Record opening 02.01.06.
G'day again all
Did not manage to find anyone to make contact with from Albany area. Albany
70cm beacon (2682 km) was coming in here from about 5am to about 12 midday
The Boddington repeater did not get over S2 and it was very difficult to
access below this level, but fortunately it seemed to be being keyed up
constantly and I could monitor what the condx were up to.
As a huge surprise! At approx 11.10am EDST I was able to work on 144.100
(QSYd to 144.080) with Wayne VK6JR at OF76mi, which I believe is at or near
Dunsborough, close to Busselton WA. The distance is 2933 Km!! Waynes signal
here was 5/2. Fairly sure Wayne gave me a 5/5 report but I did not write it
down in the mad panic, but everything was confirmed on air at the time OK.
Wayne was at home and running a yagi with only 30 watts.
I asked Wayne if he had 70cm, he did, but not from home. So he advised he
would go portable to the local hill top and call me on 432.100 MHz in a
A little while later I copied Wayne from up on the hill. He was 5/5 signal
on 144.100. We QSYd to 144.080 and then tried 432.100. Nothing was copied at
either end on 432.100.
Back then briefly to 144.080 and we confirmed nothing was heard. Wayne then
was able to work Garry VK5ZK at Goolwa on 144.080. This was around 2200 Km
Some slight confusion as to whether these contacts with VK6JR occured due to
Tropo or due to Sporadic E.
The whole reason these contacts came about was because I initially heard
VK6JR calling CQ on 50.110. I came back to Wayne there and we went to
50.160. There was another unknown station there, so we went to 50.170.
Waynes signal was a fairly constant 5/7. Not really much in the way of
SporadicE type QSB, especially on a double hop. Because of the almost 3000
Km between us a double hop would be needed.
Garry VK5ZK was not aware of VK6JR being on 50 MHz as Garry only worked
Wayne later when Wayne was portable on 144.
As I am aware, VK6JR is of the belief that the contacts were double E to me
and single E to Garry.
VK5ZK is of the belief that his contact was via Tropo.
Meanwhile I am unsure at this stage, more investigation required. I would
lean towards tropo.
Factors FOR tropo -
*Strong tropo conditions in the SE.
*I was picking up the Albany (Mt Barker) 70cm beacon all morning on tropo,
which is in a very similar direction to VK6JR.
*Hepburn predicted the possibility.
*Weather maps indicated the possibility (no trough along the WA coast)
*I was able to hear the Boddington repeater 147.250, approx 150Km NE from
VK6JR for an hour or more.
*Early morning. Only 8am WA time.
Factors AGAINST tropo -
*Fairly confined. I thought I would have been able to get some other
repeaters such as Manjimup, Bunbury. (Though I could not get Albany
repeaters either but getting the beacon).
*Could not hear VK6JR on 432. (weak signals on 2m though so maybe not
*Signal would have had to go over hilly land and back down to reach VK6JR
Factors FOR Es -
*I worked VK6JR on 50 MHz.
*An E skip would go over the land mass easy.
*VK6JR mentioned getting to ZL and VK4 on Es that morning already.
*Opening did not appear to last too long. But we dont know when the
conditions were first there at 6JR end because there was no indicator.
Factors against Es -
*Working VK6JR on 50 MHz tropo is not out of the question. Im not sure of
Waynes set up, but I only have a 1/2 dipole on 50. With 100W.
*There was no expected QSB of Es this end, especially on double hop.
*Waynes signal was 5/2 from the house and 5/5 from the hill. But this can
not be an accurate measure due to signal rises and falls over time.
*I listened on 10m and 6m for other beacons and signal from the west, but
nothing was heard.
*No one else heard VK6JR on 2m except Garry. If the Es were as wide spread
as mentioned (ZL/VK4) surely other could have heard 6JR. Where as in the
past it has been noted that with an opening such as Boxing Day '03 to
Boddington, that only VK5UBC and myself were able to get through.
Shall download ducting graphs for a further investigation shortly.
Just some futher notes of interest.
Except for the initial signals from Adelaide coming in, the path to Adelaide
was quite weak. The Adelaide 2m beacon was totally gone at one stage mid
morning while I was hearing the Albany 70cm beacon ok.
Only the most regular Adelaide area repeaters were heard. Eg. Murray Bridge,
Barossa, Lobethal. Even Barossa and Lobethal were quite weak most of the
time. Murray Bridge was a little better.
No signals at all were heard from extended VK5 repeaters such as Port Pirie,
Port Augusta, Cowell and Port Lincoln.
Signals were unusually good from Mt Gambier on 2 & 70 and much of VK3 was
quite good. At one point, I thought I was into the Albany 2m repeater, but
turned out to be Healsville in VK3. About S8 while beaming VK6.
Brian VK5UBC was very weak most of the time out at Corny Point.
I found VK5ZK at Goolwa to be quite a good signal, where Garry is usually a
bit weaker in the majority of openings.
VK5AKK was OK on 2m but much weaker on 70cm.
VK5PO and ZLX were much weaker than usual, but may not have been beaming
During the previous opening to Boddington repeater, I found that Port
Lincoln 2 & 70 repeaters were quite strong. This time they were not even
heard. Although Boddington was not strong either.
The Albany 70cm beacon peaked up to 5/3 mid morning.
I believe I did hear VK6WG speaking to VK5DK thanks to a tip off from VK3HZ
on the logger. I cant confirm I heard VK6WG but I think I heard him say he
was going to QSY to 70cm. Then thats all I heard. VK5DK did confirm he
worked VK6WG but was weak. Could be that the difference between Albany and
Mt Barker were too great? Or perhaps not beaming far enough north?
SEE ALSO VK6JR VK2KRR report