6m Polar Madness

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, July 09, KL7KY (Kevin) had a massive over-the-pole European opening beginning about 1000Z. He worked at least six stations in Greece and a number of others in western Europe. One wonders how often this 'middle-of-the-night' path might actually be open as most west coast ops are sound asleep at this hour.

Looking at the path on DX Atlas shows an almost all-daylight path from VE7 to Europe, but for the first short hop out of the summer twilight.

VE7 - EU at 1100Z
Hoping to cash-in on any lingering Es, I ventured out to the shack last night at 1030Z (0330 local) to have a listen over-the-pole...knowing that the first hop into the daylight regions would be needed. Much to my surprise, this is what I first heard when turning the antenna north.

I was soon joined by John, VE7DAY, and we both began to CQ towards the sunlight after alerting several of the European operators via the ON4KST chat page. No 49MHz eastern Europe video signals were heard at all but this is often not a deal breaker. One beacon that always seems to be present when hearing Europe, the VA5MG/b in central Saskatchewan, was not heard either. After 90 minutes of no other indicators I headed back to bed.

In view of the high levels of summer Es in the sunlight-bathed Arctic / northern Canada regions, this crazy night time path might be worth exploring more closely during the last week of June and the first week of July. In view of the ungodly hour however, I fear that it may be some time before 6m reveals more of her secrets.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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