The ZM2E LF station was set up for LF DX on 4, 5 and 6 April. Operators were ZL2CA, ZL4TAC and ZL4OL, with a visit one evening by ZL2AFP. It was apparent from the first night that there were unusually high levels of static, and it was later found to be due to a weather event in the mid Tasman. ZM2E was afflicted by high QRN for much of the time, except for the latter part of the third night. The first part of a night was targeted at working VA7LF (after ZL sunset), and the latter part (after RU6 sunset) targeted to working R6L.

All stations used a new scheme for beacon mode, and kept to a pre-meditated schedule of timeslots until such time as beacon transmission was able to be copied, then a different reply code would mean a QSO attempt could start. The new method seemed to "get the nod" for making the event more active and also virtually eliminated times when both stations may be transmitting. We had a 10 minute schedule with VA7LF, using 90 second dot length, and a 15 minute schedule with R6L, using 120 second dot length coding.

The first night we received nil (thru the static) from VA7LF but we understand they got us for a sustained period, so there may have been a QSO if static at ZM2E was "normal". We received nil from R6L.

The second night we got M to O copy of the V from VA7LF, on consecutive beacon transmissions, and sent our code for being able to receive them, but they did not copy us during that time. That was the only reception we had from them all night. We received nil from R6L

The third night we received nil from VA7LF except for near the end of the dark path time (pre-sunrise in VE7) and conditions lifted considerably. We understand they received a very strong signal from ZM2E, but we received only a fair signal from them. There was a coded exchange between 1310 and 1330 UTC but it was insufficient for either to claim it as a two-way QSO. Again we received nil from R6L.

Comment: The nil overall reception from R6L was disappointing as ZL2CA got fair reception at home of an R6L FSK60 beacon two nights before ZM2E was
operational, so the long haul propagation is indeed fickle. The results with VA7LF were closer to a QSO than we have had before, and it was unfortunate that the static at ZM2E was so high. Better luck next time!

Go to tp:// to see the story at the VA7LF end of the tests.

Report from Bob ZL2CA

Posted by ZL1AZE on April 10, 2006