Category Archives: Tropo

Opening September 21st 2013

September 21st, 2013

While performing a last beacon check before going to bed and all local beacons were quite normal, I took notice of a weak carrier 1 kHz up of F1ZBK on 1296.855 MHz. After optimizing the antenna and using a narrow filter I heard EA2TZ in IN93BF over 1073 km for the first time ever.

2013-09-21 20-50 EA2TZ

Left signal: F1ZBK/B, right signal: EA2TZ/B

 EA2TZ/B as received by DJ5AR over 1073 km on 23 cm

After posting this information in the ON4KST chat, Matej, OK1TEH sent the phone number of EA2TO and told me that Javier is currently QRV on 23 cm from IN83. After exchange of a few SMS he came back on my CQs and we could complete a QSO: A new DXCC, a new square and a new tropo ODX of 1173 km on 23 cm!
When closing down the station I had a quick look on 70 cm. There he was again: EA2TO in SSB. We had a nice chat and for me: A new DXCC, a new square and a new ODX of 1173 km on 70 cm!

Only 2 QSOs tonight, but I am very happy with it.

Beacon check

March 13th, 2013

There are some beacons I am used to check whenever I am in my shack. One of them is quite a special one: DB0LTG on 1296,745 MHz.

This beacon provides a very stable signal of normally 40 dB, usable for antenna calibration, especially when the sun isn´t available at night time. On the other hand the beacon is part of a linear transponder located on the Unnenberg near Gummersbach, Germany. The input is in the 432 MHz band and the output in the 1296 MHz band. In my SDR I can even see the noise floor of the transponder next to the beacon.

DB0LTG

DB0LTG with noisefloor

When talking about the transponder, Rudi, OE5VRL/5 was the only one I worked on it until now. We had big fun in performing a QSO via DB0LTG in October 2012 when conditions allowed such a crazy test. While performing my daily beacon check tonight, I noticed some SSB signals on the transponder. So I prepared my (poor) 70 cm equipment and set it to the input frequency. My first call was heard and so I enjoyed chatting to the guys who were initially setting up and now using this nice toy every Wednesday night.

By the way: The distance from Mainz to Gummersbach is 135 km. For details of transponder and beacon visit the website of DB0LTG.

Opening October 19th – 23rd

October 24th, 2012

The beacon check in the morning of October 19th gave me the impression of a strong inversion over southeast Germany. When looking for Stations on 23 cm on the SDR I noticed a big signal in CW: OE5VRL/5 calling to Hungary. I gave him a meep in the chat to tell him how strong his signal was here in Mainz, despite the fact that I was in the back of his 3 m dish. After turning the antenna to me he was stronger than many locals.

In the following days a lot of DX stations from OK, SP, HA, S5, OE, HB9, F, LX, G, PA, I and OZ filled the log while the inversion moved from east to west. All of the four OK beacons could be heard on 23 cm. Sometimes it was a little bit confusing when I was looking for new DX beacons and DB0AAT, DB0AJA, DB0GP, DB0LB, DB0FGB, DF0ANN, HB9EME and others could be heard in nearly any direction the dish was pointing to.

QSOs on 23 cm > 400 km

QSOs on 13 cm > 400 km

QSOs on 13 cm > 400 kmI am happy with a couple of new squares on 23 and 13 cm. Two new countries on 13 cm made it perfect: S51ZO in Slovenia and I1KFH in Italy. But I fear that it was more aircraft scatter than tropo.

Beacons heard on 23 cm

DB0AAT JN67HU
DB0AJA JN59AS
DB0FGB JO50WB
DB0GP JN48WQ
DB0LB JN48OV
DB0LTG JO31TB
DB0VC JO54IF
DB0WTT JO40LG
DB0YI JO42XC
DF0ANN JN59PL
DF5AY JN49DX
F1XBC JN06JG
F1ZBK JN38BP
F5XBK JN18JS
HB9BBD JN47GA
HB9EME JN37KB
OK0EA JO70UP
OK0EJ JN99FN
OK0EL JO70SQ
OK0EQ JN89BE
PI6ASD JO22KJ
PI7ALK JO22IP
SR6LHZ JO70SS

Short opening on September 6th 2012

September 7th, 2012

After spending a day in Leipzig, I came home quite late. In the train already I had a look to the KST chat and on the Hepburn index. Both promised an interesting evening. After turning the dish to the west, I heard GB3USK in IO81 (783 km) very loud via tropo. In the following hours I could work G4EAT in JO01, G4ALY in IO70 (888 km), GU6EFB  in IN89 (778 km), G6HIE in IO90 and F9OE in IN78 (954 km) on 1296 MHz. The most impressive signal was the one of Keith, GU6EFB from Guernsey, who was 59 here in Mainz, by running only 10 W in SSB.

Opening on September 6th – QSOs on 23 cm – QRB > 500 km