Thursday, April 30, 2009

A burst of propagation

I see from the WebProp display on my website that the sunspot number is 15 today. It hasn't been that high for a while. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but as I came into the shack to close the receiver and computer down, I notice that I had logged reception of VK2GWH on 20m PSK31 at 21:22utc. In case it was a false spot, I checked the PSK Propagation Reporter site and noted that the same station had been logged at the same time by EC7ABH in southern Spain and four stations in the USA as well. No trace of him now on the waterfall, though!

I'm finding this PSK propagation monitoring quite fascinating as without it, fleeting moments of DX reception would probably pass unnoticed. I guess it was long path, though VOAProp would not have predicted it. It just goes to show that propagation still exists, if you are patient and search for it, and that computer prediction programs don't understand the half of it. I'm wondering if all the grumbling about conditions has more to do with the fact that we're all too used to having instant gratification, of pushing a button and have something happen, instead of having to wait for and work for those DX contacts.
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