Tuesday, September 12, 2023

#6m #4m ES-season 2023 review

 This is my review of the 2023 ES-season I enjoyed on 6m and 4m. Actually I was too late mounting the antenna in the tower this year (18th of may). Good tropo propagation on 6m already appeared in April. So I missed some great DX. But I can't complain since at least 12 new band DXCC were worked on 6m. And I was able to work 2 new band DXCC on 4m which is of course much more difficult.

27-May: I worked both LU3CQ and CX1VH within minutes. Argentina and Uruquay are the first two new 6m DXCC this year. Both are confirmed with LotW and eQSL.

29-May: Best time for the south Americas it seems. I worked ZP5DBC Paraquay on 6m. QSO is confirmed by with LotW.

5-June: Expected since I already noticed that Switzerland has 4m access now. So I worked HB9OAB for a new DXCC on this band. First new 4m DXCC this year and confirmed by eQSL and LotW.

9-June: Several sources did note that D2UY from Angola could be heard on 6m with excellent signals. And yes, I heard D2UY several times before this date. But then, finally, after a lot of effort I was able to make the QSO. The QSO is not yet confirmed however. 

30-June: Heard in 2021 but not in 2022. This year I was able to work PJ2BR from Curacao. QSO confirmed with LotW and eQSL.

1-July: Worked 4L7T from Georgia on 6m. Not confirmed yet. His QRZ page says "LotW coming soon". In the mean time you have to pay $$ for QSL which I will not do.

1-July: Propagation was excellent into the east direction. Suddenly there was VU2NKS from India which I worked for a new one on 6m. QSO confirmed with LotW and eQSL.

1-July: Not only on the 6m band propagation was very good this day, 4m was in good shape as well. Surprisingly I worked OD5KU and OD5ET from Lebanon on the 4m band. OD5KU confirmed the QSO on LotW.

1-July: This was my lucky day since I worked another new one on 6m. Actually I thought I already worked Guernsey C.I. but after some investigation it looks like I did not. So I worked GU4XGU. The QSO is confirmed by LotW.

9-July: No luck last year, but this year I was lucky. V51WW from Namibia was worked quite easily. No confirmation yet.

25-July: It seems that south Africa could be worked with strong signals already in April. Unfortunately I had no antenna up at the time so I missed that. I saw ZS many times this year but was unable to get one in my log. But this day I was lucky and worked ZS6NK. Since I didn't get any 73 I was not shure I was in the log. But contacting Paul via KST chat he confirmed I was in the log and he would be confirming by LotW. Certainly that happened to be the case.

Looks like Paul is also active with 6m EME (Earth Moon Earth), something I would love to do some time. However I think you need at least a large antenna and a lot of power. 

Then we went into August. I know from previous years that DX can still be worked but less frequent. This year there was no big opening to the USA surprisingly. I worked USA west and east coast and also Canada this year. But only a few stations and it was not like in 2021/2022 when we had days with such strong propagation you could not find an empty spot in the waterfall.

8-August: Other stations in my neighbourhood already worked this station in April/May this year. I missed that but was lucky at this day. I worked SU1SK from Egypt for the last new 6m band DXCC this year so far. QSO not yet confirmed.

This year, against all odds, I decided to keep my 6m/4m duoband beam in the tower for the winter season. This because of expected F2 propagation due to the solar maximum at the end of the year. I really don't know what to expect. Some OMs tell us the great stories from the past. It seems that the propagation I have experienced the last couple of years is nothing compared to good 6m F2 propagation. Well, we will see...


MadDogMcQ said...

Some AMAZING contacts in there Bas. It’s not a band I have used much (so far).

73, Tom, M7MCQ.

PE4BAS, Bas said...

And most of the time you will hear nothing when listening now Tom. It is most of the time a summer propagation band. However with the solar maximum near strange things can happen. I'm certainly amazed by the amount of new band DXCC worked this year. 73, Bas