Perseids 2013 report

I’m happy with my Perseids results this year, with sixteen new locators (easy to come by with my low total) and three new DXCC (OH0/DM2ECM, YL2AO, HV0A), but it didn’t seem like a great shower – certainly not one of the all-time greats. There was also a somewhat negative impact at this QTH from the Meteorscatter-Sprint Contest but more of that in another blog, coming soon…

According to the International Meteor Organisation, the Perseids peaked this year at around 17:00z on August 12th, two or three hours earlier than originally expected. Radio observations here would tend to indicate some sort of peak at that time but it seemed weaker than the diurnal effect, when local 6am is generally best due to the fact that the Earth is revolving into the path of oncoming meteors at that time (the Earth’s rotational speed is added to the direction of travel around the Sun at dawn, and subtracted at dusk), so the relative speed is highest. In fact, the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory’s real-time meteor radar (note: link is to current data, not from Perseids peak) showed a much higher radio rate at around 9z on each day from 11th to 13th August, than at 17z on the 12th.

The best way to describe the shower this year was “clumpy”, or “like trying to start an old car on a damp morning”, i.e. it never really got going. Every now and then there would be a series of good reflections, maybe of several seconds each, but often there would follow a period of silence for a considerable time, maybe tens of minutes. It would have been easy to describe these silent periods as “worse than random”, if that actually meant anything! If one was lucky enough to get the timing right a QSO could be completed quickly, otherwise patience was required. Unfortunately, the reflections never became sustained enough for a significant amount of SSB activity, which used to be one of the trademarks of the Perseids, but I did manage a couple of SSB QSOs for “old time’s sake”…

Looking at the log, a quick summary of QSOs measured by distance shows three over 2100km (ES3RF/KO29if/2194km, IC8TEM/JN70cn/2123km, SK2AT/KP03bu/2105km), six over 2000km and eleven over 1900km – not bad!

A blog from me wouldn’t be complete without at least a couple of audio clips 😀 Here are a few nice bursts from OH0/DM2ECM (JP90wg/1951km) sending me R26, including one that lasted an entire 30s period:

(.wav files for direct decode in WSJT: DM2ECM_130812_172200.wavDM2ECM_130812_173000.wavDM2ECM_130812_173100.wav – right click and “save as”)

… and this is a nice burst from UA2FT (KO04lt/1946km) who only runs 50 Watts, sending me 26:

(.wav file for direct decode in WSJT: UA2FT_130812_181400.wav – right click and “save as”)

Finally, below is a map of contacts made from this QTH around the 12th August, plus or minus a day or two:

Perseids 2013 QSOs

Contacts made by EI3KD around the peak of the 2013 Perseids

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