First Sporadic-E this season :-)

Well, writing two blog posts on the same day must mean something special! Indeed, it does! 😉 We had the first real Sporadic-E opening here up Northeast. 😎 I’ve been hogging the station for over a week now but VHF condx have been very poor so far. Also today started with no conds and I didn’t expect anything to happen anymore when suddenly there was a cluster of ES clouds evolving in the Southwest early evening and MUF rising rapidly.

But first of all I was a happy camper in the afternoon when working EK7DX on a supposedly closed band on 6 m (this is where FT8 really shines). He provided DXCC #141 on Six as well as a new square (#655). 😎

Besides two Meteor Scatter contacts on MSK144 in the morning I also had a remarkable QSO with GM4FVM on 70 MHz around noon. He was a weak but steady signal but there were no signs of ES at all. So we both suspect it was some kind of Tropo (Scatter) as for Iono Scatter the power (at least overhere) was much too low. There was some tropo over the North Sea recently, too (but more from the U.K. to the Faroe Islands), so maybe that helped a bit? Jim has a nice blog, too, well worth reading!

Around 16z the 4 m band opened via Sporadic-E up here. It took a while until the first QSO as the pileups for the few audible stations were immense and JO73 was not perfectly positioned, signals were much stronger further west. IN50, IN92, IN71, IM76 were new squares but what really made my day was working SØ1WS in IL46 via double-hop ES over a 3.600 km path! Another new square (#162) and a new DXCC #37, of course. 😎

SØ1WS on 4 m:

SØ1WS in QSO with DL3BQA – Uwe couldn’t resist doing his first ever 4 m QSO: 😉

Unfortunately a number of stations were only QRV on FT8 during this good opening. I don’t get the sense of doing so when signals are good enough for CW/SSB which provide a better QSO rate for everybody! Is it just the lazyness of people? Or are they overwhelmed by the SSB pileups thus searching their luck in digimodes where they have more control? There must be a reason …

At 16:34z 2 m opened shortly and I could log EA4CZV. Ten minutes later I heard CT1EWD over 2.400 km which is a really difficult distance (normally already too much for a single ES hop) but another DL further west (think it was JO41/51) was stronger and until they had finished signals dropped down into the noise again. Pity!

Over the next half an hour 2 m opened every now and then for a maximum of 1-2 minutes each time only allowing for 4 more QSOs into Spain but with IM88 even providing a new square (#557) on 144 MHz, too. 😎

After 17:30z the MUF started dropping again still allowing a few more contacts on 4 m until propagation to Spain was gone there, too, around 19z. We had another short but strong opening into Malta quarter an hour later, then the MUF dropped below 70 MHz …

9H1TX on 4m:

Afterwards I called it a day and drove back into town … with a big fat smile on my face. 😉

14:25  EK7DX         LN2ØGE   +02   -18    6 m.   FT8   ES    2697
09:26  ON4FI         JO2ØIV   +05   -04    4 m.   MSK1  MS     697
10:15  GM3NKG        IO85AR   +13   +00    4 m.   MSK1  MS    1204
11:20  GM4FVM        IO85WU   -14   -18    4 m.   FT8   TR    1092
16:19  EA3AQJ        JN11BI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1596
16:23  EC1AJL        IN73CI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1829
16:31  EB4FJV        IN8ØCP   +05   -05    4 m.   FT8   ES    1942
16:38  CT1EEB        IN5ØQR   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    2201
16:48  SØ1WS         IL46RD   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    3638
16:49  EA5TT         IM99SL   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1887
17:25  EA2CCG        IN92AO   55    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1677
17:26  EA1FDI        IN53TF   55    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1993
17:28  EA6SX         JM19IK   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1760
17:30  EA1TX         IN71NQ   59    56     4 m.   SSB   ES    1911
17:48  EA1SI         IN73DM   +01   -03    4 m.   FT8   ES    1812
17:56  EA1HRR        IN83JJ   +00   +07    4 m.   FT8   ES    1679
18:09  EA1DDU        IN73EM   55    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1807
18:12  EA1ABN        IN73EM   52    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1807
18:20  EA1UU         IN83GJ   +15   +00    4 m.   FT8   ES    1692
18:22  SØ1WS         IL46RD   -09   -01    4 m.   FT8   ES    3638
18:28  EA7DUD        IM76SR   +10   -10    4 m.   FT8   ES    2331
18:31  EA3HXF        JNØ1OF   +05   +04    4 m.   FT8   ES    1647
18:56  EA6SX         JM19IK   -10   -18    4 m.   FT8   ES    1760
18:58  EA3AWT        JN11CQ   -02   +01    4 m.   FT8   ES    1560
19:15  9H1TX         JM75FV   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1922
16:34  EA4CZV        IN8ØDL   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1952
16:46  CT1EWD        IM58KP   52    hrd    2 m.   SSB   ES    2403
16:58  EA3GJO        IN72AM   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1904
17:05  EA4ADJ        IM88JW   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2066
17:09  EA5DIT        IM99CD   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1979
17:16  EA5EF         IM99SM   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1883

Now two more days left that I can and will spend in the shack. Will there be additional openings? Well, with my bad luck this year they will probably all occur from Thursday to Sunday when I drive down to Friedrichshafen for this year’s HAMRADIO fair and back to Cologne afterwards. 😉

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