Monday, April 11, 2022

12,600km opening from Europe to the Falkland Islands on the 40 MHz band - 10th April 2022

This really is an amazing reception report. Read on...

On Sunday the 10th of April 2022, Phil EI9KP was carrying out some experiments on the new 40 MHz band. 

From 09:00 to 12:00 UTC, he tried transmitting on WSPR on 40.680 MHz with the hope that some stations in England might hear the signal but to no avail.

In the afternoon, EI9KP switched to FT8 and managed to successfully decode the FT8 signal from the EI1KNH beacon near Dublin on 40.013 MHz.

After that, EI9KP sent a sequence of FT8 transmissions on 40.680 MHz. Little did he realise at the time that his VHF 40 MHz signal would reach the Falkland Islands off South America, a distance of roughly 12,600kms!

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EI9KP VP8ADR/40 8m FT8 12602 km 14:33:14
EI1KNH EI9KP 8m FT8 210 km 14:27:11

At 14:33 UTC, Bob VP8ADR successfully decoded the FT8 signal from EI9KP using just a fan dipole resonant for 40m, 20m & 10m.

What makes it even more remarkable was that VP8ADR was only having a quick listen to the 40 MHz band after an email from Paul, G7PUV (G9PUV) informed him about his 40MHz transmission from England using his Innovation & Research licence.

It really was just good luck that Bob was listening at the same time as Phil was transmitting and the band was open at the same time.

When I first heard about this reception report, I thought surely someone has made a mistake. Someone had the wrong band setting on their software or something else. But no, both EI9KP and VP8ADR have confirmed to me that they were transmitting and receiving on the 40 MHz band.

For the record, Phil EI9KP was using 20 watts from an ICOM IC-7300 fed into a home made 40 MHz band pass filter and the antenna was a delta-loop for 40 MHz.

Analysis... My first reaction is just WOW! Who would have thought a low band VHF signal at 40 MHz would get from Europe to the Falklands in April?

Unlike other openings at 50 MHz, I suspect that this time there may have been no Sporadic-E involved. I think it's a case of F2 and possibly TEP signals extending above 30 MHz on North-South paths and actually reaching the 40 MHz band.

My first question is what other paths are open at 40 MHz that we're not even aware of? 

One thing is for sure. If a FT8 signal at 40 MHz from Europe can reach the Falkland Islands then one from the USA certainly will. It might be time for some of those US stations with experimental 40 MHz calls to send some FT8 signals to the south.


VP8ADR said...

Very interesting and happy to help best 73 Bob VP8ADR

Paul said...

A really fortunate set of circumstances and I'm really pleased Phil was heard by Bob in the Falklands, EI has been leading the way with 8M so it's great that this first goes to them.

I just happened to be monitoring 10M for a North American path when I spotted VP8 on FT8. After a quick QRZ stalk I could see he was set up with equipment that would RX 40MHz so thought I may as well drop him an email to see if he'd be interested. I never expected him to reply let alone have a listen so quickly after getting my email! What a result :)


Anonymous said...

Paul, what is the power limit on 8m ?