Monday, 27 April 2015

10m WSPR going well, 6m WSPR frustrating.

Here is my map for the last 24 hours on 10m WSPR

2-ways on 0.5 watts to places like Australia (including Tasmania), Falkland Islands and many US states. Not bad.

Falkland Islands is one I always have a fond spot for, having worked VP8NO and VP8PC back on 9 October 1977, so it counts as a bit of dx history for me. At that point I had only worked about 5 stations outside Europe, so a rare one was nice.

On the other hand, 6m WSPR is pretty bleak.
The maps shows the rough area I might expect to reach if there is some Sporadic Es. The German stations are mostly just listening. The UK stations and PA0O are too close. That only leaves LA5TFA. As sporadic E is very selective, the chances of reaching him are low.

I say the UK stations are too close, but I did get this, which I think is a slight tropo lift at 295km ..

2015-04-26 15:24  GM4FVM  50.294471  -26  -2  IO85wu  +37  5.012  G4TJJ  IO93gf  295  183 

It would really take a large number of stations in France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Finland, etc, to produce some sort of coverage which Es might have a chance to hit. That seems unlikely to happen.

Of course, human nature being what it is, as soon as Es does become established, we get a lot more stations on the band. But by that time it is too late to learn about early season Es.

WSPR is not very popular, on any band, in Eastern Europe.

Still, we have what we have. We just have to work with it.

Chances are, if there is an Es opening, I will move off to JT65 and SSB, and thus abandon WSPR. I bet that WSPR could fill in a lot of gaps in our knowledge if it had a good year-round coverage of 6m. Not much chance of that.

I think that people just want to turn on their rigs and see some callsigns. They are not interested in how the propagation might develop - and thus they miss things.

There are some bright spots though. CN8LI often comes on 6m during the season and his results are always interesting. And we sometimes get stations on the Canary Islands too.

We should be thankful for what we have.


Jim - still waiting for a VHF Es contact this season.

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