Sunday, 24 November 2013

Blast from the past: TEP Research ZE2JV

I found this gem of an article in the QST archive:
Transequatorial Propagation of VHF Signals
By RG Cracknell ZE2JV
December 1959

This article dates back to the peak of solar cycle 19; it was the best solar cycle in recorded history.

Considering that this was written in 1959 one can surely assume that 6m equipment was a rarity and not too many radio amateurs would have been equipped with 6m gear. The equipment that existed most likely was insensitive and noisy not nearly as capable as the equipment at our disposal today.

Amongst other things the article shows the TEP footprint as show below. Today we have hundreds of keen 6m enthusiasts and we have great tools at our disposal including electronic logs which can be “mined” to extract data such as grid locators information from, which in turn can be plotted on maps.

Unfortunately we still don’t have many 6m enthusiasts in South Africa, but I believe that we do have sufficient experience to believe that the foot print appears to be accurate.

I will re-read the article carefully to see if there are any anomalies. The one thing I did notice is that what has become known as afternoon -TEP (a-TEP) is not accounted for. The article refers to openings occurring after 16:30 UTC, we often have openings starting as early as 12:00 UTC.

The research done in 1959 is simply awesome; it is a pity that the research seems to have stagnated.

6m TEP Footprint EU - ZS

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