Saturday, May 21, 2011

6m magic

Today was the first really big Sporadic-E opening of the year. Six metres was wide open across the whole of Europe and Scandinavia. There was even a good 2 metre Sporadic-E opening in central Europe though no propagation appeared to reach the UK.

Yesterday I worked a string of Spanish stations on Six but that opening was not as good as today's. This morning's fun began with a contact with OK2IEN, then it was mostly Germans with a few other countries until round about lunch time.

I prefer the relaxing pace of Search and Pounce but when most of the stations you pounce on either have a pile-up and don't hear you or are S&Ping themselves and move away it's time to call CQ. It's not something I often do and it's almost more than my brain can cope with to talk to people while simultaneously typing into the computer their report, locator and call, but I quickly worked a string of stations and often had two or three at once replying to my CQ calls. This isn't something that happens often when you run a stealth dipole so you have to enjoy it when you can!

In the afternoon, for a break, I tried JT65A. A lot of the interest in monitoring 50.076 seems to have evaporated when conditions were flat but a few stations were on and I made three contacts using the mode, though none were DX I could not have worked on SSB.

Later the propagation seemed to have shifted North to favour Denmark and Sweden and I worked a number of stations from there, many at massive signal strength. In all I made 45 contacts today - probably more than I have ever made during a single day except when playing in a contest.

I love six metres - it really is the magic band!

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