The southerly tropo went out in style this evening, with an exceptional opening down the entire length of mainland Portugal – certainly a rare event! There were also strong signals from the Canary Islands (EA8) and northern mainland Spain.
The propagation appeared to be caused by a combination of the Azores high probably producing a mid-tropospheric duct, assisted by a north-south aligned weather front approaching from the west at the northern end of the path. It was characterised by slow fading but, generally, signals improved as the evening progressed. The geometry of the path at the northern end meant there was no propagation from my QTH to CT3, although Tim, G4LOH, did work a very surprised CT3KJ, first on FM S22 and then on SSB. ‘3KJ was only using 10 watts and a 4 element yagi!
This is how the log looks from EI3KD:
22/08/2013 16:51 EB1LA IN63VN 943km
22/08/2013 17:22 EA8CCG IL18TM 2690km
22/08/2013 18:28 CT1BXT IM59PF 1413km
22/08/2013 18:28 CT1FJC IM57OC 1650km
22/08/2013 18:34 EA1NL/P IN52NL 1053km
22/08/2013 18:36 CT1ANO IN51RE 1195km
22/08/2013 18:59 CT1DIZ IM58KP 1479km
22/08/2013 19:16 EA1GA IN52QR 1024km
22/08/2013 19:17 CT1HBC IN51PE 1196km
22/08/2013 19:35 EA8BTQ IL18QJ 2709km
22/08/2013 20:30 CT1FFU IM59KK 1391km
22/08/2013 20:45 CT2HKN IN51OM 1159km
22/08/2013 20:55 EA8AQV IL28ED 2716km
I also often heard the regular EA8s (e.g. EA8TJ, EA8TX) and other EA1s with quite impressive signals at times. One “gotaway” was Peter, EA8BFK, who would have been a new locator for me in IL38: He could hear my cw throughout the evening but I was unable to hear his (160W) SSB… next time Peter!
Here’s a few audio clips, hopefully indicating how amazing 144.300MHz sounded at times! Note that any CW heard is usually Tony, CT1FFU:
…and to give an indication of just how strong signals were at times, here’s a clip of Tony, CT1FFU chatting with Pinto, CT1ANO (with the pip tone) on 144.300MHz SSB, with me breaking in to comment:
Finally, a zoomed-in map of my QSOs with mainland Portugal and northwest Spain, showing the distribution: