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Is 20 metres now somewhat better?

My activation of DL/AL-276 Attensberg this morning (Weds 4/10/17) went surprisingly well with 2 contacts into ZL and 3 into VK, plus 2 into SV and 2 into Russia. What was interesting was that these good conditions seemed only to exist between 0620 and 0650 UTC. So just 30 minutes of long path connection from Southern Bavaria into the Antipodes.

To see if this was just a strange one off or if we have indeed improved conditions - I intend to activate at the same time using the exact same equipment, from the same summit tomorrow morning, so any chaser calls (especially those from ZL or VK of course), would be very welcome.

If 20m is closed I’ll call on 40m for those in Europe who couldn’t hear me on 20m today.
73 Ed DD5LP.

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  1. Autumn in EU
  2. Greyline at 6.30

Hi Ed,

Hard work from G/SP-013 Gun this morning, once again VK was struggling into G land, but no problem into EU, it seems…Well done!

Took me nearly one hour to find four contacts and after nearly 2 hours, I went QRT with just ten contacts in my log.

Four DX calls logged…John ZL1BYZ, Warren ZL2AJ, Jackie ZL1WA and just the one VK, Ernie VK3DET, many thanks.

Virtually nothing out of EU…Go figure!

GL tomorrow…

73 Mike

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Hi Mike,

I listened for you until your spot said last calls, QRT. Absolutely nil heard from you. John ZL1BYZ was a good signal here and I did hear Ernie VK3DET, which usually indicates some sporadic E because the distance from here to him (450-500km) is usually too short for 20m. Also listened on Ed’s spotted frequency with the same result. There was a path getting you into ZL and VK3 but it didn’t extend to the vk1 area. I don’t think it was regular long path propagation. John had turned his beam to the short path and reported that path was the one in use. It was hopping over me. Some odd things happening recently with VK6 (Western Australia) working into EU by short path at the same time as the east coast using long path.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Hi Andrew,

VK7 was also monitoring my frequency for over an hour, he could just hear me, too weak to work though. Never did make the trip to Tasmania. Right now, I can’t buy a contact into VK1, 2 or 7. John ZL1BYZ worked me both long and short path. There was very little difference in his signal. However, his last call, IIRC, at about 0800z, he was an armchair copy, with a bit of QSB. Right now, it seems easier to work ZL than VK from “G”…

Ernie was monitoring the activation for about an hour before we finally made the contact at 0723, right after I worked Warren ZL2AJ.

To be honest Andrew, the 20m band was just plain weird!

73 Mike

Mike, if I did not know your voice I would not have known you were there. Unfortunately not enough to be workable. Heard Ernie as only 100km away. Ed was very good copy by comparison to you.
Like Ernie when working Ed, I also had the amplifier on, largely to make it easier on your end as stronger more local signals can smother the DX.
Definitely Long Path from here.
IARU beacons on 15m heard pointing SP EU 4s7b, 4x6tu, vr2b, ja2igy. Not strong, took a few repeats to decode due to qsb.
20m pointing LP EU ZL6B, VK6RBP, JA2IGY, OA4P
Was monitoring 14.325 then moved over to 14.340.

Out again and worked john zl1byz at 06:06 and warren zl2aj at 06:19. No other contacts so far, perhaps in the next 30 mins I’ll get into vk?

73 Ed on a frosty cold DL/al-276!

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Nothing heard again from you here in VK2, Ed.
Both of your ZL contacts were heard - like yesterday. I’m just too far north :slight_smile:

Cheers Gerard - VK2IO

Ed. you peaked when working Ernie then disappeared into the mud.Very short window. Estimate 0640 to 0645 hrs utc.
Nil heard from EU CW activators.
ZL was stronger here yesterday than today as well.
3 element triband yagi@15m
Tony VK3CAT in short sleeve shirt and shorts but warmth from amplifier.

Nothing heard in Ryde, Sydney, VK2 on a 40M horizontal loop.

Thanks, Tony and of course, Andrew VK1DA, for trying

The skip was running tremendously long yesterday morning. I went to Ed’s QRG about 4 times looking for the s2s, absolutly nothing. In fact nothing out of Germany at all. There would normally be half a dozen stone cold certainties from EU on an activation, not yesterday though…

Two Greek contacts, one Italian and one Russian, just about summed EU up for me.

73 Mike

Nil heard here again, Mike and Ed. I knew ZL1BYZ was beaming long path as he was much lower than normal here. Yesterday he was beaming short path which is pretty much through this location +/- beamwidth. ZL is very close to the antipode for the UK so technically there is no single best short path or long path, all roads lead to Auckland. I think this is why sometimes conditions to ZL are quite different even from eastern VK. Add the polar anomalies and it isn’t straight lines either.
I listened for several EU CW activators on 14.061/2 and again heard nothing of them.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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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.

73 Ed.

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I am never up that early to chase DX! This morning on 20 metres I worked VK4NJR at 0758 UTC and VK2LAW at 0800 UTC. I have no idea whether it was SP or LP as I do not have a beam … just a wire doublet. I also worked 3 JA’s between 0745 UTC and 08:15 UTC.

Yesterday (4th October) propagation to JA was better than today. I worked 10 JA’s on 20m between 07:45 UTC and 08:15 UTC.

Walt (G3NYY)

Hi Walt,
yes that echoes my point that the “window” comes over to the UK after it has gone over Europe - so anything from 30 mins to an hour later.

I think your contacts would be Long Path. Also possible around the same time at the moment is often short path to VK on 40 metres.

Looks like the effect I saw where 20m suddenly became more noisey (active) could be, as I suspected, when the MUF rose far enough - see below at 0600 UTC on the 5th. (05 06):

73 Ed.

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Hello everyone.
My antenna is a ground mount vertical and 100 watts.
Nice to work you Ed.
regards Ian vk5cz .

Hi Ed. I was running 1 kW into a 4el stepIR but i later discovered it was pointing the wrong way by 60 degrees. Great to work you again. :slight_smile:

Thanks Ian - it was also great to work you again after so long with no contacts. I am optimistic that there could be a lot of good contacts in the event on the 21st.

Thanks & 73. Ed.

Hi Warren,
Thanks for thinking about the poor front end of my FT-817 and not point that full KW in my direction HI.

73 Ed.

How much power did you use?