Tuesday, June 23, 2020

4000 km+ VHF path from Cape Verde to the UK opens up - June 2020

On the 23rd of June 2020, the VHF path from Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa to the UK opened up again. The following stations in the UK and France reported D4VHF on FT8 on 144 MHz... Updates below...

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
G4LOH 2m FT8 4098 km 18:23:14
GW4VXE 2m FT8 4280 km 18:15:12
G7RAU 2m FT8 4086 km 17:39:14
F8DBF 2m FT8 3963 km 17:15:44
G3NJV 2m FT8 4090 km 16:23:14
GW6TEO 2m FT8 4249 km 15:45:14
G4RRA 2m FT8 4211 km 15:33:14
GW7SMV 2m FT8 4317 km 15:33:14
M0BKV 2m FT8 4181 km 15:30:14
G8IXN 2m FT8 4110 km 15:04:44
G4ELI 2m FT8 4101 km 15:04:44

As can be seen from the location of the stations, this seems to be the usual maritime duct which can last for days.

The DX spots from the cluster shows that D4VHF was on SSB as well and they were also on 432 MHz...

G4LOH 432200.0 D4VHF 16:21 23 Jun IO70JC HK76MU 57 ssb Cape Verde
G7RAU 144174.0 D4VHF 16:11 23 Jun IN79JX HK76MU 432100 ft8 9+ Cape Verde
G4RRA 144174.0 D4VHF 15:48 23 Jun IO80BSHK76MU sri here ! Cape Verde
GW6TEO 144174.0 D4VHF 15:41 23 Jun IO71LPHK76MU tnx gl Cape Verde
GW7SMV 144174.0 D4VHF 15:34 23 Jun hrd cq -18 Cape Verde 
G7RAU 432100.0 D4VHF 15:34 23 Jun IN79JX HK76MU +17 ft8, gl Cape Verde
G7RAU 144174.0 D4VHF 14:50 23 Jun IN79JXHK76MU plus tropo Cape Verde
G4LOH 144174.0 D4VHF 14:32 23 Jun IO70JC HK76MU 59+20dB CQ Cape Verde
GW0KZG 144174.0 D4VHF 14:31 23 Jun IO71LWHK76 144.174 FT8 Tn Cape Verde

The tropo prediction map from Pascal, F5LEN shows that the path is open...

If you are used to VHF reports then you'll know that this path opens quiet often. It's easy to be blasé about it but it's worth remembering that the stations shown above in the UK are in the region of 4100 to 4300 kms from Cape Verde Islands.

That's the equivalent distance from London to Nova Scotia in Canada... and this is on 144 & 432 MHz!

The path from the UK to Cape Verde looks reasonable for the 24th & 25th of June before disappearing on the 26th.

Wed 24th June 2020...
It looks as if the signal from Cape Verde Islands reached the east of England...

D4VHF G4LOH 2m FT8 4098 km 15:03:14
G4CDN D4VHF 2m FT8 4613 km 07:42:56
D4VHF G4CDN 2m FT8 4613 km 07:40:14
D4VHF G4PIQ 2m FT8 4546 km 03:48:15

Note the distance for G4CDN... 4613kms!... on 144 MHz!

In the evening, there was an opening to Rome...

D4VHF IZ0UME 2m FT8 4521 km 18:54:14
IZ0UME D4VHF 2m FT8 4521 km 18:48:26
EA8CDG D4VHF 2m FT8 1546 km 18:45:26
D4VHF IW0FFK 2m FT8 4505 km 18:44:14

Another amazing distance... 4521kms. Tropo all the way or tropo & Sp-E?

North Europe to Cape Verde???....... Stations in North and Central Europe should be on the lookout for a Sporadic-E opening to the Iberian Peninsula over the next week. There is a good chance that signals would couple into the marine duct there off the south-west coast to travel onwards to Cape Verde.

1) Tropo map from F5LEN


Photon said...

Didn't hear a dicky bird from D4 here yesterday, but the path was very narrow again.

Yes, the path to D4 is a remarkable one - one that is so long in fact that when I tell US operators about it, they are usually entirely dismissive, saying it "must be" due to Es or a trop/Es combination - which is definitely wrong.

Unfortunately there are two problems with the Europe-America path on 2m: (1) the correct tropo conditions are very much rarer, and of a very transient nature and (b) as I've found this year, hardly anybody is trying to make the t/atlantic crossing, especially in the US. There is usually nobody listening in Nova Scotia, for example, making the path to the nearest US station very much longer.

Seems to me that any t/atlantic crossing is much more likely to happen EU - Latin America (all sea path for many in UK/Ireland) or the Caribbean.

John, EI7GL said...

Yes John, the North Atlantic path is much more difficult. I don't think USA to Europe is a starter. After all, you wouldn't set up a station in the Netherlands just to try and work Newfoundland or Nova Scotia.

I suspect that the North Atlantic path does open up at times on 144 MHz via a mixed propagation mode but there is no-one listening.

There must be times when there is Sp-E to the west of Ireland or there is Sp-E to the east of Newfoundland. There are also times when there is a tropo at either side of the path. And there must be rare occasions when both occur at the same time.

What would be really interesting is to have a remote station using FT8 in Newfoundland beaming east towards Ireland & Spain. A bit like D4VHF.

Can't see it happening though.