A huge sunspot has been kicking lots of emissions towards earth, and the expected aurora arrived in the afternoon of 8th Sept. A lot of signals I was receiving on 144MHz were quite weak, but one I recorded was 9A1UN.
Not very strong and had to filter it a bit to get rid of extraneous whistles etc.
Stations heard from the usual G/EI prefixes + SM OZ PA DL ON F (a
also quite a few on 6m and 4m
It would appear that the sporadic E activity is getting very sparse now and the season is just about finished. I have looked back through my logbook and quantified the last 2 years 70MHz activity by numbers of 4m contacts per day, and it produces the following graph
and add Blue is 2016, orange is 2017
I will go back another couple of years when I get the time
A couple of nice contacts up into the Baltic last night, although the ionosonde graphs at the time didn't look too promising, heard some foreign chatter and YL2CP and ES1CW (on ssb this time !) responded to CQ calls
The season for me started on 19th May, mainly concentrating on 70MHz and 144MHz 15 countries on 4m
and 2 on 2m so far :
19/5/17 OK1TEH OK2BRD
1/6/17 9A6R DJ5MN HA3GR DL4RAN
4/6/17 EA6SA EA2BCJ EA6VQ 9A6R S50B S57LM OH6DX YL2CP
5/6/17 EA8DBM EA6SA
6/6/17 HA6ZB HA1WA SP8WJW SO8FH CT1JAD CT1HZE
7/6/17 UR5WCE SP8WJW - wow ! :-)
70MHz OK1DIG DL7DF OK2DL SP1WSR SP9UOP LY3UE
8/6/17 LA9DL ES1CW
9/6/17 CT1HZE (Joe) EA5/G0KSC (Justin) LX2LA, 9A4ZM, 9A6R
11/6/17 SV7GBR, S51RM
After a miserable wet winter it's been nice to see some high pressure weather over us recently, and DRY !
I think we have been getting webbed feet, my weather station recording rain every day for something like 42 days in a row, and now it's been dry enough to get the mower around the lawns to make them look more tidy.
Over the winter I have built a new'Trans4m transverter kit for 70MHz and with only low power out iof it, added a G4DDK amp, and feed that into a Pye A200 linear amp (converted from M1 band 100MHz) down to 4 metres, so now have about 40w output.
Over the last few days there has been the odd slight lift in tropo vhf conditions, a few beacons have been audible or stronger than normal, and for the first time I heard the ON0VHF 70cm beacon on 432.450MHz.
Slightly disappointed that there has not been a more widespread lift yet, but will have to wait to see what happens when the high pressure drifts away.
In the mean time I'm trying to decide what improvements to make to the aerials, I need to rebuild the 50MHz Moxon and get it back up for the sporadic-E season, and thinking of putting my previous 2m yagi back up phased with the Powabeam to make a 9/9 pair. At least the weather is more conducive for some outside tinkering.
I already had a tri-band vertical antenna covering 50MHz but with the sporadic-E season approaching I thought I'd try something horizontal and directional, so put together a Moxon. Working out what I needed for the mounting came down to a piece of aluminium angle extrusion, some wire clamps (as used on stainless steel rigging wires etc) and initially some (what appeared to be) plastic garden canes. These turned out to have steel cores so were replaced with fibreglass tent poles for the final version. Add some bell wire and we're done !
Here's the bracket, which is half of a commercial aluminium block / stainless U-bolt type, the tent poles needed 2 sections, and another short piece adding to the end to get enough length. The splice was done by running a 5mm tap down the hole and using an off-cut of stainless bolt to join the pieces together (with a little glue for good luck !)
The end result is shown on the main title image. It's connected with some RG58 to below the rotator then patch onto a vacant run of RG6 satellite cable which was the only spare at the time, not ideal but still seems to serve the purpose :-)
Within a week of it being on the mast there was an opening, and I worked ZS4TX/6 in South Africa on TEP/Es (not sure exactly the mode, or a bit of each !)