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Author Topic: Monster 2m FM opening June 22  (Read 2411 times)
N0EQ
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« on: June 23, 2011, 02:51:59 PM »

Yesterday, June 22 2011, from 1700z-2000z, several of us in Phoenix worked some stupidly fabulous DX on 146.52 simplex FM.

We were yacking away like usual when we heard what sounded like a couple of mobiles. So we broke and invited them to go ahead. They said they were on I-10. Now that interstate runs through Phoenix. Not unusual at all to hear and QSO with travelers coming through town. When I asked them "Where are you at on I-10" he replied ""Just outside of Houston"".

Ok, we thought he was kidding at first. But he wasn't. We (half dozen of us in Phoenix) were talking to two mobiles 1000 miles away in Texas. We later worked Phoenix (several) Mobil(s) to Houston Mobil. Then Phoenix 5w HT to Galveston TX. Then several Phoenix stations to Little Rock AR.

All on FM. NO amplifiers. NO preamps. NO beams or any kind of directional antennas.

Stations 100mi south of us in Tucson were doing similar, talking to several stations in TX.

Monster Sporadic E. I suppose..:-) All recorded to satisfy the disbelievers.

Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke

www.n0eq.com
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 09:04:22 AM »

That's fabulous!

Did you confirm it was really sporadic-E?  Or maybe it was a good tropo duct, which can carry that far also.

It can be hard to tell the difference, unless you check other bands.

When there's E-skip on two meters (very rare), about 99% of the time it will also be on six meters.  If it's a tropo duct, about 100% of the time it will NOT be on six meters, but WILL be on "higher" bands, above two meters.

To tell the diff, I flip on a few other bands if I can.

Either way, that's amazing propagation for 2m FM.  I've seen this several times over the years, but it's pretty rare.
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VA3WXM
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 10:11:30 AM »

I like to gauge VHF openings by tuning the weather radio frequencies.  If every one occupied then I know we're good to go. Smiley
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N0EQ
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 11:12:10 AM »

That's fabulous!

Did you confirm it was really sporadic-E?  Or maybe it was a good tropo duct, which can carry that far also...

Several people offered arguments to one or the other. The concensus seemed to be that it was E. One of the greatest things about the opening is that there's a couple of new hams that have only been licensed a couple of months. They were suddenly jolted into world class DX status.


Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke

www.n0eq.com
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 02:07:12 PM »

While I am not active on UHF up here in Ohio I have seen several openings in that I start getting Digital TV stations out of Cinci area on Kentucky border and well down into Kentucky full scale on my TV signal strength when they are normal unusable or weak.  I have also observed that UHF reception is generally somewhat better up here when foliage is gone from trees in woods in my path.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
G8YMW
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 02:47:03 PM »

1000 mile tropo's usually occur over sea paths rather than land (Ive worked from Doncaster (IO93MM) to the Baltic coast of Poland.
One thing that may give a clue is the weather between you and the other station, large high pressure system would suggest tropo, thunder storms may suggest Es. Was there any stations in between? What was 70 cms doing? WB2WIK is right in as much as , on 2, tropo can get as far as Es
Certainly smells like Es with nowt in between.
Craig, if you're capable try switching polarity, if  its tropo the difference will be very marked

W8JX, leaves (particually wet leaves) are bad for UHF and UHF lifts more often than lower frequencies.
G3PHO, in the 1990's, worked from his bedroom in Sheffield to Czechoslovakia (as it was then) on 10 Gigs (Dish pointing through the window)

Cheers de Tony
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73 de Tony
Sent by WW2 Royal Navy signal lamp
N0EQ
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 07:39:11 PM »

1000 mile tropo's usually occur over sea paths rather than land...

...One thing that may give a clue is the weather between you and the other station, large high pressure system would suggest tropo, thunder storms may suggest Es. Was there any stations in between? What was 70 cms doing?...


The guys that know atmospheric conditions around here (Phoenix) say that since we essentially never have thunderstorms, like they do in the midwest, we rarely get ducting. An inch of rain per year, no large bodies of water etc.

Don't know what UHF was doing at the time. But all the NOAA WX (162.xx MHz) frequencies were lit up. There was a thunderstorm in Houston, on the OTHER side of our 1000 mile contact. And we did not make any contacts inbetween us and the 100 mi stations. I suppose all of that supports the theory that it was Spor-E rather than ducting.

Whatever it was, it was exciting as hell. Esp for those new guys that just got their tech licenses.


Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke

www.n0eq.com
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N4UFO
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 04:14:15 AM »

Lumpy,

You should have been licensed back in the day when we were in Arkansas.... I remember going up on Mt Riante once and talking to my buddy on West Mountain through repeaters in 3-4 states. Then there was the time I was in North West Arkansas and was talking on 220 FM to a repeater in Kansas City that had a remote base and through that talking to mobiles in Georgia. Yep, when it opens, it's damned exciting!!! Oh, we used to check weather radar for false images... that could sometimes be a give away. I think they've learned to filter that out now.

This year I got myself a 2m SSB rig and put a Squalo up about 25 feet... during the VHF contest I was really surprised at how far I could work with 25 watts and an antenna that has less gain than a dipole. Most of it was ground wave, but made one contact up in Maryland (I'm in NC). Can't wait 'til a good opening.

Kevin, N4UFO
(you remember... JMs friend, worked @HSGC Amb after you left)
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K5TEN
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 11:52:19 AM »

I live in Hot Springs, AR not to far west of Little Rock and yes we have 2m FM DX from time to time. Can't say exactly what propagation it is.  Sporatic E maybe?

All I know if it's most always in the summer when it's Satanically hotter than Hades.

A few years ago, 70w, Icom V-8000, 7x gain mobile antenna, was calling on FM simplex and one guy came back.  I got his call and that was it...opening over.  Went into work and pulled up his call on qrz...he was just outside of Houston, TX.  We did not exchange reports or grids, so busted QSO but I emailed if he was "local and on vacation here today" and he wrote back no.  He got my call and I got his call and *boom* no more opening.


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