I was chatting to Nick, G4KUX, on 2m at the end of last week and we were discussing the up-coming propagation forecast charts for early December, which looked quite promising:
Nick reminded me that we’ve had a few great openings during December in the past so this one was worth watching, even though it didn’t look like being one of the all-time greats. As it turned out, the forecasts from Hepburn and F5LEN were very accurate both in terms of coverage and intensity…
I noted a few beacons starting to come in from late on December 1st, gradually improving as time went by. I’ve taken a few of my cluster spots to show how things developed here:
144418.0 ON0VHF/B IO51vw<TR>JO20hp 519 rising 2140 01 Dec 144415.0 PI7CIS/B IO51vw<TR>JO22dc 539 0640 02 Dec 144418.0 ON0VHF/B IO51vw<TR>JO20hp 529 0641 02 Dec 144490.0 DB0FAI/B IO51vw<TR>JN58ic 529! 0653 02 Dec 144418.0 ON0VHF/B IO51vw<TR>JO20hp nw 599 0737 02 Dec 144449.0 HB9HB/B IO51vw<TR>JN37qf 419 0750 02 Dec 144449.0 HB9HB/B IO51vw<TR>JN37qf 599 0913 02 Dec 144415.0 PI7CIS/B IO51vw<TR>JO22dc 599 1115 02 Dec 144490.0 DB0FAI/B IO51vw<TR>JN58ic nw 559 1133 02 Dec 144428.0 DB0JT/B IO51vw<TR>JN67jt 519! 1146 02 Dec 144403.0 ED1ZAG/B IO51vw<TR>IN53re 599 1746 02 Dec 144428.0 DB0JT/B IO51vw<TR>JN67jt still 529 1912 02 Dec 144490.0 DB0FAI/B IO51vw<TR>JN58ic still 549 1912 02 Dec
It’s very rare for me to hear the DB0JT beacon (JN67jt/1571km, 144.428MHz), but this time I got a nice recording to add to my collection:
Activity was generally low, but gradually more people came on as conditions improved and/or they came home from work. There were very few signals at a true “S9” level and even those were subject to a large amount of very rapid and deep fading: Many signals were close to the noise level, requiring CW or JT65 to complete a successful QSO.
Here, the opening lasted throughout the 2nd of December, through to early afternoon on the 3rd, resulting in fifty contacts over 1000km. These are shown on the map below:
The best distance was to Franz, OE3FVU (JN78ve/1754km), which was predominantly a tropo QSO but with unavoidable assistance from abundant meteor scatter. All contacts over 1300km are listed below, and show that signals were mostly quite weak.
02/12/2013 17:13 OE3FVU JN78VE RO RO JT65 1754km 02/12/2013 23:15 SQ1FYB JO73MI RO RO JT65 1569km 02/12/2013 13:21 OE2UKL JN68LA 529 559 CW 1568km 03/12/2013 12:09 SP1JNY JO73GL RO RO JT65 1535km 02/12/2013 19:53 DL8NP JN58SC RO RO JT65 1468km 02/12/2013 13:42 DL3WW JO60FL 529 539 CW 1443km 02/12/2013 14:58 DL3MBJ JN57IN 55 55 SSB 1438km 02/12/2013 22:18 SM7FMX JO65KN 55 54 SSB 1437km 02/12/2013 13:52 OK1FD JO60CF 539 519 CW 1433km 02/12/2013 19:42 DL7APV JO62JR R-12 R-16 JT65 1424km 02/12/2013 09:47 DF1NP JN58OV 549 559 CW 1412km 02/12/2013 12:19 DL6NAA JO50VF 569 559 CW 1405km 02/12/2013 22:10 OZ6OL JO65DJ 559 569 CW 1398km 02/12/2013 14:47 DF0HF JO50SF 599 599 CW 1388km 02/12/2013 22:05 DK5SO JN58AV RO RO JT65 1332km 02/12/2013 15:39 DL7QY JN59BD 529 559 CW 1328km 02/12/2013 08:00 DL3YEE JO50LX 419 419 CW 1328km
So that’s it, as I’m writing this conditions are back down to normal and nothing much is happening. However, we have the Geminids meteor shower to look forward to, predicted to peak on December 14th at around 05:45z. Unfortunately I won’t be QRV for that one, but good luck to everyone that manages to get on!