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THE REPORTER - The Crazy Magic Band
Written by Man Ohtuka, JL8GFB   
Monday, 30 August 2010 16:41

A special opening toward Europe and U.S. East-coasts on Six Meter


Man JL8GFB (Hokkaido, QN03RH), Han JE1BMJ (Chiba, QM05BR) and many Japanese hams had very special opening toward EU on 22Z June 22, and to W1s on 22Z June23 on six-meter. I will describe about these incredible openings.

Man-san says:
I have heard quite strong 49 MHz band video signals often around the summer solstice and have long been thinking that we should have JA8-EU path at our morning (20Z-). Usually I refer to UA0 video signals on  49.755, 49.757 and 49.760 MHz for six-meter DX openings. On the middle of May to first of August I am staying my radio shack, and go to bed around 17Z, so it is hard to get up early in the morning. I can hear six-meter as early as 22Z, or late at 23Z and I watch for North America, then I go to my office for my job. In the afternoon I can return to my shack for Europe.

When I hear the band every day on the season, it is frequently observed that the video signals on 49.757 or 49.760 MHz will build up to S9+++ at 00Z-03Z, and they will disappear at the best time of the afternoon (05-09Z) and we loose the EU path.
I am sorry that, few EU stations had attention to JA-EU path when the video signals on 49 MHz band would rise up around 01 or 02Z.

On 2130Z June 22 I found the video signals driving S9+++!
To protect from strong winds my rotatable six-meter antennas (2x12-element + 2x12-element and single 10-element Yagi) are all beamed toward EU in its idle state. Additionally I have fixed beam 2x7-element Yagis for NA, and 5-element Yagis on same tower on the 2x12-element arrays. I can select one from these four antenna system.
It was about 22Z (07 AM in JA) I have announced on the ON4KST EU chat:

081.0?CQ EU Northest Japan check prop 5min.
Immediately Rene PA2RU said: hrd someone calling.
And I heard a call of David MM0AMW calling me in huge buzz!
Then I worked with Rene, too. I heard some weak stations calling me in the buzz, and I have expected the big open toward EU on this morning time zone!
I have run CQ EU beaming my double 2x12-element Yagis toward 340 degrees (northern EU).

On 2255Z I worked with Doug VE1PZ. I have heard his signal very nice after I switched my antenna to single 10-element Yagi. I presume the reason that 10-element Yagi caught his signal from due North by a side lobe. I regret that it would have been better to ask Doug to call CQ for a confirmation of path direction. Doug’s signal had very pure, clear tone without any haze or flutter.
After Doug I called CQ with the 10-element Yagi but no one called me. So far my signal had been heard until 01Z on EU side but I felt I can work with anyone if there are stations elsewhere in EU.

I am just happy that I have worked about 30 EU stations and VE1PZ on this morning. But I missed OY3JE – I was not able to hear his signal on my location. Also, this is a pleasure to know there is JA-EU propagation on this Japanese morning time band. I hope all European stations have their attention on this path every day around the summer solstice. I think the path is there – from the past.

Thanks to Rene PA2RU and David MM0AMW to watch on my signals beam for the uncertain propagation. Also I say thank very much to ON4KST and all of the people on his IARU Region II and European chats.

A log of JL8GFB on June 22 and 23. (22Z = 07 JST)

22/June    2157 MM0AMW 50081.0
22/June 2158Z PA2RU 50081.0
22/June 2159Z SM4IVE 50081.0
22/June 2202Z OZ8RW 50081.0
22/June 2202Z SM7GVF 50081.0
22/June 2204Z V?5F? 50081.0
22/June 2207Z G0JJL 50081.0
22/June 2207Z OZ1DJJ 50081.0
22/June 2208Z OZ7OX 50081.0
22/June 2210Z ??5HH 50081.0
22/June 2211Z EI5FK 50081.0
22/June 2212Z PA3GCV 50081.0
22/June 2213Z EI9FBB 50081.0
22/June 2215Z SM5EDX 50081.0
22/June 2217Z EI2JD 50081.0
22/June 2219Z G4IGO 50081.0
22/June 2221Z G4OBK 50081.0
22/June 2222Z ???NB 50081.0
22/June 2224Z MM5DWW 50081.0
22/June 2225Z OH8UV 50081.0
22/June 2226Z SM7LQV 50081.0
22/June 2227Z OZ1SKY 50081.0
22/June 2228Z OZ7U 50081.0
22/June 2230Z SM6CUK 50081.0
22/June 2231Z G4PBP 50081.0
22/June 2233Z OZ1KEF 50081.0
22/June 2233Z OZ6AQ 50081.0
22/June 2237Z OZ2BKK 50081.0
22/June 2240Z DL8A?? 50081.0
22/June 2255Z VE1PZ 50081.0
22/June 2301Z SK6HD 50081.0
22/June 2350Z MD0CCE 50081.0 (hrd)
22/June 2357Z OZ4VV 50087.0
22/June 0010Z LA7HJA 50081.0
22/June 0013Z EI5FK 50081.0
22/June 0015Z LA8AJA 50081.0
22/June 0034Z MM0BQN 50081.0

23/June 2215Z KC0CF 50081.0
23/June 2216Z N1BUG 50081.0
23/June 2219Z NW0W 50081.0
23/June 2220Z K1CP 50081.0
23/June 2312Z ND0J 50124.0
23/June 2315Z K1UO 50124.0
24/June 0008Z W8IF 50083.0

From Han JE1BMJ:
Man-san, very nice job on JA-EU and JA-W1 path.
There are many unknown propagations hidden yet - this is the magic band. It is my lifework to research various natural propagations being encountered on six-meter. Among them, the DX propagation around the summer solstice – or SSSP - is a global propagation and almost all of you have experienced at JA-EU, EU-NA and JA-NA QSOs.

As all of you know, on this season the propagations are quite anomaly compared to preceding years. I presume it is because of the sun have been started its late activities toward a peak of the solar cycle 24. On such a period, 27-days periodic up/down of propagation condition is obvious, as this summer season. That is the reason why we have worked with few NA stations than preceding years; besides, JA-EU propagations have been much activated, and rare entities such as EI, OY, LA, GM and others have been worked from Japan.

Furthermore, there are inherent, regional differences because of the deviation of the geomag North Pole. When geomag AK index are high, generally JA-NA paths are disturbed because NA have high geomag latitude compared to its geographic latitude; and the high electron-density of  an aurora oval disturbs the JA-NA path which cut through a higher latitude; for example, when I see an yellow aurora oval at NOAA page [1], I think I have higher possibilities to work with W4s via a high latitude path; when it turns to red I can not expect W4s but W0, W5, W6 and W7s are possible via lower latitude path.

On this short-path propagation around the summer solstice, generally JA-NA opening occur on 21-0Z and 04-08Z, and JA-EU opening on 06-10Z; so the JA-EU opening of 22Z time band is very rare. I worked with two EIs, one MM and OY3JE.

And, we had a good opening toward W1s on the next day:  22Z June 23. I called CQ EU on 85.0 and heard weak N1 is calling me in the buzz. He was Paul, N1BUG. Totally I worked with five W1s and one W3 station around 2208 - 2247Z.

Both JA-EU and JA-W1 openings have occurred under the condition of a high geomag AK index, and these paths cut through the aurora oval. These propagations - need high plasma density and high geomag index at the same time - are much irregular and must happen once in a year, and this condition must have been satisfied just after June 21st, the Summer Solstice in Northern Hemisphere.


This article has been written for SixItalia by Man Ohtuka, JL8GFB and English translation/additional comments by Han Higasa, JE1BMJ.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 10:23
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