Thursday, August 19, 2021

5000km+ opening on 144 MHz between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean - 19th Aug 2021

On the 19th of August 2021, there was an impressive opening on 144 MHz between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean, a distance well in excess of 5000kms. It's interesting to note that there was a similar opening from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean on the 29th of August 2020.

It looks as if the mode of propagation is tropospheric ducting over the North Atlantic as shown by the forecast below from F5LEN - 19th Aug 2021 @12:00 UTC.

FT8 & SSB: The opening on the 19th seems to have been mostly via the FT8 digital mode but a few SSB contacts were made.

These are the paths and reports that I could find for three stations in the Canary Islands...

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EA8CXN NP4BM 2m FT8 5237 km 18:22:14
NP4BM EA8CXN 2m FT8 5237 km 15:50:29
EA8CXN KP4EIT 2m FT8 5189 km 10:50:15
EA8CXN WP3DN 2m FT8 5158 km 12:19:12
WP3DN EA8CXN 2m FT8 5158 km 12:17:29
EA8CXN WP4G 2m FT8 5153 km 10:04:41
EA8CXN FG4ST 2m FT8 4813 km 17:20:14
EA8CXN FG5GH 2m FT8 4809 km 18:22:41  

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
NP4BM EA8RH 2m FT8 5204 km 14:24:29
EA8RH NP4BM 2m FT8 5204 km 12:49:14

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EA8DEC NP4BM 2m FT8 5237 km 11:23:14
NP4BM EA8DEC 2m FT8 5237 km 11:22:56

DX-Cluster: As you can see from the spots below, there were at least two SSB contacts

EA8CXN 144174.0 NP4BM 15:33 19 Aug Fk68 IL18 Puerto Rico
EA8BPX 144250.0 NP4BM 11:16 19 Aug 55 fk68 il18 Puerto Rico
NP4BM-@ 144174.0 EA8DEC 10:57 19 Aug tnks ft8 qso Canary Islands
EA8CXN 144174.0 WP3DN 10:07 19 Aug FK68 TR il18 Puerto Rico
EA8CXN 144250.0 NP4BM 09:50 19 Aug fk68 tr IL18 THANKS SSB Puerto Rico 
EA8CXN 144174.0 NP4BM 09:45 19 Aug FK68 IL18 Puerto Rico

Path between FG & CT: It also seems as if there was a path open on 144 MHz between Guadeloupe and Portugal.

This is the first time a signal from mainland Europe has been heard in the Caribbean on 144 MHz. Note that EB1DJ did hear KP4EIT in Puerto Rico in August of 2020 so this more northerly path has been open before. See LINK

This is the FT8 screen from FG4ST showing two FT8 decodes from CT1ETL/1 at -20dB. No QSO was completed.

It looks as if this tropo duct might open up again so it would be worthwhile for stations in Spain and Portugal to beam towards the Caribbean.

More reports on previous 144 MHz openings across the Atlantic can be found on my 144 MHz page HERE

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