The morning of Sunday, 16th September was an interesting one on 432MHz. Thanks to Steve M0BPQ on Twitter, I gathered that there was some good tropo into the south of France and Spain. I went up to the shack not really expecting to hear much, but there was a French contest on and I was surprised to hear signals. The first couple of stations that I worked were in the north of France but with excellent signals. I came across F6EZS/P who was very loud and I assumed he was in Normandy. I was a bit surprised when it turned out that he was in IN93 square in the Pyrenees - we had an easy QSO. I was also pleased to work into JN03 square with F2JR/P (from memory) - another nice QSO at just under 1000 km. I wasn't able to stick around too long as I had a busy day planned, but thoroughly enjoyed the QSOs.
Over the last week or so, 28MHz has shown some great improvements in propagation. Like last year, I have been playing on JT65A and although have not made so many QSOs, have been interested to see what has been coming through and where I have been heard, even when I've been working other stations close by - the PSK Reporter website is very useful in that regard.
I was pleased to find 50MHz open last Saturday afternoon - to Poland and Germany mostly - I even found some new squares! Signals improved and improved and I decided to try 70MHz. OK1VBN was a great signal who I was able to work - and nice to work YO2LAM for a new square. 9A2SB was around too. Quite late in the season for 70MHz Es. Although I didn't work it, there was apparently some Es+TEP to southern African on 50MHz, with ZS6WN being worked from the UK. On Sunday, 50MHz was open again but with weaker signals and nothing on 70MHz that I could detect.
The Virtual Radar experiment is proving quite interesting on 1090MHz with planes showing up over distances of 50-60 miles on a regular basis. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in tropo conditions.
A pair of replacement 4CX350As have been found - following the demise of the valve in the 'melted aerial' incident - so will be able to get the 144MHz amp going again.
The new Innovantennas 6el yagi is constructed and awaiting some testing - I was hoping to do that last weekend, but a bad cold got in the way. As it may be a little time before I can get the 6el up on the mast, I may even hook it up on a stepladder in the back garden and point it at the moon and see what happens.
All good fun and plenty going on!