>Bob N7UA and I had a QSO at around 1505z on 29 Dec 1997 and he was only
audible on my north-west rx antenna. Opening lasted for about 2 minutes.
I've listened regularly during the 1500-1530z period in midwinter but I've
never heard anything strong enough to resolve.
A couple of observations about this...short path EU QSO's before
USA sunrise are not uncommon on 80 under the following conditions:
1. Near sunspot minimum years when absorption is minimum.
2. When the geomagnetic field is extremely quiet (Ap < 5).
3. Centered on the period of maximum Winter Solstice darkness (Dec 21).
4. Most common to European stations near or above the Arctic Circle.
SM2EKM was a fixture on this path on 80 meters from Colorado on days
when the long path would also be open to other areas of EU and AS.
Other examples are:
*UA1OT (FJL) who could come in on 160 short path continuously from
Colorado sunset until sunrise.
*When many EU worked KL7Y (Barrow above the Arctic Circle) short
path on 160 during the last sunspot minimum.
At this point of the Solar Cycle, there are two things against
short path openings over the magnetic north pole...high absorption and
a generally disturbed geomagnetic field. Both of these combine to make
short path QSO's directly through the Northern Auroral Oval extremely
73, Bill W4ZV
P.S. There is no substitute for multiple directional RX antennas...let
the signals tell you which path they are using!