It is another fifteen months since my last post here. In all I was away from amateur radio for seven and a half months from November 2020 until mid-June 2021.
My interest has always been VHF, so I missed the first half of the 2020 Sporadic E season and did not catch much of the second half as it took me a while to get going. I did work an EA6 on 2 in June. I had some nice tropo QSO into Sweden on 70 cms in July, OZ on 2 and 70 in September and OK1GTH on 2 in November. All stations worked with SSB. That is about it as there has been little decent tropo over the whole period since June 2021.
Being currently not as able as I used to be, although I hope for some more improvement, I have some projects on the backburner. I would really like to put up a couple of antennas for four metres and maybe six metres (70 and 50 MHz) but need to enlist some help as the Sporadic E season is almost here again.
After a long time with no decent tropo it has been an interesting week with a good opening to Scandinavia and the Baltic. Conditions were first good on 17th September when I worked OZ on 23 cms, but on 2 metres it seemed initially that the good propagation was going over our heads on the East Coast, with the West, Wales and Northern Ireland being favoured into Scandinavia. I cannot complain too much. I did make some good QSOs as the days moved on, the highlights being on 2 metres SM4GGC at 1183 km and on 70 cms SP1MVG who called me when I was just finishing with OZ1BNN. Poland was a new country on 70 cms and obviously a new square.
I run 100 watts on 2 metres and 10 watts on 23 cms with my IC-9700, and 50 watts on 70 cms using my FT991.
Here is a summary of the most pleasing contacts, all SSB:
We had an interesting tropo event starting on 28th December and ending at my QTH on 30th. All QSOs were SSB. Conditions were very good to the East and North East, and good to the South and South West, but surprisingly from my QTH there was less propagation to the South East, so no HB9s etc. On 2 metres I used my newish IC9700 with 100 watts to my 7 element and on 70 cms my FT991 with 50 watts to a 13 element.
On 2 metres amongst others I worked on the 28th:
F5ICN JN03 933km
EA1MX IN73 974km
SM7EQL JO65 940km
GU0UVH IN89 not so far but I had never worked Alderney!
EB1AH IN73 and he was running 5 watts to a 3-element antenna
On 70 cms amongst others and still all on SSB on 29th:
GJ8CEY IN89 not so far but a new country and square on 70 coms
GU6EFB IN89 new country 😊
DJ8MS JO54 793km
OZ9FW JO65 883km
OZ1HDF JO55 852km
OZ9GE JO66 905km
OZ8ZS JO55 851km
EI19RE IO51 New country and square on 70 cms
Conditions were so good for a period that the OZs called me on the back of the beam as I was looking South West.
I know that others worked more DX than did I, but I enjoyed the event and am happy with the results.
Having missed out on all the Sporadic E on 2 metres save IK8EVE (JN71) on 1st June it was good to be treated to some decent tropo. Starting on the evening of 27th June, on 2 metres I worked with my 25 watts all on SSB:
On 28th June in the evening on 2 metres:
On 29th June in the morning earlyish
SM7YES JO67 and incredibly strong signal.
On 29th June, SK6VHF (JO57) on 144.404 MHz was audible until about midday but faded as pressure fell so that when we were down to 1012 millibars at 1700 I knew the event was over.
I did try my luck on 70 cms with my one watt, and worked on 28th June:
So, a little bit of fun finding and working a little way away. I seem to have some advantage with sea paths, being near to the Thames and Crouch estuaries, and reaching mainly stations near the coast in Scandinavia.