[SCCC] Hawaii VHF opening still under way

Wayne Overbeck via SCCC sccc at contesting.com
Mon Jul 7 03:30:40 EDT 2014

More than three days after the July 4 weekend California-to-Hawaii VHF
band opening began, the KH6HME beacons were still loud and clear at
various points up and down the California coast.

The opening began on Thursday afternoon (July 3).  I first learned of
it in a message from WB6NOA.  He said the 2 meter beacon was booming
in and the opening might last two days.  It has lasted even longer.

I posted a video on YouTube illustrating how the 144 and 432 MHz
beacons sounded Friday night in DM13cs (the Orange County foothills):


On Saturday (July 5), Fred Honnold, KH7Y, made the five-hour round
trip drive from his home to the beacon site at 8,000' elevation on
Mauna Loa.  He worked a number of California stations on 144, 223.5
and 432 MHz with excellent signals.  Meanwhile, three other Hawaiian
stations worked the mainland from much lower elevations:  KH6/K6MIO,
KH6SX and WH6XM.

This duct proved to be much like earlier ones.  On the California end 
the duct was low, perhaps as low as 1,000' asl at times.  But on the
Hawaiian end, the duct was centered somewhere near the beacon
site at 8,000'.  Stations at low elevations near Hilo were not nearly
as loud as Fred, who was signing KH6HME in honor of the late Paul
Lieb, who made this path famous.

To illustrate just how good the path was, I made and posted a video
of part of a QSO with KH6HME on 223.5 MHz FM, where Fred was
running all of 15 watts.  Was he loud on FM 2,505 miles away?
Judge for yourself:


This was all happening Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon, the beacons
were still loud in Orange County.  At the same time, K6FV was hearing
a 599 signal from the 144 MHz beacon on a hand-held IC-202 in the
hills above San Mateo at 1,700' asl overlooking Half Moon Bay.  Fred
had gone home Saturday night. but I worked KH6/K6MIO and KH6SX
again Sunday afternoon.  Here's how the KH6HME beacons sounded
by then:


How much longer will this last?  Will the opening extend north to
Oregon and Washington?  I don't think anyone knows.

Feel free to forward this to anyone else who might be interested in
this band opening.

73, Wayne, N6NB

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