Will this be the year? The 2m WA1ZMS trans-Atlantic beacon The WA1ZMS beacon on 144.285000 MHz is now running a 500 watt transmitter giving 7 kW ERP The beacon is GPS locked and the antenna comprises two 5-element stacked yagis beaming at 60 degrees from IARU locator FM07fm.
I'm sure most people accepted it at face value and assummed that it was a beacon on the Eastern side of the Atlantic beaming accross (60 deg) on 144 MHz to Europe.
However, when you look at the location of it, some serious issues arise...
The distance between the nearest point in Europe (Ireland) and the nearest point in North America (Newfoundland) is generally considered to be around 3,000 kms. The WA1ZMS beacon is in locator square FM07fm which is in the state of Virginia, some 5,480 kms from Ireland. In fact, it's so far away that it's one Sporadic-E hop from Newfoundland alone. To put that into a European context, it's the same as putting a trans-Atlantic beacon in Romania (YO) and asking someone in Newfoundland to listen for it!
Now, I'm sure that it's an excellent beacon and it is very valuable fas a propogation indicator along the Eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada. And I guess, there is always the possibility that it might bridge the gap accross to the Azores (72 deg...12 deg off beam heading of 60 deg)....especially when the Azore High Pressure system moves around when it expands in the Summer/Autumn month. Even at that though, the distance is still about 4,500 kms.
To suggest that it might make it all of the way accross to Europe proper would take a big leap of faith.