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Tropo of 29/30 August 2016 

The general situation :

1-AIS RX  

FR-ais-coverage-during openning zs-station954-Durban-ais-20160829-1430z. zs-station954-Durban-ais-20160829-1530z.

zs-station954-Durban-ais-20160830-13z. FR-AIS-graph

AIS range here was not that big and strong on FR side, except for some 6h on 30/08 night. Best qrb was 2800kms for just some minutes. Most of time AIS range was normal here.

2-The Hepburn predictions 

Interesting to notice that for FR, the predictions are almost nil tropo...

3-The troposphere profile

We have seen some big signal strengh differences, on ZS side, with altitudes of  ZS stations...
Seems that troposphere was just normal on FR side, radiosoundings from here are made at Saint-Denis, on the north of the island. Just superrefraction at "high altitude", no real duct layer. Maybe on my west side, conditions were not exactly the same than on the northern part of the island.

61980-FMEE-Saint-Denis-Observations-at-12Z-27-Aug-2016 61980-FMEE-Saint-Denis-Observations-at-12Z-28-Aug-2016 61980-FMEE-Saint-Denis-Observations-at-12Z-29-Aug-2016 61980-FMEE-Saint-Denis-Observations-at-12Z-30-Aug-2016 61980-FMEE-Saint-Denis-Observations-at-12Z-31-Aug-2016
68592-FALE-King-Shaka-Observations-at-00Z-27-Aug-2016 68592-FALE-King-Shaka-Observations-at-12Z-28-Aug-2016 68592-FALE-King-Shaka-Observations-at-09Z-29-Aug-2016 68592-FALE-King-Shaka-Observations-at-09Z-30-Aug-2016 68592-FALE-King-Shaka-Observations-at-12Z-31-Aug-2016
68842-FAPE-Port-Elizabeth-Observations-at-12Z-27-Aug-2016 68842-FAPE-Port-Elizabeth-Observations-at-12Z-28-Aug-2016 68842-FAPE-Port-Elizabeth-Observations-at-12Z-29-Aug-2016 68842-FAPE-Port-Elizabeth-Observations-at-12Z-30-Aug-2016 68842-FAPE-Port-Elizabeth-Observations-at-12Z-31-Aug-2016

4-The surface pressure charts

They can be found here

5-The visible or IR maps - NRL

6-The airmass pictures
"copyright (2011) EUMETSAT"

For analysis of airmass maps see :

airmass-20160829-04z airmass-20160829-16z
airmass-20160830-04z airmass-20160830-16z
airmass-20160831-04z airmass-20160831-16z

7-The reports and some comments

I started to get the beacon on TX on the afternoon of 29 august... Before that, I was busy preparing the astro station for the solar annular eclipse,
and did not pay much attention on the radio...

First signal came from Hugo, ZS5HV at 1705z on 29 august.

Stations worked were ZS5HV(55 ssb/fm) - ZS5LEE (57 ssb)- ZS2ACP (heard once on jt then gone) - ZS2ABF (Peter was STROOOONG 59+ SSB and FM  for all qsos) - ZS2HC (55 ssb) - ZS2AH  (55 ssb with his 35w out). Several JT qsos as well.

On ZS side, the altitude of stations was making big difference.
In same sequence, for example :
 ZS5LEE 600m ASL got me -19
ZS5HV 5m ASL got me -6

In the night of 29, the bcn was at 25-30w out and was heard all night.

With ZS2ABF signal was so strong that with just some 10w, maybe less, we could have worked ssb...
Audio files of Peter ZS2ABF  on SSB and FM.

Signals were usually good to excellent.
Again, these qso are in reach of medium to small stations. Single yagi and some 50w.
Come on!

8-Equipment at FR5DN :

On 2m:
In "beacon mode", 70-80w out into 17el F9FT-13dbd yagi at 6.5m above ground.
Old PC dedicated to the 2m station for digital modes and AIS receiver (modified FT-2500M).
For qso, i can use up to 120w out max in shack
Mast mounted LNA with BF981 feed through coax, no measurement on NF
Coax is a  low loss rigid coax  LCF12-50, with some ecoflex 10.
I use separate TX and RX lines, which make things much more flexible, RX line is standard RG-213.
RX is Kenwood R-5000.
TRX for beacon and qso is dedicated Kenwood TR-9000.

On 70cms:

I run a now 4x21 el yagi at 2,5m above ground (lowest antennas)

Low loss coax, mixed length of hardline 7/8 and some length of lcf12-50 and LCF14-50.
Power 40w in-shack, higher if needed.
Mast mounted LNA 33db gain, 0.3db NF. Loss before LNA is around 0,9db.
RX is separated rx : LT70s converter with FT-990, 28Mhz IF.

The antennas used for the qsos:

Tks to All, and see you next opening !

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