Map of 6m Squares Worked

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satnipper
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Map of 6m Squares Worked

Post by satnipper » 19 Jun 2015 11:49

This is a fascinating map (IMHO) showing the 224 6m squares I have worked so far - http://www.swradiorelay.com/6m-squares-worked/

Amazing to see the E cloud sweet spots!

Stuart

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Map of 6m Squares Worked

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 19 Jun 2015 12:01

Very interesting indeed.

Not just the sweet spots though, look at the areas which aren't checked. There's something about individual locations which makes them more unique than we might imagine. Although we are, in theory, equally placed for sporadic E, there are distance boundaries and potential reflection points (double hop in mind) which make things different for us. This might be why some people have more luck with double hop than others. I am baffled as to why I haven't had any of this in the last five years on an empty band. I've barely missed an opening. Bad luck or location factors?

Hope I am not taking this off-topic too much.

satnipper
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Re: Map of 6m Squares Worked

Post by satnipper » 19 Jun 2015 12:12

Not at all and you are absolutely right about the unchecked areas. Some of them have no or very small amateur populations (e..g North Africa and Spanish interior). Others such as that corridor through Poland and SE Germany/Austria I am mystified by.

IMHO I actually think true double hop is very very infrequent; most contacts over 2,200 km are a mixture of Sp E and F2/TEP/Tropo/something else. Location certainly plays a part - last night Puerto Rico on 50110 was being worked by M6 and 2E stations in Midlands and North giving genuine 59 reports. Here on 3 element beam there was not a peep.

You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right kit. There's a reason amateurs call 6m the Magic Band though not being able to contact Oman last week because I had the mast down due to wind leads me to describe it more as the Tragic Band...

Stuart

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Map of 6m Squares Worked

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 19 Jun 2015 12:46

Don't start me off about having the right kit ;) Of course it helps a lot, but being there at the right time is key above all other factors. As somebody once said (I think it was Ken Brownless) It doesn't matter what antenna you use, if the conditions aren't there, you won't receive anything! Having the biggest beverage or the tallest mast means nothing without propagation. In this sense, it gives us all a level playing field.

It still doesn't account for these black spots. Have the experts agreed on the propagation mode over the Atlantic? About ten years ago, when I was DXing band 1 TV, there were various theories regarding this, but nobody could agree if it was standard Es, Es + tropo and even a new mode which didn't have a name. Those transatlantic signals would usually be very stable.

My only extended Es on band 2 here have been to southern Morocco, Western Sahara, Canaries, Azores and Madeira. That's probably Es to the big "Azores High", so tropo the rest of the way.

If only we could see the signals themselves and how they propagate, it would all become very clear. No doubt a few text books would need some re-writing.

satnipper
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Re: Map of 6m Squares Worked

Post by satnipper » 19 Jun 2015 13:09

When I say "right kit" I am meaning the right kit to work Sp E dx (in this context not Spain/Italy etc) and also how to use that kit. A beam/rotator is probably the most important element - some openings tend to be short lived and you need to be beaming in the right direction to break the pile-up - the latter not being a Band II consideration. Mind you "the biggest beverage or the tallest mast" does give you a big advantage when there is propagation :-) God is with the big stations as Napoleon used to (kinda) say...

I would say Band I "DX" is Sp E/F2 or TEP in most cases and Band II is SpE/Tropo. "Those transatlantic signals would usually be very stable" - this is why I don't believe in pure double/triple hop etc - how can the signals be so very stable in these cases? These combined modes are normally explained by forms of "narrow ducting" - there being no actual reflection of the signal at an intermediate point on the earth's surface.

But again - why blackspots? It actually just makes it much more interesting that we don't know why and you never know what is going to happen. Bit like TA MF dxing - after worst NA season for many a year the LA season is progressing well.

Stuart

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