A question on propagation.

Hi Andy

Worked this morning on 12m FT8:

10:24 ZS6WB +08 sent -05 rec
10:29 I1YTO -02 sent +05 rec

How does that relate to the propagation software you are testing I wonder? Using 100w to a Hexbeam at 45 feet high - equivalent to a 2 ele yagi at best.

I’m not aware of how to compare a standard SNR report to the old school RST code. Can anyone enlighten me?

73 Phil

PS I’d say your money bands for speed and number of contacts are likely to be 20m and 17m, but Spain ops in the south may lose out…

I’m sat here working on a simulation of a USB mass storage device whilst watching the cluster spots. I’m watching people spotting the Z23MD DXpedition in Zimbabwe. There are plenty of spots from S. European stations on 12m & 10m and some spots from more Northern EU stations on 12m with the odd spot from LA etc. on 21m. I think the 12/10m contacts may be being helped by some TEP, And again, if I went to Z23 for radio fun, I’d being taking a b-big set of amplifiers and antennas so that will be a considerable help to them. So that says that there is 10 & 12m propagation but unlikely to benefit someone in EA8 to EU.

Looking at both VOACAP (using VOA propagation model) and Proppy (using the ITUHFprop model) suggest relative good looking probabilities of success at 25W CW into Western Europe (Spain,France, Germany,Switzerland) acceptable probabilities into England/Scotland and probabilities of success into Scandinavia and Central&Eastern Europe dropping quickly using 30-17m. Of course these are probabilities only and there could be a spell of many days when no contacts can be made.

Conditions to GM show the more Northern location having lower reliability predictions than G but 20m has a decent chance to GM and G and maybe 17/15m for a period in the early afternoon.

Reduce the distance to the hotspot of chasers in EA2 and it looks like 30/20/17 should all work and probably 15m too.

For Spain (Barcelona area) it’s even better on 30-17m (>90% chance of being S7 or better on those bands)

We shall see how well the predictions match reality, especially as there may be an active coronal hole.

I’m of the opinion that location plays a key part in activations, Phil.

There are summits around the country which can still produce reasonable results, even in poor conditions and there are others, which are notoriously hard work. As far as HF conditions are concerned I feel they’re better than 3 months ago, however, DX still has to be earned.

73 Mike

Just go up the hill and operate - you will, or will not, get the contacts.
You are in holiday mode.

Now, if you were going to CT3 and activating MI-003 (which I seriously attempted on my last trip but my guide advised turning back) or MI-007 then the World would drop onto you whatever band you used :wink:

Them’s is proper hard though Barry. I don’t do that at home never mind in exotic parts of the world! I must organise another Madeira trip although Porto Santo looks very appelaing. Lots of straightforward summits, that massive sandy beach to unwind on (or play with a VDA) and nice places to stay. It’s just that package deals seem awfully pricey for the place or you end up having to arrange everything yourself and fly to Madeira then get the ferry over. It all becomes a bit of a fag quickly and Mrs. FMF wants easy on a holiday. Taxi>Airport>Hire Car>Villa and the reverse to get home. Anything involving multiple flights or flights/boats/overnight stays is not on.

I know, I’ll go on my own and not tell her! :imp:

Hi Andy
In 2015 I was on a two weeks holiday in Madeira and took the ferry over to Porto Santo and stayed a couple of nights there. It was relatively cheap and while I activated a couple of SOTA summits my xyl and her sister were happy soaking up the rays on the beach. I used a taxi to the summit car park and arranged a suitable pick up time and it worked out quite well and again relatively cheap. The only downside really is that you are paying for accommodation twice! At that time there weren’t many SOTA summits on the island but I see that the list has grown since my visit.

Cheers for the update Nick. I haven’t checked prices for 2 years and did a quick check whilst waiting for someone to go and kick a server at work that wasn’t serving! Looks like off-peak flights (for 3) from Edinburgh to Porto Santo via Funchal come to around £600 and a nice villa is £600. It also looked like flight times fitted together nicely so I could do the flight to Funchal and then onwards without needing overnight stays. It all looked a lot more straight forward than last time.

  1. If the weather is s**t then the plane will land on Porto Santo - get my drift
  2. You and I could go and leave the memsahibs behind (but it would mean sacrifice of the gentleman’s bits)
  3. MI-003 is seriously scary, I have no idea what space there is for an antenna but when my guide suggested turning back there were no tears from your’s truly. I think Brian @G8ADD might also happily have turned back.
    Change of underwear was required :face_vomiting:

A 20/17m dipole certainly did the business. 20 on 20m CW at 5W, 34 on 20m SSB at 25W, 7 on 17m CW at 20W. The dipole was aimed N-S for 20m and E-W to see if it would better for US stations though a few were worked off the side.

WX improved from 50% cloud to this during the walk in.


I was very pleased to hear you very well and work you during my lunch break time with my remote station (TH5DX yagi pointing North-West). Shouldn’t I have my remote station ready, this chase wouldn’t have been possible, as my endfed wire in the rental appartment balcony wasn’t copying your weak signal probably buried in the urban QRM.
Despite the QRM, which made you ask me to repeat RST, we finally made it.
Thanks for the QSO and enjoy your holidays in EA8.

P.D. I have just realised that my rig output power level was set to QRP 5 watts.

Very pleased to make my first EA8 chase, thanks - sorry you faded while I was trying to say 73 :grin:

Sorry you couldn’t get a QSO today Helen.

Events that conspired to make today hard work.

  1. BANG! Puncture about 15mins from hotel. I heard the bang and felt a thud but didn’t see anything in the road in the mirror. Sufficient years driving told me that I should check the tyre.

  2. Before I could pull off the road the “check tyre” messages started coming thick and fast. Pulling into a farm area I could hear the hissing. Rude words were said.

  3. OK, where’s the godamn spare tyre. If you don’t have a tyre you have a can of foaming goo. There was a jack but no tyre. Or can of foaming goo. ( © F. Zappa 1974)

  4. Ring hire company, lovely girl spoke lovely English with a super sexy accent. “Look underneath”. Aha! There it is.

  5. God knows how many years of Health&Safety kicked in… the tyre was only flat at the bottom, so that meant it was ok to drive it to level ground. Chocked back wheel with big rock, checked handbrake twice, cracked wheel nuts, wound down tyre tray and removed a tyre the size of a Polo mint, wound up car on jack, swapped tyre, torqued bolts, lowered car, spare looked sadly in need of air, torqued bolts further, reassembled car. Shouted many more rude words.

  6. Nice lady said take car immediately to nearest office… aiprort in my case. Drove at 70kmh to airport with a disco light show of warning lights.

  7. Car hire people said “oh dear”. They said I could wait for a repair but may be 4hrs or I could have a new car. “Hmmmmm” I thought. I had a Zafira, didn’t order it but she said she cannot replace it with another Zafira but I can have an automatic Astra or a Fiat 500X. 500X it was… I also got credit for the 1/2 tank of petrol I had added. Then, get this, the lady apologised for my day being disrupted.Wow! Some car hire companies charge you silly money for a new tyre and these people were apologising. Maybe this explained by there was a queue of approx 40people at their desk and none at the other companies at the airport.

  1. Changed to summit with a road to nearly the top. Drove like a loony to get there, 500X goes and handles like stink. Much liaison with Victor GI4ONL for a complete for him.

  2. Text from Victor “I remember it being a bit precarious near the top.” He’s not kidding… I was so far out of my comfort zone I was about to quit.

  3. Got to the top, sky broken, antenna poor match. Struggled but worked Victor for his complete. At this point my day was complete… I had a unique and my friend had a complete. See that’s waht I like about SOTA, it’s a big cooperative effort between activators and chasers not a contest to see who’s top dog. I struggled and worked 3 more.

  4. Decided to enjoy chocolate bought on the sly… bad for me. Rude Words! It was back in the car.

  5. Packed up and descended to military radar access road. Took about 15mins of gingerly shuffling down steep slope, gravel and marble sized rocks on Lava. Not fun. No, no, NO!

Man, the adrenelin was pumping and tonight the Vodka will be pumping. DO NOT LIKE EXPOSURE OR STEEP SLIPPY MOUNTAINS.

Got the points, friend got a complete. Got a new car, had the (melty) choclate. Now have sugar headache!

OK, it was fun looking back now.



Walt (G3NYY)

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I take it he means the tyre was flat but still firm.

I guess Andy meant it was something like this:

Which is not as severe as something like this:
imagen imagen imagen

But he was possibly just kidding…




Well, I was only trying to give you adequate warning :grinning:

It certainly was a struggle, but with perseverance :persevere: we made it, for which I am very grateful :+1:

73 Victor GI4ONL