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The Eastern signals from the West

I want to mention a very interesting effect I have experienced some other times in the past and again today, once on 20m another one on 10m.
If you see the red arrows on the map below coming out from the area where my QTH is, you’ll see that I should normally receive signals coming from HB and OE by beaming to the NorthEast and in fact, so it is most of the times. But in some particular cases like this morning at 8h27 utc on 20m CW, I didn’t copy Bruno @HB9CBR when he was activating HB/BE-109 and I was beaming East, but I could copy and I chased him weak but very clear by beaming to the NorthWest, which is the direction I usually have to beam to reach NorthAmerica.
Again the same thing happened this afternoon at 16h25 on 10m SSB when Herbert @OE7HRV was activating OE/VB-487. I couldn’t copy him while beaming to the NorthEast or East, but I copied and worked him while beaming to the West.

I think this is an interesting effect which I can’t explain despite having experienced it before with other Eastern signals not only on my current QTH in Northern Spain but also when I lived in the South of Madrid, where signals from EA3 (Barcelona area) not being copied while beaming NorthEast were perfectly copied beaming NorthWest.

I can’t believe these are signals coming via the Long Path and I guess it must be something related to backscatter or something like that.

Have you ever experienced such weird effects from your respective locations?

Thanks in advance for your comments and contributions.

Best 73 and Merry Christmas de Guru

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Hi Guru, yes I have experienced this on a regular basis - both on 10m and 20m. I am reasonably confident that you would have been experiencing backscatter. From the home QTH whilst working EU on the long path, I quite frequently hear and work other VKs who would otherwise be well and truly in the skip zone. Generally it is typified by signals around 55 to 57 at best, and sounds a little washed out. I believe that it happens a lot more often than we suspect - obviously only those with directional antennas are going to be able to tell that the signals are best coming from a direction that they would otherwise not expect and only if they are turning their antenna for best signals rather than sticking with what they expect.



Yes but beam is required.

When had me four el up for a certain band many years ago as well me Two el had up on the ham bands found you could turn it and look for signals from with in your dead zone. Usually in opposite or near opposite direction to the station your working, this got called back scattering using some part of reflection of our atmosphere. Always found signals usually weak but workable.

Now the other that can happen is long path again on certain band had an experience upon the bands were quieting and picked up me friend in Canada and we were chatting away. Then i heard a station giving out a pro number and quickly answered back asking to whom they were turns out to be a station in the Comoros islands in Indian ocean. But then me friend in Canada could not hear him to told him to beam NW and he got him as well yet I lost him but hear the other guy talking to him as the Comoros island chap was beaming Australia.

And yes long path can go far as back of your beam heard in form of yourself in a echo had this one or two times on me two el on 20m it is weird listening to your self a second or two later’s, It is an interesting experience.


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hi Guru

it happens up here all the time. I always turn my tower from 130 deg to 330 deg if I can´t hear European station from direct beam heading which is around 210 deg. Most of the time signals are readable from 270-330 degrees and NIL from direct beam heading. My beam widht is less than 40 deg on 10-15m (stack) The biggest effect is on 10-15m but it happens also on 20m. Some sort of side or back scatter on closer ranges. The other story is skewed path when signals come somewhere between short and long path where the attenuation at the moment is smallest.
So keep on turning the tower and greasing the bearings :smile:

merry xmas

Marko oh9xx oh3xr


Backscatter no doubt Guru. Quite often to work into North/Central Europe on 6m I had to beam to the West. I used to notice the effect just prior to multi hop Es events.


Thank you very much for your comments.
I agree that it’s definitely backscatter, so I’ll keep greasing the bearings of my rotator (the tower is fixed here, Marko).
Best 73 and Merry Xmas.

Just worked Patrick @HB9FKP on 14.286 with signal 31 beaming to North America 300°, and I was copying nothing while beaming to HB land.

Hello Guru,
I could not hear Patrick at all. It is very strange when such things happen. Earlier this year the same happened to me. I had to go and check that the calibration of the rotator was OK because I was so surprised. I have not been much on the radio today and conditions seem very unstable - one minute a station is a good 59 and then a few minutes later they are gone! I think I will try and catch Pat KI4SVM and then shut things down.

Best wishes and HNY.

Hi Mike,
I’ve been very active on chasing today and heard you on a few occasions, particularly very strong on 40m when you worked Leszek OK/SQ9MDF/P at about 16h15 utc.
Regarding Pat, I missed him when he worked on 20m due to being off the shack for a while. Later I came and followed/stalked him on 10, 12, 15, 17m, but nothing at all.
I hope he’ll come back to 20m before QRT…
Best 73 and HNY.


PD. Pat may have read this post because he finally got back to activate on 20m and I finally managed to chase him. Thanks Pat and HNY.

Just worked Kurt @HB9AFI at 10h06 utc on 14.062 with signal 319 beaming to North American West Coast 330°, and I was copying nothing while beaming to HB land.
There must be something with the fact of having all the Alps and the Pyrenees montains in between us…

Hi Guru,

Thanks for the signal report.

Well done and I did quite a bit of stalking as well. My best shot was first time round on 20 but QRM from a tuner. Then a I ran out of time. Oh well :wink:

I do hope you hear me few times next year.

Best wishes