5300km TEP opening on 144 MHz between Argentina and the Caribbean – Nov 2020

5300km TEP opening on 144 MHz between Argentina and the Caribbean - Nov 2020

In a recent post, I reported on a Trans-Equatorial Propagation (TEP) contact between Guadeloupe and the south of Brazil on 144 MHz which happened in October of 2020. The distance for that contact was in the region of 4455 km.

At the start of November 2020, there was an even more remarkable 5312 km contact between PJ2BR in Curacao and LW2DAF in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the graphic above, the geomagnetic equator is shown in Pink. Both PJ2BR and LW2DAF are equidistant from it and are also at right angles to it, both factors which are important at 144 MHz.

With Trans-Equatorial Propagation (TEP), zones of high ionization occur on either side of the geomagnetic equator in the F layer of the ionosphere. What makes the mode so interesting is that it can allow propagation on the VHF bands from 50 MHz to 144 MHz. As the zones of ionization are roughly 400kms above ground level, the propagation paths achieved are in the region of 4000 to 5000 km, much greater than what might be usual with Sporadic-E.

What’s even more remarkable about this contact is that it took place on SSB! See the video below…

If you listen carefully, you can hear a warble on the audio as the SSB signal becomes distorted on the 5300 km path.

PJ2BR worked a number of other stations in Argentina on 144 MHz SSB as well including LU2EPO at 5367 km. Other stations worked were LU7DW, LU5BE, LU1DL, and LU4DIR.

The opening was on the 3rd of November 2020 at around 00:00 UTC which was at 20:00 local time on the 2nd of November for PJ2BR in Curacao.

To put the 5300km distance in perspective, it is the same as the distance between London in the UK and the city of Boston in the USA.


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