Opening on the 50 MHz band from Antarctica to Europe – 21st March 2023

Opening on the 50 MHz band from Antarctica to Europe - 21st March 2023

Tuesday 21st March 2023: Considering it was the equinox with equal day and equal night, it seemed appropriate that there was an opening on the 50 MHz band between Antarctica and Europe.

LU1ZV is located at the Argentine Esperanza base in Antarctica. As can be seen from the map above, the FT8 beacon on 50.313 MHz was heard by several stations in the south of Europe.

Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC) SNR
CT1FFU 6m FT8 12189 km 16:14:14 -19
EA6SX 6m FT8 12582 km 16:06:15 -19
CT1EHX 6m FT8 11974 km 16:06:14 -19
SV9CVY 6m FT8 13060 km 13:21:14 -12
IT9TYR 6m FT8 12955 km 13:21:13 -11
IT9RZR 6m FT8 12817 km 13:16:14 -17
SV2DCD 6m FT8 13425 km 13:15:14 -16
IZ8WGU 6m FT8 13029 km 13:15:14 -19
ZA/IW2JOP 6m FT8 13310 km 13:13:11 -18
SV2JAO 6m FT8 13476 km 13:08:14 -15
SV1DH 6m FT8 13299 km 13:06:14 -20
There have been plenty of long distance openings on the 50 MHz band recently but they tend to be East-West and not too far from the equator… interesting but nothing special.
What makes this unusual is that the 6m signal was coming from the polar regions. Admittedly the station is at about 63 deg S and about as far north as you can get on the Antarctic continent but it’s an impressive journey all the same for a signal on the 50 MHz band to reach Europe.
Report from SV2DCD… Leonidas, SV2DCD in Greece sends the following report…
Today, SV1DH and I copied the LU1ZV 50MHz FT8 beacon from the Esperanza Base in Antarctica. 
It is the first time for me to copy signals from Antarctica here. Beacon conditions – Antenna is a half wave sloper dipole to the north and power is 3w
As can be seen from the screen grab above, the best signal that SV2DCD managed to get was -11dB which is a very noisy but audible signal to the human ear. These are the kind of signals that prior to the advent of FT8 would have gone unnoticed on CW or SSB.
Analysis… It looks as if the sun was pretty much at its highest point for the midpoint of this opening. It would seem to have been a multi-hop F2 layer opening. The solar flux was 152.
Thanks to Leonidas, SV2DCD for the report.
More reports on other long distance openings on the 6m band can be found on my 50 MHz page.
Addendum: Report from SV2JAO in Greece…


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