It was a pleasant surprise to get a nice Es opening to the north-east earlier today. The signs were looking good, with Dave, G7RAU’s LiveMUF (it’s latest feature incorporating real-time Band II spots from the fmlist website), showing a patch of Es building over the North Sea through the morning.
I put my newly built in-mic voice keyer into action on 144.300MHz, but shortly after I’d started I heard a signal slightly HF. A quick tune brought in SM5KWU (JO89ip/1762km) at a good 59, resulting in a quick QSO. There were then patchy signals in and out, until SM5KQS (JO88it/1736km) appeared very strong at 11:08z, and stayed in for at least thirty minutes. I also managed a QSO with Kjell SM7GVF (JO77gq/1565km), but his signal was weaker, indicating that path was right on the margin of what was possible. The propagation was very selective and most of the other geometries during the opening passed over each other, indicating a very small “reflection point” that was slowly moving as new paths opened.
Sometime later, after a period of perhaps twenty minutes with no signals, I found Len, SM3BEI (JP81ng/1847km) and had a very quick QSO for my ODX in this opening.
Some audios here (apologies to SM5KWU and SM3BEI, I didn’t have the recorder running during our qsos):