Saturday, February 12, 2022

ZS6WAB beacon on 40.675 MHz heard in Europe - 4th to 11th Feb 2022

During the period of the 4th to the 11th of February 2022, quite a number of stations have reported hearing the ZS6WAB 8m beacon in South Africa on 40.675 MHz.

These are the 8m spots from the DX Maps website...

 Date & time Spotter QRG Mode DX Prop. Comments SFI A
2022-02-11 11:40:46 G7PUV (JO00AT) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 JO00AU<F2>KG46RB 539 coming up
2022-02-11 11:00:40 TT8SN (JK72MC) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 JK72MC<>KG46RB Wow, gd signal
2022-02-11 10:33:05 F5JRX (JN26AC) 40.765 CW ZS6WAB (KG46RB) Multihop Sp-E JN26AC<ES>KG46RB 519
2022-02-11 10:27:10 F4CXO (JN26PP) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN26PP<>KG46RB 529 QSB

2022-02-10 13:05:25 TT8SN (JK72MC) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 JK72MC<>KG46RB More than 1h
2022-02-10 10:28:14 F6ACU (JN38FC) 50.000 CW ZS6WAB (KG46RC) TEP 40.0675 QSB 559

2022-02-09 15:08:17 F6HTJ (JN12KQ) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP KG46rb<>JN12kq cw beacon 419 

2022-02-09 14:49:33 I0YLI (JN61HU) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN61HU<TEP>KG46RB 519 qsb
2022-02-09 14:26:08 EA3ERE (JN11CX) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN11CX<>KG46 55 qsb
2022-02-09 14:18:42 9H1TX (JM75FU) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) EP 559 
2022-02-09 12:54:11 F4CXO (JN26PP) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN26PP<>KG46RB 529 QSB
2022-02-09 12:18:55 DK2EA (JO50UF) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 JO50UF<F2>KG46RB 559 QSB

2022-02-07 14:23:55 EA3ERE (JN11CX) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN11CX<>KG46 5-5
2022-02-07 13:18:13 M0DEP (IO90CR) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 KG46<>IO90 55
2022-02-07 11:30:01 G0DJA (IO93IF) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) F2 539 IO93if 

2022-02-06 13:14:57 IZ5ILX (JN54AC) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RB) TEP JN54<>KG46RB 579 QSB!
2022-02-06 13:09:39 EA3ERE (JN11CX) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RC)  Multihop Sp-E JN11CX<ES>KG46 s8 qsb
2022-02-06 12:00:35 G7PUV (JO00AT) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RC) F2 JO00AU<F2>KG46RC S9 QSB. F2+Es
2022-02-06 14:31:47 IK0OKY (JN61ES) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB (KG46RC) TEP JN61ES<TEP>KG46RC 539 

2022-02-04 14:55:57 G7PUV (JO00AT) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RC) F2 JO00AU<F2>KG46RC 57 QSB
2022-02-04 14:57:04 EA3ERE (JN11CX) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB (KG46RC) Multihop Sp-E JN11CX<ES>KG46 cw beacon 5/
2022-02-04 12:51:51 IK5YJY (JN53PG) 40.675 CW ZS6WAB/B (KG46RC) TEP s5 qsb > jn53

It's worth noting the times of these reports. The earliest is around 10:30 UTC and the latest is around 15:00 UTC. 

That is roughly a 4-5 hour window centred on local noon when the sun is at its highest.

It was also interesting to see a report from Nicolas, TT8SN in Chad at 4,300kms. This was likely to have been one hop F2 propagation.

This is the map of the stations in Europe in more detail...


1) It's very encouraging to see so many stations listening for and reporting a beacon on the 40 MHz band!

2) Any serious 6m operator on the 50 MHz band will be always looking for sources of information be it on air or online with DX clusters or chat forums. Even if someone on 6m in Europe has no real interest in the 40 MHz band, the 8m beacon can be used to indicate that an opening to South Africa on 50 MHz may be imminent.

3) Dave, G0DJA in IO93 square in England reports hearing the beacon with a simple dipole. That is also I believe the most northerly reception report of the ZS6WAB 8m beacon to date.

It also reminded me of the perils of using the Mercator projection flat map. When Dave sent me a report, I thought that his location in IO93IF would be a good bit further away from the beacon than my location on the south coast of Ireland which is IO51TU. However in reality as can be seen from the map above which is a great circle projection, I am a little further away.

4) From the 4th to the 11th of February, the solar flux was in the range of 118 to 127.

5) It's worth remembering that all of these reports were heard by a person listening on CW. That is probably 10-15dB above what might be possible with a digital mode like FT8, Q65, WSPR or PI4.

6) This nice video shows reception of the South African beacon by Paul, G7PUV in the south-east of England on the 4th of February 2022....

Propagation Mode??... At the moment, the conditions on the 28 MHz band are reasonably good with plenty of East-West F2 layer propagation. This suggests the the F2 MUF (maximum usable frequency) on North-South paths is up above 30 MHz and into the low VHF spectrum.

Does it reach 40 MHz at the moment? I suspect it does from the south of Europe.

On some bands, you can be reasonably sure what the propagation mode is. On the 40 MHz band at the moment, can we be sure that it's all F2 layer? Is it partially or all TEP related? Is there a Sporadic-E extension at either end of the path?

It would be interesting to see if anyone could hear the beacon at around 20:00-21:00 UTC when there might be evening type TEP. If they could then that might suggest openings on the higher bands like 50 MHz and above.

It would be also interesting to see if stations in the SE of the USA could hear this 8m beacon?

1) Check out my 40 MHz page for more information about the 8m band.


Photon said...

I'll have to get the SRD Uno going again. See what I can do this horrible wet afternoon...

G0DJA said...

Hi John, on the ON4KST Chat today Zaba (OH5ZA) in KP21sa reports hearing the ZS6WAB beacon a couple of times during the week. That would beat me for being most northerly station by quite a margin.

Cheers - Dave (G0DJA)

Unknown said...

Hi John
The ZS6WAB Beacon 40.6750Mhz has also been heard in the Netherlands ,I heard this beacon for the first time on 6-2-2022 12.10 utc ,then 7-2-2022 11.30 utc and last time on 9-2-2022 13.03 utc ,The cw signal was very good on these days , my place is Kreileroord North of the Netherlands ,I am not a Zend-Amateur but a Listening-Amateur since 1984 .

Anonymous said...

Hi' John!

Today (01 march 2022) I heard the WAB beacon on 40675 first time... At 11:56 was 559, 12:06 599+, 12:30 519-529 QSB

On 50 MHz FT8 I hear and decoded V51JH at 13:47
134745 -15 0.9 1202 ~ IW8FEN V51JH R-09

Very early in Hungary...

I work with 7el(G3WOS) LFA


de Robert HA2NP

jan said...

Hi John
Today 2-3-2022 at 12.50 utc , I heard the CW Beacon ZS6WAB come through very well in my location Kreileroord Netherlands .

Antenna Logper 27Mhz to 140Mhz

jan said...

Hi John
40.6750Mhz 10.22 utc ZS6WAB South Africa 8.854 km { 5.501 miles } from my location City Kreileroord Netherlands , ZS6WAB could now be heard in usb mode ,

73 s
Log-Per 27 Mhz to 140 Mhz