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FT8 DX S2S Event Saturday 2nd February 2019


Hi Ed,

I was up late the other evening here in Arizona watching the attempted UK/VK s2s event. To get a feeling for the propagation I checked the PSK Reporter web site. I selected the different bands and FT8 mode to see where the propagation was. This can be further refined by selection of a call sign or country call sign. By selecting VK as the country I could see where other VK stations were being heard and how strong. On 20, 30 and 40m the VK signals were all falling short in continental Europe. If the event had occurred on 14.074 we could have entered M1EYP and seen where he was being heard by about 600 stations that were monitoring 20m at that time. This gives a real time indicator for FT8 and could be viewed on your tablet or laptop if you have a hotspot on your phone. There were a few chasers on 14.092 that were feeding data to the PSK reporter.

73 Burke


Hi Burke,
Yes I know about the PSK reporter site ( https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html ) and often select the FT8 mode and my callsign to see how I am doing but the way you are using it, is a similar way to which I turn to WsprNet to get an idea of how propagation is.

I believe during the FT8 S2S event, that there were a lot of contacts between VK and SE Asia / China and nothing (or very little) between VK and UK/EU.

Some of the UK activators have been making contacts into VK over the last few weeks, but only at around 1100-1130 UTC. A lot later than many people were attempting this time.

The G1 storm hapenning in the atmosphere at the same time as this event certainly wont have helped and may have been what kept the MUF down as well!

73 Ed.


Hi Ed,
I have used WsprNet also. In this case I thought PSK Reporter was more representative of mode, power and antennas. If they had been on 14.074 you are right we could have checked where they were heard. The big problem is getting people on summits at the best times which results in operation at night. Here is a link to a great site for scheduling meeting or contacts with different parts of the world. It shows the local time in each location and UTC.


I had activated on Friday until about 1:00 UTC trying to work VK summits since there were many out activating. I didn’t work any activators but did work many JAs, a ZL and a partial VK. The PSK reporter showed lots of VK stations heard in Asia. My hike down was in the dark.

73 Burke


Hi again Burke,
As of yesterday the WSPRNet map is not working anymore for me - even with the darkened “Google doesn’t like you” screen it no longer appears to display any signal paths and gives the following error under the map

Maximum number of spots limit has been reached (1000). Not all spots for the form limits have been returned

Before I post anything to their forum, can you see if it’s a general problem at http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map or just my access?

73 Ed.

EDIT/UPDATE: this appears to be a problem a lot of people are getting and the suggested solution from the WSPRnet site owner is to sign-up for a commercial contract with Google to use their maps. As long as you don’t use them excessively you’ll not ever be changed but you do have to give Google the possibility to charge you before you can get an API key which you send to the WSPRnet site by putting it in your profile.

An alternative is to use the following site : http://wspr.vk7jj.com/


Hi Ed,
On VOACAP and predtest it makes a big difference whether you choose short path or long path. Here’s the prediction for long path and it shows much better prospects at 0700z:


Was a great night on Mt Hotham in VK3.

I had the 857 on 30w, driven by a raspberry pi3, into a XGGCOMMS usb interface and remotely connected via my mobile phone. I was feeding my inverted V dipole up 7metres.

I almost completed a S2S with the JA station, but just couldn’t close the detail. I activated that summit on digital only, with ZLs, JA, some Taiwan stations in the log too!

Thanks to all those that went out - I love that the hobby is still experimenting with modes and devices.

Thanks again.



Hi Gerard,
Yes agreed long path between 0700 and 0900 and short path between 1100 and 1300. Neither of which will work when the MUF for the path sits down at 10MHz and we want to use 14MHz of course.

Long path at 0700 hasn’t been working for me for the last 3 months.

73 Ed.


Saturday 9th February 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Good news. The FT8 system is all working perfectly again. I’d been having audio problems, traced to cheap adaptor cables, and then to a replacement adaptor that provided only a loose and wobbly connection.

From Amazon, I ordered a USB-B (printer type) to micro USB cable, meaning adaptors would no longer be required. Well it all worked like a dream.

The weather forecast had indicated 60mph+ gusts from the departing Storm Eric, in a WSW direction. I figured therefore that the NE ledge below the small cliff face would provide almost complete shelter. And indeed it did. I would have been unable to operate anywhere on the summit plateau with a fishing rod mast!

11 QSOs, all 20m FT8. YL, SP, ES, ER, RA and 6 x UR. A sunrise photographer took great interest in my activity and equipment, and asked if he could take photos. He took loads!

I later learned that EU to VK opened right up about 0900 as I was driving back to Macclesfield! Oh well, never mind, another time!


Glad it went well Tom I was watching for you but did not see you or anyone working you here at your Spot time. But every decode filled my rx screen with calls like the phone book scrolling by. Amazing to see so many ops on this mode all at once it runs like that many hours of the day. Getting geared up to run my ft 817 on digital got some interfacing gear on order and looking for a tablet or small pc to use.
Ian vk5cz …


Sunday 17th March 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

I spotted alerts from Willis @BU2EQ and Warren @ZL2AJ for 0530z, on 20m FT8, SSB & CW. I wasn’t intending going out, but when I awoke at 0450z I thought I’d try my luck.

Of course, with the end of the winter bonus season two days earlier, there was plenty of snow falling during this activation! My bothy bag provided effective shelter and a bit of welcome relative warmth, although I did notice a few holes in it. It is old and battered, and will be the next item of kit to be replaced.

Anyway, I didn’t get any DX or S2S, perhaps not surprising having not planned in advance or organised skeds etc. Signals were being received from the Far East at times. I just worked 5 European stations, all 20m FT8.

I tried for quite a while on CW, though it was difficult on a contest-congested band. I assume it was difficult for the chasers too; I didn’t receive any calls. I got picked up by the RBN, but that was it.

When the snow stopped and the sun came out, I took the opportunity to get packed up. I made one additional QSO on 2m FM before descending and driving home for breakfast. I made myself what in Macclesfield we call “steamed egg”, known to others as “egg in a cup” or “chucky egg” - proper feelgood food!


Let’s try again on March 24!


Indeed - let’s do just that.


I have created a new topic for this. Are you able to do 30m Willis?


Sorry Tom, something just came up for the coming weekend, however I will still try to chase you, I can operate on either 20m or 30m.