Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 19th & 20th...More openings on 50 MHz

The Sporadic-E season is in full swing at the moment with plenty of European signals on the band. I have been using the home brew 2 element yagi in the attic now for about 2 weeks and I'm getting a better idea of what the performance is like.

Signals.........It's certainly not up to the performance of my old 4 element outdoors up at 9 mtrs above ground level but that's to be expected. For such a simple antenna, I'm hearing a lot of signals and it was certainly worthwhile constructing it and fitting it in the attic. In the event that I put up a better outdoor antenna, I think I'll leave the indoor 2 element in place as a back-up.

DX........there were several openings to the west towards the Carribbean. With a fixed beam pointing east, anything from the west was going to get attenuated by about 10 dB anyway so maybe it was no suprise that I heard nothing. I can't say that I'm too bothered anyway because at the moment, my interest in 'chasing' dx on 6 metres is pretty low.

Fri 19th & Sat 20th June 2009..........I was on for both days and there were good openings into Europe.

On the 19th, I caught an opening in the early afternoon working 28 stations in 21 squares. Most were pretty normal contacts. The one exception was YU1ACR in KN13 square at 2430 kms which is around the maximum distance possible for one hop Sp-E.
On the 20th, 50 MHz was open more or less all day. I was on air before the contest started and worked 21 stations in 17 squares. Note the footprint of the contacts....oval shaped with the north-south part narrow and the east-west section stretched. This is a typical footprint for a Sporadic-E opening.

Over the 2 days, I operated on cw all of the time. While the qso rate was slower, I was able to work stations that were pretty weak and there were several that I would have not worked if it had been on ssb. When you are using a decent antenna with 50-100 watts, ssb is fine. However, when you have to compromise (i.e. indoor antenna ;o) then cw comes into it's own.

Later in the evening, the band was wide open and full of EU stations working in the contest. It was obvious it was open to the Carribbean as well but as before, nothing was heard here off the back of the beam.

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