I posted a few weeks ago that I'd got a V2000 antenna up for 50/144/432MHz. When I've not been using it on 50MHz, I have had an FM mobile rig scanning about 35 channels. Some of those channels have repeaters close by and others are generally quiet, but liven up if there is a hint of improved propagation.The variation in propagation on a daily basis is fascinating, particularly in the morning and evenings.Last Sunday was a particularly interesting day though. I was working in the shack off and on and left the rig monitoring 145.500 and tried to answer when anyone came up. There were a couple of local QSOs and a couple of not so local ones. I was pleased to work Roger, G4OCO/M near Ely in Cambridgeshire which seemed a decent distance from me. It seemed that conditions were perhaps slightly improved to the east and north east.Later on in the afternoon I worked ON8DM on 144MHz SSB. Just afterwards I noticed a signal on 145.675, weaker than GB3RD that I normally hear on that channel but stronger than the other signals I normally hear there. I wondered what it was and stopped the scan to listen. Over the next few minutes a conversation started up in a language I didn't immediately recognise. In fact, I suspected it was perhaps an ON repeater, as I'd just worked Belgium on SSB. Signals came up a bit more and then I heard the repeater send a CW ID - LA9MR! LA9MR is located in southern Norway in JO38 around 920km from Longworth.There was absolutely no hint that the band was open in that direction - no beacons on SSB - I listened! It must have been a very localised opening. The signals from LA9MR were audible for about 45 minutes before fading back into the noise.Really fascinating!
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].