Sunday, October 12, 2014

10-Meter Activity on PropNET Week-Ending 10/18/2014

Hi everyone,
Despite a little less solar activity early in the week, it was another phenomenal week on 10-Meters. Once again captures were higher than the number from the same week last year. The gap was closer, but still much better.
.
I had the pleasure of capturing China for what I believe was my first time. Once again excellent coverage.
The hourly trends better show that the season is now more Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Continental rather than Trans-Equatorial.
This week shows a strong Trans-Atlantic volume. 
This week last year was primarily Trans-Equatorial.
For some strange reason Wednesday is always a good day.
Last year solar indices continued to improve.
This year the decline was short lived and has now taken off again.
This year continues to be much better than last.
Contributors:

This week Ev, Ron and Bob enjoyed outstanding conditions,  Thanks everyone for participating.
K5KKW 11
KA5DWI 1135
KD0FW 26
KD0IOM 229
KD4IZ 644
KE6AJE 18
KF6XA 432
KF9KV 37
KI7J 315
KN5G 15
N5KDV 2
N7YG 443
VA7JH 2
W2EV 2711
W5LA 805
W6CGH 979
W7HD 1804
W9VHL 7
WB8ILI 1750
WE2M 215
WU9Q 43

Good Luck... Have Fun!
Art KA5DWI/7

Finding Tropo Enhancement in a Place That Doesn't Have Tropo - 10/20 Update

Hello everyone,

When I retired last June I moved to the Highlands of Arizona, a community known as Prescott (pronounced "preskit" rhymes with "biscuit"), grid square DM34un. I was excited to start over again on 2-Meter VUCC (#237 4/1988), but understood that this one would be more challenging.

I set up an antenna to monitor the FM broadcast band to help me find potential 2-Meter Es and Meteor scatter paths in the future. To my surprise, on a few occasions I would pick up FM broadcast stations from Tuscon, 175 miles away. So something is enhancing it. I asked for volunteers and luckily Ron Herring, W7HD just north and west of Tuscon volunteered to operate 2-Meter PropNET and see if we could capture each other.

Ron is running 25 watts into a Diamond X50 vertical @ 50 feet and I am running 10-15 watts into a 4-Element F9FT Tonna Yagi @ 25 feet. On occasions I switched to a Cushcraft Ringo Ranger II without the radials (base at 18 feet).

Here are our results for the week-ending 10/18:
Weather was not very cooperative this week.
They were a few low pressure disturbances that passed through the area.

Tx Call
Tx Grid
Rx Call
Rx Grid
Distance (km)
Band
Path Score
Freq Δ
IMD
UTC Time
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-092
60%
2014-10-18 14:47:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-093
80%
2014-10-18 12:57:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-094
-07
2014-10-18 12:37:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-115
99%
2014-10-18 11:57:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-097
-08
2014-10-18 11:27:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-121
99%
2014-10-18 10:17:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-120
40%
2014-10-18 10:07:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-116
80%
2014-10-18 09:17:21
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+296
60%
2014-10-18 08:55:29
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-119
40%
2014-10-18 08:27:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-119
50%
2014-10-18 08:07:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-119
60%
2014-10-18 07:57:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-122
80%
2014-10-18 07:37:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-122
-14
2014-10-18 07:17:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-103
80%
2014-10-17 12:37:22
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+184
80%
2014-10-17 11:25:45
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-109
40%
2014-10-17 11:17:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-109
-14
2014-10-17 10:17:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-113
-04
2014-10-17 08:57:12
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-115
+00
2014-10-17 07:37:12
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-121
80%
2014-10-17 06:07:12
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-124
60%
2014-10-17 05:47:13
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-124
90%
2014-10-17 05:37:13
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-126
-03
2014-10-17 05:27:12
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-124
40%
2014-10-17 04:17:13
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-088
80%
2014-10-16 11:27:15
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-083
-06
2014-10-16 11:17:15
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-086
+00
2014-10-16 10:47:15
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-113
-16
2014-10-16 06:37:14
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-069
80%
2014-10-14 06:17:19
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
-282
40%
2014-10-12 14:03:07

Several times I saw Ron's signal on the waterfall, but the software failed to sync with it. All captures this week was using the Yagi.

What Provides the Enhancement.
My Station
A Yaesu FT290R driving a THP 30 watt Amp, Janel QSA5 MosFET preamp into a rebuilt Tonna F9FT 4-Element Yagi.  All of the equipment is 32 years old!  Ron's W7HD signal is being captured in the pic.
Path 
I am located in Prescott Valley. Verde Valley and Black Canyon are to my Southeast. Phoenix is located in a valley and continues as San Tan Valley towards Tucson. 
There are very few obstructions between us.
The vertical line marks to the direction to W7HD from my QTH. As noted, it is straight down the valley. Only one mountain is in the downward view and it is low on my horizon. 
The view to my station (KA5DWI) from Ron's QTH is noted by the vertical line. He has no obstructions to my QTH
Weather Conditions Promoting an Opportunity

Week-Ending 10/11/14

First Captures
NWS Radar Mosaic Afternoon of 10/07/14.
Tropical Storm Simon was entering the Gulf of California. 
As it approached, the counter-clockwise wind from the low pushed warm air along the eastern border of the valleys. The false echoes (light blue) shows the inversion in the valleys. This provides the conditions for ducting of VHF signals.
Second Opportunity
The next opportunity was a surprise on 10/10.  The line of very strong thunderstorms formed in the northern Chino Valley. The storms produced hail and started to break up once the sun set.
Once the storms died out, the air cleared, the atmosphere stabilized, and winds were fairly light.
Upper air winds were also light. That is odd for Thunderstorm formation.  The storms had tremendous uplift as observed at my QTH. The result was hail. 
Upper-Air Soundings-Flagstaff AZ the following morning.
Line on left: Dewpoint
Line on right:Air Temperature
Vertical Axis: Height
An inversion occurs when both measurement lines go in opposite directions.
Inversion at: 3,100 m, 5,100 m, & 10,000 m.
No strong inversions over Tucson, but small ones at 1,500 m and 2,500 m.
Third Opportunity
Still wedged between two surface low pressure troughs, little to no wind on the surface. Notice the heat island temperature in Phoenix are 10-20 degrees warmer than the surrounding areas..
Upper level winds are light over Arizona.
High pressure is centered over Arizona at mid-levels.

There are three inversions over Flagstaff.
4,700 m, 6,700 m, & 10,000 m.
Over Tucson, there are well-defined inversions at 1,500 m and 4,700 m.
Week-Ending 10/18/14 Opportunity
The NWS Radar Mosiac show once again good temperature inversions in the valleys.
Arizona is located this day between 2 surface lines of low pressure (trough and warm front).
Very little to no surface winds provide good radiation cooling
In the Upper Air, Arizona is located on the backside (left) of high pressure centers. Winds again are light. 
 



At both Flagstaff and Tucson there are at least 2 levels of temperature inversions.
Air-Temperature increases, Dew Point rapidly decreases

Summary
Tropospheric enhancement and ducting of VHF signals are a matter of having temperature inversions at levels visible to your RF path. The opportunities are there more than you think. Once identified, it is a matter of having someone on the other end.

I hope this can guide you in experiencing the joys of working VHF/UHF weak signal.

73s
Art Jackson KA5DWI/7 DM34un