TopBand: Feb 2 AM Conditions/CQ160CW

Bill Hohnstein K0HA
Tue, 02 Feb 1999 01:21:16 -0800

Unusual sounding conditions early Feb 2 UTC.  All European signals
had a hollow sounding tone to their cw in varying degrees.  ZB2FK
was the first one at 0230z (not long after first listening).  He had
a severely distorted sound due to propagation and was best on the
east Beverage.  Later signals (OZ7C, DJ7AA, SM4CAN [in/out of the
noise], OK1AWZ, IT9ZGY, OM1BM, 9A2TW, G3PQA [constantly changing
best receive antenna], and DJ8QP) had decreasing signal distortion
(particularly after 0530z).  The short path antenna was never the
best with normal Beverage combiner settings.  Later EU signals pointed
towards being more horizontally polarized than normal.
The CQ 160 CW Contest provided contrasting conditions on the two days.
The first day had European signals peak best in the hour before their
sunrise.  The second one had EU signals with a better peak in the first
two hours following our sunset (starting with SP8GEM at 2348--very near
sunset).  The strange exception to this on the second day was UA2FZ
and UA2FJ.  I called them not long after working RW2F at 0124z without
success.  However, I did get through to them around 0614z...
While worse on the first day, a storm south of us made static levels
high on both days.  That kept me paranoid about calling CQ during the
prime DX hours since it was taking time to get some of the calls...

73,  Bill     K0HA


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