Europe on 50 MHz.

Last night I worked a station in France on 50 MHz (the six-meter amateur band). First time I had worked Europe on six in 30 years as a ham. The most common mode of propagation on six meters depends on refractions off the E-layer of the ionosphere. Since the E layer is so low in the sky, it takes several hops to get to Europe. It takes two hops just to get to the US west coast from here. The E layer gets ionized enough to propagate 50 MHz signals only sporadically, and so the propagation mode is called “sporadic-E” (abbreviated “Es”). In order to get multiple hops, you have to have multiple E clouds on the path to the target station. Es is common in summer time but it takes “getting all your ducks in a row” to work over very long distances.

 

There was a VHF contest over the weekend. Six meters was in great shape. I made about 40 contacts Saturday and 75 Sunday, even though I wasn’t planning to enter the contest and try for a big score.

 

There are three museums in the old Fayette County courthouse, and Bonnie and I visited all three of them Saturday morning. They are: The Lexington History Museum, The Lexington Public Safety Museum, and the Lexington Pharmacy Museum. All were interesting, and provided a nice look at how things were around here decades ago. The sad thing about my advanced age is that I remember a lot of the things in the museum :-). Was able to tell the curators about how things were way back in the ’70s :-). I actually may have some pharmacy artifacts that will be of interest to the pharmacy museum.

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