An interesting weekend’s VHF
Having written last week about the shifting conditions on VHF, it was fun to notice and enjoy both sides of the coin this weekend; summer conditions in the shape of some Es and autumn conditions in the shape of some tropo.
Saturday started off with an interesting QSO with Ian G4WUH on the GB3UK repeater – interesting because Ian was using one of the new Wouxun 144/433MHz dual band mobiles. Very nice it sounded too and Ian spoke highly of the sensitivity of the receiver.
Just as I was about to head back out to the garden I noticed some signals on 50MHz and discovered that there was some Es around up in the direction of Scandinavia. The best distances were SM2SUM (KP03) and YL2LW (KO26) but there were a couple of new squares closer to home in Norway. Signals got very loud at one stage and I thought I should check 70MHz. I was glad I did, as the first thing I heard was ES1AEW/2 on 70.200. Didn’t work him, but had a nice QSO with ES1CW on the key. Not so far away, but just as interesting was a QSO on 50MHz with the Grantham club, operating GB0BL from the Bressay light near Lerwick, Shetland – I was delighted as the GB3LER beacon was coming in and very often there are no stations to be heard.
Sunday morning saw 145MHz FM lively with lots of French stations. In particular, the repeater on 145.725 was strong, way over the top of GB3SN in Hampshire. A bit of research showed that it was the FZ2VHC repeater near Le Havre. I listened to a QSO finish and then cautiously dropped my call in. To my delight, Jean F6CRB replied, in English and was delighted to have a QSO with a UK station – we chatted for a few minutes. Some other repeaters and simplex stations were heard although the good conditions were over, probably by around 1030 local time as the day warmed up.
It was enjoyable to once again, get the 145/433 MHz scanning going again and see what could be worked.
On Saturday I noticed a French repeater on 145.700 instead of GB3VA and this is welcome as the Gulf Stream type weather we have had in the UK has put pay to very much tropo so far this summer. Let’s hope for some of it in September at least. The barometric pressure was around 1013 millibars here so was it actually tropo??? There hadn’t been much of a drop in pressure beforehand.