Sunday, 12 March 2023

DX - where can FVM go next?

In pursuit of Es, TEP, F2-layer and everything else, GM4FVM/GM8JWG has been looking all round the spectrum.

PSK Reporter showing 40MHz FT8 on 12 March 2023

Amongst other things I have been listening again on the "8 metre band" (not that there is really an 8 metre band in the UK, but anyway). It is VHF you know, my stomping ground.

My 40MHz listening record increased to 3956km today thanks hearing to 4X1TI in KM71. Yes, I really heard him blasting through the speakers on the IC-7100. That is also my second continent heard on 8m.

Is that Es in March? Hardly. Some of it is clearly TEP, but some not. Is that F-2 layer? I have no idea. 

OD5ET is yet another country heard on 8m and I await hearing one of the Caribbean stations.

I have also been listening to the 28MHz band...

PSK Reporter showing 28MHz stations heard at GM8JWG on 12 March 2023

I guess you will have to click on that to enlarge that almost worldwide if you want to see any detail.

GM8JWG? When I listen I often use my old callsign. 

I looked those reports up on PSK reporter because I find the FT8 list on MSHV just plain bewildering. At times there were just so many stations listed.

28MHz FT8 stations heard in 30 seconds at GM8JWG on 12 March 2023

I am so used to working with WSJT-X that I forgot to set the MSHV DFTol to roughly the same value as the RX receive filter. Once I got it set to 1000 +/- 1500hz I was able to decode even more on 28MHz!

(Now listening on 6 bands? How do you do it Jim?)

Here is clue to adding an extra band (or two?)

USB RTL SDR dongle

At less than £40 from eBay this is hardly likely to outperform my other gear but it certainly works a treat. There was a bit of setting up to do as it needed the right driver to be installed but this is easily available along with the SDR# control software from Airspy. I added VB Cable software to connect the digital audio stream to the MSHV suite to download. I have used VB Cable for years now, since the days of my old Flex 1500 in fact, and it works very well indeed.
Airspy SDR# control software for RTL SDR dongle.

OK, it might have been brighter if I have set up the RTL SDR for 40MHz where I cannot transmit, and used the IC-7100 for 28MHz where I can transmit, but I will sort that out another day.

So what am I up to? I am well known for following propagation up and down the bands. Usually that is Es on 6m, 4m and 2m, or tropo on 2m, 70cm and 23cm. Well now I am in search of F2-layer propagation from 10m to 8m to (maybe) 6m and maybe beyond that. I am allowed to dream you know.

There is F-layer propagation on 10m. There certainly appears to be on 8m. Has it reached 6m?

Well, you tell me.

73 Jim


1 comment:

  1. 20230304 12:49 ZR6K KG46 -03 -06 FT8 50 MHz
    20230304 12:57 ZS6NK KG46RC +10 -13 FT8 50 MHz
    20230304 14:19 ST2NH KK65GP -02 -17 FT8 50 MHz
    20230325 14:25 3C3CA JJ43 -04 -08 FT8 50 MHz

    Hi Jim, it was worked on 6m with 100W and 2 elements (DK7ZB Moxon 28+50 MHz). I think it was F2. 73 best DX Josef OK2WO