I started to write this while I was receiving my second chemo out of the six planned in this series of treatment at the hospital and I have editted it once back home to add some images and give precisions on date/time of the QSO and other details I didn’t remember while I was still in the hospital.
Three days ago, on January 15th, I chased Herbert @OE9HRV through backscatter while he was operating on 15m SSB from the summit OE/VB-488.
I saw one of his spots on SW3 and went to the frequency trying to copy him on my tribander yagi pointing directly to him (about 55-60° NorthEast). For a brief moment I copied him very, very weak and my calls were not heard. Then the QSB made his signals vanish completely, so I left the frequency looking for a NorthAmerican activator just spotted on SW3 on 20m
for which I turned my tribander yagi from the 55-60° (NorthEast) where I tried to chase Herbert on 15m to 293° (NorthWest) for North-America. I didn’t copy the North-American, so I QSYed back to Herbert’s frequency on 15m expecting the QSB to bring his signals back again, but I then found that I was copying him very well but with my antenna was still beaming to North-America. I turned my yagi back to the 56° NorthEast and found that Herbert signals were not copiable, so I turned my yagi back to 293° (NorthWest) to receive again perfect good signals from Herbert. I called him, he picked me up and we completed our QSO at 14h48 utc.
This was a known effect for me, which I had several times experienced before when I was living in EA4 (Central Spain) between 2006 and 2012 and wanted to work stations in EA3 (NorthEast of Spain), particularly during EA contests with my yagi beaming to North-America (NorthWest). [edit: I have even experienced the same effect of copying EA3 while beaming NorthWest from my current QTH in EA2]. But this was the first time for me working European stations to the NorthEast of me this way.
It’s clear there must be some sort of ionized region somewhere above in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean making this possible.
I think I’m going to look for this type of backscatter propagation more often from now on when EU stations to my NorthEast can’t be copied beaming NE.
I hope you’ll find it interesting and I’d like to hear of similar experiences you may have had with backscatter or similar.