Unfortunately it looks as though I may be too busy to participate from a summit this time, but I will try to get on from home or a local non-SOTA location to chase a few activators. I have really enjoyed this event in the past, so hopefully conditions will be good.
73, Gerald G4OIG
Today 20m opened into ZL around 6:00z (only briefly) and into VK5/VK7 at around 7:00z for about half an hour.
This might not be representative as the kp-index was fairly high for the last 24 hours.
I’ll run my WSPR beacon for a few more days to get a better idea about when the path is open.
I’m wondering which frequencies on 20m one should try from Europe for this QSO party - lower end, middle, upper end of the band?
The short answer is anywhere you can find a free spot! This is a Saturday and so there will be contests and lots of other activities on the band. “in theory” contest stations should stay below 14.300 (most do, some don’t) - so above 14.300 is possibly the best bet.
Sounds fair, thanks. I’ll also try 15m and 10m later - 10m might be feasible into JA around 0800z - 0900z
It hit Kp8 around 0400z. Caused some aurora that was seen as far south as the south of England (for those without too much stray artificial light).
what time will it finish? I’m assuming this will only go for 90 minutes.
I will do the same with 200mW on 20m WSPR.
Approximate 90 minutes on 14 MHz, depends on propagation conditions. Typically the LP opening begins to close around VK east coast sunset. Have a browse through the VI10SOTA thread.
Some activators may stay on the summit longer and experiment with other bands like 10m or 15m. It’s up to you as to what you can tolerate after sunset. At this time of the year in VK1 the mosquitoes are still biting while the ambient temp drops away fairly quickly.
Also it may just come down to your battery capacity.
Hope to hear you on 20m SSB. For EU LP I always operate above 14.300 MHz.
73 Andrew VK1AD
Welp, the weather looks good-ish (cold, a few flakes of snow) for Tuesday morning here, so I’ll be testing my gear out for the coming “party”. I’ll be using a homebrew linked dipole as well as a HF-Pro-2-Plus-T (what a mouthful!) mini vertical, with an antenna switch to the G90 at 15W.
If any antipodean stations are interested in trying for a SSB contact on 20m (later 15m and 10m), watch out for any self-spots I might make - around 0730z to 0900z. Wx Saturday? - looks as if it might be wet, but fingers crossed…
Happy to help out on Tuesday, however the Wx forecast for VK1 is showers and the chance of thunderstorms.
I will attempt an activation of Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 from 0640 UTC to 0810 UTC. I may have to cancel at short notice.
Sunset is at 0810 UTC.
73, Andrew VK1AD
My 20m 200mW WSPR beacon is operational now and for the next 7 days.
I will provide feedback on EU LP opening and closing times
26 March 2023
20m LP opened at 0600 UTC to two stations in Germany DL0PF and DJ9PC
0640 UTC - Europe is open at 200mW
0745 UTC - Long path closed
DXHeat (DXHeat | DXCluster & DX Research Tool ) is showing a similar situation (based on DX cluster Spots over the last 60 minutes) 0650 UTC here at the moment (08:50 local time - we just put out clocks forward an hour this morning):
PS - Interesting that North America is also open from Europe around this time as well - but for our US/Canadian friends, it’s the middle of the night!
Hi Ed @DD5LP ,
I’m not particularly bright at the best of times, but having just woken up and slurping my first tea of the day, I’m feeling especially dense: can you explain what the highly non-linear scale at the bottom of that Band Activity chart is supposed to represent? The DXHeat site gives no indication of its’ meaning, so I’m supposing it’s something so obvious that I’ve missed it … happens a lot here
I was listening on VK1DA’s spotted frequency between about 07:45z and 08:15z this morning, and I could hear EU (and the occasional VK) stations working him, but I could only hear snatches from the summit. I figure my long-path up-hill take-off isn’t helping any, but I guess I also needed to be up earlier to be in with a chance…
On March 26th, 20m LP looked like this from the “other side”:
SFI = 160, kp = 2-3
VK2: 5:45z - 8:45z
ZL: 5:30z - 8:30z
JA: no reports
Working conditions: WSPR, 1 Watt into a Cuscraft R5 at the roof top. Especially for SSB the path might open later and close earlier but still lots of time to play radio
Subject to weather, I will attempt to be on a summit. 18 amateurs will be based at Hotham Heights Friday 31 March to Monday 3 April. Mt Hotham is no longer valid for SOTA (lacks prominence), so it is likely ruled out. Perhaps Mt Blue Rag, but we must consider travel time to get back to Hotham for dinner. Good luck to all.
I believe it’s simply the number of spots between your chosen continent (for us Europe of course) and the other continents labelled over the columns - irrespective of mode. So 20 (or more) contacts between Oceania and Europe in the last 60 minutes gives the red colour and one can assume that the band is open. (or I should say “was open” as it was over the last 60 minutes). If the colour is more the Gray/Blue colours there have only been very few contacts (relatively) and so the chance of the band indicated still being open is less likely. Green is somewhere in between. For SSB QSOs - I look only at the bands with red.
Don’t forget Greyline propagation for bands under 10MHz. At the moment DL-ZL is opening for 40m SSB around 0500-0545 UTC.
So, for those who are out early enough on the summit on April 1st, I’d suggest starting on 40m and then switching to 20m. By the way, as we are so close to the equinox having happened, EU-VK is more difficult but “might” be possible from Western UK or Ireland. All timings (20m and 40m) - I’d add 30-45 minutes for UK vs DL.