Duct 03.05.04

For those unaware of the fact, there was actually some very good duct conditions this morning (monday 3rd), I was able to copy VK7MO direct on Tropo @ 1731 km approx, but Rex refused to respond on JT65 for a contact which would have taken all of 5 mins.

Last night things looked good, Renmark TV was 20dB and Adelaide 2m beacon was S2 with QSB at about 10.30pm.

Left the rig on Adelaide beacon with attenuator set to reduce band noise back to zero and I set the squelch break to S2.

Around 1.30 am the beacon started to break sql but was in and out until about 3am when it was quite solid.
Got outta bed to find the beacon was actually S5! Did not bother calling on SSB and went to FM and checked for repeaters, the only one there at that stage was Crafers 147.000. Put out a call and Greg VK5THA came back to me,
around 3.20am. Gradually others started to come in including Murray Bridge and Lobethal, but weak.

Sent Rex a phone message saying will call early and advise to try Jt65.

Later, between about 6.30 am and 7 am, the Adelaide 2m beacon was S9! and repeaters were looking good, even had Barossa Valley on 70cm (737 km).

I switched to see if Rex was there and he was, I could hear pings easy. Knowing the condx and general duct behaviour at Eucla I listened on Spectran for a direct signal, sure enough, he was there but very weak, easy JT65.

I began sending Rex messages on FSK441b such as "VK7MO JT65 .340 VK2KRR" and "ADELAIDE BEACON S9!!" but no response back from Rex.

So at about 7.10 am I gave up hope, I also had to get to work.

Then about 7.25am I had another listen and Rex was audible on FSK direct and the FSK screen showed lines running across it.

I tried again to get Rex to respond, "VK7MO JT65 URGENT VK2KRR" .... I had to go to work and was already late. No reponse again, even though I had meteor burns coming in over Tropo up to almost 20 secs long.

Quite dissapointed, I was still able to work VK5UBC on SSB. Also had report that Brian was able to work the Canberra repeater to S9 signal and spoke to VK1NPW and VK1ZQR. I also was able to get to the Port Augusta repeater on 146.975 @ 913 km.

I also looked for Albany and Esperance on Spectran, nothing seen.

At least just hearing Rex confirmed thoughts about Eucla. I have yet to check duct graphs but shall do shortly.


Leigh VK2KRR