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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Daytime propagatin excellent in Melbourne!

The present solar cycle, no. 23, remains in a state of limbo, with still no sunspots for the past several months.

Despite this, propagation continues to be excellent on frequencies below 12 MHz during the various "windows" which become available throughout the day and night.

Here in Melbourne, one of these "windows" is in the period 0400 to 0600, with very good propagation now observed on 6, 7, 9, and 11 MHz, dominated by longpath transmission from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and shortpath from the Americas.

I was in the Dandenong Ranges National park today, in the Olinda Forest, 20 km from here, and I spent some time with the Eton E5 connected to a 10m antenna on the Olinda Creek Rd, at the junction with gated Road 19. Road 19 leads to an abandoned farmhouse, now owned by Parks Victoria. This is a location where there is no power line interference.

Of particular interest in the period 0400 to 0530 were some Brazilians on 9 and 11 MHz - propagation from Brazil is rather rare during our daytime, and signal strength was good.

I believe that the "sunspot propagation myth" has now been exploded - good long-distance propagation below 12 MHz during the appropriate periods of the day does not require any sunspot activity at all, and here in Melbourne, the 9 MHz band is now open for the full 24 hours as autumn proceeds.

When sunspot activity resumes, this will of course extend the upper frequency usage for distance propagation, with transmissions on darkness or semi-darkness paths on frequencies up to 30 MHz, and higher!

In the meantime, HF operations over long distances over darkness, or semi-darkness paths, will be more reliable on frequencies below about 12 MHz.

This is a sample of my entries of today between 0430 and 0500, unless stated otherwise - several new relay operations are included:

5850 USA WHRA 0510
5865 FRANCE R. Algeria - Issoudin Arabic
5890 USA WWCR 0505
5915 ENGLAND DW-Rampisham Russian
5925 GERMANY RL-Lampertheim
5955 PORTUGAL RN-Sines 0505 Dutch
5965 RUSSIA VOR (co-channel Vatican)
6000 BULGARIA R. Bulgaria, Bulgarian
6050 ECUADOR HCJB Spanish
6130 GERMANY NHK-Wertachtal Russian
6155 AUSTRIA AWR-Moosbrunn French *0430-0500*
7205 GERMANY RL-Biblis
7300 ROMANIA RRI Russian
7395 *** FRENCH GUYANA VOR-Montsinery, Spanish (interesting new relay
operation for A09!)
9565 *** BRAZIL R. Tupi 0430-0500
9770 GERMANY VOA-Nauen Kurdish 0510
11775 ALBANIA CRI-Cerrick Arabic 0505
11780 CHINA CNR8 Kazakh 0510
11790 ROMANIA RRI French 0500
11815 *** BRAZIL R. Brasil Central 0515
11970 FRANCE NHK-Issoudin English 0515

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