This mornings activation was Interesting - somewhat similar to yesterdays (using same equipment from the same location at the same time). Signals were down a little on yesterday and the weather a lot colder, but I still had the pleasure of calls from 3 stations in ZL. ZL1BYZ John, ZL2AJ Warren and ZL1WA, Jacky (being the new contact). In VK both Tony VK3CAT and Ernie VK3DET came on again, so I had a good comparison between the two days for both ZL and VK stations. I should also mention that I also worked Ian VK5CZ in South Australia today. Nice as I haven’t spoken to Ian for a long time.
In Europe I managed contacts with Jack, OH3GZ in Finland and Rainer DF4TD who had gone out static mobile to see if he could get some contacts into VK/ZL - he was probably 35 or so Km away from me (so Groundwave). It does look definitely like skip was long on both days.
I also noted a tiime when the band appeared to “turn on” - on Wednesday that was 0620 UTC, today it was about 0600 UTC. I also saw very clearly the window move from east to west across NZ and then VK. It looks like from what Mike 2E0YYY reported that a similar thing was happening in Europe with Mike only getting the contacts probably about 30-40 minutes after they were loudest with me.
My conclusion (from this not very scientific test) is that we do have a good Long Path windows between EU and VK/ZL of about 30-40 minutes covering in turn ZL through VK5. The action then repeating for the UK after than Central EU stations about 35 minutes later. So as someone in Germany is in contact with someone in VK5, the UK stations may start getting the ZL stations.
The VK & ZL stations are well equipped with 400 watts and 3 element beams mostly, whereas I was using just 25 watts and a dipole at 5 meters AGL.
For any S2S contacts to work, I would suggest some more power would be good - perhaps 50 watts at each end and if one end has some kind of portable antenna with gain (perhaps phased verticals), the chance of a contact between two summit stations will be increased.
It’s not going to be easy in this months VK<>EU S2S event, but it seems it will be possible for contacts to be made.