Results of the 34 MHz Propagation Tests – Sat 25th & Sun 26th Feb 2023

Results of the 34 MHz Propagation Tests - Sat 25th & Sun 26th Feb 2023

On Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of February 2023, Phil EI9KP conducted some propagation tests on the 9m band in the low-VHF part of the spectrum. He operated a supervised beacon on 34.013 MHz for most of the daylight hours running 1-watt into a vertical dipole with capacitive loading.

This was the second weekend of tests on the 34 MHz band and the results of the January 2023 tests can be seen HERE

EI9KP reports… “I have collated the below information from my 34MHz beacon test on 25/26 February 2023.  The beacon 1W transmitter and the dipole in vertical polarisation worked without technical problems.

On Saturday, I got a few reception reports from the USA.  On Sunday, propagation conditions were generally poor with maximum usable frequency (MUF) reaching only 26 MHz by late afternoon, and I received no reception reports. There was an absence of tropo over Ireland and the UK and no Sporadic-E was reported.

Also, there were no reception reports from the east, conditions were not right. It was positive that HAMs and SWLs were listening out, I have a few new names in the log.

Report: As compiled by Phil with a few additions from myself …

Saturday 25th February 2023: SF-index: 164  A-index: 6  Kp-index: 2

Absence of tropo conditions over EI/GB/Europe.
Beacon on at 0712, beacon off at 1843.
13:47 UTC. Reception report from SWL W1-7897 Bill in Douglas, MA, USA. He was using a 5 element beam for the 50 MHz band and a Yaesu FT-847 transceiver.
17:30 UTC. SWL David in Indian River City, FL, USA. He was using an Airspy R2 with a non-resonant OmniX airband antenna on the side of Rohn tower 14 metres above ground level.
17:31 UTC. K5YT Ed in Texas, USA, reported that he received the FT8 at -17dB SNR but could not hear the CW part.  He was using a 2 el. tribander Hygain TH2-MK3 and an Icom IC-7300.

Edward Johnson, K5YT writes… “I copied EI9KP on 02/25/2023 for 4 decodes using a Hygain TH2-MK3 @ 100’ and a IC7300 de K5YT EM22

The following were listening but nothing received:

DJ0MEW Bert in Germany – JN68IE. He was using an ICOM IC-7300 and an OCF dipole 40m long.

EI8DJ Don south of Cork city on the south coast of Ireland – IO51UT.

EI7GL – Just to add I live a few kms from EI8DJ and I also heard nothing via tropo or F2 backscatter. EI9KP is about 250kms from my location.

Franz van Velzen, OE3FVU in Austria writes… “I am monitoring here (since 7.30 UTC) with 3 receivers and antennas: IC7300 with tuned SteppIr; IC-R8600 with 3 ele 6m beam and FT-847 with Gap Titan plus Tuner. Not ideal, but perhaps I copy on one of them. All report to PSK reporter: with OE3FVU/3, OE3FVU/RX and OE3FVU respectively. At this moment (08:35 UTC) no signal has been received yet.

Kees Smit in the Netherlands writes… “I am also monitoring with 3 radio’s. Elad FDM DUO SDR with HM dipole for 40 Mhz. 8 mtr. in the attic. Yaesu FT991A with Hyendfed short version 15,6 mtr. for 10/20/40 & 80 mtr. Directional west. Kenwood TS690SAT with Wellbrook ALA1530 LNP in the garden below sea level. 2 fake decoded and nothing else at the moment but still waiting on a signal.

Sunday 26th February 2023: SF-index: 152  A-index: 10  Kp-index: 3

Absence of tropo conditions over EI/GB/Europe.
Beacon on at 0730, beacon off at 1814. No reception reports.
All morning a ‘wedge’ in the MUF over Ireland, England to France.  Low MUF at 18-21MHz. 

The following were listening but nothing received: 

DB6LL Ham in JO43VP (near Hamburg), he was using a Yaesu FTDX101MP and a non-resonant 5/8 lambda vertical antenna for 10 metres. Decoding was on JTDX.

K5YT Ed in TX, USA.

Analysis: In contrast to the January tests, conditions for the February 2023 tests were very much subdued. The was a large aurora later on the evening of the 26th of February which shows how disturbed conditions were. 

Most of the stations listening in Europe were well inside the F2-layer skip zone and it’s possible that a repeat of the test during the summer Sporadic-E season would yield much better results. 

The path to the stations in the USA was likely due to two or more hops off the F2 layer in the ionosphere.

Link: For more information tests on the 34 MHz (9m) band, check out my 40 MHz page.


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