Monday, May 03, 2010

First 6m Sporadic-E contacts of 2010

I spent the morning building this constant current charging circuit on to the circuit board of the junk Motorola charger I bought on eBay. I also made a power lead so that it is powered by my K2 power supply, eliminating the need for yet another wall-wart. The charger was supplied with a UK type switched mode power supply rated at 12V 1000mA. In view of the "quality" of the charger itself it is unlikely that I would want to use the wall-wart that came with it for anything, but surprisingly when I tested it I couldn't find any obvious interference. As I have said before, the electrical noise level here is so high that something would have to be pretty bad for me to notice it, but that was a device which I expected to be pretty bad.

As I was checking the bands for new unwanted noises I heard a CW signal on the 6m band. That turned out to be EB1EHO, whom I worked for my first Sporadic-E contact of the year. I spent an hour or so on the band and worked several stations on the west coast of Spain and one in Portugal, CT1ANO.

As you can see from the DX Sherlock map, the reflective Sporadic-E cloud appeared to be located somewhere over South Wales. I did hear a Scottish station working EA6/M0DLL on the island of Menorca. The DX was right down in the noise and not copyable on my dipole but might have been workable if I had a beam. So clearly there was Sporadic-E about elsewhere.

This opening was a nice treat for a Bank Holiday and I hope is an indicator of things to come this year.
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