2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 29 May 2017 10:52

I'll start this one off this year. Somebody is bound to bring this up sooner or later.

What is bad about this year's season is not just the lack of band 2 openings, but the lack of frequency of Es openings below band 2. Going by other DXer's reports, there haven't even been the expected levels of band 1 activity. Even 6m has been slow. So it's quite a wide spectrum of 'nothing'.

We know that the Es are random and things could take off at any moment, but the overall picture is a very weak one so far.

If the recent Jim Bacon video is anything to go by, Es are probably caused by meteor debris which has been trapped in the E layer. There hasn't been much evidence of any great meteor activity lately.

Yes, it's all doom and gloom! But something will happen, sooner or later. The chances of missing it are just greater this season.

pe1etr
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by pe1etr » 29 May 2017 10:55

I knew I'd jinx it. I've had no Es at all yet -I'm East, it's in the West, I'm West it's in the East.

Peter

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 29 May 2017 11:01

So it's your fault? :x

I wonder if anybody has checked MS activity against good Es seasons, just to see the actual correlation. I'm sure Jim Bacon and co are right. MS debris is surely responsible, in part or entirely so. Personally, I think Sod's Law is largely responsible for a lot of this. :roll:

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 29 May 2017 11:42

It's a really poor start, no question.

Seemed to be making slow but sure progress up to the 20th, but virtually nothing since then, at a time you would expect the openings to start to ramp up.

I find the MMMoVHF cumulative Es chart a very good guide - http://www.mmmonvhf.de/es/eval/all_seas ... =599548672

And looking at that during my first 4 seasons on Band 2 has always confirmed my gut instincts so far. 2013 pretty good, 2014 very poor (worst in last 10 years at least), 2015 rather better and 2016 was ok after a very poor May up to 28th or so.

This year, the graph colour is red. Can you see it? No? Thought not.

Reflects my instinct that this year has been a complete and utter stinker up til now.

THat is not to say all is lost. Look at the curve for 2007. Poor start, and very little action up to around 2nd June (though better than this year, or last..) Then watch it take off!

No panic here.. just disappointment at the very poor start.
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by sleeper77 » 29 May 2017 12:04

I remember 2010 being a bit poor until the very end of May, when Austria, Czech Republic, Scandinavia & even Russia made an appearance on B2. I don't know whether the solar cycle has anything to do with the E Skip signals but even so, other bands have been touch & go too in regards to reception. There is still time for things to kick off. And as I speak, 11m signals still active so some hope at least.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 29 May 2017 12:06

It is clear that high solar activity can put a dampener on temerate zone Es (1989 a classic example) but activity is relatively low as we slowly decline to solar minimum. Activity at times has been virtually rock-bottom, thought has picked up a little in last 3-4 weeks.
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.

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Nick Gilly
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Nick Gilly » 29 May 2017 12:10

On the other hand the Es season has been a lot better so far Stateside so maybe this means an increased chance of someone receiving TA exotics on Band 2?
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by daveB » 30 May 2017 18:44

As soon as I read this I thought - bet we get a huge opening :lol:

Driving to Canterbury at 10 am I got Thessaloniki Laikos on 87.6, EraSport higher up. Greece with solid RDS on a car radio!! Also BNR HR.BOTEV and other E European. On 87.5 / 88.0 music that sounded vaguely Indian - and I note Israel was received in East Sussex (maybe it was Israeli?). I will be trawling through my recordings VERY carefully. When I saw the MUF maps around 0930 am I said to the wife - I bet there will be Middle Eastern reception - which incidentally is a year and a day from when I received a whole bunch from JOR, LBN and ISR.

A one trip pony - or hope for a better season?

Good DX
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by sleeper77 » 30 May 2017 19:02

Low and behold it finally kicked off today. Shame it had to happen on a workday. This is why everyone needs an SDR with remote facility to record & not miss out. Would have liked to record the amateur bands but could only do B2 but no complaints here as I will have to go through the recordings.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 30 May 2017 21:20

Yes, it finally happened. The first 'proper' Es opening of the season.

I was DXing live for a short time, then I had to go out, so a few SDR recordings to check through yet.

Good DX!

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by daveB » 30 May 2017 23:03

Bingo! 0835Z 88.0 PI logged:42E5 - ten minutes before the opening really kicked in with single hop stations from Italy - at 0854 Z. A second station on 88.8 is almost certainly Israel from the same transmitter site - heard as arabic at 0908 Z - Safet or Jerusalem in both cases.
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 30 May 2017 23:32

Very nice Dave. I heard Arabic on a couple of channels myself at the beginning of this opening, but not on the two frequencies you mention. 101.3 was one, something mixing with Greece. I think 88.3 was the other. My path would probably be different to yours anyway, so I will probably never know who these were. They were not up to RDS level.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Nick Gilly » 30 May 2017 23:56

daveB wrote:
30 May 2017 23:03
Bingo! 0835Z 88.0 PI logged:42E5 - ten minutes before the opening really kicked in with single hop stations from Italy - at 0854 Z. A second station on 88.8 is almost certainly Israel from the same transmitter site - heard as arabic at 0908 Z - Safet or Jerusalem in both cases.
Very nice log Dave! Why did the Es wait until I was back at work after the long weekend? Bah!

Having said that Italy was trying in fits and starts earlier on, culminating with Radio Maria on 87.8 briefly with full RDS at 2210 UTC/11.10 pm BST. I'm hoping this means another good day tomorrow.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by pe1etr » 31 May 2017 07:27

Nick Gilly wrote:
30 May 2017 23:56
daveB wrote:
30 May 2017 23:03
Bingo! 0835Z 88.0 PI logged:42E5 - ten minutes before the opening really kicked in with single hop stations from Italy - at 0854 Z. A second station on 88.8 is almost certainly Israel from the same transmitter site - heard as arabic at 0908 Z - Safet or Jerusalem in both cases.
Very nice log Dave! Why did the Es wait until I was back at work after the long weekend? Bah!

Having said that Italy was trying in fits and starts earlier on, culminating with Radio Maria on 87.8 briefly with full RDS at 2210 UTC/11.10 pm BST. I'm hoping this means another good day tomorrow.
31st May update:

Building up nicely from the East and heading West.

Maybe today I'll get something.

Peter

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 31 May 2017 12:16

yes, another working day, another opening.

Yesterday, I got home from work just after 5 and caught the last minute of an opening (to Corsica) and that was that. Did record the morning opening, to the Balkans, not finished going through that yet. Hurrah for SDRs and Teamviewer.

After yesterday, the red line on MMMoVHF has finally appeared, below any of the previous ten years including the awful stinker that was 2014. A few days activity will soon have that line shooting upwards - after Friday I have ten days aff, however, so expect conditions to be dead from then till the 13th when i go back to work!
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 31 May 2017 14:14

2017 Es season has been very quiet even on band 1 worse than last year which here was the worst year since I stated FM DX in 2011.
Anyway yesterday was a mediocre opening due to to Italian soup but hey it was an opening and today more Italian soup.

Band 1 has picked up over the past week so hopefully things will improve in June just glad Ramadan stations are not as strong as previous years.

Well done David on your reception.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 31 May 2017 21:31

So no Es from June 3rd to the 10th! Cheers Jim ;)

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by pe1etr » 31 May 2017 21:43

John Faulkner, Skegness wrote:
31 May 2017 21:31
So no Es from June 3rd to the 10th! Cheers Jim ;)
You should send Jim back to work and me back to Iraq.

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 31 May 2017 23:42

This would save the season if only it could be arranged! ;)

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Re: 2017 Es Season Off To A Hopeless Start

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 10 Jun 2017 21:10

well well well.. 10 days on and the season looks very different! We have had as much Es since 30 May as in the whole of 2014 put together. The aforementioned MMMoVHF graph now shows this season to be around average so far, and level with 2015 which had a pretty decent May.
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.

Elad FDM-S2, Perseus/FM+ and Funcube Dongle SDR Recievers 8-element OP-DES for Band 2, 12-ele ZL Special for 2m, plus wideband vertical
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