SEASON 2002 / 2003
VK5 = 19; VK6 = 0
SEASON 2003 / 2004
VK5 = 30; VK6 = 3
SEASON 2004 / 2005
VK5 = 18; VK6 = 4
SEASON 2005 / 2006
VK5 = 25+; VK6 = 5
SEASON 2006 / 2007 
VK5 = 3 ; VK6 = 0
SEASON 2007 / 2008
VK5 = 3 VK6 = 1
SEASON 2008 / 2009
VK5 = 8; VK6 = 4
SEASON 2009 / 2010
VK5 = 12; VK6 = 3
SEASON 2010 / 2011
VK5 = 15; VK6 = 7
SEASON 2011/2012
VK5 = 10; VK6 = 4
SEASON 2012/2013
VK5 = 22; VK6 = 6
SEASON 2013/2014
VK5 = 26; VK6 = 8
SEASON 2014/2015
VK5 = 12 ; VK6 = 2
SEASON 2015/2016
No 2m horizontal up :( Average openings
SEASON 2016/2017
VK5 = 21; VK6 = 3
SEASON 2017/2018
VK5 = 10; VK6 = 5
SEASON 2018/2019
VK5 = 4 ; VK6 = 0
SEASON 2019/2020
SEASON 2020/2021
SEASON 2021/2022

2018/2019 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 0 0 1 1 1 1 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tropo Opening Date/time 162 MHz Marine Tracking ADSB 1090 MHz FM Indicator Digital TV Indicator Max WSPR path/band Max Simplex Voice 6m-2m-70cm
23rd Sept NIL 646 km W 103.9 ABC Classic Adelaide @ 763 km NA VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/20W/-8dB NIL
26th to 27th Oct 914 km NW of Kangaroo Island 788 km NW 103.9 ABC Classic Adelaide @ 763 km 7 Adelaide 177.5 MHz VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/100W +13dB VK5GF - 70cm - 763 km
17th Nov NIL 625 km W 103.9 ABC Classic Adelaide @ 763 km Mildura 177.5 MHz VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/20W/+4dB
VK5PJ - 733 km - 2m/20W/+9dB
20th Dec late evening King Island Lighthouse 554 km 780 km W + 1000m Melb 103.9 ABC Classic Adelaide @ 763 km
102.3 MIX FM Adelaide @ 764 km
Didn't check VK5BC/p - 910 km - 2m/20W/-1dB NIL


2017/2018 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 1 1 0 1(1) 0 3(2) 0 0 2(1) 0 1(1) 1
Tropo Opening Date/time Max Simplex Voice ADSB 1090 MHz Max WSPR path/band Max 162 MHz Marine Tracking
28th July - - VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W 778 km
25th August - - VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/20W -16dB No Signals
21st October - - VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W -24dB No Signals
10th December - - VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/100W -18dB No Signals
25th December - - VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W -25dB No signals
30th December - - VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/20W +22dB No signals
12th March VK5GF - 70cm - 763 km - VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/20W +25dB 2020 km
30th March - - VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/100W -5dB 440 km
17th May - - VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W -7dB No Signals
17th May - - VK6DZ - 2664 km - 70cm/100W -9dB No Signals
17th May to 26th May! VK5GF - 70cm - 763 km, VK5ZEA 70cm one way 800 km VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/100W +9dB, 20W -8dB 1008 km
24th 25th 26th June - 1109 km VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/100W -5dB No Signals


2016/2017 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 2 2 0 1 3 1 4(2) 2(1) 2 1 1 2
Tropo Opening Date/time Max Simplex Voice Max Repeater Max WSPR path/band Max 162 MHz Marine Tracking
15th to 17th July VK5GF - 23cm SSB - 763 km VK5RAE Port Augusta - 913 km/S9 VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/10W 1291 km
28th July VK5BC - 70cm SSB - 764 km VK5RMN Port Pirie - 867 km/S9 VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/10W No Signals
3rd August Nil VK5RSV Willunga - 771 km/S4 VK5GF - 763 km - 70cm/10W No Signals
14th August Nil VK5RSV Willunga - 771 km/S5 VK5GF - 763 km - 70cm/10W No Signals
8th October VK5PJ - 2m SSB - 733 km VK5RSV Willunga - 771 km/S9 VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 70cm/10W 1028 km
8th November Nil VK5RSV Willunga - 771 km/S3 VK5GF - 763 km - 70cm/20W No Signals
19th November VK5BC/p - 2m FM - 910 km VK5RAC Pt Lincoln - 1019 km/S9 VK5ZEA - 1018 km - 2m/20W 1008 km
27th November VK5BC - 2m FM - 764 km VK5RAC Pt Lincoln 70 - 1019 km/S5 VK5BC - 755 km - 2m/20W 800 km
15th December Nil (Not attempted) Nil (not attempted) VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/20W 1175 km
12th January Nil (too early NA) VK5RAC Pt Lincoln - 1019/S9 VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W 2237 km
14th January Nil (too early NA) VK5RMN Pt Pirie - 867 km/S9 VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W 1286 km
15th January VK5PJ - 2m SSB - 733 km VK5RMN Pt Pirie - 867 km/S5 VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W No Signals
26th January Nil VK5RSV Willunga - 771 km/S3 VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W No Signals
14th February VK5TN/p Mt Barker - 2m FM, 760 VK5RAD Crafers - 760 km/S9 VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W No Signals
24th February Nil (work) Nil (work) VK6DZ - 2664 km - 2m/10W No Signals
18th March VK5ACY, VK5PJ NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W NA off air
28th March VK5GF & VK5AKK NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W 1073 km
28th to 30th April VK5GF, VK5ACY NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W 960 km
10th May VK5ACY NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W NIL
1st to 2nd June VK5GF NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W NIL
19th June VK5ACY NA off air VK5GF - 763 km - 2m/10W NIL


2015/2016 Openings

12th June to 15th June 2016 - 

Quite phenomenal opening beginning on Sunday 12th June in the morning and ending in the evening of Wednesday 15th June 2016.
10 watts to VK5PJ on 70cm WSPR at one stage yielding a +26dB decode!
Numerous decodes from Michael VK5ZEA at Port Lincoln @ 1018 km on 70cm with 10W.
Numerous 162 MHz marine tracking from Adelaide to Port Lincoln, peak of 1004 km. Numerous in 800 km region.
VK5BC/p very good sigs from Corny Pt 910 km 70cm WSPR.
VK5GF and VK5PJ excellent signals.
Numerous VK5 repeaters coming in out to Port Lincoln 1018 km.


2014/2015 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 2 0 1 0 2 - (1) 1 1 - (1) 0 1 1 1 2

11th Nov 2014 -

I was lucky enough to get 162 MHz marine tracking signals from ships in the Great Australian Bight, out to 1998 Km. Just short of 2000 km.
So this was quite impressive. These paths went to a low pressure weather trough running south from Esperance, many of the spots were SSE of Esperance maybe 200 or 300 km.


2013/2014 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 1 2 2 3 - (1) 1 - (1) 4 - (2) 4 - (3) 3 - (1) 1 3 1 1

17th/18th June 2014 - Big tropo opening in winter which lasted continuously for 2 nights and a day. Covering SE Australia west of the dividing range.

10th Feb 2014 morning - Hearing VK6REP to 5/1 and ships in Bight, cant get to VK6DZ.

25th Jan 2014 morning - Another opening to the west today. Reached as far as Derek VK6DZ on 2m WSPR at 2664 km, best sig of -17dB and faded away about 30 mins after sunrise. Weak VK6REP beacon 2313 km on Spect Lab. Numerous other big sigs from VK5 Adelaide direction. Also was open to Mt Gambier but no stations available. 10 ship signals into the Bight, scattered up to 1100 km.

19th Jan 2014 morning - Super opening as far as Wayne VK6JR @ 2933 km. Wayne was up to 5/9+10dB on 2m SSB, fantastic to see such a big signal from so far away. I had numerous 2m WSPR sigs from Derek VK6DZ @ 2664 km, peak signal was +7dB. Also worked Ron VK6VOX at 2707 km on 144.100 SSB, peak signal 5/5. Heard Esperance 2m beacon VK6REP on 144.568 peak sig 5/4 @ 2313 km. Heard VK6RST Albany 144.564 beacon peak 5/1 @ 2678 km. Heard Bunbury beacon 144.560 sig peak 4/1 @ 2867 km, mostly spectrum lab. On AIS Marine Tracking 162 MHz heard "Cape Naturaliste VTS & Lighthouse" @ 2938 km, this would be the most distant signal I've ever heard. Heard "D'Entrecasteaux Poi VTS & Light" @ 2809 km. Not a great deal of AIS sigs heard between there and here, but there were some in middle Bight, some near Adelaide and around to Melbourne. 

Other signals at Adelaide were very strong. Melbourne sigs were also very strong. Spoke to Steve VK5ST on 146.500 FM up to 5/9+20 @ 738 km.


12th Jan 2014 morning - Big signals from VK5, but not hearing Port Lincoln, Cowell or Port August repeaters. Adelaide beacon up to 5/9+20. Hearing VK6REP up to 5/1 @ 2313 km. VK5LA 2m WSPR 10 W signal up to 5/9+30dB. Worked VK5PJ on 1296 and others on FM simplex from verticals. Marine tracking to around 1550 km in Bight. 

VK5LA 5/9+30dB WSPR Signal video - VK5LA Big 2m WSPR signal - Morning 12th Jan, 2014

VK6REP 2m reception at 2313 km - VK6REP Esperance 2m Beacon - Morning 12th Jan, 2013 @ 2313 km

31st Dec 2013 morning - Big big signals around western half of VK3 and VK5, but peaking in VK5 in the SE area. Had a very narrow lot of marine tracking signals heading out from Kangaroo Island to Mt Gambier area out across the Bight, but low pressure trough blocking anything directly south of Esperance, nothing close to coast and could not hear beacons. Furthest marine tracking at 2116 km. As best sigs were south side of Adelaide, I worked Jeff VK5GF with 5/9 signals on all bands 2, 70, 23 cm. Great work from Jeff. In comparison, only a little further north, I could barely hear Brian VK5BC/p Corny Pt on 2m. Many 5/9+60+ signals noted from many repeaters, particularly in WSW direction. Nothing was heard from Derek VK6DZ on 2m WSPR this morning. Interesting times.

Below - DX maps page for tropo 31.12.13

28/29th Dec 2013 evening/monring - A great opening with a well defined beginning. Very hot day on Sat 28th, temps up to 43 degC with RH as low as 8%. Sometime around 11pm the weather change hit with a strong SW wind to about 39 kmh and turned cold rather quickly, overnight temp got as low as 9.5 degC. It was only about 30 mins after this weather change hit that I found I could hear VK6REP 2m beacon at 2313 km and had ever increasing signals from VK3 and VK5 repeaters and beacons. 

At 12.38am I got first signal from Derek VK6DZ at Elleker WA on 2m WSPR @ 2664 km. Dereks signal peaked at 02.10am at a -9dB and at that point I was getting very excited about the morning prospects, but it floated from there to -29dB from then on and the last signal was heard from Derek at 06.36am only about 30 mins after sunrise.

The VK6REP 2m beacon peaked up about 5/3 signal about 3am. I could also at times see VK6RST 2m and 70cm beacons, but they were not strong. I tried for repeaters over in VK6 but heard none.

There were very strong signals in VK5, particularly further north to Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Central North. But also at times Crafers, Lobethal, Murray Bridge, Barossa Valley were very strong also. Port Pirie 2m repeater had the biggest signal at 5/9+60dB that I observed, at 867 km.

There was not many VK5 stations around this morning which was a shame.

Below is an image of VK6REP on Spect Lab and WSPRX display, also see VK6DZ decodes on WSPR screen.


14/15th Dec 2013 mornings - Paths to VK6DZ and VK6LD/p Albany on 2m WSPR. On the morning of 14th I could hear the VK6REP beacon to 5/1, this was not present on 15th where a low trough had built up this end. I could eventually hear VK6DZ. Interestingly, the signals at Adelaide were not that good, no repeaters at all from VK5 on 15th.

3rd Nov 2013 morning - Again equalled Australian record for 2m digital, path to VK6DZ at 2664 km from 4am to 9am. Also making it to Derek were VK5BC and VK5AKK. We all also could hear Esperance beacon 144.568 MHz. It was 5/1 here. Albany beacons were not heard.
I could hear a ship near Ceduna and some others closer to Adelaide and Whyalla.
Worked VK5KLV @ 910 km and VK5DMC @ 866 km on FM simplex.
Port Lincoln and most other 2m repeaters heard around Adelaide area. 
70cm did not work well, although a good contact with VK5PJ was had at 5/9 signal.

31st Oct 2013 morning - Equalled the Australian record again for 2m digitial modes, hearing a couple of 2m WSPR sigs from Derek VK6DZ at Elleker WA @ 2664 km. Good stuff Derek and thank you for the signals. This was the first big opening with the 4 x 17 ele yagis w/40ft booms. Derek was very weak at -31dB and later a -29dB. I think it was very lucky we made it at all as the weather condx were not favourable at Dereks end with a low pressure trough beginning to extend down from the north toward Dereks QTH. 

I was also able to hear the Esperance beacon quite easily on 144.568 MHz. It was up to 5/1. Ive marked the VK6REP beacon location on the map below and this also shows the WSPR path to VK6DZ. VK6REP is 2313 km. Attaching a WSPR waterfall graph of the Esperance beacon transmission below the map.


2012/2013 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 0 1 2 - (1) 4 2 2 - (4) 6 - (1) 0 0 1 2 2

1st Jan 2013 morning - yet again for the 4th morning in a row, I was able to get a 2m WSPR path to and from Derek VK6DZ at Elleker WA. @ 2664 km. No other indicators were showing, could not even see Adelaide 2m beacon on Spect Lab. This morning I was also able to work Bob VK6BE at Albany only 5/1 signal.

31st Dec 2012 morning - This morning I got a 2m WSPR path to Derek again! 3rd morning in a row! quite amazing! There were no indicators to say this was possible, the Adelaide 2m beacon was not even on Spect Lab. But there was Dereks signal on the WSPR screen 2664 km west.

29th & 30th December 2012 mornings - Made it to Derek VK6DZ on 2m WSPR both mornings @ 2664 km. Heard VK6REP 2m beacon at Esperance both mornings, on Sat morning was up to 5/4. Got 3 vessels heard at Esperance on marine tracking. Numerous vessels around Adelaide to Port Lincoln areas.

20th October 2012 morning - Interesting opening. Could not get any marine tracking signals from VK5 or VK3. No TV signals from VK5, only Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepp, and only later in morning. But did have Adelaide 70cm up to 5/4. Worked VK5ACY, VK5PJ, VK5AKK, VK5GF, VK5LA, VK3ZDX. Worked Peter VK5PJ on 2m to +30, 70 to +30 and 23 to S8. Bill VK5ACY was very strong on 2m up to +40. Jeff and Phil were weaker. Andy and Cameron were excellent.

9th Sept 2012 early morning - First of all I had a number of ships around the Adelaide area and across to Port Lincoln. I think eventually in this area I had about 7 vessels. This is in range of about 1025 Km to 800 Km.

A bit after 2am, I looked on the marine traffic internet map and could see a number of vessels being spotted near Esperance and Albany, WA, so I adjusted the beam heading to see what I could get. Not really expecting anything, suddenly a new ship alert rang out and it was not being displayed on the map due to the current view. I clicked over the list of ships on the Shipplotter program and it said new ship was Zheng Kai ..... 1419 nautical miles... (2627 Km!). No way! I thought... and so I zoomed out the map and there it was, just south of Albany, Western Australia. I was pretty excited to see that, and thinking to myself.. is it going to go any further ??? But no sadly it didn't. But still, 2627 Km is the furthest Ive ever gotten with the marine tracking signals, so I am very pleased with that, and I dont think conditions were all that good as I only heard about 8 signals from Zheng Kai in total.

Then I began getting a few signals from the middle of the Bight, around the 1500 Km zone. These persisted and were some of the last signals I heard.

Of which, the last signal received was from Manila Express, just before 9am. This was around 1300 Km I think. Just SW of Port Lincoln.


2011/2012 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 1 1 1 1 - (1) 2 - (2) 2 - (1) 0 0 0 0 1 1


8th June evening, 9th June morning - So far able to decode 6 vessels just west of Adelaide, quite a few signals.

27th May 2012 - In the evening condx picked up toward Adelaide area, between about 11pm and midnight I was able to decode 4 ships in the water to the west of Adelaide to about 845 Km.

29th Dec 2011 - This morning was able to get a path to Derek VK6DZ on 144 MHz WSPR @ 2664 Km. Also hearing VK6REP Esperance 2m beacon 5/1 @ 2313 Km.

31st Oct to 2nd Nov 2011 - An unusually stable high pressure cell in the Bight, with low troughs well out on the east and west sides. I had reception of Esperance beacon 2m @2313 Km on each day, Monday Tues Wed, sometimes audible, mostly just on Spec Lab. Good signals into VK5 on 2m, did not have 70cm running. Phil VK5AKK got AIS reception to west of Perth.

12th Sept 2011 - Worked Brian VK5BC at Corny Point, 914 Km up to 5/9 on 144 MHz. Excellent. Along with a number of other closer stations.

2010/2011 Openings

vk5 - (vk6) 0 0 2 - (1) 2 0 1 5 - (3) 1 - (1) 2 - (2) 1 1 1

25th June 2011 - A quick plug in of the FM vertical 2m yagis produced great results tonight. Was able to make it into the Broken Hill repeater 147.000 @ 638 Km. This is a very rare path and the repeater made it up to 5/9+10dB and I spoke to Peter VK2VKN and could also hear him on reverse. Great stuff!

24th June 2011 - FYI as at approx start of April, I have had no SSB 144 MHz or 432 MHz antennas running. So last 3 months may have missed openings.

3rd March 2011 - High from 1st March receeded slightly then came back. Signals from VK5 and also VK6. Copy on VK6DZ Elleker numerous times on WSPR from about 5am till 10.30am. Still continuing on the 4th March.

1st March 2011 - Good opening to VK5 all repeaters coming in so far except Port Lincoln.

12/13th Feb 2011 - Very interesting tropo event which started in the evening saturday 12th Feb. Switched on 2m and Adelaide beacon was 5/5 at an early 8 pm. I asked VK6DZ to come onto WSPR and I got him straight away -17dB. Completed JT65b contact with VK6DZ to make new WIA digital mode record for 2m band. 2662 Km. 

2011-02-12 10:26   VK6DZ   144.490478   -25   0   OF84ux   10   VK2KRR   QF34mr   2657   99 
2011-02-12 10:16   VK6DZ   144.490471   -24   -1   OF84ux   10   VK2KRR   QF34mr   2657   99 
2011-02-12 09:00   VK6DZ   144.490484   -17   1   OF84ux   10   VK2KRR   QF34mr   2657   99 

I was also hearing weak signals from VK6REP and VK6RST beacons on 2m. On the sunday morning, Esperance beacon was just audible and VK6FN Max in Manjimup was working the Port Pirie rptr VK5RMN on 146.700 MHz. Was great to hear Max making the trip across the Bight path especially since he is only running 60W and 1/4 wave vertical.

28th Jan 2011 - One of the best mornings there has been for a long time. Virtually all VK5 repeaters 5/9+ (Porl Lincoln 5/9+20) and hearing Esperance VK6REP beacon 144.5674 MHz 4/1 @ 2313 Km. VK3 repeaters were off the scale including 3RWZ, 3RWA, 3RMM & 3ROW. Unfortunatly no one was out of bed at the optimum time before the humidy starts to drop away and so the ultimate contacts were not made. Even VK5VF beacon on 70cm was 5/5 and 2m was 5/9, which is pretty amazing for these two. At 7am the humidity here was 75%, by 11am it was back to 32%, likewise the signals had also dropped away.

17th Jan 2011 - Good copy on VK6REP Esperance 144 MHz beacon up to S2, also copied Albany VK6RST 144 MHz on Spect Lab. Partially worked VK6DZ west of Albany on JT65b at 2662 Km, would have been new VK 2m digital record if completed. 

213700 11  -13 -0.8   94  3 *      VK2KRR VK6DZ OF84        

2nd Jan 2011 - Weak copy on VK6REP 144.5673 MHz this morning, only on Spectrum Lab. Also very strong VK3 signals, and marginal VK5 signals. Only lasted till about 9am.

23 - 24th Sept 2010 - Evening of 23rd and morning on 24th September were the best conditions seen for a long time. Much of VK3 and VK5 had much enhhanced tropo. I worked VK5GF, 5ZK, 5AKK and 5LA on 1296 MHz very easily.

I was also receiving the Esperance beacon VK6REP 144.468 MHz. As per usual, no operators keen on AR in VK6 area. Here is a capture of the beacon. nothing heard from Albany.

2009/2010 VK6 Openings

29.01.10 - Worked VK6WG on 432.100 MHz @ 2650 Km. Worked VK6FN @ 2821 Km on 146.500 FM. Also reception of Albany 2m beacon and Esperance. A great morning for a new VK2 70cm record.

14.01.10 - I received the Esperance beacon VK6REP 144.567 MHz @ 2313 Km. Signal up to 5/1.

06.01.10 - I received the Esperance beacon VK6REP 144.567 MHz @ 2313 Km.

I received the Boddington repeater VK6RMS 147.250 MHz @ 2821 Km.

The beacon was only copied via Spectrum Lab & the repeater was only very weakly opening squelch.
Meanwhile in VK5, stations that were a bit closer were working stations via the repeater. Never quite got strong enough here. Maybe next time.


Copyright İLeigh Rainbird