Monthly Archives: December 2013

December tropo

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:

Hepburn (c) tropo forecast for 02/12/13 06z

Hepburn (c) tropo forecast for 02/12/13 06z

Hepburn (c) tropo forecast for 03/12/13 06z

Hepburn (c) tropo forecast for 03/12/13 06z

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:

db0jt/b jn67
"db0jt/b jn67" from 2m tropo by ei3kd. Released: 2013.

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:

2m Tropo QSOs 2nd/3rd Dec 2013

2m Tropo QSOs 2nd/3rd Dec 2013

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!