In a recent post, I reported on the first Slovenia to Slovenia 40 MHz contact between S50B and S59F on the 9th of August 2020. The distance over an obstructed path was in the region of 20 kms.
On the 17th of August 2020, Borut S50B managed to complete a contact with Michael S5/M0MPM to extend the inter-S5 distance to 104 kms.
Michael S5/M0MPM writes.... "Borut S50B and myself (S5/M0MPM) just smashed the intra-Slovenian distance record on 8m, 40.680Mhz this morning 17/08/2020 at about 7:45 UTC.
Mode was FT8, it took almost 9 minutes to complete. We tried Phone and CW first with no luck. I’m here in JN75px and Borut is in JN65xu, 104kms. 73s were received on both ends.
No line of sight, it was some type of tropo or possibly aircraft scatter as I did not see even a trace of his signal for several minutes in between the decodes I’m using a FT857d which happily transmits on this freq , antenna is a half size G5RV, with tuner.
I contacted Borut after reading the articles about 8m on your blog. Got confirmation that it is legal for class A CEPT license holders to transmit on this band (secondary user) The Irish beacon EI1KNH on 40.013 MHz was strong from midday for several hours Michael S5/M0MPM"
In a report from Borut, he reports that the ZSR (S5 amateur radio union) confirmed to him that as Michael had the correct CEPT papers, he could use the band like any other S5 station.
After confirming this, they arranged a sked on 40.680 MHz at 9:30am local time (7:30 UTC). They initially tried SSB and CW but without success. They later succeeded by making a digital FT8 contact.
S50B was running 100 watts from an ICOM IC-7100 into a dedicated SIRIO vertical for 8-metres.
S5/M0MPM was using a Yaesu FT857D running 100w into a half-size G5RV with antenna tuner. He reports that he is 480m ASL and the antenna is about 8m high as inverted-V,
Looking at the path between Borut and Michael, there are a lot of mountains in the way and a normal tropo contact looks unlikely. Michael suggests that aircraft scatter may have been responsible which is a real possibility.
Considering that we are still close to the peak of the Perseids, then meteor scatter may be a possibility although 104 kms does seem a bit close for that mode?
Either way, it was another interesting contact on the new 8-metre band and it's welcome news to have another station active.