First 2 m Sporadic-E this year and 4 m thoughts

After the bad condx last weekend things got much much better this morning. 😎 Had a nice start on 4 m into Greece after arriving at the QTH and it did not take long until also the 2 m band opened via Sporadic-E into southern Italy for the first time this year:

09:59  IT9ZVL        JM68SA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1687
10:00  IKØWGF        JN52VC   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1245
10:01  IUØFNL        JN61FU   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1267
10:03  IWØBJP        JN62CK   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1204
10:04  IW9BJU        JM77IA   52    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1798

Four meters was hot late afternoon, too, so I could work some additional fine QSOs there:

09:20  SW8YA         KN2ØHS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1587
16:17  YO9HP         KN35BA   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1252
16:33  LZ1ZP         KN22ID   57    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1454
16:52  SV2DCD        KNØØPL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1510
17:08  SV2JAO        KN1ØDN   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1530
17:18  YO7BSN        KN15PB   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1117
17:27  LZ1AG         KN22ID   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1454
17:42  SV7GBR        KN2ØIX   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1569

Also heard Z35Z (which would have been a new country) quite nicely but condx were gone until we could coordinate “QSX” via the DXcluster. Macedonia may only transmit on 70.275 MHz while Germany has it’s temporary allocation from 70.150 – 70.180 MHz. That means a QSO is only possible using “split”, i.e. listening on .275 but transmitting on .155 and vice versa. A pity, hope to have better luck next time!

Seems I was the first guy, too, to hear the Kuwait beacon on 4 m! I was stumbling across a weak CW beacon signal on 70.169,6 MHz in the middle of our allocation around 16:45z which turned out to be 9K2YM/B on double-hop Sporadic-E! A pity that Yaser was not at the station that time so to QSO over these 3.800 km will have to wait a little longer … 😉

As you can see the total number of QSOs is not that high on 4 m. “Four” is definitely not a band for big runs, at least not from Germany (it’s probably different if you’re sitting in one of the ES hotspots in the Mediterranean). 😉 The regions you can reach from here all only have limited 4 m activity (except the UK which is historically “the” 4 m country). So it is more about all the fascinating propagation modes and openings to explore, even if it means you’re going to work the same guys over and over again. But it was fun listening to the guys down south working all the new DL stations on the band. Seems activity from Germany is very high this year. The availability of commercial radios including the band like the IC-7100 or the the IC-7300 certainly helped it quite a lot to have a go on this very interesting band.

It used to be the same fascination with 6 m some 10 to 20 years ago when it still was “the gentlemen’s band”. Things have changed dramatically, take a listen to some DX pileups on 6 m yourself … it’s just awful, no discipline at all anymore, just like on HF. Thus I enjoy operating on 4 m even more nowadays. To me “four is the new six” … 😉

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