You may have read my previous posts about getting more involved with VHF and in particular 6 meters. After my latest encounter with the Magic Band of 6 meters it appears that she is sending out her welcome carpet for me. The latest escapade? Transequatorial Propagation!

aTEP100
TEP explained. Image from Roger Harrison paper on Afternoon Transequatorial Propagation. Click on image for the paper.

This past weekend I had DX Maps up and running watching the spots on 6 meters. Late in the afternoon I started to see some TEP activity from the Caribbean and Florida but couldn’t see anything on the radio. However, at about 5 PM I spotted a couple of CW signals.

Tuning to the first one I could hear loud and clear LU4FPZ on my 6 meter dipole in my attic. Unfortunately, my 6 meter moxon had been taken down and stored. Next I worked LU3CW and LW3EX, both on CW. I heard a CE3 station on SSB but very, very weak (needed that moxon) and I noted a few signals on the JT65 frequencies. I fired up JT65 and was able to work CX5BL. At that point, things died down.

I had heard about TEP but never thought it would be something that I could work. Reading the articles at K9LA, Amateur Radio Wiki, and IPS.gov.au it appears that I had some sporadic E propagation that was getting me into the TEP that originates over the Caribbean. Fascinating propagation mode that helped me add two countries to my DXCC tally for 6 meters. I think I’m up to about 6 or 7 now.

What a fun band. Now I need to get the moxon up on a rotator on a permanent basis to take advantage of these types of events. If you haven’t tried 6 meters yet, check it out. Lots of down time but oh what fun when things take off. You might even call it “magic.”

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