June 3rd, 2023
In Spring 2022 I installed a new antenna system for 2 m, 70 cm and 23 cm at my second home in Ireland. In the last days I could experience a long duration tropospheric opening to the continent.
On May 23rd I noticed a large ducting area to the north, shown in the Hepburn Tropo Index. Not really expecting something, I turned the antenna northwards and was surprised to hear OY6BEC in IP62mb over 958 km with 529 on 2 m. It could be monitored most of the time until June, 2nd. Even on 70 cm it could be heard from time to time, but nothing on 23 cm, even when it peaked up to S9+20 dB on 2 m on May 28th. I contacted Regin, QY1R and Trygvi, QY4TN, for skeds on 2 m, but unfortunately no signals could be detected. The two stations are quite close to sea level and the beacon is located on Mt. Sornfelli, 745 m asl.
From May 13th to May 28th I had a couple of contacts in the range, aircraft scatter allows. Beside the 2 m QSOs (green), I had some on 70cm (blue) as well. I worked the local lads on 23 cm (red) and had a QSO with Martin, GM8IEM, as I had promised him to arrange a sked, as soon as 23 cm is up and running. On May 26th a short Es opening happend and I could work Paolo, IK7UXW, with whom I had a couple of QSOs and tests from home in Mainz on 23 and 13 cm via a combination of tropo and aircraft scatter propagation in the past.
On June 29th the reach extended by tropo to the costal area from northern France to the west of Germany. ODX of the day was Günter, DG6JF/P, over 1105 km.
As the propagation conditions went to normal for me on May 30th, the next day, May 31st, startet with QSOs to Denmark on 2 m (green) and 70 cm (blue). Around noon the duct extended to the very north of Germany. ODX of the day was Oliver, DH8BQA, JN73ce over 1559 km. The duct seemed to be very narrow, as Chris, SM6VTZ, and Steffen, DD0VF, could only be worked via meteor scatter (yellow).
The duct moved southwards on June 1st with many stations from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. no more DX contacts were made on 70 cm, just the 2 m band was open for me. ODX of the day was Uwe, DL4DWA, over 1559 km, followed by Peter , DL3JIN over 1542 km.
And again the duct moved southwards on June 2nd and calmed down around noon. ODX of the day was Gerhard, DK1FG, over 1459 km with an outstanding signal, just, as I am used to, when QRV at home in Germany.
Fun fact: When I turned my antenna to the north in the early morning of June 2nd, OY6BEC over 980 km was still there. Turning the antenn to the east, I could hear DB0HRF, JO40ff, over 1276 km. It is located on the Feldberg, as close to my German home, that I can see the mountain out of the window of my shack.