards on 60 m CW (matching our 80 m dipole, hi) for a new one which is not that difficult as I didn’t do a lot of ops on 60 m yet. 😉

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
08:52  EA1SI         IN73DM   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1812
09:44  EA6VQ         JM19HN   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1751
10:15  EA3AQJ        JN11BI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1596
10:26  EB5YF         IM99SL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1887
------------------------------------------------------------------
15:04  7YØA          JM16MT   59    59     6 m.   SSB   ES    2015
15:08  7X2KF         JMØ6PM # 57    57     6 m.   SSB   ES    2106
15:40  TF3ML/P       HP93KU # 59    59     6 m.   SSB   ES    2325
------------------------------------------------------------------
20:44  OJØJR         JP90NH   599   599    60 m.  CW           846
------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted in DX, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Two new squares on 6 m …

Another great evening on the VHF bands …

Who would have believed that? 6, 4 & 2 m were completely closed all day. It was just late afternoon that the bands opened in western Europe (G to EA) and early evening finally overhere, too. This time into the south-west, starting with EA6 on 4 m, then moving over to EA mainland. After 17z the MUF rose quickly above 100 MHz and reached 144 MHz an hour later. Clouds were once again too far west from here but the reflection zone moved a bit then allowing QSOs between southern DL and EI. As common with these openings our reflections from the E-clouds then land between northern Spain and the Normandy in the big blue ocean as can be seen on the left hand picture (blue line). But this time the luck was with us as UT1FG/mm was sailing exactly over there! Can you imagine how surprised I was when he answered my CQ call? 😀 IN54 was of course another new square and that one QSO really made my day. 😎 Looking at the path and the to be expected symmetry it certainly also included some 3-400 km tropo extension on his end …

I made a small recording of Yuri afterwards when his signal had already dropped again:

4 m was still hot afterwards but again between south DL and the UK. We were simply to far north to take advantage of that opening (DJ5MN made over 200 QSOs on 4 m today!). But it was very interesting to hear a few G stations on sidescatter beaming into the ES reflection zone! Later 4 m opened slightly into the UK & Ireland direct path but all very spotty. While writing this blog entry (almost 21z) EA1HRR is still audible on 4 m so the MUF is still high. This might be an indication for another great day on VHF tomorrow … keeping fingers crossed! 😉

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
16:36  EA6VQ         JM19HN   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1751
16:45  EA5/GØKSC     IM97PX   57    53     4 m.   SSB   ES    2042
16:47  EA5TT         IM99SL   559   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1887
17:06  EA3WD         JNØ1XK   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1595
17:10  EB5YF         IM99SL   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1887
17:27  EA2BCJ        IN91MP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1710
18:11  CT1HZE        IM57NH   579   559    4 m.   CW    ES    2504
------------------------------------------------------------------
18:20  UT1FG/MM      IN54   # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1936
------------------------------------------------------------------
18:44  G3SHK         IO9ØDX   59    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1112
18:47  G7RAU         IO9ØIR   55    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1094
18:49  EI4DQ         IO51WU   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1512
19:11  G8BCG         IO7ØRK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1320
19:40  EA1HRR        IN83JJ   529   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1679
------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted in Audio recordings, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Another great evening on the VHF bands …

More 4 & 2 m Sporadic-E :-)

Another great day on the VHF bands! 😎 MUF was high all morning already. Lots of 6 m activity and cluster spots from Russia hearing Europe. Won’t imagine what happens if Russia is ever allowed to transmit on 6 m … 😉 2 m opened again via Sporadic-E between SP8 and UA6 as well as YU and UA4 but clouds were to far away to be usable from here. Had strong OIRT signals on 4 m from UR and UA6. The band was open in parallel also to SV as well as EA6. Good to catch EA6SA on 4 m after having worked him on 2 & 6 m in the past. 😉 Was not sure where to point the 2 m antenna to. Would the clouds enabling the QSOs in Southeastern Europe move westwards and be reachable from JO73? Or would the MUF direction south rise any further? Decided to keep it straight south …

Luckily I did as a quarter past 11z the following happened: 😎

I quickly QSY’d a few kHz up and called CQ myself and was very lucky to be called by Chris, expeditioning as IK8/PA2CHR in South Italy making my day providing square #545 on 2 m with JM79! 😎 Great stuff after I had missed him in JM87 the days before.

It seemed the MUF would rise up to 2 m again during the afternoon. Indeed it did but once more not reachable from here. While monitoring 144.300 MHz for additional openings I had some more fun on 4 m, too …

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME   CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX    RX     BAND   MODE  PROP.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
09:45  EA6SA         JM19LO   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1734
09:50  EA6FB         JMØ8PW   599   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1865
------------------------------------------------------------------
11:13  IK8XLD        JN7ØVO   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1404
11:19  IT9BDM        JM77NE   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1780
11:21  IK8/PA2CHR    JM79VQ # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1505
------------------------------------------------------------------
14:49  SW8YA         KN2ØHS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1587
15:14  SV1DH         KM18VA   59    51     4 m.   SSB   ES    1839
15:24  SV8CS         KMØ7JS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1787
15:32  SV1QT         KM17UW   59    58     4 m.   SSB   ES    1846
15:43  9H1FL         JM75GT   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1932
15:59  9H1PI         JM75FW   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1918
17:38  9H1ES         JM75FV   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1922
------------------------------------------------------------------

Also heard were SV5BYR (too weak) and SV9GPV who took too long to recognize the band was open to DL and to QSY into our “sub-band”. A pity, both would have been new ones on 4 m, too. Also monitored Henri, OH3JR, who’s currently active as OJØJR from Market Reef via Meteor Scatter but reflections were not very favourable. Keeping fingers crossed I can catch him maybe tomorrow or on Friday. Chances are low that there will be additional 4 m activities from that small island in the middle of the northern Baltic Sea anytime soon …

Posted in Audio recordings, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on More 4 & 2 m Sporadic-E :-)