Category Archives: Sporadic E

Another day on 2m, or was it 20?

Today turned out to be quite busy on 2m…

It was a good start to work Jurgen, EA6/PE1LWT (JM08ox/1614km) via meteor scatter: Reflections were very good, especially considering Jurgen is using 100W to an 8el. He’s mostly operating on 144.358MHz for ms.

There were quite a few contest stations out for the weekend, so I had a quick look around on tropo. In fact, I couldn’t hear much except a couple of French stations, including F6KBF/P (JO10HE/781km) who was a pretty decent signal: 

Later in the afternoon I saw that the TM77A expedition was QRV, in IN77tw. Once they had their antenna this way it was an easy 59 SSB QSO, with the 522km path almost completely over sea.

The whole day had looked very promising for Sporadic E, and during the QSO with TM77A I noticed that Band 2 was completely full of stations, mostly from Italy. After a few calls from myself and my (very close!) neighbour Tom, EI4DQ, the first signal appeared on 2m at around 16:10z. I had just a few QSOs:

02/06/2013 16:10 I2PY JN55NB 59 59 SSB ES 1609km
02/06/2013 16:11 IW3HRT JN55TG 59 59 SSB ES 1628km
02/06/2013 16:16 F0FUT JN37JO 59 59 SSB ES 1177km
02/06/2013 16:17 I3LGP JN55VK 59 59 SSB ES 1629km
02/06/2013 16:18 HB9DFG JN37SM 55 57 SSB ES 1230km

(Also heard: HB3?, HB9MFM/JN37te)

Some audio from the later part of the opening is here: 

Towards the end of this opening I heard 9A3DSL (JN65th/1756km) call Tom, but didn’t hear him again: 

The cloud then moved to the north and east, at which time I think the MUF was still above 144MHz but propagation wasn’t possible from here because the reflection point was too close. However, at around 17:45z the band opened up again, to the east:

02/06/2013 17:48 SP2MKO JO93CB 59 59 SSB ES 1782km
02/06/2013 17:52 SP4MPB KO03HT 59 59 SSB ES 1932km
02/06/2013 17:54 DK1CO JO63SX 59 59 SSB ES 1468km

Not too many QSOs, but some big signals! I’ve included quite a long recording here (warning, it’s 12Mb), which is in “real-time” so you can have fun searching for the signals!

Thankfully the weather here is great at the moment and I managed to fit in some gardening time with my wonderful XYL between all the DX, phew!

A little bit of Virtual High Frequency

We had what was probably 2013’s first transatlantic opening on 50MHz from these latitudes today, with KP4EIT (FK68si/6251km) coming in from at least 14:30z at a good signal strength. Nothing else was heard here before I had to QRT at 15z, apart from whoever Jose was speaking to in Spanish every now and then! I believe the Caribbean opening did continue and became a little more extensive later on.

Here’s a little snippet from Jose. Note how strong the signals are from Scandinavia off the back of the antenna…

Not quite an average day on 2m…

The 18th of May turned out to be interesting, and reminds me why I’ve always found 144MHz to be so fascinating!

The day started with an early Es opening to Italy, resulting in the following QSOs:

18/05/2013 09:00 I2PY JN55NB 59 59 SSB ES 1609km
18/05/2013 09:01 IW4ARD JN64FD 59 59 SSB ES 1754km
18/05/2013 09:07 I2ARQ JN55NA 59 59 SSB ES 1612km
18/05/2013 09:19 IW2BNA JN45ON 59 59 SSB ES 1455km
18/05/2013 09:21 IZ4MAO JN54GQ 59 59 SSB ES 1597km
18/05/2013 09:23 IW2NNZ JN45SN 59 59 SSB ES 1476km
18/05/2013 09:27 I4TSB JN64DA 59 59 SSB ES 1752km
18/05/2013 09:30 IW4BET JN54PG 59 55 SSB ES 1672km

2m Es QSO Map 18/05/13

2m Es QSO Map 18/05/13

A bit later I was QRV for moonrise, and managed to work a new initial:

18/05/2013 13:43 JR3REX PM74LQ RO RO JT65 EME 9735km

After the Moon had risen too high for my fixed-elevation antenna, I tried a tropo test with Jerome, F8GGD, in IN95: Unfortunately this didn’t work, but as we were trying Dom, F6DRO, said he could hear me weakly. Dom and I then tried and we could both hear continuous signals right on the noise floor, in fact enough to complete a contact on CW with a bit of “brain averaging”. I was very surprised, because Dom is in JN03TJ and 1201km distant! It’s really too far for troposcatter, but I suspect there was some tropo enhancement (i.e. ducting) on the path.

Oh, and I also heard DK1FG’s (JN59op/1384km) complete QSO with M0BAA/P, which I suspect was via Es-enhanced meteor scatter, just to add another propagation mode into the mix 🙂

My first 144MHz Sporadic E opening of 2013

At around 13:15z a combination of LiveMUF showing some patches of high MUF and a couple of cluster spots of brief Es contacts on 2m alerted me to the possibility of an opening here: I put out a few calls on 144.300MHz and after a few minutes I was pleasantly surprised to be answered by I1DMP at 59! A few more calls also brought in IW1BCV and I1JTQ:

17/05/2013 13:25 I1DMP JN34XU 59 59 SSB 1425km
17/05/2013 13:26 IW1BCV JN44FS 59 59 SSB 1461km
17/05/2013 13:27 I1JTQ JN35UB 59 59 SSB 1395km

Map_ES170513

All signals were strong and definitely via Es, with the last signal heard about 15 minutes after the opening began. After working I1JTQ I also heard EA6SA for about 20 seconds on 144.300MHz, which could have been an Es “blip” or more likely a meteor scatter burst.

Unfortunately I was too rushed at the start to have the audio recorder running, but did capture a couple of signals towards the end of the opening:

NB. It must be Es season because, as you may notice on the recording, my local powerline noise bursts have started!

The 2013 Sporadic E season

The 2013 Es season has started, with 50MHz openings centered over the northern Adriatic over the last couple of days, drifting up to the southern Baltic. The maximum usable frequency (MUF) has risen into the low end of Band II today, i.e. around 90MHz.

As usual, 2m dx-ers (including me) will be keeping their fingers crossed for a good Es season this year, with the opportunity to work great distances up to 2000km, and rarely beyond!

More information on Sporadic E propagation can be found on Volker, DF5AI’s excellent website at DF5AI.net.

A useful tool for analysing real-time (and historical) Es openings is Dave, G7RAU’s LiveMuf. I find it useful to have this program running practically all the time during the Summer months!