Monday, August 6, 2018

EI3KD works Cape Verde on 144 MHz to set new Region 1 DX record

On Sunday the 5th of August 2018, Mark Turner EI3KD managed to work D4Z on the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of of Africa on 144 MHz, a distance of some 4163 kms. This remarkable contact made on CW was a new record for tropo in IARU Region 1. The previous record of 4130 kms was set back in July of 2015.

The contact was made on 144.300 MHz at about 18:26 UTC at a time when the band was also open to the Canary Islands from the south of Ireland and the UK.

EI3KD RIG: 11el F9FT, only at 7m agl or so, RX mast preamp, TX 400W.

Station setup
EI3KD:  11el F9FT, only at 7m agl, RX mast preamp, TX 400W.
D4Z: IC 275, max 100W, 2 stacked dipoles on 3 directions (omnidirectional antenna), no preamp.

Just to an idea of just how far the new record is, if the same distance of 4163 kms was measured west of EI3KD's location then it would reach as far as Nova Scotia in Canada!

Earlier in the day, the D4C beacon on 144.436 MHz had been spotted at 08:37 UTC by GI6ATZ locator IO74AJ distance 4476km and by GM4ZJI at 16:40 locator IO86KE distance 4739km. The beacon was running just 14W into a stacked dipole array.

D4Z also worked G7RAU and G4LOH in the South-West of England on 2m SSB.

Video of D4Z working EI3KD on 144 MHz...

The mode of propagation was probably marine ducting which is a process whereby VHF and UHF signals can get trapped between the water surface and a layer in the lower atmosphere. The result is that signals can travel over quite far distances and the path from the UK and Ireland down to the Canary Islands can produce some of the longest distances in Europe. On rare occasions, the path can extend as far as the Cape Verde Islands.

Spot on the DX Summit cluster...
EI3KD 144300.0 D4Z 18:26 05 Aug IO51VW HK76MU tnx!!! 4163km Cape Verde

Previous best distances for tropo on 144 MHz for Region 1...
Band Propagation Call a Loc Call b Loc Mode Date Distance
144 MHz TR D44TS HK77KE M0VRL IO70PO SSB 2015-07-09 4130
144 MHz TR M0VRL IO70PO D44TD HK86NO SSB 2011-08-10 4106
144 MHz TR G4LOH IO70JC D44TD HK86NO CW 2007-08-04 4041
144 MHz TR EB8BRZ IL27HK YT3I KN05HP SSB 2009-06-08 3757
144 MHz TR EI5FK IO51RT RW1ZC/MM IK18PQ SSB 2005-08-15 3745

The tropo forecast below from F5LEN shows the path conditions around the time of the contact.

Video of GI6ATZ hearing the D4C beacon...

Links... (Updated 5th Sept 2018)
1) DX spots for D4Z on 144 MHZ
2) F5LEN Tropo Forecast for EI to D4
3) IARU Region 1 VHF DX records
4) EI3KD's website
5) D4C / D4Z website
6) Newsletter from D4C Contest team


DF2MZ said...

Congrats guys!
What power and antenna was used on either side?

PY2255 SWL said...

Parabens amigo pelo grande feito ,isso é muito importante .
Ainda quero aprender CW para tentar esta grandiosa Transmissoes.
Boa sorte amito.

J.Carlos PU2OLT

VO1HP said...

Congratulations to EI3KD and D4Z on this record distance on 2m. I envy greatly the accomplishment!!...wish we could see ducting like this across the North Atlantic but I guess the water is just too cold.

See VO1FN VHFTrans Atlantic beacon SDR experiment. Currently operational until this fall 2018.

73 Frank VO1HP

EI8HH said...

Well done by Mark! Congratulations to him!

Thank you for this compilation, John.

vy 73 de Andreas, DJ5AR / EI8HH

David Anderson GM4JJJ said...

To the author,

I see that they you are reporting that GM4ZJI heard the D4 beacon, I honestly don't think he did because he reported the wrong frequency entirely (it is on 144.436). A previous DX spot by M0VRL also used the wrong the frequency of 144.463 (presumably a typo transposing the last two digits), and Chris tuned to that frequency or slightly below at 144.4629 and detected something that was " in and out".

I need to ask if he actually heard the CW ID as evidence to support his claim, because I initially looked around the frequency that Chris reported and there was a weak birdie but no keying at all. The correct frequency showed nothing at all here, and I suspect I would have heard it if Chris did, as we both were able to work the EA8 on tropo at that time. Incidentally, well done to Chris in that, it broke the existing long held GM tropo record by a few km. GM4FVM and I also caught the EA8 in this opening, and I have to thank ZJI for alerting FVM who then texted me on the grapevine.

But as far as the D4 beacon reception in GM goes, as they say, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.


David GM4JJJ

John, EI7GL said...

Just for reference, the GM4JZI reception was mentioned to in a comment on the D4C VHF & UP Facebook page.

David Anderson GM4JJJ said...

I now have the full story clarified by Chris GM4ZJI regarding the reception report of the D4C beacon in GM.

Here is the email thread:

On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 4:42 PM, David Anderson wrote:

I noticed that your beacon spot on the 5th August of the D4C beacon on 144 has been reported by a blogger in EI.

I am not sure, but when I asked you about that on text you aid you messed up as you were busy at the time, as I can imagine.

Did you mean that you had been listening on the entirely wrong frequency, because of the typing mistake made by a previous spotter? Or did you mean that you were listening on the right frequency but just reported the wrong frequency?

I listened on the frequency you reported first and heard a birdie with no CW ident. Then I tuned to the correct frequency for the beacon, and could detect nothing at all here.

Perhaps you can clarify, because it is an important claim.

I notice that Gordon GI6ATZ reported the beacon in the early morning that day, also quite amazing.

On a further point, it appears that your contact with EA8TJ is a new GM tropo distance record on 144 MHz as far as I can find out! Congratulations !!!

Wishing you the best of DX in the up coming meteor shower,

David GM4JJJ

I got the following two emails in reply from Chris today:

Hi David,i heard the beacon very clear for 3-4mins on then dropped down to noise level.I was responding to several messages on kst whilst filling in dx cluster.So the spot showed 463 instead of 436.To be honest i didnt think it was a big deal until i worked Ea8tj at -2 then all hell broke loose on kst! I didnt realise that my contact could be a record wow!, Hope we can catch up on the phone when youre free David,,73s

On Thu, 9 Aug 2018 at 20:11, chris claydon wrote:
For the record David which you can forward to all.When Ea8tj showed here it was very strong and up to s7! i tuned to d4c and heard the correct beacon for 3-4 mins I have nothing to gain by a false claim as it doesn't really mean anything unless i was able to qso someone from there as far as i'm concerned.For future reference if i hear something of interest i will make sure i record it and if i cant i wont report it.73's

My reply to Chris follows:


I am glad you were able to set the record straight, the reason I asked was that I was unclear with what you meant, that is all.

Of course it is fantastic news to know that D4C was received here! It means that in theory we should be able to work them one day.

I had not seen you claim it anywhere (other than that one spot on the incorrect frequency) so that also lead to my false assumption that you meant that in the text that you hadn't received it at all because you had been on wrong frequency because of all that was going on, see what I mean?

I hesitated in asking you about this because it might sound like sour grapes, (or worse), but it is very important to have the facts right, and I will contact the EI blogger with the excellent news of your confirmation of reception of the D4 beacon. We will all be very pleased to spread the news. What I didn't want to do was spread false news.

I know perfectly well that you play by the game and wouldn't claim anything that was not genuine.

Always better to record it, but I know myself I have often forgotten or not been able to record things especially when they are fleeting and I have fallen off my chair in excitement, and the tea is ready, hi. We all do that, even K1JT on his very first EME contact on JT44 (with me) forgot to record it at his end, and had to request a recording that I made for his article.

The EA8 you had is the new GM tropo record on 144 as far as I can find out, and the D4 beacon reception is one of the very furthest Region 1 tropo reception reports ever too!

Once again, many thanks for generously contacting Jim who contacted me!


David GM4JJJ

John, EI7GL said...

Thanks for the clarification David. It's pretty amazing that the D4C beacon was heard just north of Edinburgh. Both GI6ATZ and GM4NJI seem to be some distance from the coast.

The longest sea path seems to be from the south-west of Scotland, down the Irish Sea and then the long trip to Cape Verde Is.

John, EI7GL

HB9DUR Andrea said...

Station setup
EI3KD: 11el F9FT, only at 7m agl, RX mast preamp, TX 400W.
D4Z: IC 275, max 100W, 2 stacked dipoles on 3 directions (omnidirectional antenna), no preamp.

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HB9DUR Andrea said...

Let me add that thoa was achieved with the involvement of several people and the perseverance of Mark EI3KD to accomplish this dream of him.

73 Andrea HB9DUR

HB9DUR Andrea said...

GI4SNA DAVID ROSS heard on 04 AUG 2018 D4C/B on 144.436 MHz at 4492 km distance via Troposferic ducting