First 2 m ES and new ones on 6 m

Finally the first 2 m Sporadic E this year that made it into JO73! 😎 Although we were almost too close to the clouds I managed to work a few QSOs. The opening started earlier to stations more west so kept monitoring 144.300 CW/SSB as well as 144.174 FT8. When suddenly strong ES signals from Russia popped up on .174 I quickly QSY’d to 144.300 SSB but … nobody there?! Calling CQ brought up RN3QR, tnx! Also Alex, UT8AL/EO10A, responded to my own CQs. Besides this all in & out for a few seconds each only … been too close to the clouds centered above KO21/22 and MUF not high enough to support a shorter distance path. Artur, UR3EE, was quite weak when I heard and worked him and sounded almost like Ionoscatter but it probably still was ES (scatter) as he was working OZ & SM7 at the same time handing out s9+ reports.

Switched back to FT8 only after the opening was over. RX3QFM popped up there for few minutes only. Signals were weak so that’s when FT8 makes sense! Else only stupid to stay on FT8 with big sigs … hope people stop being lazy and get back to more efficient modes! Yes, CW/SSB is way more effcient when the band is open with big fat signals and you want to provide as many QSOs as possible. We might still be lucky in JO73 as station density is much less than around the well populated activity centers of JO30/31 or JN49/JO40. There were a number of like-minded angry comments on MMMonVHF concerning the chaos on FT8 and I agree with most of the them … the problem is probably not the mode itself but the people using it wrongly. So as usual the problem is sitting in front of the computer (which much reminds me of some QRL episodes, hi).

Here’s my DX yield:

08:11 RN3QR          LOØØBK    59    59    2 m.   SSB   ES    1797
08:17 EO1ØA          KO61WP    59    59    2 m.   SSB   ES    1340
08:17 UT8AL          KO61WP    59    59    2 m.   SSB   ES    1340
08:40 UR3EE          KN88DC    52    57    2 m.   SSB   ES    1648
08:45 RX3QFM         KO91OO   -11   -10    2 m.   FT8   ES    1696

What drove me into the shack this weekend, too (besides the AGCW VHF contest yesterday), was the IARU 50/70 MHz Contest. German RegTP (our radio license regulation authority) just recently officially allowed contest operation for German radio amateurs on 6 m, at least during the summer month’. So made a few contest QSOs in CW & SSB. Great to see so much “analogue” activity, real fun! 🙂 Condx were rather bad yesterday and still quite spotty today but we also had a few double and triple hop openings although once again JO73 was not very favoured propagationally compared to other regions in Germany and Europe. Most of the spotted DX was simply not audible. But it still was good enough (with a little patience) to work two new countries with VU and RA9 😎 although in FT8 only. Besides RD9D there was also RL9F (LO87) active and besides RK4PR a few other UA3/4, too. Not sure if there were some changes concerning license rules in Russia (most knowledgable people say no, 6 m still not allowed) or if the Russian guys just got impatient and simply started operating despite no official licenses. Cannot imagine that with current politics in Russia but we will probably learn more about it soon. Anyway, a clear case of WFWL – work first, worry later. 😉

Here are the more interesting QSOs made on Six today:

06:45 TA9J           LN1ØMN   -03   +10    6 m.   FT8   ES    2575
07:22 EK7DX          LN2ØGE   599   599    6 m.   CW    ES    2697
07:26 EX8M           MN62WT   559   539    6 m.   CW    ES    4446
07:52 EK1KE          LN2ØGE   -13   -11    6 m.   FT8   ES    2697
07:55 VU2DED         ML88ON   -06   -11    6 m.   FT8   ES    5731
08:02 A41ZZ          LL93IF   -22   -03    6 m.   FT8   ES    4990
11:43 EA8/DM8MM/P    IL18AT    59    59    6 m.   SSB   ES    3765
11:44 EA8BPX         IL18SK    59    59    6 m.   SSB   ES    3717
16:19 EA8JK          IL18CP   +10   +04    6 m.   FT8   ES    3771
17:00 RD9D           LO99XS   -04   -18    6 m.   FT8   ES    2840
17:08 RK4PR          LO64FO   +07   -05    6 m.   FT8   ES    2479

There were 3 or 4 other EA8’s audible nicely over more than 2 hours but I concentrated on working a few tropo QSOs on 4 m for the contest inbetween. Furthest has been Dick, PA4VHF, over 530 km in CW (!) which was a real challenge and needed many repeats due to my QRP only signal but we finally made it. 😎 It was only after the contest’s end that 4 m also opened via Sporadic E to the Balkans. Nice to catch George, LZ1ZP, on CW. I could literally feel how excited he was to work somebody on CW although we had numerous QSOs before during past years, be it on 4 m or 2 m with our first contact dating back more than 20 years when besides HSCW (high speed CW, i.e. 1000+ lpm) even SSB Meteor Scatter was very popular … good old times. 😉

14:39 LZ2NW          KN23TB   +14   +00    4 m.   FT8   ES    1405
14:42 SV2JAO         KN1ØDN   -17   -01    4 m.   FT8   ES    1530
15:04 LZ1ZP          KN22ID   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1454

There was some great double-hop to EA8 on 4 m, too, but only Alex, EA8DBM, was audible with up to s9+ signals and only on FT8. Wished I could have worked him in the contest but he was not participating and not willing to hand out just points, quite a pitty …

Now keeping fingers crossed for another chance to work some Sporadic E on 144 MHz. The season has been really bad so far (even on 6 & 4 m). Nevertheless happy as I try to catch one opening per season at least. Mission accomplished for this year. 😎 But of course more is better. 😀 😉

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