Thursday, May 22, 2008

Follow Up: 07:00Z on 19th May, 2008 - I was heard on 6M in W7.

Even though the past few days has not seen a repeat of Monday's conditions, all the hams involved are hopeful that such conditions will repeat itself sooner or later and that we will have a good chance with some long distance QSO's. The following are some extracts on the possible mode of propagation that we all experienced:
From: Barry Garratt
Sent: 22 May 2008 2:05
To: ve3dss; 'Pete Csanky'
Cc: Steve; Han Higasa; Hide

Subject: Coordinates

Hi Dana,
The UA0 vids come from QO59 (Magadan) and from here are on a heading of324.This path does cross over the lower part of KL7 whereas the path to VR2is313 and to JA is 308.
The distances involved are as follows:

UA0 = 4240 miles (6823 kM)
JE1BMJ = 5518 (8880 kM)
JR6EXN = 6044 (9726 kM)
VR2XMQ = 7225 (11627 kM)
My lat/long is 36-07-12.99 N by 115-17-45.54W or DM26ic.
I've attached some maps showing the various paths. What I have not done yet but will endeavor to do on future days is to grab an F2 layer screenshot of the path when signals are audible. I'm also going to buy Proplab Pro 3 shortly which allows real time ray tracing. The path as you very well know can not be multi-hop Es. Very interesting propagation mode at work here for sure.
Barry VE3CDX/W7

From: Steven Beesley
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:20 PM
To: Barry
Cc: ve3dss; ve3ikv; Han Higasa; jr6exn; POCOCK, Emil

Subject: FW: Coordinates
Hi Barry et al,

With regard to the brief opening on 6M on Monday 19th, May 2008 that wehad around 07:00Z, having read Han san's article on SSSP and alsoBarry's information and graphical interpretations on the paths betweenthe four stations concerned (attached), I would tend to concur with Barry that the mode of propagation could not have been multi-hop Es as it could not have supported such vast distances.
With the condx. on the band at the time and the videos syn. signals heard, together with quick rapid QSB on signals, it would seem to suggest that there was some kind of weak unstable type of F2 propagation at work.

If this were true then this dispels the myth that long distances by F2 only occur in sun spot peak years. The F2 is there, it is just relatively weak, unstable and very unpredictable and much more experimentation needs to be done during sun spot cycle minima years.
Barry with your kind permission I wish to cut and paste this conversation together with your graphics and place it onto my blog as I feel it may be of great interest to the VHF Dxing community at large. I hope we can crack this soon and have a solid opening!

73 Steve, VR2XMQ (OL72CM)


From: Barry Garratt
Sent: 22 May 2008 11:30
To: Steven Beesley
Cc: ve3dss; ve3ikv; Han Higasa; jr6exn; 'POCOCK, Emil

Subject: RE: Coordinates

Hello all,

Firstly Steve by all means you may use whatever material or observations you wish. As I mentioned earlier I will endeavor to get screen shots of the F layer paths when I can hear you or Han-san or Hide-san. I did look back and one interesting thing came to light. From the Digisonde data at Gakona, AK the F2 layer on the nights I've heard signals was in the range 240-245 kM.
On the other nights it was outside this range and no signals were heard. I have also noted that the vids from UA0 must be loud before I hear VR2. If the UA0 vids are only 55 or 56 I do not hear signals from VR2 but have detected JA.
The nights/days I have observed signals from VR2 the UA0 vids were 58 and 59 - very strong. This can partly be explained I think because of the more northern offset of the path to UA0. That is to say the stronger this path is the better chance of a similar albeit weaker path existing for JA and VR2.

Also of interest is the fact I believe the A, K indices were low and SFI was over 71 on the 19th. The first indication there was path to JA occurred on Thursday May 15th when I heard JE7YNQ/B at 0552Z . At the same time the UA0 vids were 55 and JE7YNQ/B was 339. The graphs depicting the paths were not done during the openings. They were done during the day today so please pay no attention to the terminator.
That program by the way is DXATLAS. I think this path will get better and better and with more analysis wemay find this is not the optimum time for it either. We have been centering our observations in this time frame only because signals were first observed during this period. Something which may be of interest it to leave a station on an odd ball frequency setup to receive WSJT in JT6M mode.
Then during certain times of the day I will transmit for say 30 minutes from here. The JT6M mode is very good for weak signal work and has slightly better capabilities than say JT65A. It may be interesting to run that mode as well at some point.

I think with careful selection of the days when the A, K and SFI look promising this may be an interesting experiment.
73,Barry VE3CDX/W7
From: Steven Beesley
Sent: 22 May 2008 12:05
To: 'Barry Garratt'
Cc: ve3dss; ve3ikv ; Han Higasa; jr6exn; 'POCOCK, Emil
Subject: RE: Coordinates
Hello Barry et al,
I fully concur with your observations concerning indices, I live by AKand SFI figures and I have the N0HR prop stats on my tool bar displayed at all times when I am in the shack. On Monday 19th May, 2008 the A was2, K was 2 and SFI was mostly 72 but the next day we had an A of 9, K of3 and SFI was 69 = NO OPENING. Again the A was well over 9 yesterday, Kwas 2-3 and SFI was 69, again NO OPENING. Suggest that all of you download and put prop stats from N0HR on your tool bar if you have notalready, once you have it there you can monitor AK and SFI real time,the link:

For your information the A now is 15, K is 3 and SFI is 69, my hunch is that it won't happen today. My own observations concerning the UA0 video, I mentioned that I began to receive these already quite strong at strength 5-6 staring at 00:00 UTC, lasting throughout the day and well into 15:00 UTC, the peak was around 07:00 UTC when they reached 59 at one point.

I will see if I can run a spectrum scan of the band in such condx., but want a QSO first before I do something like that because it means I cannot TX whilst doing the scan. The scan would also give us a real time plot of 50MHz under such conditions.
Therefore people, the key indicators are the strength of the UA0 vid.sigs and the AK & SFI indices. I mentioned already on Tuesday that I did not like 69 for SFI and AK were high. So we need something higher then 71for SFI and low AK indices. These are our tools and we shall be better equipped and armed now.
You will also recall when I checked into thec hat room on Tuesday that I did not like what I was hearing on the radio, it was too quiet.
These conditions are different from the run of the mill F2 propagation that I have experienced with EU in SFI maxima years for past 2 cycles.We will usually experience strong video sigs. prior to a major opening but not during the opening and experience DX working country by country watching the F2 shift (usually starting in the Med working N and then shifting to W and back down to S again). There may also be a similar shifting pattern here that we may not have completely caught onto yet but should study further.
Our problem here is that with the exception of JA, there is little activity on 6M in the region generally and unlike EU where there is allot more activity, they will have much more statistics and data to fall back on and analyze.
Concerning digital modes, I may have to look into that as I am not setup for such operation at present. Even so we still have a lot already to look at.

73 Steve, VR2XMQ



CDX/W7 - VR2 Path


CDX/w7 - JR6 Path


CDX/W7 - JE1 Path


CDX/W7 - UA0 Video Path

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