Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Opening on the 50 MHz band between Europe and Australia - 16th Jan 2023


On the 16th of January 2023, there was an opening on the 50 MHz band between Australia and Europe. Tom, SP5XMU supplied the screenshot above which suggests that there was plenty of activity.

I had a closer look at this opening and what I present below is an overview of what it was like. It's not an extensive list of all the contacts or paths but I feel it gives a good representation.

While the image above suggests an extensive opening, it would seem that the footprint of the opening in Europe and Australia was confined to certain geographical areas.

The map above shows the FT8 paths from VK6KXW in the west of Australia. The number of European stations is quite low and the main footprint is in Portugal, Spain and the west of France.

VK6IR is also in the west of Australia and the image above shows the FT8 paths in Europe. Again, it's a relatively small geographic area in Europe. Notice how the F2 signals seemed to have jumped over Italy and Greece.

The image above shows the 6m paths from VK5BC near Adelaide. Note the little cluster of signals from the west of France.

This image shows the paths from VK3WK near Melbourne. Same pattern again. From what I can tell, the stations near Sydney and the VK4 stations further up the coast near Brisbane were not able to access this particular opening.

The longest path that I saw was 17,875kms between CT1IUA in Portugal and VK3DUT in the SE of Australia.

These are the spots from the DX cluster which seems to concur with the observations above...

de dx freq obs time
VK6KXW  EA7KLL 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -20 dB 1220 Hz 1033z 16 Jan
VK3OTR  F4BKV 50314.5  [LoTW] FT8 QF02WH19<>IN96GG Tnx call ft8 1010z 16 Jan
VK3OTR  F1IXQ 50314.5  [LoTW] FT8 QF02WH19<>IN95PP Tnx qso 1009z 16 Jan
VK6FLVV  EC4TR 50313  [LoTW] 1006z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  EC4TR 50313  [LoTW] tu qso 1000z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  EC4TR 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -17 dB 545 Hz 0948z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  EA3CA 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -14 dB 1601 Hz 0947z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  9H1TX 50313  [LoTW] wkd, vk3/5/6 tu david 0921z 16 Jan
VK5PO  F4BKV 50313  [LoTW] 200w res dipole at15ft 0915z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  9H1TX 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -17 dB 716 Hz 0900z 16 Jan
VK6KXW  9H1TX 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -7 dB 714 Hz 0835z 16 Jan
EA7HG  VK6KXW 50313  [LoTW] FT8 -19 dB 672 Hz 1021z 16 Jan
EA5WU  VK3KJ 50314  [LoTW] FT8 IM99WU<>QF21 0954z 16 Jan
EA5WU  VK3FZ 50313  [LoTW] FT8 IM99WU<>QF22 0952z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK5AKK 50313.7  JM75FU<F2>PF94HK FT8 0920z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK3GA 50313.7  [LoTW] JM75FU<F2>QF22 FT8 0914z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK3FZ 50313.7  [LoTW] JM75FU<F2>QF22 FT8 0913z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK5BC 50313.7  [LoTW] JM75FU<F2>PF85 FT8 0906z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK6KXW 50313.7  [LoTW] JM75FU<F2>OF87 FT8 0904z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK3BD 50313  [LoTW] CQ SECOND ALL WAY GL 0900z 16 Jan
9H1TX  VK3BD 50313.7  [LoTW] JM75FU<F2>QF22 FT8 0857z 16 Jan

All the activity seems to have been FT8 on 50.313 MHz.

Analysis... Over the last few years, we've seen some multi-hop Sporadic-E or something similar during the months of June and July. In this case, it would seem to have been a genuine F2 layer opening on 50 MHz with the solar flux up over 230.

As we get closer to the equinox, I suspect we might see more 6m openings like this. The question is if they will reach further north in Europe and further south to the likes of Tasmania and New Zealand?

The huge difference with this solar cycle is that there are a lot more people using a weak signal mode like FT8 on one frequency i.e. if there is any sort of opening, the signal will be heard and reported.

That may bring it's own problems if the opening is too good though with everyone on the same frequency.

Australia to Europe FT8 paths as reported by PSK Reporter.

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK3WK EC1R 6m FT8 17353 km 09:36:29
EA1FIC VK3WK 6m FT8 17353 km 09:40:11
VK3WK EC4TR 6m FT8 17270 km 09:49:26
F4BKV VK3WK 6m FT8 17033 km 09:19:41
EA5WU VK3WK 6m FT8 16965 km 09:49:12
F4ARU VK3WK 6m FT8 16900 km 09:38:44
EA3CA VK3WK 6m FT8 16891 km 09:46:11
EA3AXV VK3WK 6m FT8 16835 km 09:39:11
EA3BS VK3WK 6m FT8 16832 km 09:41:41
VK3WK EA3WD 6m FT8 16811 km 09:37:29
EA3A VK3WK 6m FT8 16810 km 09:43:41

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA 6m FT8 15001 km 11:01:44
EC4TR 6m FT8 14708 km 09:56:56
F2DX 6m FT8 14430 km 09:45:59
EA5NW 6m FT8 14412 km 10:20:58
F4ARU 6m FT8 14382 km 09:42:59
9H1TX 6m FT8 13046 km 09:02:59

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK3FZ EC1R 6m FT8 17412 km 09:35:29
EC4TR VK3FZ 6m FT8 17332 km 09:46:44
VK3FZ F1IXQ 6m FT8 17129 km 08:53:28
EA5WU VK3FZ 6m FT8 17028 km 09:54:44
VK3FZ EA5WU 6m FT8 17028 km 09:44:59
VK3FZ 9H1TX 6m FT8 15683 km 09:31:59
9H1TX VK3FZ 6m FT8 15683 km 09:15:14

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK3OTR F1IXQ 6m FT8 16865 km 09:43:58
F1IXQ VK3OTR 6m FT8 16865 km 09:07:13
VK3OTR F4BKV 6m FT8 16815 km 09:13:59
F4BKV VK3OTR 6m FT8 16815 km 09:10:13

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EC1R 6m FT8 17471 km 09:33:59
EC4TR 6m FT8 17390 km 09:46:56
EA5WU 6m FT8 17086 km 09:43:59

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK5AKK 6m FT8 17022 km 10:11:14
VK5AKK CT1IUA 6m FT8 17022 km 10:12:29
VK5AKK EC1R 6m FT8 16751 km 09:32:59
EC4TR VK5AKK 6m FT8 16675 km 09:46:44
9H1TX VK5AKK 6m FT8 15034 km 09:21:44
VK5AKK 9H1TX 6m FT8 15034 km 09:20:59

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
VK5PO F4BKV 6m FT8 16374 km 09:11:58
VK5PO F4EZJ 6m FT8 16299 km 09:15:29

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
F1IXQ 6m FT8 17119 km 09:12:28
F4BKV 6m FT8 17074 km 09:12:29
9H1TX 6m FT8 15666 km 09:12:29

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK5BC 6m FT8 17018 km 10:11:14
VK5BC F1IXQ 6m FT8 16448 km 09:04:28
VK5BC F4BKV 6m FT8 16403 km 09:08:28
F4BKV VK5BC 6m FT8 16403 km 09:03:14
F4EZJ VK5BC 6m FT8 16328 km 09:15:44
VK5BC F4EZJ 6m FT8 16328 km 09:15:29
9H1TX VK5BC 6m FT8 15027 km 09:08:14

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK3BD 6m FT8 17726 km 10:12:44
9H1TX VK3BD 6m FT8 15742 km 09:09:44
VK3BD 9H1TX 6m FT8 15742 km 08:58:59

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
F1IXQ 6m FT8 16438 km 08:55:58

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
F1IXQ VK3RMV 6m FT8 16878 km 09:07:11
F4BKV VK3RMV 6m FT8 16828 km 09:17:11

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK6IR 6m FT8 14936 km 11:22:14
EA7KLL VK6IR 6m FT8 14657 km 10:32:26
EC4TR VK6IR 6m FT8 14650 km 09:52:41
EA7HG VK6IR 6m FT8 14596 km 10:17:42
F4BKV VK6IR 6m FT8 14505 km 09:29:41
F2DX VK6IR 6m FT8 14380 km 09:46:41
F4ARU VK6IR 6m FT8 14330 km 09:46:11
EA3CA VK6IR 6m FT8 14287 km 09:46:11
EA3A VK6IR 6m FT8 14208 km 09:43:41
9H1TX VK6IR 6m FT8 12986 km 09:33:11

Download (ADIF) last 24 hours, last week
Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EC4TR VK5PJ 6m FT8 16683 km 09:55:14
VK5PJ F4BKV 6m FT8 16420 km 09:08:58
F4BKV VK5PJ 6m FT8 16420 km 09:03:14
EA5WU VK5PJ 6m FT8 16383 km 09:46:44

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK3DUT 6m FT8 17875 km 10:18:44
EC4TR VK3DUT 6m FT8 17543 km 09:46:41
F4BKV VK3DUT 6m FT8 17278 km 08:59:56
EA5WU VK3DUT 6m FT8 17240 km 09:54:44
9H1TX VK3DUT 6m FT8 15898 km 09:31:14

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EC4TR VK6OX 6m FT8 14602 km 09:54:44
F4ARU VK6OX 6m FT8 14277 km 09:46:14

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
CT1IUA VK6APK 6m FT8 14942 km 11:18:41
VK6APK CT1IUA 6m FT8 14942 km 11:15:29
VK6APK HC02 6m FT8 14937 km 11:15:29
EC4TR VK6APK 6m FT8 14662 km 10:01:11
EA7HG VK6APK 6m FT8 14604 km 10:41:11
VK6APK F2DX 6m FT8 14400 km 09:49:59

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EC4TR VK6CPU 6m FT8 14616 km 10:03:44

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
EC4TR VK3ZYC 6m FT8 17499 km 09:46:41

Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
9H1TX VK5AYD 6m FT8 14968 km 09:02:44


Jamie GW7SMV said...

Great to see the F2 openings again on 6m .
Only been 20+ years!
If I remember correctly cycle 23 started in the same way.
Lets just hope when the big openings come that SSB and CW will be used .
FT8 is great for marginal and weak openings.
Also this cycle more stations are active and bigger antennas with more power too.
73 de Jamie GW7SMV and GD DX

Unknown said...

Amazing opening.
I hope I get some F2 somewhere from here Guatemala, see you on the Magic Band.
73 de Juan TG9AJR EK44

VK3OTR said...

Had two good completed qsos into western France IN85-86.
Ct1 and EA eluded me butvwas logged between 200-300 km east of my qth and 400 km north west, showing how focussed the incoming signals wer.
Fyi the dx contacts to western France occurred in 1992 and 2002 also.
This is my third cycle working France. 73 until the next one maybe early Feb historically.