Monday, January 23, 2023

Fleeting opening between Europe and Australia on 50 MHz - 22nd Jan 2023

It looks as if there was a very short opening on the 50 MHz band between Europe and Australia on Sunday the 22nd of January 2023. What I found interesting was that one of the paths was from Poland to Australia which is much further north compared to the opening on the 16th of January 2023.

SP4MPB in Poland exchanged a few FT8 signals with VK3FZ in Australia and the QSO could not be completed. SP4MPB reports a maximum signal of -14dB.

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK3FZ SP4MPB 6m FT8 15505 km 08:54:58

Earlier, there was another very short opening between Italy and Australia with VK2EFM reporting reception of the FT8 signals of IK0FTA

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK2EFM 6m FT8 16255 km 08:25:42

Again, this seemed like a very short opening with just a single reception report. As far as I know, there were no other Europe - Australia paths on 6m reported.

In truth, these openings were fleeting and the signals were very weak. In previous solar cycles, openings like this wouldn't even have been noticed as people were using SSB and CW then.

Now that there are so many stations using FT8 on the same frequency, even the weakest opening on the 50 MHz band gets reported.

It's also likely to just a hint about the long distance 6m openings which are more likely to happen as we head towards the equinox.

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