Sporadic-E & Tropo on one day! :-)

Wow … that’s been a great evening on VHF again! 6, 4 & 2 m were hot all day long but unfortunately I had to spend the day in QRL. There were some massive 2 m ES openings but I was too close to the clouds anyway so not too disappointed not being able to join the show. Nevertheless I tried to follow what’s going on closely, no problem nowadays with several smartphone apps, mobile browsing, etc.

Finally came home around 8 pm local time and had a chance to switch on the radio. Sporadic-E was still strong but I was still too close to the several E-cloud clusters even on 4 m. But the band opened every now and then albeit spotty but nevertheless enabled me to work a few nice QSOs and with IN79 (good old friend Dave, G7RAU, moved permanently to Lizard Point), IO65 and JO00 even 3 new squares on 4 m, now #165. 😎

18:16  GU6EFB        IN89RK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1233
18:37  G8XXJ         JOØØBS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1000
18:46  GØIUE         IO81VK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1130
18:56  G7RAU         IN79JX   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1383
18:59  MIØMPX        IO64VS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1341
19:04  GM3WIL        IO75QL   59    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1243
19:10  2IØIOI        IO65PE   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1373
19:12  EI7HBB        IO53SQ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1496
19:13  G4VCJ         IO94JQ   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1020
19:16  GI4OPH        IO74EP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1304

Switched to 2 m later on while still having the antennas pointing to the UK when I heard a weak signal on 144.310 MHz. After optimizing the antenna for the best signal strength I couldn’t believe my ears when Chris, GM4ZJI, sent his callsign! Wow, seems I got into a nice tropo duct to Scotland! There was some tropo across the North Sea during the last few days several times but extending over another 300 km land to my location was really not expected! Maybe I should have checked the F5LEN tropo forcast a little earlier as it showed the path to probably open, although rather weak. All stations worked were close to the sea except G3SMT far inland close to the Welsh border so Peter had to pass all of England, too, before reaching the North Sea. Judging from the picture on his qrz.com site he seems to have a nice hilltop QTH so this probably helped to get into the duct from his side as well. I remembered working him back one and half years ago when he was the only one making it into the duct (to overhere), too. Seems there’s some magic to his QTH. 😎

19:33  GM4ZJI        IO86KE   55    59     2 m.   SSB   TR    1159
19:35  2MØEWY/P      IO86JK   57    56     2 m.   SSB   TR    1169
19:38  G4KUX         IO94BP   59    59     2 m.   SSB   TR    1063
19:40  M1GSM         IO94DR   51    55     2 m.   SSB   TR    1053
19:52  GM4ILS        IO87IP   54    55     2 m.   SSB   TR    1206
19:53  GM3WOJ        IO77WS   55    55     2 m.   SSB   TR    1257
20:39  G3SMT         IO82KV   51    53     2 m.   SSB   TR    1156
20:40  G4SWX         JOØ2RF   59    59     2 m.   SSB   TR     864
20:54  GM4FVM        IO85WU   51    55     2 m.   SSB   TR    1092
20:57  GM4ZJI        IO86KE   57    59+    2 m.   SSB   TR    1159

Chris, GM4ZJI, called in one more time around 21z to tell me I was now 59+20 (and he was stronger than earlier, too), but unfortunately no more stations worked. Called it a day then and joined the family again …

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