Sunday, June 16, 2019

High (6m) hopes

Once again we saw NLCs (Noctilucent clouds) yesterday evening. This time in the direction NNE, about 30 degrees I think, exactly the Japan direction. So I had high hopes receiving Japan again but it  unfortunately didn't happen. However, propagation, especially in the morning, was very good. I managed to work 2 new 6m DXCC, EK7DX from Armenia and 9K2GS from Kuwait. I saw UN3GX and UN6T from Kazakhstan and one CQ from EX8MLT from Kyrgyzstan, QSOs didn't happen.  Some stations in Germany had more luck and managed to make it to India this morning. In the afternoon propagation was very unstable and signals were going in and out. Several QSOs went wrong and didn't finish because signals were gone too fast.

6m @PE4BAS 16-6-2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

First 2 Japanese rx on 6m

When I came back from shopping this morning I realized I missed to be in the shack when I received my first 2 Japanese stations of this year. There was an opening around 8-8:15 UTC. JA7QVI and JR7AIW were -15dB. Both are received by only a few stations in Europe. I was the only one in the Netherlands that received JR7AIW as far as I can see on PSK reporter. Looking back in my all.txt file I saw another Japanese JA7WSZ that is not plotted in PSKreporter. ON4GG had more luck, looking back in my files he made it to JA one after the other...

He certainly has been a very lucky guy at the right place and in the shack at the right time. Hopefully one of these days I will make it to Japan on 6m.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Noctilucent clouds in relation to solar minimum

Photo from my shack window 12-06-2019 22UTC
I slowly realize that the bright noctilucent clouds sighting we saw was rare just like a bright aurora. Here in the Netherlands it even was a item in the 8 O'clock TV news. John MW1CFN wrote a excellent article on his weblog about the relation between NLC and PMSE and the expected propagation to Japan. Which was not happening the next morning, although it happened for stations in Finland! It would be great to find out why, after having such good visible NLC, we didn't have the propagation expected. But I guess it will remain a mystery and a guess. Another thing believed and still under research is the relation between the solar minimum and NLC. It is generally believed that as the sun goes to solar minimum, the solar heating of the atmosphere decreases, and a cooling trend would be expected. In order to form noctilucent clouds three things are needed:  very cold temperatures, water vapor and meteoric dust. The meteoric dust provides sites that the water vapor can cling to until the cold temperatures cause water ice to form.