Friday, 17 July 2015

VHF Sporadic E, a better day.

At last, a better day today.

I had a "sort of" hunch that it might get better during the day when I noticed both Jaap PA0O and Chris 4X1RF on 4m WSPR. They obviously thought things might improve. You may recall that Chris runs the very station I worked as my best DX on 1mW on 10m, so the path exists if the ionisation allows it to open at 4m.

A German station posted on the cluster than he had heard the 4m beacon on Cape Verde Islands.That beacon is on 70.220MHz. He seemed to think he was listening to a spurious output, but it looks real enough to me. Now that would be DX .... but I know Cape Verde has been worked from Finland, so no records to be had there. Still, it would be a good one to work.

At one stage I saw this as my 6m WSPR map, but it actually got better on 6m later and it was still going after 23:00 clock time.
Nae bad though, with three continents and quite a few DXCCs too.

For a while I was reaching Chris on 6m but not on 4m. Jaap reached Chris on 4m at 17:02 (he and G3ZJO were heard by Chris earlier in July while I was in Canada -- grrr). I kept a close watch on the maps, trying to see if 4m might open from here.

However, soon it worked for me on both 4m and 6m ...
Power Reported Distance
Date Call Frequency SNR Drift Grid dBm W by loc km mi

 2015-07-17 17:44  GM4FVM  70.092463  -21  1  IO85wu  +37  5.012  4X1RF  KM72ls  3832  2381 
 2015-07-17 17:34  GM4FVM  70.092463  -24  2  IO85wu  +37  5.012  4X1RF  KM72ls  3832  2381 

Of course 4X stations do not have the ability to transmit back - so far. Maybe one day. But for now, just to be heard at 3832km on 4m is good enough for me now. My previous 4m record (3276km, but a two-way contact of course) has been broken in the sense that at least I was heard. And more to the point, it shows it can be done.

I know that 4m has been received in North America, but usually that happens from much further South than here. To reach 3832km with my modest station is pleasing for me. I have yet to work Bahrain or United Arab Emirates, though others have. Later maybe...

Then at 18:02 I worked SV1OH (KM18 2762km) and 9H1BT (JM75BT 2550km), both on 4m SSB. Now, either of those would be nice enough, and indeed 9H1BT's signal was such good SSB that I remarked on it to him. At 59 signal strength, I could hear everything as if it was an FM broadcast station, whereas often I just get compressed "communication" quality signals. But it was really being heard by 4X1RF on 4m that made my day.
Sure enough, the map looks a bit lop--sided. There were no stations in Europe on 4m WSPR except the UK, Netherlands and one in Northern Germany. So other than tropo, there was not much chance to work any of them apart from Chris in Haifa. And that was the way it turned out. It took all day, but it worked in the end.
I have put 40m WSPR on the attic antenna for tonight. That should help me come back to my senses.



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