Whilst on Holiday on France in 2002 I took the opportunity to listen to the new 5MHz NoV operators from a distance not specifically intended in the ‘fivemegs experiment’. One of the experimental goals is the development of NVIS techniques and I was interested in what I could hear with relatively simple untuned equipment from outside ‘normal’ NVIS range. Enjoyable holidays naturally were my ‘goal’ so the listening periods were not necessarily regular or well planned but this may prove a useful snapshot of activity and the degree of low angle radiation still emitted from the NoV holders. For convenience I logged the stations using conventional ‘RST’ codes but noted sufficient data in my log to create a ‘SINPO’ report for this web page.
The first location was a camp site known as ‘Les Garangoires’, St. Julien-des-Landes, Les Mothe-Achard, Vendee region of France. The ‘Maidenhead’ locator was IN96DP. My antenna was an end fed half wave antenna cut for 40m operation run at a maximum height of 3m agl in a pattern resembling three sides of a rectangle. The antenna tuner (?) was a parallel tuned tank circuit left set up for 7MHz operation and the receiver was a Sony ICF-SW7600 more at home listening to the BBC World Service but with a built in BFO more than capable of amateur reception.
|Date||Time(UTC)||Callsign Heard||Frequency kHz (Channel Centre)||Mode||Report(RST)||Report(SINPO)||Comments|
The first location lent itself to 7MHz listening to UK stations apparently in both distance and time. The second location was the ‘Atlantic’ island of Ile de Re, locator IN96HE. At the times I was able to operate I didn’t feel confident working anyone on 7MHz ( sorry if you were looking for a new IOTA ) but there was far more activity apparent on 5MHz. The same antenna, Rx and ATU were used, this time however I could get the antenna a little higher up ( around 4m agl ) and since I was operating on a terraced location fairly close to the shore it may have had a beneficial effect on what I could hear.
|Date||Time(UTC)||Callsign Heard||Frequency kHz (Channel Centre)||Mode||Report (RST)||Report (SINPO)||Locator||Comments|
It was regrettable that more stations locators weren’t given/logged but the general range of these stations from my locations was of the order of 800 km which, if NVIS modes were present on the transmitting stations antennas may indicate double hop communications but this would need to be determined by further analysis of ionospheric heights at the days/times concerned.