Solar eclipse

As most of you know going to be a solar eclipse this coming Friday.
Any one running any 80m sotas in the morning between 0825 to about 1030 utc. :smirk:

Were partly affected down here by about 80% should be enough to lose the D layer for a while creating some interesting DX during this period

Plymouth area forecast :open_mouth:

Begins: Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 8:20 AM
Maximum: Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 9:25 AM
Ends: Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 10:35 AM

This site is how I found out what,s happening in my area and believe it will auto put in your area. just click on it

So will be floating around 80m this should be interesting and if weather forecast is right we could have clear skies in morning


Hi Karl

Thanks for the link.

Another link taken from the website is regarding the safety aspects of viewing the eclipse. I think we have been here before…

73 Allan GW4VPX

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Hi Karl & Allan,

I intend to be active during the eclipse most likely from G/SP-012 Easington Fell. If all goes well I will be mainly using CW on Top Band but I will do my best to remember to try SSB & hope to have time to call on 80m.

More details about the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee eclipse experiment are now online for those with CW or PSK63 capability & the experiment will take the form of a “QSO party”. Personally I’m not keen on that term as it they are generally just like a contest in all but name, however, this is an experiment, not a contest, & I hope those active in the experiment treat it as such.

For the experiment accurate signal reports are requested, not simply 599 as well as the first 4 characters of your locator (eg IO83) to enable analysis of any change in distances worked due to change in propagation.

More details here:

My main priority will be working SOTA chasers, but if anyone does work me on CW an accurate report & your 4 character locator would be appreciated as I do intend submitting my log for the experiment.

Of course, all this may be irrelevant if nobody can hear me, but I plan on taking up to 100 Watts & my full size inverted V dipole so I should at least be in with a chance. :smile:

For those who may not be too confident on CW please give me a call at whatever speed you are comfortable with & I will QRS if necessary.

The weather isn’t looking brilliant for a good view of the eclipse but it can change quite quite quickly at this time of year.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF

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Trust the RSGB HFCC to spoil things for everybody! I had been planning to listen for SOTA (and other) CW activity from Continental Europe on 80m during the eclipse. Now 160m, 80m and 40m are going to be awash with UK-based pseudo-contest activity, both on CW and PSK-63. It will be impossible to hear anything worthwhile through the QRM.

You couldn’t make it up.

Walt (G3NYY)

An experiment in the sense of a laboratory demonstration where you already have a good idea of the expected outcome, after all there are solar eclipses somewhere in the world every year. Any effects should probably be limited to close to the footprint of the penumbra and perhaps to areas recently clear of the penumbra. Anyway, I will be listening for SSB on top band and 80, just for the pleasure of watching the Earth machine working!


I am hoping to be active. Probably from one of my local WB summits, and probably on 160m CW as a primary objective. What better time for a 160m activation debut? (No need to answer that, Walt, I take your point, but I will only be using 5W and no contest adrenalin :o)

I hope to have a dabble on SSB on 160m and 80m too.

The antenna will approximate to an inverted V dipole, made up on site on the day…


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Good stuff Adrian :smile:

I hope to work you for a Top Band S2S, still quite a rare thing.

It is a week day so activity should be lower than it would be on a Saturday or Sunday. If the band is chock full of traffic (unlikely) we can always move a little as there are frequency limits for the QSO party.

One advantage of course is that there should be several well equipped stations on the band so qualifying a summit on 160m should be much easier than usual.

Best of luck!

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF

Thus ends that one.
Not dark enough to lose the D layer here.
Noise levels are very high also.

But did manage to catch G6WRW/p on 80m prior to event about 08:09hrs
from C/CE002


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Hi Karl,

Mostly cloudy here on G/SP-012 Easington Fell but I have seen the eclipse. It has gone noticeably darker & my fingers can tell it’s gone colder.

Several actiavtors on Top band with a few S2S’s :smile:

Will give 80m a go shortly.

Mark G0VOF/P

Thanks Mark.

When your spotted will pop down and see if I can hear you noise levels have fallen on 20m not sure on 80 in past half hour.

Good to catch Carolyn on 80 this morning.

Don’t think me licence covers 160m yet neither does the radio :slight_smile:


The problem with an eclipse is that it is of short duration and the path of totality is very narrow. As a result is probably very little time for any of the layers to be effected. Even the ‘greyline’ will be of very short duration and cover a very limited distance so it is unrealistic to experience any real DX during an eclipse.

Cloudy here in Southampton but enjoyed the TV coverage with Dara.

73 Glyn

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Listening to the freq 3660.
No joy to much noise level hitting 20+ at moment
Same with G4AZS/P on G/WB-015 3660

Yet can hear the chasers ok


Hi Karl,

You can operate on 160m with a Foundation Licence. 10 watts is allowed anywhere from 1810 kHz to 2000 kHz.
It is 60m (5 MHz) that you can’t use.
(But I suspect that’s what you meant to say :slight_smile: )

Walt (G3NYY)

Not quite my observation, Glyn. I noted a definite lengthening of the skip on 80m, 60m and 40m throughout the period of the eclipse.

With reference to DX, the signal of VP2MQT (Montserrat) on 7016 kHz built up from RST 559 to RST 599 between 0845 UTC and 0905 UTC. I would not normally expect a 599 signal from the Caribbean on 40m at 0905 am.

Walt (G3NYY)

Hi all,

Karl, Walt is correct you can use 160m if you have an antenna that is.

Sorry you couldn’t hear me. urban noise levels are a major problem. On the fell I could run on any band with the pre-amp switched in and still have the meter bobbling around the bottom. At home I have S8 noise on 160m even with attenuation switched in.

This morning was great fun with not as many EQP stations on Top Band as I was expecting but more SOTA activators :smile:

Currently waiting for the bus home from Clitheroe. Packed up earlier than planned when it started raining.

73 Mark G0VOF

Yes, you are right, Mark. My alarm about the EQP QRM was unfounded. I heard no more than a dozen EQP stations in total on all bands!

Glad you had a good morning out. Unfortunately I can’t chase on 160m due to S9++ local noise.

Walt (G3NYY)

Thanks for that one Walt.
Things certainly changed since I started in 2003.
No 10M and no 160m either as came back on air last August been few changes.


95% coverage from Edinburgh. The cloud made it easy to photograph the progress.

<img src="/uploads/db9433/3256/7704c912b4f91648.JPG" width"666" height=“500”>


Well, I managed 5 QSOs on 160m to qualify the summit, plus a duplicate with Mark on SSB and then CW. Three of them S2S with Mark G0VOF/P, Carolyn G6WRW and John GX0OOO/P.

It was very interesting to a 160m newbie. I spent a lot of time listening around, but couldn’t get my 5 Watts heard by many of the stations that I called.
Most of those that I called were several S points over the noise at least. 5 Watts is a couple of S points down on 100 Watts, so I guess the problem is either a low efficiency antenna at my end (too close to the ground) or high noise level at their end, or perhaps both.

The hastily built antenna seemed to work to some extent. Having dithered for days, I bought a 100m reel of wire from Maplin on Thursday evening - eye watering price, but that will teach me to plan ahead!

I unrolled it, and doubled it up, making 50m. Working from the looped end, I taped the wires together every 30cm or so, for an estimated ten metres. This made the twin feeder, and left two 40m wires to stretch out for the dipole. No measuring involved, and no joints to get wet or fracture. I then cut the loop, and bared the wire ends to connect to the ATU. I didn’t think of trying it without ATU, until I had taken it down…
It was supported at the centre at approx 7.5m

A full length 160m dipole is a bit of a beast, and I can think of many other summits where deployment would be a real challenge. The loaded dipole certainly appeals.
Callow Hill has a nice level ridge, with neatly nibbled turf, and plenty of small trees to tie things to!

Great fun,



Oh, yes, the eclipse. Well, I forgot to take any viewing technology, so had to tear a page from my log book and potch a hole in it with the pen, to form a pin hole lens. It served well enough :o)



Edit: Sorry Adrian, I was in mid type with this post while your post had already appeared. I will leave my post as it is for now, other than to say very well done with 5 QSO’s on 160m :slight_smile:

Original post:
Hi Andy / Karl,

Thanks for the photos, my experiment using a concave shaving mirror & a piece of card to view the eclipse whilst on G/SP-012 worked, but not as well as I had hoped as it was quite fiddly to focus & the Sun was mostly obscured by cloud.

Walt, I really do empathise with you & your noise problem, I too suffer from man-made, or un-natural noise at home on several bands. The noise levels on G/SP-012 Easington Fell are completely natural, if there is any man made noise, it sits so far below the natural noise floor that it becomes irrelevant.

Special thanks from me to other activators who tried Top Band today, Adrian G4AZS, Carolyn G6WRW & John G4YSS, who using his usual Scarborough Special Events Group call GX0OOO/P was first to answer my CQ today on 1832KHz.

Adrian, very well done on your first 160m CW activation, if you were using 5 Watts as per your earlier post, very well done indeed. My signal reports to your were genuine. Sorry for any confusion when you were trying to work OK1TN. He stopped calling so I called you to let you know you were stronger than you had been earlier. We were mid QSO when OK1TN started up again, safe to say, he couldn’t hear me either Hi!

Carolyn, You didn’t expect the lash-up you had made to work of Top Band, but it did, & very well too. Genuine 57 with me, with some QSB. No need to apologise for not doing CW, you don’t have to do CW nowadays, although some of us old fuddy-duddies still prefer to :wink:

John, what can I say, I knew you were going to be around but I did not expect the first reply to my CQ to be from you. I was pleased to hear a “G” as at least that meant someone could hear me. When followed by “X” I still hadn’t put 2 + 2 together & simply thought,club station. Before you had finished sending “0” I knew it was you & wrote the following “OOO/P” in my log before you had sent it.

If any one person has inspired the use of Top Band for SOTA activating, it is you. That alone makes you inspirational, but your own personal goal of achieving Mountain Goat purely in Winter Bonus points takes you to another level.

Congratulations on achieving your goal John, & thank you so much for the inspiration.

Of course, many thanks are also due to the chasers for simply being there :smile:

You can tell I’ve had a fantastic day, can’t you? Hi!

Thanks & very best 73 to all,

Mark G0VOF