Sunday, October 24, 2021

TEP opening on 40 MHz between South Africa and Europe - 23rd Oct 2021

Saturday 23rd October 2021:
This seemed like a particularly good day for TEP (Trans-Equatorial Propagation) with signals on the 40 MHz (8m) and 50 MHz (6m) from South Africa reaching Europe. In this post, we'll just look at the 40 MHz opening.

The map above shows the reports from the DX-Cluster with several stations across the south of Europe hearing Willem, ZS6WAB on 40.675 MHz.

Spotter Freq. DX Time Info Country
SV8CS 40675.0 ZS6WAB 14:04 23 Oct FT8 Beacon South Africa
I0YLI 40675.0 ZS6WAB 13:28 23 Oct JN61HU<TEP>KG46RB Calling CQ . South Africa
EA3ERE 40675.0 ZS6WAB 13:18 23 Oct JN11CX<ES>KG46 +2db cq South Africa
IZ0CBD 40675.0 ZS6WAB 13:00 23 Oct JN61FP<TEP>KG46RB Rx 589 South Africa
IK0OKY 40675.0 ZS6WAB/B 12:52 23 Oct JN61ES<TEP>KG46RC 559 South Africa

Most of the distances seem to be in the region of 7000-8000kms.

SV2DCD in Greece and 9H1TX on Malta also report hearing ZS6WAB.

Report 1: Francesco, IZ0CBD in JN61FP near Rome reports hearing the ZS6WAB beacon on 40.675 MHz with a Kenwood TS2000 transceiver and a 6-element Yagi for the 50 MHz band.

Here is a nice video from Francesco showing his reception of the 8m beacon...

Report 2: Emilio, IK0OKY writes to say that he and Pino, IK0SMG both heard ZS6WAB/B on 40.675 MHz from JN61 Square. IK0OKY writes... "Signals were very good with peaks up to 559 on a FT 847 and 2 element quad fractal antenna for the 6 meter band. Pino uses an IC7300 plus a 2 el HB9CV for 6m as well. After a nice 50 Mhz opening to South Africa and Namibia took place as well with ZS6 and V51 stations coming in."

Video 1 from IK0SMG shows how strong the signal was...

Video 2 from IK0OKY shows reception of the 8m beacon on a Yaesu FT-847...

Propagation Mode: It seems to be assumed that the propagation mode for these low band VHF signals near the bottom of the sunspot cycle are TEP (Trans-Equatorial Propagation). However as the solar flux rises, there will be a stage where North-South paths on the low VHF bands are possible via F2 layer propagation.

Considering this opening reached 50 MHz as well, I suspect it was due to TEP but as the solar flux rises, I don't think we can always assume it is. It could well be that paths that cross the equator like this will be a mixture of both.

1) As always, there is plenty of information about the 8m band on my 40 MHz page HERE

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