Boxing Day holiday tropo

I remember a couple of years ago, VHF/UHF tropo conditions were good around Boxing Day. Well, although today wasn't Boxing Day, it was our Boxing Day Bank holiday.

This morning as I was dealing with some e-mails, I had the VHF FM rig running on 145.500 and heard a selection of stations from G6XOR up in Derby to others in the Midlands. Sadly, I wasn't able to respond at the time. However, I did later work John M6CTI near Heathrow, who was running 5W.

After Julie and I had come back from a walk this afternoon and the Christmas Cumulatives had ended, I checked the bands anyway. The GB3VHF beacon was loud and PI7CIS and ON0VHF on 144MHz above average. Oddly, PI7CIS on 432MHz was inaudible with me. I was just about to close when I heard DL6NAA from JO50 call 2E0NEY on 144MHz.

Happily, Rene, DL6NAA called CQ and after a couple of calls I was able to work him with good signals. He runs 750W to a good antenna system so I was not sure he would hear my little station. I listened for a while and heard him move to 432MHz. I was pleased to find I could hear him there too. Something of a pileup developed so I decided to drop my call in on CW, which seemed to work and I was delighted to work him.

Check out the DL0AR website to see pictures of the antenna system that DL6NAA uses. You'll see why he's so loud. Thanks for the contacts Rene!

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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