When I say that Mike 2E0YYY was going to be activating I thought here’s a possible dx summit but alas the evening meal clashed with his time on 20 m. By the time I made it to the shack he had gone to 15 m. Well no harm in listening. Yes there he was but only an undecipherable mumble in the noise. The timbre of the sound identified it as Mike and then I heard some chasers - ZL and VK4 working him. There were strong JA’s on the band but nothing else. I swung the beam short path and noticed no change in his signal from NE to due W. Odd. What direction is the signal coming from? Not short path so swing it back and try long path. Still only mumbles but slightly stronger - Mike was copied calling CQ - his call sign was copied but that was about it. I swung the beam further south. Mumbles were now a few copyable words. Worth a call. Yes he came back, was it me? Call again and yes my call is there so pass a report. Darn, signal is down and can’t copy my report. Ask for a repeat. Mike does so and suddenly is Q5 for 5 seconds. RR Report copied and 73’s sent.
This was my first contact on 15 m with a UK SOTA activator and it was outside the optimum window I think.
What time was that? I plan to be qrv on Saturday so here’s hoping…
Look at SOTAwatch spots:
Thu 09:34 2W0YYY [+1] on GW/NW-070 - (Posted by VK4FSCC) 21.280
Thu 08:59 2W0YYY/P [+3] on GW/NW-070 - (Posted by 2E0YYY) 21.280 ssb
I wonder what the propagation was doing? VOACAP suggests long-path might favour 15 and 17 around that time of day at the moment, but that doesn’t fit your observations. Grey-line doesn’t seem to fit, either. Perhaps there was something going on involving southern aurora? Weird…
73, Rick M0LEP
I wonder whether the polar anomaly will tilt the shape of the effective ionosphere so a southern path from SE Australia/NZ may be bent rather than following the classic long path which assumes a constant altitude and a regular shape for the effective reflection area.
It would be like beaming towards a tilted reflector, so you have to beam away from the nominal path.
The possible reflection points for LP to EU are well away from the pole but could still be affected by the shape of the ionosphere near the pole especially at local sunset.
Logged time was 0929.
Andrew may have a point. The sig was best about 20 degrees south of my expected LP bearing. What was weird was that there were only a couple of beam directions where I could not hear this S1 signal - SW as one IIRC. This suggests more than one path and lots of scattering.
I have had occasions when firing along the grey line rather than a direct path gave better results - 45 to 90 degrees difference.
Mike was using his vertical I presume so signal direction wasn’t an issue for him. He got good reports from ZL.
Tiny VK3CAT said signals from Mike were very good an hour or more earlier on 20 m.
So while 20 m is still the best bet, 15 m to the antipodes is possible for UK activators.
Yes there was a some strange conditions today.
Normally on 20 M Southern Scotland to me is back of box. Yet GM1INK/p from GM/SS-133 around mid day was coming through in the 20db and 40DB.
When spoke with him on 20, he did mention seemed to be limited to the southern coast of the UK including myself being in the SW corner on southern coast of the UK. He was not so strong on 40m about 10 minutes prior doing about a 5/9.
I know this is not around the world stuff. but seemed strange on such a short hop for 20m about 300 ,miles apart. Yet 10 minutes later,s his signal drop to back of box afterwards. Then heard a few what sounded like some american stations he was working afterwards.
Be interesting see his activation report on this one.
Good old ionosphere unpredictable as normal, love it.