Monday, July 29, 2019

Joe Taylor K1JT hints at next generation of digital modes

One of the huge developments in Amateur radio over the last few years have the development of digital modes like FT8. The software (WSJT-X) for these modes uses the sound card in a PC to decode and encode these digital signals.

Up to now, this approach allows it to be used with standard superhet transceivers.

In a recent short talk at the amateur radio show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Joe Taylor K1JT gave a hint of a new digital mode in the pipeline.

This will use the I and Q output of a SDR transceiver for receiving and sending the signals and over a wider bandwidth. This will be a major departure for the current suite as it will not be compatible with superhet transceivers.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Unusual 50 MHz opening from Australia to Europe - Wed 24th July 2019

Over the last few weeks, there have been multiple openings from Europe to Japan at 50 MHz as stations make use of digital modes like FT8 to dig weak signals out of the noise. Most of these contacts are in the region of 9,000 to 10,000 kms which suggest multi-hop Sporadic-E was the likely propagation mode.

On Wednesday the 24th of July 2019, there was a very unusual opening on 50 MHz between Europe and New South Wales in SE Australia.

Here are some of the send/receive reports from PSK Reporter for the Australian stations on the 50 MHz band...


A successful FT8 contact was made between VK3ZL and EI3KD in Ireland, a distance of 17,375 kms. This seems to have been the longest contact of the day.





The opening from Europe to SE Australia seemed to be from about 07:09 UTC to about 08:20 UTC.

The graphic below shows where the sun was shining at 07:30 UTC.

The opening seemed to coincide with sunset in SE Australia.

Some notes....
1) Solar..... The solar flux was way down at 67, the sunspot number was zero and there was no sign of any type of enhancement due to a flare. It's hard to imagine there was any normal type F2 propagation which might be seen around the peak of the sunspot cycle.

2) Japan..... The opening from Europe to Australia seemed to coincide with an opening from Europe to Japan. S57RR in Slovenia was on the send/receive list for five of the six VK3 stations and this is what the 6m map was like for him on the 24th...

3) Multi-hop Sporadic-E ???.... The distances worked from Europe to Australia were in the region of 16,000 to 17,400 kms. If it was simple multi-hop Sporadic E, it would require something like eight to nine hops. What are the chances of this many Sporadic-E hops? I find it hard to believe it's possible.

4) Winter..... It's worth noting that it's winter in Australia and this is not their Sporadic-E season. There seems to be no sign that the VK3 stations were hearing any other stations via Sporadic-E, just the opening to Europe.

Theory?...... Just a thought and I'm putting it out there for others to consider. Is it possible there was TEP (Transequatorial propagation) opening from SE Australia to an area SE of Japan and then became skewed via Sporadic-E? The multi-hop Sporadic-E opening from Europe also got to this region in the Pacific?

It's possible the TEP path may have been a bit more westerly from Australia to an area closer to China.

Perhaps it's grasping at straws for an explanation but I find it just as feasible as expecting 8-9 Sporadic-E hops to line up in a row at 50 MHz for the shorter direct path.

The key difference between the two paths would of course be if the beam headings for all parties were the most direct short path ones or if they were skewed. Unless someone is using a long Yagi, it may not be so obvious at 50 MHz.

All good material for debate of course but probably impossible to prove one way or the other.

Addendum : See message below from Brian, VK3BD (Added 12th Aug 2019)...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Remarkable opening on 144 MHz from Cape Verde Islands to Germany - 23rd July 2019

On Tuesday the 23rd of July 2019, there was another remarkable opening on 144 MHz from Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa to Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France in Europe.

This is the third such opening this year on 144 MHz where there has been a maritime tropo duct from Cape Verde Islands up to the south-west coast of the Iberian peninsula and then a Sporadic-E opening from that region.

The first such mixed propagation mode was back on the 9th of June 2019 to Italy, Slovenia and Austria. The second was on the 3rd of July 2019 when three stations in Germany heard D41CV.

What was significant for the third opening however was that there was a successful FT8 contact made with DK5AI in Germany, an amazing distance of 4966 kms.

The map above shows the stations that were heard by or had heard D41CV on FT8 on 144 MHz.

While the tropo duct off the coast of Africa was probably stable, the Sporadic-E opening up into Europe seems to have come in two distinct phases.

The four German stations were around 15:08 to 15:40 UTC. The other signals were around 16:34 to 17:40 UTC.

Update : This is the log of FT8 contacts made by D41CV on the 23rd of July. Red contacts are Sp-E + tropo. Black is tropo only...

This is a screen shot of the FT8 contact between D41CV and DK5AI...

This is the tropo prediction map from F5LEN showing the maritime tropo duct up along the west coast of Africa.

Considering this is the third such opening this ear, it might be easy to take it for granted but we shouldn't. A distance of 4,966 kms on 144 MHz is really incredible.

Just for fun, lets suppose that DK5AI was able to work that distance across the Atlantic. This is how far his signal would reach...

The future...5000+ kms??... It's very likely that we haven't seen the maximum distance yet for this mixed propagation path. The marine duct off the west coast of Africa seems to exist for long periods of time so that is a significant factor. The big variable is of course the requirement for a Sporadic-E opening on 144 MHz to complete the path.

Stations in the north of Germany near Hamburg or in Denmark may well be within one Sp-E hop of the coast of Portugal. If this coincided with a marine duct to Cape Verde, contacts in the region of 5,200 kms may be possible.

1) D4C contest team on Twitter
2) F5LEN Tropo prediction for D4

Monday, July 22, 2019

IRTS Recommend Frequencies for 70 cms Hotspots

With the growth of digital modes like C4F System Fusion, D-Star and DMR, some radio amateurs have opted to set up personal hot spots so that they can access the various worldwide networks over the Internet.

These usually operate with 10 to 20 milliwatts of output power on 70cms into very small aerials a few cms long.

There have been problems reported however when users have connected large external aerials to these units and have chosen to use frequencies in the 435.000 to 438.000 MHz range. This part of the spectrum is reserved for uplinks to amateur radio satellites and some interference from hotspots has been heard.

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) has now recommended using 434.000 and 438.800 MHz for personal hotspots.

From the IRTS News...Frequency Allocation for Digital Voice Personal Hotspots
We wish to remind all operators that the frequencies used on some personal hotspot devices have become an issue and it has become necessary to allocate specific frequencies for their use. 434.000 Mhz & 438.800 Mhz are the two frequencies recommended so we would request anyone using a personal hotspot device to consider reprogramming their unit to one of these frequencies. Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A closer look at the 144 MHz opening from Cape Verde Islands to Italy - 9th June 2019

Over the last few weeks, there have been several remarkable openings on 144 MHz from Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa.

On the 16th of June 2019, there was the incredible opening from Cape Verde Islands to the Caribbean which lasted on and off for roughly five days. See previous post....

On the 29th of June 2019, the same trans-Atlantic path opened again for roughly 36 hours. See previous post...

On the 2nd of July 2019, there was a combined Sporadic-E and tropo event which allowed signals from Cape Verde Islands to be heard in Germany. See previous post...

There was however another remarkable opening on the 9th of June 2019 which wasn't well reported at the time. See map below...

Thanks to a log extract provided by the D4C team, I have been able to put together a reasonable record of what took place.

The map above shows the stations that D41CV worked on 144 MHz with the digital FT8 mode. The chart below shows their log and what was worked. The 'normal' tropo contacts are in Black. The combined Tropo Sporadic-E contacts are in Red. The reception report from OE3NFC in Austria is in Green.

Evidence - Tropo... First off, lets have a look at some of the information available from that time. This is a map of the tropo predictions on the day which indicates the likely marine ducting path from Cape Verde Islands up along the west coast of Africa to Morocco and the the south of Spain.

As can be seem from the log, D41CV managed to work two EA7 stations and CN8LI which suggests  this sea path was open..

Even though the south-west coast of Spain is some 2,800 kms distant, this marine ducting path seems to be a regular feature in this part of the world and is no great suprise at this stage.

Evidence - Sporadic-E... These are the spots from the DX Cluster showing Italian stations hearing CN8LI in Morocco by Sporadic-E at the time.

Considering the distances involved and the evidence above then it would seem likely that the Italian stations managed to catch a Sporadic-E opening on 144 MHz to an area near Morocco where the signals then entered the marine duct which extended down to Cape Verde Islands.

Some points....
1) 16... There were 16 FT8 contacts made which were via a combined marine tropo ducting - sporadic-E propagation mode.

2) N Italy... Notice how the contacts in the north of Italy are laid out in a line... typical of a Sporadic-E footprint which tends to be be long and narrow. They are also crucially far enough north so that the Sporadic-E signal from Italy lands near the water off the west of Morocco.

3) C Italy... The three Italian stations in central Italy are interesting. Notice how they are all on the coast. Perhaps they were availing of some tropo enhancement from the Mediterranean to allow the Sporadic-E signals to land near the ocean off the very southern part of Morocco.

4) S57A... The Slovene station S57A was the best DX that day with a distance of about 4,809 kms.

5) D41CV... These are the working conditions for D41CV... Sunsdrpro2 by expertsdr, 12 el yagi home brew, 500W from single LDMOS homemade (pallet from ITALAB)

6) Austria... Remarkably, D41CV was also heard by Norbert OE3NFC. Norbert was using 4 x 7el LFA at 12 metres above ground level to a Low Noise Amp & G4DDK transverter into a Flex radio. He was hearing the FT8 signals from D41CV at -17dB.

On that last point, OE3NFC in Austria was roughly 5,107 kms from Cape Verde Islands.

It's very easy to look at the figures and not actually realise just how far that distance is. To put it into context, this is what 5,000 kms looks like.

Imagine putting a 144 MHz transmitter on the west coast of Ireland and it reached this far into North America....

We can repeat the exercise by imagining there was a 144 MHz transmitter in St.John's Newfoundland and it reached this far into Europe....

In conclusion..... Overall, a remarkable set of contacts by the D41CV station. Considering how often there is a marine tropo path off the west coast of Africa, there should be more openings like this in the future.

1) D4C website
2) D4 team on Twitter

Acknowledgement : Thanks to the D4C team for providing a log extract which was the basis of this post.

Correction : 18th July 2019 - Corrected locator square for S57A from JN76TN to JN65TW.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

IRTS release statement on threat to the 2-metre band

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) is the national organisation for radio amateurs in Ireland and is a member of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

Recently, the French administration made a proposal to allocate the 144 to 146 MHz amateur band to the aeronautical mobile service. There have been many responses to this from individuals and groups.

This is the statement from the IRTS released on the 12th of July 2019.

Threat to the 144 – 146 MHz band

The threat
Members will be aware that a proposal has been floated by the French administration to extend existing aeronautical mobile service (AMS) allocations in Region 1 to a number of additional frequency bands, including the 144 – 146 MHz band currently allocated exclusively to the amateur service.  If accepted, this proposal would have very serious consequences for radio amateurs, given the importance of the 2 metre band for a variety of applications.  The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and its member societies, including IRTS, will be vigorously resisting this proposal.

Allocations of the radio spectrum
Allocations of the radio spectrum are determined at World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) which are held every 4 years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with the next conference taking place later this year (WRC-19) and another due in 2023 (WRC-23).  Planning and the co-ordination of European administrations at these conferences are carried out by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).  IARU representatives are actively involved in the relevant CEPT groups, including those preparing for the ITU conferences.

IARU was extremely surprised when the French administration at short notice submitted a proposal to CEPT preparatory groups for WRC-19 that, subject to the results of feasibility studies, WRC-23 should consider whether additional aeronautical mobile service (AMS) allocations could be implemented in the range 144 MHz to 22.2 GHz.

If this proposal in its current form is endorsed at the next meeting of the CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) in August, it is likely that it will be submitted by CEPT to WRC-19 for consideration when WRC-19 addresses the agenda for WRC-23.  For this agenda item to be submitted to WRC-19 at least 10 of the 48 CEPT countries have to be in favour of the proposal whilst not more than 6 should oppose its submission.

The timeline for future WRC items is much tighter than some may realise with final CEPT decisions being made during its 26-30 August 2019 CEPT CPG meeting, for those proposals that will then be submitted to ITU WRC-19 in October.  If agreed at WRC, the ITU would start work on them in November 2019 and that would continue during 2020-2023 for WRC-23.  Clearly if an item can be kept off the agenda, it can save years of significant effort and uncertainty.

Challenging situation
While the French proposal would likely not be an eviction or re-allocation of spectrum, nonetheless IARU considers it to be a serious threat to the hobby, particularly as it would present significant challenges; aeronautical applications are perhaps the most difficult of all radiocommunication services to share with, due to the altitudes and long free-space distances involved.  IARU representatives at CEPT meetings have been lobbying strongly against the French proposal insofar as it affects the key 2 metre band.  This work will continue for as long as is needed.  IARU has also asked its members societies to raise this issue with their respective administrations.

For its part, IRTS will be putting the IARU’s defence of the 144 – 146 MHz band to the officials of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment and the Commission for Communications Regulation who will be representing Ireland at the forthcoming CPG and WRC.

Single voice
Amateur radio should speak with a single voice only.  Therefore it is suggested that individual amateur radio licensees should refrain from lobbying personal contacts they may have in Government departments, regulatory bodies or the EU.  Such activities could weaken the overall position of the amateur service and reduce the power and vigour of the systematic approach taken by IARU and national amateur radio societies.  This particularly applies to online petitions on the Internet which do not always provide factually correct information.

This issue reminds us that the cost of the numerous activities to defend frequency bands used by the amateur and amateur-satellite services is covered by the funds resulting from the contributions of the IARU member societies e.g. IRTS for Ireland.  So those who have not joined or have left their country’s IARU amateur radio society should perhaps reconsider their decision.

For the amateur radio hobby to thrive, it is essential that we are represented by a strong and properly-resourced International Amateur Radio Union.  Without the support and funding from national societies to the IARU, the amateur radio community would have little influence in spectrum allocation and other relevant issues, leading to the rights and privileges gained over many years being steadily eroded through pressure from commercial interests.

2) IARU Region 1

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Snapshot of WSPR activity - Sun 7th July 2019

As an experiment, I made a recording of the activity levels for each of the HF bands on the WSPRnet website on Sunday the 7th of July 2019. I took two measurements to get a better sample... one at 09:00 UTC and one at 19:00 UTC.

160m, 80m & 60m... Even though the levels on 160m and 60m are reasonably low, the wide coverage area for these bands would probably make up for this somewhat. Even on 160m, someone running 5 watts into a decent antenna may cover half of Euope.

40m, 30m, & 20m... This seems to be where most of the WSPR activity is concentrated. Lots of people transmitting and lots of people listening.

17m, 15m, 12m & 10m... On these bands, the propagation skip zones become increasingly larger especially at the higher frequencies. My own opinion is that the activity level needs to be somewhere close to 100 to make WSPR useful.

Going on this basis, the activity levels on 17m and 10m are marginal. From a European perspective, there are two issues...
a) Many of the other stations are in other continents may be well out of range.
b) A high percentage of the users are receive only.

This leaves relatively few stations to listen to.

And if 17m and 10m are marginal then 15m and 12m are very poor indeed. The number of users on 12m was 13 and 18 and again, these are spread out over different continents and some are receive only. If there are so few stations on 15m and 12m then it begs the question if WSPR on those bands is useful at all?

VHF... On the VHF bands, the number of WSPR users recorded was very low.... an average of 26 on 6m, 3 on 4m, 18 on 2m, 4 on 70 cms and 5 on 23 cms. Those activity levels are so low that it makes WSPR pretty useless unless someone is interested in monitoring the path to a particular individual.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Dutch 2m Propagation Experiment - 20th July 2019

Summary via Google Translate : 2 METRE PROPAGATION EXPERIMENT ON JULY 20, 2019 WITH PI40FL. 

A41 Flevoland calls on all radio amateurs to make radio connections on the 2 metre band on 20 July. Read on how you can make a positive contribution to this 2 metre propagation experiment.

On Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 17:00 to 19:00 UTC A41 Flevoland is organizing a 2-metre propagation experiment.

Help with this 2 metre propagation experiment
A41 Flevoland wants to collect as much data as possible and calls on all radio amateurs in the Netherlands to participate in this 2-metre propagation experiment. You can easily participate by making connections on the 2 meter band. Clublog has offered to collect the data. For this a41 Flevoland asks you to upload the log with the connections made to Clublog . 

Purpose of this 2 metre propagation experiment
The aim is to collect as much data as possible about connections made on the 2 metre band in a short period of time. It does not matter in which mode you will work and with whom you connect. Whether this is in CW, FM, SSB, DV or digimode, all connections made help in data collection.

No contest, share information and real receipt reports
This experiment is not a competition and, on the contrary, benefits from real receipt reports. So only give 59 if this is also the actual receipt report. Above all, make nice connections and share some more information than 59. This experiment is about collecting as much data as possible and not who can make the most connections or bridge the largest distance. Of course it is important that you enjoy doing this and you may rediscover VHF.

Other countries are also requested to participate
VERON invites all countries to participate in this experiment and to give it an international character. By getting all up in the air at the same time, this also increases the chance of international connections.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

EI3RCW - The Irish WSPR Receive Station

Some of the WSPR stations heard by EI3RCW on 80m
Regular users of the WSPR system may have noticed the call sign EI3RCW pops up on a lot of coverage maps. Located in the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) campus, the station uses a Funcube dongle and a Wimo 40m long wire antenna to monitor the various HF bands.

When the call sign was allocated a few years back, WIT was known as the Regional College Waterford, hence the EI3RCW call.

Funcube dongle monitoring WSPR transmissions from 80m to 10m
Long wire antenna installed at the college campus
The EI3RCW WSPR station was set up by Eoghan EI5HBB and he has it configured to hop between the various bands on a schedule throughout the day. The software used to monitor the WSPR transmissions is WSJT-X.

The screen shot below some of the WSPR stations heard on 7 MHz including the Swedish Polar Research Vessel ODEN which EI3RCW is helping to track as it makes its way from Sweden to Greenland.

Some of the WSPR stations heard by EI3RCW on 40m

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Tracking the Swedish Polar vessel Oden on WSPR

I came across an interesting blog post recently by Harry SM7PNV about the Swedish Polar Research vessel Oden. It is currently on its way from Sweden to Greenland and is sending out its location on WSPR by band hopping between the four bands... 40m, 30m, 20m and 17m.

As you can see from the map above, I heard them on 14 MHz.

The WSPR transmitter on the ship is one of Harry's commercial Zachtek products running 300 milliwatts to an end feed wire antenna.

The blog post on Harry's site is here...

Update : By the way, if you are tracking the ship then be sure to use the map on M0XDK's website. The map on the wsprnet website shows the ship in the wrong location.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Extreme Tropo Propagation on 144 MHz and up... by LA0BY

I came across this PDF presentation while I was browsing about propagation at 144 MHz. It was put together by Stefan LA0BY and I think anyone with an interest in two metres should find it of interest.

The PDF document can be found here...

144 MHz path opens up between Cape Verde Islands and Germany - 2nd July 2019

The D41CV station on Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa continues to show new paths on 144 MHz that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.

On Tuesday the 2nd of July 2019, a Sporadic-E opening from Germany to the south of Spain coincided with a marine ducting event from the coast of Spain down to Cape Verde Islands.

As the map clearly shows, D41CV was hearing and was being heard by stations in the Canary Islands, Portugal and Spain. This is as a result of a marine duct which can stay established for days at a time and the distance from Cape Verde to the south-west of the Iberian peninsula is in the region of 2,800 to 2,900 kms, an impressive distance for 144 MHz in its own right.

What was exceptional on the afternoon of the 2nd of July 2019 was that there was also a Sporadic-E opening from Spain to Germany allowing stations from there to access the marine duct.

As this screenshot from D41CV shows, he was hearing Spanish stations who were working German stations on 144 MHz FT8.

The three German stations hearing and were being heard by D41CV were DL8SCV (JN48RV - 4725kms), DL1NEO (JN59KV - 4870 kms) and DK1FG (JN59OP - 4875 kms).

The map below shows who was hearing and was being heard by each of the three German stations over a 12 hour period on the 2nd of July.

It clearly shows the Sporadic-E path that was open to Spain as well as the continuation by marine ducting to the Canary Islands and Cape Verde Islands.

The distance from the German stations to the Canary Islands is about 3320 kms which is an incredible distance in itself.

It's the distance from the German stations to Cape Verde Islands that it truly amazing... an incredible 4,870 kms. To put that in context, that's the distance from the west coast of Ireland to New York City!

This is the tropo map from F5LEN showing the marine ducting path off the coast of Africa...

While on this occasion, it looks as if no actual contacts were made, it does show the potential of what might be achieved.

For example, if we put the put the opening of the marine duct off the south coast of Portugal then this shows the approximate limit for Sporadic-E from there...

If the marine duct were to extend up further then places like Scotland would come into range.

The big unknown in all of this is of course the requirement for a Sporadic-E opening at 144 MHz.

Part of the FT8 log for D41CV on the 2nd of July 2019...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

First 40 MHz Crossband contact between Ireland and Norway - 28th June 2019

On Friday the 28th of June 2019, Lloyd EI7HBB in the west of Ireland managed to complete a 40 MHz to 28 MHz cross band SSB contact with LA4UOA in Norway, a first for the new 8-metre band.

EI7HBB was running 4 watts on 40 MHz from one of the Ukrainian transverters into a home made 2 element Moxon in the loft space of his house. He was listening to the LA station on 28.400 MHz.

Lloyd reports that LA4UOA was 5/9 on 28.400 MHz while he received a 5/2 report on 40.250 MHz in Norway. The distance was 1108 kms.

EI7HBB 40250.0 LA4UOA 09:37 28 Jun IO53SQ - JO38QH cross band 28.4 Norway

What was interesting about this contact was that 50 MHz didn't seem to be open at the time. The maximum usable frequency (MUF) had reached as high as 40 MHz but not 50 MHz.

This shows the value of the new 40 MHz band. It's a long way from 28 MHz to 50 MHz and by having a band in between ten and six metres, it will give a better idea of where the maximum usable frequency is.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Irish 6m beacon EI0SIX moves to 50.004 MHz

This news item appeared on the IRTS radio news on Sunday the 30th of June 2019...

EI 6m Beacon
The EI 6m beacon has moved to 50.004 and now has an extended transmission time of three one minute sequences of PI4 and CW . The following two sequences will soon be taken up the the GI 6m beacon. The beacon hardware has been upgraded to an RFzero board and is GPS locked so it can be used to check the frequency calibration of your radio. Please spot the beacon if you hear it.

Traditionally, beacons on the 50 MHz band have been stand alone devices with mixed performance in terms of frequency accuracy. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Synchronised 50 MHz Beacon Project is a plan to make better use of the radio spectrum with beacons in the same geographical area sharing frequencies.

The SBP beacons are spaced 1 kHz apart and use a 5 minute repeat period. The chart above shows EI0SIX near Dublin using three time slots and share the frequency with GB3NGI near Belfast which uses the other two time slots.

In the future, there is the potential space for adding three more beacons to this particular frequency slot.

Frequency Accuracy.... One of the best features of this new generation of beacons is that they are frequency locked to GPS satellites. You should never assume your radio is showing the correct frequency especially if it's an older model.

If you can hear the EI0SIX beacon then you should tune your radio to 50.003.2 MHz on USB and by running the PI4 software, you should be able to see how close you radio is to the correct frequency.

You need to tune your radio so that the carrier shows exactly 800 Hz. If your frequency shows 50.003.20 MHz then you're spot on frequency. If not, you should make a note of difference.

If you have to tune say 100 Hz higher to get that 800 Hz tone then your radio is 100 Hz off frequency.

While this doesn't make much difference with say CW or SSB, it can be very important with digital modes.

By the way, make sure your radio is turned on for at least 30 minutes before you do this test as it needs time to warm up, stop drifting and to settle. This test should enable you to find out how accurate your radio is to within +/- 10 Hz.

Weak Signals..... The PI4 software will also allow you to hear the signal even if it is buried in the noise. At times, you won't be able to make out the CW signal yet it will still decode the PI4 signal.

Other beacons... The plan is for all other beacons that are not part of the Shared Beacon Project to move up to 50.400 MHz and above.

Additional info...
1) Syncronised Beacon Project from the IARU
2) PI4 software

Short skip on 14 MHz - Sun 30th June 2019

EI0NNMI is a special event station near Dublin for the National Maritime Museum of Ireland and it can often be heard on the CW portions of the HF bands, especially on 20 metres. I often see the call sign spotted on the DX Cluster but as it is only 200 kms or so away, it is usually way too close for me to work on 14 MHz. The signal if I can hear it at all is usually way down in the noise.

On Sunday the 30th of June 2019, there must have been some Sporadic-E over Ireland as I was finally able to work EI0NMMI on CW on 14 MHz. The station in question was operated by Dave, EI6AL.

When I hear EI stations like this, there is always some question as to whether it might be Sporadic-E backscatter. On this occasion however, the signals seemed to be strong enough that I was happy enough to conclude it must have been normal Sporadic-E.

An unusual contact for the log.

144 MHz Trans-Atlantic path opens again - Sat 29th June 2019

On the 16th of June 2019, the Atlantic was spanned for the first time on 144 MHz when D41CV on Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa managed to work FG8OJ in Guadeloupe using the FT8 digital mode. Amazingly, that particular opening lasted for the best part of five days.

After a respite of about a week, the trans-Atlantic path has opened up again on 144 MHz.

See updates below...

D41CV was also heard in Venezuela on 144 MHz FT8...

SSB contact between FG8OJ and D4Z...

Update Mon 1st July 2019 : Map of stations in the Caribbean that heard or were heard by D41CV in the last 24 hours. Taken at 08:00 UTC.

Update Sun 30th June 2019 : Map of stations in the Caribbean that heard or were heard by D41CV in the last 24 hours. Taken at 09:00 UTC.

Update Tues 2nd July 2019 @ 08:00 UTC : There have been no trans-Atlantic FT8 spots on 144 MHz in the last 24 hours. The last spot on the DX Cluster was at 12:15 UTC on the 30th of June. The last FT8 spot on PSK Reporter seems to have been at 20:56 UTC on the 30th of June. This second trans-Atlantic opening seems to have lasted around 36 hours.

DX Cluster spots