Friday, September 28, 2012

Double-hop Es?

Thursday brought more great 10m propagation. Take a look at the screen-grab below.

10m WSPR signals received on G4ILO's attic dipole
The bright trace at the top right is the 10 watt signal of W3CSW at 11dB over noise. That is one of the strongest WSPR traces I've ever seen, and definitely the strongest signal from a station outside Europe. I think it has to be double-hop Sporadic-E propagation. It is interesting that my previous spot of the same station was 11dB below the noise. My 2 watts produced a positive result from his side as well.

Tuning around the 10m band and there was not the wall of loud signals that such good propagation would suggest. A couple of good old boys from Mississippi and Tennessee were chewing the rag, oblivious to the fact that their signals were bending S meter needles thousands of miles away. But apart from those few stations there was an absence of signals. A station I worked called CQ with no takers for some time afterwards. I tried CQing myself, with no result. To me this also shows that the enhanced propagation was very selective, supporting the theory that it was Sporadic-E propagation.

10m signals spotted by G4ILO, 27/9/2012
I did make a couple more SSB contacts but once again the digital sector provided the best returns for my efforts.

There is yet more interesting 10m propagation today. I have already spotted stations from VK2 and from Thailand. It's a shame you can't WSPR and operate on the same band at the same time. Or rather, it's a shame that I can't. So I'll switch between modes, running WSPR when I'm not actually in the shack and able to use the keyboard or mic.

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