ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Propagation questions, answers and general information
satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 07 Jun 2015 15:08

Show you my big logs, oor err missus!

I finished last season with 214 6m squares and my logging programme tell me I now have 219. My cumulative target is 225 for the season so making good progress there. My DXCC total for 6m is 58 and no progress there so far this year. Also had a bit of Band I TV DX and Italian STL feeders in. Don't bother about Band II here - I'm not a Band II dxer.

The season is from May to August so we're just over 25% gone and the doom merchants are singing their usual songs of woe once more. Let's call the season when the season ends and remind ourselves that "sporadic" is almost the opposite meaning of "frequent". 6m is always going to have more Sp E action than band II so beacon monitoring for openings can be productive. There's always a dxing silver cloud somewhere!

ciao for now

Stuart

And sfi back up above 130 so even got up at 630 local item to try and grab some Pacific ATNOs. No luck but three new 17m band slots means the morning was productive in the dxing sense.

Nick Gilly
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by Nick Gilly » 07 Jun 2015 15:25

satnipper wrote:Show you my big logs, oor err missus!

I finished last season with 214 6m squares and my logging programme tell me I now have 219. My cumulative target is 225 for the season so making good progress there. My DXCC total for 6m is 58 and no progress there so far this year. Also had a bit of Band I TV DX and Italian STL feeders in. Don't bother about Band II here - I'm not a Band II dxer.

The season is from May to August so we're just over 25% gone and the doom merchants are singing their usual songs of woe once more. Let's call the season when the season ends and remind ourselves that "sporadic" is almost the opposite meaning of "frequent". 6m is always going to have more Sp E action than band II so beacon monitoring for openings can be productive. There's always a dxing silver cloud somewhere!

ciao for now

Stuart

And sfi back up above 130 so even got up at 630 local item to try and grab some Pacific ATNOs. No luck but three new 17m band slots means the morning was productive in the dxing sense.

As most of us are referring to the season on Band 2 then I think that says it all. For a season where there are daily 6m openings but the MUF very rarely rises above 90 MHz then that would be seen as a poor season by most on here. I don't monitor 10m and 6m but it seems that even here it is quieter than usual. OK it is possible that the season could redeem itself and the second half of June and July might be excellent, but SO FAR it has not been good.

I think you would make a good politician.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 07 Jun 2015 15:43

Hmmm, Mohammed and the mountain springs to mind here. If the dx is not coming to you, Nick, then you have to go to the dx...

Cheers

Stuart

ps
My manifesto will call for daily tropo enhancement at 17.30 so that should get your vote!

Jim (Bournemouth)
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 07 Jun 2015 15:46

My experience over 30 years of working/monitoring Es when it comes to the main part of the season (Solstice +/- one month) is: if it doesnt start well, it doesnt tend to improve too much, if at all.

Decent or even average seasons do not have first weeks of June where four days out of seven are completely devoid of anything on 6m, and of the other three, two have given a couple of hours each on 6m and the other (today, so we could get more of course) gave half an hour to CT/EA here and thats yer lot.

With the above two paragraphs in mind, and given that I am usually a positive sort of guy, I do not consider the posts in this thread by those bemoaning the quality of this season so far, as unreasonable.
WE all know what "sporadic" means in the context here, but it doesnt mean "sparse" or "almost non-existent" over the last 10 days.

This board is primarily for broadcast and utility dx-ing - yes a number of us hold Amateur licences and use the amateur bands as indicators.

This thread is therefore focussed in this case on Band 2 DX..... and should be taken in that context.

Referring to " doom merchants are singing their usual songs of woe once more" is a little below the belt, imho.
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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satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 07 Jun 2015 15:49

Well if this thread is Band II only then I'll drop out though the opening post was about 11m...

daveB
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by daveB » 07 Jun 2015 23:25

To the tune of an old pop song "Where's the DX gone dum di dum di dum Where's the DX gone dum di dum di dum - Far far away....
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 08 Jun 2015 10:31

Haha. I was actually just thinking about that very same song last night!

daveB
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by daveB » 09 Jun 2015 18:36

Be careful what you wish for!

system overload - system overload :mrgreen:
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 09 Jun 2015 18:41

Been a good afternoon on 6m. Oman at 5800 km is a big double bunny hop.

daveB
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by daveB » 09 Jun 2015 23:18

Very nice! But at 5800 km I would venture to ask is it a simple double hop or a more complex propagation mode. Moot point really but at times I even wonder, when short skip of 1000 km is about, whether reception at 2000 km at the same time could be double hop.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 10 Jun 2015 09:14

I think you may be right. For me on 6m over 2100 km seems to be the single hop limit. Or to put it another way, the limit for "simple" Sp E contacts. 5,800 km could well be a complex mix of F2 (sfi is back up to 130+) and E cloud ducting. with no "hopping" per se. F layer propagation to the Middle East on 10m is a simple path.

Stuart

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 10 Jun 2015 13:15

This got me thinking.

There is a very definite brick wall for me On band 2 which seems to end fairly abruptly at 2300 km, but only to the south-east. Reaching the east coast of Bulgaria never seems to be a problem, or even eastern Greece, as happened yesterday (Kavala). But swing south to south-west and and I can often tread further, probably because of tropo extensions in the "Azores High". You would think the Black Sea would extend things further, but no. Same when I get Ukraine. I can reach Odessa and that's it.

Somebody was discussing the maximum theoretical distance of a single hop (I think our friend Mr Emslie) as Nick was explaining to me. He was very precise. It was something around 2370 km (from memory). Beyond that and it's just not possible. But I think it's very dangerous to state such precise figures in this hobby. I remember Mr Emslie telling me flatly that I would never achieve transatlantic Es on 6m because of the close proximity of the Peak District to my QTH in west Nottinghamshire. It wasn't long before that one went straight out of the window when I worked the US and a few Caribbean islands.

The theory may often be correct, but the practice can be very different. Just a bit of food for thought.

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 10 Jun 2015 13:35

I think I'm in agreement with you - the maximum simple Sp E contact range increases with MUF so our experiences on 6m and Band II tie up. I'm sure that the longer distances have tropo enhancement (sea paths) or F layer ducting (land paths) interacting with the E clouds.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 06 Jul 2015 19:37

http://www.mmmonvhf.de/es/eval/all_season_progress.png

This says it all. A few good days and that's it! Things could pick up, but how long have we got now? Two or three weeks of supposedly 'peak season' remaining?

It's pot luck with Es and nobody can argue with that, but the 2015 Es season on band 2 has been the poorest I have known.

satnipper
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by satnipper » 13 Jul 2015 13:07

Well for what it's worth I have achieved my 6m goals for this season. Now on 60 DXCC and have 231 squares worked. The one that got away was Oman but I now have an amp in line for 6m so hopefully I'll have a better shot next time - can't really get a higher or more gain 6m antenna up here.

Ditto for some of the Caribbean stations - should have worked one or two at least.

Next year the target will be 65 DXCC and 250 squares - I'll probably just focus exclusively on the real DX stations and not log the Italian call book. However we've now started the sunspot decline and you really need F2 support to work distance Es beyond, say, 2400 km).

Stuart

Jim (Bournemouth)
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 23 Aug 2015 14:16

Well... here we are, pretty much at the end of the season given that we are 2 months past the solstice.

My personal view (with regard to Band 2) is that it's been a curate's egg of a season - both good and bad in parts. It had a very patchy start with the beginning of June being particularly bad up until the 9th (even lagging behind 2014, see later) with even 6m very quiet for long periods. This was aggravated with the decent openings virtually all happening during normal working hours, and a lack of evening/weekend openings.
The season was much better from 9th June onwards, though still only average from here on in.

I think we were short on the number of good days, but the good days really were very good indeed with some excellent openings. Thanks to the number of good days being very good indeed, the number of 2m openings this season was quite reasonable.
Also seems to be a real lack of northerly openings - I logged one Swedish station all summer on Band 2, and never even heard Norway or Iceland at all.

6m wise, there seems to have been a lack of Transatlantic openings, and therefore a lack of reports of A2 tv.

All that said... here is a link to the cumulative Es chart on MMM0VHF site: http://www.mmmonvhf.de/eseval.php?sum=1 - 5th chart down.
On the basis of that chart, the season has been around 66% of average, but a whole lot better than last year which was very poor indeed.
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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daveB
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by daveB » 23 Aug 2015 16:39

This was aggravated with the decent openings virtually all happening during normal working hours, and a lack of evening/weekend openings.
Hi Jim,

You have got all the kit needed to minimise your frustration by running SDR# with a scanner plugin 24/7 and linking the output to RDSSpy. Afterward you collate the scanner frequency log to the RDSpy log. It might not be as exciting as picking up openings live - but not far off it. When operating live it's like an extra pair of hands leaving the operator free to concentrate on winkling out the more elusive stations.

Given that you have both an Elad and a Funcube you could run the Funcube all the time for scanning and use the Elad for live tuning or recording a 5MHz span.

In fact I'm seriously considering purchasing an FCPro+ just for 24/7 band scanning as I don't need more than the single channel bandwidth to do that. From seeing the schematics the filtration on HF is much more comprehensive than the SDRPlay.

Rgds

David
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

Jim (Bournemouth)
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Re: ok you're allowed to moan about the poor e skip now!

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 24 Aug 2015 12:41

Good tip, David.

I need to play with SDR# and RDS Spy a bit more, I can only get it to work intermittently at the moment. Not sure why... I've listened to the output with the VAC audio repeater and cant find an obvious problem.
I have found SDR Radio to be pretty sensitive for RDS these days (more so than SDR#) so I tend to stick with that.
I am in the somewhat fortunate position of being able to use my laptop at work and access my radios via Teamviewer, so I can set streams going if things look hopeful. Have managed a good bit of DX that way.
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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