Sunday, February 12, 2023

WM2XCS/B 40 MHz beacon heard 4000kms away on the west coast of the USA - 7th to 11 Feb 2023

George, N2CG in New Jersey has one of the seven special experimental permits for the 40 MHz band -  call WM2XCS. He has a 30-watt beacon on 40.685 MHz which beams towards Europe. The following report is about recent reception of his beacon on the 8m band.

George writes... "This week I received two WM2XCS/B 40.685 MHz CW Beacon reception reports from over 2k miles away from CA and WA as follows:

Report 1 from K6YK: I've been checking 8 meters now & then to see if I hear anything.  Yesterday and the day before I heard you! Feb. 7 and 8  your beacon was in for hours! And fairly strong at times on 40.685.
2-7-23 from 1915 to at least 2200 UTC, I checked several times and there it was! 
2-8-23 I checked around 1700 UTC and it was there already, and I didn't document how long it was in.
I was listening on an IC7600, IC756proII, FT-100D, 3 element tri-band beam.  I don't have any proper antenna for 8 meters.
I'm unable to make the auto tuners in these radios to tune on 40 MHz because they won't transmit there. So it's possible the signal might have been much stronger than what I was getting.
John Lee K6YK

Report 2 from N7MWV: I was listening to the 8m band today (I decoded WM2XEJ in EM83 on FT8 at 18:24 UTC)
and found your beacon later today; Friday 2/10. I’m no longer hearing the beacon, but it was up to
a S3 to S4 at 20:49 UTC. My QTH is Rochester WA and I’m in grid square CN86lt. QRZ says we’re
2,432 miles away. My antenna is a 7 element 6m M2 at about 61ft AGL. My receiver is my ICOM 756 Pro III transceiver with the 1st RX preamp on.
John Price N7MWV"

George continues..."Like the two reception reports I received about two weeks ago from AZ and AB that I reported to you, this weeks CA and WA stations reception reports both over 2K miles away were receiving the 30 Watt beacon on the backside of the beacon's antenna (which I keep beaming towards Europe).  I believe the current SFI of over 200 and SSN at 190 is having a positive effect in the beacon being heard in the western part of US and Canada."

Addendum: In addition to the two reports above, I also found an additional report from K7RWT on the DX Cluster from the 11th of February 2023. 

K7RWT 40684 WM2XCS/B 17:53 11 Feb 23 FN30-CN85 539 United States

K7RWT is just to the south of N7MWV and the distance is again around the 4000km mark.

In conclusion: With the solar flux now up around the 200 mark, we are now seeing east-west trans-continental openings at 40 MHz across North America. The distance of about 4000kms is perfect for one F2 layer hop. 

The fact that the 8m opening is east-west as opposed to north-south just goes to show how good conditions are at the moment. Any serious 6m operators on the west coast of the USA should be looking for this 8m beacon in New Jersey as it may suggest that a trans-continental opening at 50 MHz is possible.

Link: For more information on the 8m band, look at my 40 MHz page.

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