Sunday, October 12, 2014

10-Meter Activity on PropNET Week-Ending 10/11/2014

Hi everyone,
It was another phenomenal week on 10-Meters. Once again captures were over 3 times the number from the same week last year.

Surprisingly, solar activity was about the same for the same period last year.
The HTX-10 and ATV-3 continue to do a good job.
3 times the volume of last year.
This week Trans-Equitorial and Trans-Continetal dominated.

Last year Europe started to dominate.
No real explanation for the active Wednesday

Last year saw increased activity.
This it slowly decreased.

Contributors:


K4RKM 4
K5KKW 3
KA5DWI 1,199
KD0FW 80
KD0IOM 497
KD4IZ 825
KE6AJE 62
KF6XA 1,233
KF9KV 55
KI7J 306
N2NXZ 136
N7YG 269
NM4V 554
W2EV 1,811
W5LA 899
W6CGH 1,248
W7HD 2,106
WB8ILI 1,883
WE2M 204
WU9Q 54

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

Finding Tropo Enhancement in a Place That Doesn't Have Tropo

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).

The results have been surprising and really what I expected at times.
Here are our results so far:
Tx Call
Tx Grid
Rx Call
Rx Grid
Distance (km)
Band
Path Score
Freq Δ
IMD
UTC Time
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-022
-07
2014-10-11 12:50:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-038
60%
2014-10-11 12:30:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-026
60%
2014-10-11 11:00:21
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+011
80%
2014-10-11 10:42:04
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-025
60%
2014-10-11 10:40:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-037
99%
2014-10-11 10:10:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-037
-08
2014-10-11 09:40:22
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
33%
+220
---
2014-10-11 09:37:40
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+220
+01
2014-10-11 09:27:32
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-038
-21
2014-10-11 09:20:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-040
50%
2014-10-11 09:00:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-043
99%
2014-10-11 08:30:21
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
33%
+125
80%
2014-10-11 08:22:04
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-043
-17
2014-10-11 08:22:03
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
83%
-043
+06
2014-10-11 07:50:21
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+228
70%
2014-10-11 07:47:01
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-045
-03
2014-10-11 07:40:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-046
80%
2014-10-11 07:20:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-043
90%
2014-10-11 07:10:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-044
40%
2014-10-11 07:00:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-048
-12
2014-10-11 06:20:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-050
40%
2014-10-11 06:10:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-051
-14
2014-10-11 06:10:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-051
70%
2014-10-11 05:40:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-061
40%
2014-10-11 04:20:20
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-065
80%
2014-10-11 03:30:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-071
80%
2014-10-11 01:00:21
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-028
40%
2014-10-10 17:10:22
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-026
50%
2014-10-10 11:10:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-027
-05
2014-10-10 11:00:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-022
40%
2014-10-10 10:40:23
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
+111
80%
2014-10-10 10:35:04
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-023
80%
2014-10-10 10:20:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
67%
-025
-06
2014-10-10 09:50:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-026
99%
2014-10-10 09:40:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-030
80%
2014-10-10 09:20:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-032
40%
2014-10-10 09:10:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
50%
-037
40%
2014-10-10 08:10:23
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
-037
80%
2014-10-10 07:30:24
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-039
-01
2014-10-10 07:20:24
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-233
40%
2014-10-08 06:19:27
DM34UN
DM34UN
0
2 meters
17%
+200
40%
2014-10-07 23:49:08
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
33%
+199
40%
2014-10-07 21:41:10
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-019
-13
2014-10-07 21:21:10
DM34UN
DM42JI
265
2 meters
17%
-228
40%
2014-10-07 20:47:04
DM42JI
DM34UN
265
2 meters
17%
-074
40%
2014-10-07 19:51:07

Not bad considering there were times I saw Ron's signal on the waterfall, but the software failed to sync with it. I also had a few captures on my vertical, but the vast majority were 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
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.

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