Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back on the radio & conditions on 28 Mhz...

Turned on the radio again today after a long absence. Looking at my logbook, my last contact was in July 2009! Back then, the talk was of solar minimums and how poor conditions were.

Today, the Solar Flux Index is at 100 and the 28 MHz band was in fine shape. There was plenty of genuine F2 propagation about with signals coming in from SE Europe / Middle East / Africa / South America / SE USA.

Considering I was only listening with an old simple half-wave CB vertical antenna, I was suprised at how strong some of the signals were...especially the beacons running only a few watts.

This is a list of what I heard on 28 Mhz today...
South East Europe...SV3AQR/B (Greece 4w vert), SV5TEN/B (Rhodes), IQ8CZ/B ,  IT9EJW/B (Sicily 3w), 5B4CY/B (Cyprus) , SV0XCC/9 (Crete), SV2AHT/B
Mid-East...HZ1DG (Saudi Arabia), TA4AU
Africa...EA8CTF , ZS1AX , TJ3FC (Cameroon) , D44AC (Cape Verde Is) , TR8CA (Gabon) 
South America...PU2TGK , PU2UEO , LW4EU , YV5DTJ , ZP5DBC
Caribbean...FM4NB (Martinique)
USA...W4TIY/B (Georgia) , KB4UPI/B (Alabama 5w) , KJ4QYB/B (Alabama), W3HH/B (Florida 12w)

Other unusual signals heard were...
1) G0IVZ in Cornwall...just about audible....either weak tropo or F2 back-scatter?
2) Illegal Fishing Buoys.....or at least that's what I think they were as suggested by this IARU piece.
The ones that I noticed were in the 10m beacon band. They transmitted a carrier for a few seconds and then gave a CW id. The ones I noted were...
28191.4 cw ident was 'CT' with a very bad chirp
28225.0 cw ident was 'EI'
28255.0 cw ident was 'DK' for their location???

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