TEP (Transequatorial propagation) on 144 MHz.
Older news and other information.

QSO reported >> America Europe-Africa JA-VK
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The signals were recorded by me as follows:
 > ZS6DN bcn 144MHz; TX:100W RF to 4X 12 el Yagis; 1720Z, 5 NOV 1978
 > ZE2JV bcns 144/50 MHz ; TX:40/10W RF to single Yagis; 1830Z, 3 FEB 1979
SV1DH RX 14/5 el single Yagis.
Note that the ZS6DN CW sig sounds auroral (keyed noise out of the rx noise..) and there was no possibility of any SSB QSO, although this was routine on the other two TEP sectors, and compare to clean 6m sig from ZE2JV, propagating via the "normal" mode. More details on the relative QST article of Nov-Dec 1981.

Many thanks to JR4ENY/1 & JH4JPO for sharing his compilation of 144MHZ & 430MHZ TEP WORLDWIDE

Infos extracted from SIX ITALY 

Infos extracted from DX web cluster from Japan

Infos extracted from the IARU Region 1 VHF/UHF/SHF/EHF DX records

VERY interesting infos extracted from The Dawn of Amateur Radio in the U.K. and Greece - Norman F. Joly 

SV1DH comments:

Most people know by now that SV1DH was one of the principal stations involved in the very successful Transequatorial propagation tests which took place during the 21st sunspot cycle between 1977 and 1983. Costas gave me a simplified explanation of the phenomenon first noticed by Ray Cracknell ZE2JV and Roland Whiting 5B4WR way back in September 1957, namely that VHF signals can travel great distances across the equator (5,000 to 8,000 kilometres) during the years of high sunspot activity.

Costas said that usually stations located approximately the same distance north and south of the magnetic (not geographic) equator can contact each other shortly after sunset at both locations. The first such QSO took place on the 10th April 1978 between ZE2JV and 5B4WR. Two days later ZE2JV contacted George Vernardakis SV1AB and this contact was followed a few days later with QSOs with SV1DH and SV1CS. (Fuller details of these contacts are given later in this book in the interview with SV1AB).

In October 1976 there was a rumour that 145 MHz signals had been heard directly between Argentina and Venezuela. With the imminent beginning of sunspot cycle 21 many amateurs in the northern and southern hemispheres began organizing tests on 50,144,220 and 432 MHz. Within less than a year successful 2-way contact was established between Argentina and Venezuela on 144 MHz.

Greece is favourably placed for TEP to countries in Africa where there is considerable amateur radio activity, like Zimbabwe and the Union of South Africa. So towards the end of 1977 SV1AB and SV1DH began looking for colleagues in suitable geographic locations with the appropriate equipment and the time and inclination to engage in tests which could go on for months and months on end. Very soon the following stations agreed to participate in the tests. The northern group included SV1AB, SV1DH, 5B4WR and 5B4AZ. In the southern hemisphere participants were ZE2JV (now G2AHU), ZS6PW, ZS6DN, ZS6LN and ZS3B.

After 4 months of daily test schedules, early in 1978, successful contacts took place on 144 MHz, some of which constituted world distance records for that time, as can be seen in the accompanying table. Amateurs in Malta, Italy, France and Spain soon began to participate in the tests, as well as amateurs in other areas of South Africa.

It can be seen from the world map that the magnetic dip (shown as a heavy line) is very different to the geographic equator. The QTH of SV1AB is in a suburb 10 kilometres north of SV1DH's so George's contacts with the stations in Africa always had that edge on them.

In South Africa Dave Larson ZS6DN had set up a beacon which was first heard in Athens by SV1AB in February 1979. Within a few days ZS6DN had QSOs with SV1DH and SV1AB. The latter contact was a world distance record via the F-regions of the ionosphere because of the extra distance involved owing to the locations of the two Greek stations, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

For anyone who may be interested very comprehensive reports of the work done in transequatorial propagation during cycle 21 and earlier appeared in articles written by Ray Cracknell ZE2JV/G2AHU and Roland Whiting 5B4WR/G3UYO in the June/July/August 1980 issues of Radio Communuication, the journal of the R.S.G.B. and in the November/December 1980 issues of QST.

Interview to SV1AB:

Norman: "Tell me about your contribution to the transequatorial tests of 1979."

SV1AB: "I had been in regular contact with ZS6LN on ten metres long before Costas SV1DH appeared on the scene. I remember asking ZS6LN why we should not receive South African stations on 2 metres when we could hear them so well on 50 MHz. He had replied that the two frequencies behaved in a very different manner, but there was no harm in trying. He got ZS6PW and ZS6DN interested in the idea, particularly ZS6DN who had much better aerials and a very good QTH. He was the one who stood the better chance of being heard in Greece. We arranged a schedule of transmitting and listening every evening. First they transmitted and we listened, and then we transmitted and they listened, and contact was maintained on ten metres."

Norman: "You said `every evening' --do you mean that the Sun has something to do with this type of propagation?"

George: "Most certainly. All the contacts that were made subsequently were at least one hour after the relevant part of the ionosphere was in darkness."

George then described how the first signals were heard via transequatorial propagation.

George: "First we heard the beacon on 144.160 MHz set up by Ray Cracknell ZE2JV in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The date was April 12th 1978 at 18.00 G.M.T. Ten months later I heard ZS6DN's automatic beacon with a colossal signal, but he was not at home! I went to 20 metres and put out a frantic CQ for any station in South Africa but got no reply. I returned to the cross-band frequency on 10 metres which we used regularly for 28/50 MHz QSOs and managed to contact a station in South Africa who was very far away from ZS6DN but who kindly offered to QSP a message by telephone. He was told that ZS6DN had gone out but would be back soon. I was terrified that the opening would not last long enough. But in a few minutes I heard him calling me slowly on CW and we exchanged reports at 17.20 G.M.T on February 16th 1979. This was a new world record for the longest distance on 2 metres

"Three days earlier, however, when I was not at home, Costas SV1DH had established the first TEP contact between Greece and South Africa when he contacted ZS6DN. As you know, my location is a mere 10 kilometres north of SV1DH's. I have a tape recording of my QSO with ZS6DN as well as with ZS6PW whose signals came through a few minutes later at 17.34 G.M.T. on that historic evening.(The local time in Athens was 7.34 p.m.).Of course the distance record was broken again on September 17th 1981 when I contacted ZS4BU who is 110 kilometres further south than ZS6DN."

Norman: "Were all these contacts only on the key?"

George: "Yes, all the contacts were on CW. On several occasions we tried SSB but there was so much distortion that not a single word could be identified. TEP has a lot of flutter and fading and as you can hear on the tapes even the morse comes through like a breathing noise, not a clear tone. This applies to contacts between Greece and South Africa. Contacts between Japan and Australia where the distances involved are smaller, have been made on SSB."

Extracted from History of VHF in Japan 

On February 24th, 1977 we received some big news - a JA station succeeded in having the first QSO with a VK station on 2 meters. That QSO was on SSB on 144.110 MHz at 2059 JST, between JH6TEW (Kikuchi-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture) and VK8GB (Darwin, Australia), which was a super record for 2 meter DX when you consider that the distance between the two cities is 4,992 km. Regrettably, this did not set a new world's record because one half month prior to this, on February 12th, KP4EOR (Puerto Rico) and LU6DJZ (Argentina) had an SSB QSO on 2 meters, a distance of 5,000 km. Those QSOs were by transequatorial propagation. QSOs between VK and JA were FB after that and we were able to have QSOs with VK8VV, etc. also from Darwin, and in the TE season in spring and fall many stations, mainly JA6 and also the 3, 4, and 5 areas had QSOs with Australia

Extracted from Six Metre Info by SM7AED

December 06, 2000. FG/N0JK (FK96hd) Guadeloupe results. 102 QSOs on 6M in 16 countries. Worked PY5CC Nov. 27 00:47utc 2M on TEP! Opening to Europe Nov. 27 at 1145 utc worked D, I, OK, PA, and S5. Further info at FG/N0JK Jon FG/N0JK. E-mail: n0jk@hotmail.com 

Extracted from DX LISTENING DIGEST 1-013, February 1, 2001

An equally likely mode is TEP around 8.00-9.00 pm local time when phase 2-style TEP peaks, to reach a MUF sufficient to carry the very high 144 MHz. This mode has a fast flutter/fade sound on it, with plenty of doppler spread. This is a relatively rare occurrence at this high frequency, but has happened over the years. In this case the TX station is almost certainly about 6000-8000 km due north or south of your receiving locality, depending on whether you are north or south of the TEP equator.

Extracted from Radio Propagation on VHF. FAQ's.

T.E.P. (Trans-Equatorial Propagation)
TEP....Known as Trans-equatorial Propagation, as the contact is made from each side of the Equator. Good contacts have been possible right through the minimum of each solar cycle on 50MHz, 144MHz, and 432MHz from around the 30 to 36 degrees latitudes down to Southern Africa is one example.
During Solar maximum both the "north and south" paths are extended way past the normal temperate zones. TEP has also a distinctive flutter on the signal. 

Reported by IK0BZY (TNX Enrico) 

In autumn 1989 and spring 1990 I made quite a number of QSO with ZS3E (V51E) Kosie and ZS3AT Tom. Especially in october - november 1989 almost everyday around 18-20 utc we could hear ZS3E beacon.  We also had some SSB QSOs when the TEP was stronger!

Reported by I5CTE (TNX Piero) 

I'd like to let you know that back in 1990 I worked ZS3E(now V51E) on 144 on three separate occasions,in Oct-Nov.That was an excitement indeed!About a year ago,I set up some skeds with V51E,but nothing was heard.My geographical position,relative to the magnetic equator,is such that Namibia appears to be the most favorable area for TEP contacts on 144 from here(JN53XG)

Interesting beacons to listen from Europe

ZS2VHF on 144.412 MHz. (Pointing north)
V51E on 144.400 (news from March-2003. Beacon is currently QRT)
ZS1VHF on 144.425 MHz (Pointing north March-June 2003 / 12el. & 25w)

Interesting links

For stations in Southern Africa area, remember that the call frequency in Europe is 144.300 MHz, and that there is where everyone is listening most of the time. Please use 144.300 when calling for TEP to Europe !. And remember that best times in our longitude are between 17:00 and 19:00 UTC

Join the TEP on 144 MHz mailing list for more info !!

QSO reported >> America Europe-Africa JA-VK
Maps of QSO >>  America   Europe-Africa   JA-VK 
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