April, May and June 1997
Ted Collins G4UPS writes "like most 6m buffs, I get impatient fo the summer sporadic E to start. It is quite surprising how frail the human memory is from year to year". Ted has looked through his logs for the last 7 years and notes the following dates for the first opening of the season at his Devon (south-west UK) QTH.
|1990||21 April to 9H. Stations in IO93 had an opening to Italy on 18 April|
|1991||2 May, small opening to ZB and EA. First widespread event not until 4 May|
|1992||24 April, extensive opening to I, YU, OE, DL, OK|
|1993||27 April to I and S5|
|1994||25 April to I, S5, 9A and YU|
|1995||25 April to I and 9H|
|1996||21 April to OK, SP, OM, S5, and I|
|1997||23 April, a fleeting opening to EA. 28 MHz wide open to EA at same time.|
Ted notes that all the above were preceded by very obvious openings on the 28 MHz band. He asks if anyone can add to this basic information? Past 6 & 10 Reports record the first summer Es as Ted indicates for 1993 and 1996, but a fleeting opening to Italy occurred on 18 April 1994, and propagation on 11 April 1995 to PA and ON was reported as Es. The GW-SP contact of 22 April probably represents the first summer Es of 1997. Es can occur at any time of the year, so it is not always clear what constitutes the first summer event.
[from 6 & 10 May 1997]
First Openings. To complete the information printed here last month, Ted G4UPS adds in his 6m information for May the dates for the first summer Es openings at his Devon QTH in 1986, 87 and 88.
|1986||29 April to DL and SM (worked crossband), and LA|
|1987||20 April to CT and EA|
|1988||6 May to DL (crossband contacts). Late start to the season this year.|
Transatlantic Firsts. Summarising again from the data supplied by G4UPS, these are the dates of the first openings "across the pond" as logged in Devon by Ted.
|1988||6 June to W1/2/3/4/9 and FP|
|1989||24 June to W1 - late for the first opening of the year|
|1990||21 June to VE3|
|1991||6 June to VE1 opening to northern UK. But at Ted's QTH, no QSOs until 24 August|
|1992||13 May to VE1 (very early)|
|1993||5 June to VE1|
|1994||19 June to VE1, W2, FP|
|1995||7 June to VE1|
|1996||28 May to VO, VE1, W1/8, FP (etc)|
[from 66 & 1010 June 1997]
A contribution this month from Ken Osborne G4IGO on the earliest summer sporadic E and transatlantic openings. Ken has checked through his logs and come up with the following to compare with the list from Ted G4UPS:
|First "Summer" opening||First "Across pond"|
|1986||29 April (as G4UPS)||30 May FY/b|
|1987||11 April (as G4UPS)||28 May FY/b|
|1988||6 May (LA/TF/EA/SP)||6 June (as G4UPS)|
|1989||9 April (I)||24 June (as G4UPS)|
|1990||21 April (As G4UPS)||19 June (YV)|
|1991||23 April (EA)||10 July (PY)|
|1992||8 April (SP)||5 June (FY)|
|1993||27 April (as G4UPS)||5 June (as G4UPS)|
|1994||25 April (as G4UPS)||15 June (VE CY)|
|1995||20 April (SP)||7 June (as G4UPS)|
|1996||21 April (OM OK SP)||28 May (As G4UPS)|
|1997||31 March (SP OK )||11 June (VE)|
G4IGO also noted first Es openings as indicated by TV signals for the following years before the 6 metre band 50 was available to UK amateurs.
Ken thinks that the opening to VE on 13 May 1992 that G4UPS included in his list was by F layer not Es as there had been F openings earlier in the evening to V51, CX and PY and also some aurora. (Note, if comparing the two "trans-Atlantic" firsts lists, that Ted's were for openings to W and VE only.)
Ken asks us to the note the grouping of days in his "first openings" list - 24/25/27 March, 31 Mar and 1 April, 9/10/11 April, 20/21/23 April, and proposes these are correlated with meteor showers (which showers are these? G0AEV). He also suggests that "the first openings are now coming in Late April as against late March", but I think this is only true if you include the TV openings for 1980-85. Plotting the dates of the first 50 MHz openings only from the G4IGO data, I see no real trend.