10 Apr 2013

Sporadic-E season

We are now approaching the summer sporadic-E season in the northern hemisphere with excellent 10m, 6m and 4m (plus 2m on a few occasions) propagation across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and sometimes far beyond.

On 6m and 10m it is possible to work out to around 2000 miles quite easily with very simple omni-directional antennas and a few watts by single or multi-hop Es.

With some luck much further is possible: a few summers back I recall the thrill of working the USA on 6m with 2.5W out from the FT817 (via a coax cable with around 3dB loss) to a V2000 vertical. ERP was just over 1W. Of course CW was used for this QSO.

Keep an eye out on these bands in the next few months as you may be surprised what can be copied. Better equipped QRO stations will be working South America, deep into Africa and Japan on 6m. Even when the sunspots don't play ball, we'll still have summertime Es. Half the fun is the surprise openings to distant places that appear and sometimes disappear within a few minutes. At other times the lower VHF bands can be wide open with S9 DX signals for hours and hours.

No comments: