The Tasman Sea is an area where there are regular tropospheric ducting openings between Australia and New Zealand. On the 13th of December 2020, Hayden VK7HH and Richard VK7ZBX portable on an elevated location in Tasmania made successful SSB contacts with Nick ZL1IU in New Zealand on 144 MHz, 432 MHz, and 1296 MHz.
The really amazing contact however came at 05:58 UTC when there was a successful contact between VK7HH and ZL1IU on 2.4 GHz!
The contact was completed by using CW (morse code) as the signals were too weak for a SSB (voice) contact.
This 2380 km contact was a new Australian tropo record for 2.4 GHz breaking the previous record between VK4OX and ZL1AVZ by some 60kms.
27th Jan 2011 – 2317.5kms – VK4OX – ZL1AVZ
A video of the contact is shown below. It starts at where the 2.4 GHz contact takes place although you can of course go back to the start to see the site location in Tasmania and the contacts on the lower VHF bands.[embedded content]
If you look at the video at 9:45, you can see that they managed to complete a contact on 144 MHz SSB with just one-watt which gives an indication of just how good the conditions were.
It was also nice to see that in a digital age, CW still has a place for very weak signal contacts!
Other paths???… Obviously the one constraint with making contacts on 2.4 GHz are the low number of stations on the band. This limits experiments with other sea paths which might show some suprising results.
The one that springs to mind for me is the sea path from Ireland/UK down to the Canary Islands.
Back in July of 2020, EI2FG and EA8CXN managed to complete a successful contact on 1296 MHz over a 2714 km path.
What about 2.4 GHz?
As far as I can see, the current IARU Region-1 record on 2.4 GHz is between Malta and Israel.
2,32 GHz TR 9H1GB JM75FU 4X1RF KM72LS CW 2018-07-22 1914 kms
Time for a new 2.4 GHz record in IARU Region-1???