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Author Topic: Strange Propagation  (Read 1457 times)
WH7DX
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« on: February 17, 2013, 04:36:56 PM »

I have a question for those with some ham experience.

I live in Hawaii on Oahu.   I have a 600ft mountain behind me which makes contact to the Mainland more difficult (NE Direction).  I usually beam towards the East or the North which is to the side of the mountain - or sometimes - just right at it.  Whatever picks up the best.

Since I first discovered it in December 2012, I've been having 5-5 to 5-9 contact with the Midwest to the East Coast (not to mention Europe) from around 7:30am until around 10:30am or so (Hawaii Time - 10 hours behind UTC time) by pointing my HEX Beam directly South.   This has been on 20M.

My HEX Beam has a beam angle of about 60 degrees so I think it's going more S/W towards Greyline and Australia / Africa and up through the Atlantic into the U.S. etc..   The contacts are super clear like they would be VK or LU in Hawaii.

The contacts usually say they are pointing East to Europe or  S/E to Africa.    I can't hear them at all usually if I turn my Beam toward them short path.   It's been the same for those trying to turn their beam short-path to Hawaii.  Usually nothing or very weak with echo.

I think I'm going Long Skewed Path?   It's happening around Greyline but usually goes on until the greyline is near Asia and the North East.   2000+ miles from Hawaii.

I've been told it's probably related to our Winter period and sun location allowing the MUF and LP. 

Contacts say they can't tell a real difference from moving the antenna from the N/E to the S/E but the S/E or E might be the best.

I just worked Faroe Island this path at 7:30am in Hawaii.   I could hear him directly North but not nearly as well.   

I have some photo's on QRZ showing the QTH, height and location.

Thank you,

Bryan  WH7DX

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 10:01:43 AM »

Don't know but gray line propagation doesn't last three hours. Wink  Gray line is pretty short lived, and usually occurs around sunrise and sunset local time; lucky if it lasts one hour, let alone three.

You've got something else going on there, I suspect.
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WH7DX
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 10:35:29 AM »

Roger..  I threw the Greyline out because it occurs in the morning.  Greyline assisted?   Beaming into greyline or just taking the long water route.... hmmm.
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WH7DX
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 01:25:01 PM »

Today,

10:35am Hawaii Time 20:35 UTC.

Pointing directly South - Hex Beam 600W.  200+ feet above ocean.   40 ft antenna height facing South dropping down to 100ft quickly and then 200 feet ocean level within approx. 100 yrds.   Only 15 feet above roof but on the edge which favors S and E away from flat roof.

W1FDY in VA was 5-7 and clear to me beaming LP into ZS, VK, S. Pacific.

ZL1KY was beaming into N. America over Africa.   He was 5-5 and clear to me.   If he was beaming towards me - 5-9 for certain.

I turned my antenna to SP at W1FDY (NE) and he was barely readable with echo.

I turned my antenna SW at ZL and it didn't make much difference.   Again the beam is about 60 degrees.  Might see 1 or 2 S units normally.

15 Minutes later they both dropped down to 5-3 or so.  Propagation was falling.

At 10:50am I called W1FDY who was 5-1 or so by then.   He said I was light - about 5-1 or so.  Didn't have a problem hearing me though.

After that he fell off... around 11am.    The opening was about 3-4 hours today.   Not that strong though because I couldn't even hear Faroe Island on 14.320 around 7-8am Hawaii time.

At 11am - greyline was in the middle of Australia and up the Atlantic touching Northern Canada.

I'm thinking it's Skewed Long Path assisted by Greyline?   
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WH7DX
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 11:30:09 AM »

Something I haven't seen before...

This morning about 2.5 hours after sunrise.. AE4QK in Kentucky was about 5/1 pointing S from my QTH in Hawaii - barely readable SP to the N/E.  

He had a call in CA and moved his antenna from FL he said to CA direction.   That increased his audio noticeably and was about a 5-3 - very clear.   So I thought..   I'll turn my antenna N/E for SP and I'll hear him better..  Nope..  it was worse - readable but very weak.

So when he pointed in my direction I could hear him better but I needed to keep my antenna pointing towards the South for the best reception??

(In the past - usually when the East Coast turns their antenna towards me - I lose them.   This was different.   Usually the best signal was when they pointed East or South East.)

Was today just strange propagation...?

About 1 hour after sunrise I had EA3JR in Spain who was 5/1 on a dipole with 100W and I was 5/7 to 5/8 pointing South with Hex Beam and about 600W.

I'm glad to have a path.. I'm just trying to understand it.  

Currently I say..  "Long Skewed Path"..  Possible Greyline assistance?

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 11:33:12 AM by WH7DX » Logged
N4OGW
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 02:35:51 PM »

This sounds just like usual long-path propagation to me. It is not that unusual for beam headings to be a little different for very long paths.

Something I haven't seen before...

This morning about 2.5 hours after sunrise.. AE4QK in Kentucky was about 5/1 pointing S from my QTH in Hawaii - barely readable SP to the N/E.  

He had a call in CA and moved his antenna from FL he said to CA direction.   That increased his audio noticeably and was about a 5-3 - very clear.   So I thought..   I'll turn my antenna N/E for SP and I'll hear him better..  Nope..  it was worse - readable but very weak.



From his qth, the long path heading is about due east. If he had his beam towards FL, you would actually be off the side of his beam. When he pointed it west, you were off the back. Most beams have a deeper null towards the side, so when he moved that away from you his signal came up.




So when he pointed in my direction I could hear him better but I needed to keep my antenna pointing towards the South for the best reception??

(In the past - usually when the East Coast turns their antenna towards me - I lose them.   This was different.   Usually the best signal was when they pointed East or South East.)

Was today just strange propagation...?

About 1 hour after sunrise I had EA3JR in Spain who was 5/1 on a dipole with 100W and I was 5/7 to 5/8 pointing South with Hex Beam and about 600W.

I'm glad to have a path.. I'm just trying to understand it.  

Currently I say..  "Long Skewed Path"..  Possible Greyline assistance?



Your hex has a very wide pattern so it will be really hard distinguish between a signal coming from S or SW headings. Plus with your antenna close to a roof and with other antennas nearby the pattern could be somewhat distorted. Do you have a balun on it? Without a balun the pattern there could be further distortions of the pattern.

You might be able to get a more accurate heading to a station by pointing the NULL of your beam towards the other station and turning it until you get the minimum signal.

Tor
N4OGW
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WH7DX
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 03:46:34 PM »

Thanks for the input.

Yes, all the antennas have choke baluns.   The Hex Beam and 3 dipoles (limited space).  I recently moved those to that location (N/S wires) from E/W before for better N. America.

http://www.k4kio.com/chokebalun.html

With the hex beam I can usually pickup the pacific if I'm 90-120 degrees off where the signal is.   If I move the Hex to the North West right on Japan I will see an increase to maximum S units and drop a unit or two for every 30-60 degrees off target.   Yes, the beam is 60 degrees I believe.   Anything close to target is good - and right on target is usually noticeable with an S or two. 

Yes, it's only 15 feet above the roof but on the side of it.   I'm usually 5-9 into Japan which is a low altitude shot about 15 feet off the roof but still 200ft above sea level which is very close but need to skirt across the roof - drop down 200 feet to the Bay and then Climb 2000 feet over the Koolau Mountains before a clear shot into the North Pacific....  Smiley

It looks like the immediate drop to the South and East really help.   For Spain this morning I was 5-7 pointing directly South and not doable once I move off that by 60-90 degrees.   

Ea7JR is basically east SP And west LP.   Why would I be able to copy them and them copy me if I'm beaming 90 degrees off and beaming south?  I would think I'm going more LP South Pole and using the Atlantic for propagation???

I don't understand why Kentucky was stronger pointing at me versus south and my strongest angle to him was 180 south and anything off that was either much weaker or lost completely?

A guy in Florida had an 11 element ant. (12 degree beam?) and he was certain he would hear me better if he swung his antenna around from the E (Europe) to the West.. but I lost him and he lost me immediately - and came back when we was turning back down from the North to the E (which would be normal LP)   but I didn't hear him any louder when we was SP like Kentucky?    The guy in Florida said he couldn't tell a big difference from NE to SE - I was there..  like in the Atlantic?

Ouch - just gave myself a headache!   Smiley

Why only in the AM when the sun comes up on 20M and then for 4 hours later?   Perhaps I'll lose this connection soon when the South Pole does dark??

My South take off angle and ocean must be taking me around?
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WH7DX
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 08:26:17 PM »

I just remembered.   During our winter months Hawaii qth south side can go south to Russia and Europe after our sunset in front of their sunrise on 10m if the MUF allows down south - which it does during that period.   It's about 8pm our time.   I'm thinking 20m is doing the same thing going West on 20m?   I heard kh6qr Doug working a pile up and I had my first Italy that night.   My Elmer worked many 1 yr ago and was really excited by the prop.   A VK was listening at first and didn't think it was doable and then it happened big time and he came back after listening and was impressed.

Now that was grey line because it swept across and you could tell as you moved into England.

Just trying to figure it out...
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 09:24:14 AM »

If you read Eric KL7AJ's article on ionospheric propagation and the way the ionosphere frequently tilts (March 2012 issue of QST) that may help explain some of what you're seeing.

Eric works in the field of ionospheric study and science and has published some very interesting stuff over the past few years.  In that particular article, he explains why there really can be such a thing as "one way propagation" on HF (ionospheric propagation), and also why the best beam heading for transmitting isn't always the best heading for receiving, when working the same station.
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N4OGW
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 09:41:35 AM »

Thanks for the input.


I don't understand why Kentucky was stronger pointing at me versus south and my strongest angle to him was 180 south and anything off that was either much weaker or lost completely?



Read what I wrote above again: the propagation was long path, which is east of KY. When he was pointing south, he had you in the null off the side of his yagi. When he pointed west, he had you off the back of his yagi and his signal came up. If he had pointed it towards the east he would have been even stronger.

This is typical for most yagis- the deepest null is off the side of the antenna, not the back.


Tor
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WH7DX
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 11:35:20 AM »

Thanks for the input guys.

I will take a look at that article.   I'm also going over my Low Band DXing book again and it has some interesting items in there like Greyline that lasts for several hours at the South Pole versus 20 minutes at the equator.   So beaming into greyline certainly works.

Tor, I believe my propagation isn't really coming from just the East.   It's the S/E for sure.   Plenty of Contacts who were pointing towards Africa and LP into the Pacific from the N. Eastern States.   

I understand what your saying about the Null now and being in the wrong antenna location... if that's what's happening.

I think I'll just work some more stations and see if they can tell where I'm coming from - like a real narrow beam Yagi. 

See what happens as Spring approaches..   I suspect I'm going under the South and back up and because I'm using 20M the MUF is doable further in front of the greyline. 

KH6MB who is big in HAM, was telling me of a LP from him and Maui.   I was mentioning my LP to California LA area with a guy in a valley who can't get anything to the West.  I was beaming south and going out into the West Coast - He was beaming East words the Colorado etc..  I might have been coming down from the North - not 100% certain.   That was my farthest so far.   About 22,000.

Using 10M it's possible to go the other way (East) and South up through the Greyline sunrise in Russia and Europe if the MUF is high enough.
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WH7DX
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 11:22:43 AM »

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

My propagation is just regular Long-Path.  I heard that the degree of LP was not a true reverse of short path but I didn't think it was so far off!

Using HamCap I can see that my contact with N4GNR in Georgia this morning was coming up from lower Africa into Georgia from the S/E - which is exactly where he was beaming and my TRUE Long-Path.  Because it happens shortly after my sunrise for 3-4 hours, I think it's assisted by greyline or cut off by darkness?  

Beaming S/W was about S1 or 2 more than directly South but easier for me at S.   It doesn't go all the way around  Smiley

My earlier contacts into EA were Greyline and then after that it was just LP into the N. America .

I looked up the article suggested about propagation and yes, Kentucky was most likely one way propagation to me.  I was still hearing him better by far LP.

I remember trying to Work Alaska and South Cook one afternoon and couldn't believe that neither would come back to me?   Was it me?   My equipment?  I was moving the antenna directly North - then directly South?  Nothing.   A couple of hours later - Jim E51JD was his usual 59.   

  




« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:42:42 AM by WH7DX » Logged
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