12 Jul 2014

Closed down station - thunder storms close

As there is thunder/lightning around, I have decided to disconnect antennas and switch off the rigs. The storms are getting closer according to http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime?lang=en .  As much as I'd like to continue to monitor on 6m, I think to go QRT is the right decision tonight. There will be plenty of other times to monitor 6m and 10m.

UPDATE 2110z:  The worst of the storms missed us.  However, there is a lot of storm activity around still, so the rigs and antennas will remain off tonight.   Meanwhile I am watching Brazil getting beaten by Holland. Current score Brazil 0  Holland 2. Unless Brazil create some magic, they are doomed.

UPDATE 2207z: Would not like to be in the Brazilian national football team this evening.

6m - first Es WSPR today

At 1204z, the first 6m Es today was spotted here with  HB9TJM (764km) being spotted at -15dB S/N on WSPR.  A little later and he was spotting my 1W ERP at around -17dB S/N on WSPR.  No doubt there will be other 6m Es openings later. 6m Es is less common than Es on 10m. In turn 2m Es is far less common than 6m Es: the higher you go, the less frequent it gets. 10m is the easiest Es band (in my opinion) and you get F2 openings more frequently, especially N-S, than on 6m,where F2 openings are rare.

HB9TJM claims to be running 10W, which, if correct, is quite high power for 6m WSPR.  A more common power is 5W or less.

UPDATE 1427z:   CN8LI (2113km) has been spotted twice so far (by 1745z this was 4 times) on 6m this afternoon at 1340z and 1348z. On both occasions he was very strong indeed on WSPR.
The first 3 spots of CN8LI today on 6m WSPR
UPDATE 1440z:  G4IKZ (18km) must have his horizontal Moxon in just the right position as he has been giving me excellent reports all day. No further Es seen here since CN8LI earlier.

Ultimate 3 beacon - still unable to build it

I am still far too clumsy to build this kit. This morning I was going to start on the LPF but I am still far too wobbly and clumsy to do it. Before my brain bleed this would have been a piece of cake, but today it is too much for me. Damn. I shall wait another month to see if I feel better. Blogging and WSPR I can manage. Talking in contests is hard work, but I can just about manage it for short periods.

Maybe I have to conclude it is too much for me and call on the help to build and test the unit so kindly offered? I did check the full pack and the GPS module is definitely not there but a surplus relay board is. I shall have to contact Hans Summers and return the unwanted PCB and request the GPS module that I paid for but that has not been delivered. It is some months since the bits came. I resisted opening the package until I thought I could build it. I photographed the opening and was very careful.

On reflection, I wonder how much they would have charged to build and test the unit for me?

I hate being unable to do this sort of thing: it feels like I am past it. Please no.

6m WSPR this morning

Since 1026z, I QSYed back to 6m WSPR. So far here, just locals and GDX, no Es seen so far.
6m WSPR this morning - no Es so far today.

10m - early morning GDX and Es

The 10m WSPR kit ran overnight. WSPR spots of G6NHU (78km), G7EOB (76km)  and G8JNJ/A (184km) and Es early this morning from IK1WVQ (1084km) , EA6GF (1428km) , EA5CYA (1376km) .  Spanish Es was being received at 0722z - very early.

Will be QSYing up to 6m shortly.

UPDATE 0950z:  10m WSPR is mainly from stations in southern Europe by Es now.

11 Jul 2014

10m - evening Es and F2

10m was open this evening for Es around Spain and N. Africa with WSPR spots exchanged with several stations in Spain and SWL reports from 3VSWL (1845km) in Tunisia.

Also audible at 2044z and 2130z was CX2ABP (11127km) in Montevideo - very late. These are the 9th and 10th spots of this station today. I just wonder if we are seeing an Es opening to Spain linking up with an F2 opening nearer to the equator? Or is this just pure F2?

UPDATE 2156z:  EA5CYA still being spotted here strongly at -10dB S/N on 10m WSPR.

UPDATE 2212z: Being spotted strongly by EA2CNU as late as 2204z. Just off to bed now.  I shall leave the 10m WSPR kit running overnight.

EA5CYA - teatime Es on 10m WSPR

Since 1626z EA5CYA has been coming in via Es at a reasonable level for his 200mW.  I suspect there will be further Es spots this evening. It has been rather quiet on 10m Es today so far.

CX2ABP - 7 times so far this afternoon

CX2ABP (11127km) has been spotted here seven times since lunch so far. Rodolpho is using 2W but is a very consistent signal with me. He has one of the best signals from South America. Not sure what antenna he uses?

UPDATE 1645z: CX2ABP has now been spotted 9 times this afternoon. Conditions N-S on 10m are good today.

10m F2 propagation this morning. GDX this afternoon

FR1GZ (9724km) was spotted several times on 10m WSPR around 0930-1000z this morning.

Sunspot count is 159 (good) and 20-30MHz propagation "good",which is probably why FR1GZ was putting in an appearance today.   

EA5CYA was spotted (by Es) at 1118z and LB9YE at 1156z.

Also spotted were local G4KPX and more distant G6NHU (78km).

In terms of GDX, 10m seems better than 6m. Es is also better on 10m and there is still F2 around on 10m, which is all but absent, from here at least, on 6m. If I had to choose between the two bands, 10m would be my favourite. At the moment I am enjoying both bands.

UPDATE  1445z:  Best DX spot is of CX2ABP (11127km) by F2. Best GDX spot is of G8JNJ/A (184km). The best spot of my 2W ERP is from G3JKV (123km). Lots of spots exchanged with local Richard G4KPX (14km). who lives in Ely.

10 Jul 2014

10m GDX and Es

My PC was doing odd things again earlier - said WSPR was TXing when it was not - but restarted WSPR software and all OK now.

G8JNJ/A (184km) GDX and EA5CYA (1376km) via Es (twice)  seen here in last hour.  The long F2 DX to South America seems to have gone now?  I love 10m -  a band of true variety and not hard in any way. My antenna is a 3 band Par end-fed 10/20/40m just strung to a nearby tree and not that high. On 10m I am currently using 2.5W from the FT817. The cable loss take this down to about 2W (max) at the antenna. This seems to get out fine. I am sure with a more efficient antenna just a few mW would be enough, although 5mW to this antenna has got spots from Israel and 100mW from the USA. Maybe it is somewhat directional?

At the moment my TX is only active 6% of the time on 10m. I am mostly on RX.

UPDATE 2030z:  Nothing further heard from CX2ABP in Montevideo since late afternoon.  He is using 10W, so if the 10m band is open, I would expect to copy him.  G8JNJ/A (184km GDX) has now been copied several times already this evening at up to -22dB S/N. Not strong, but there.

UPDATE 2112z:  G6NHU (78km 100mW) has been copied at -24dB S/N from JO01ou. Just a local and GDX currently.

UPDATE 2128z: Just when you think that is it for the evening up pops EA5CYA at 2118z at -21dB S/N and again at 2126z. So there is still Es around. even this late. I shall reset the software and clock and leave the kit running on 10m overnight.

UPDATE 2204z: G6NHU and EA5CYA are still being spotted.