Very early on 22nd of June my IC9700 let out a loud SSTV incoming signal on 144.500 – I typically monitor the 2M SSTV band in hope of some ‘local’ activity, so I was very suprised to hear something this early.
Within a few minutes several pictures had been received.
The first i was unable to make out the full text, but the next one provided some more useful information.
I had never seen this repeater before and was wondering if a new one had been setup in the locality, going to the website I found that the SSTV repeater was based in Clacton – some 232km/144 miles away ! The line-of-site rule for 2M was blown away by looking at the elevation profile between the QTH and the SSTV repeater.
As the the morning went on, more signals went in and amazingly i was able to activate the repeater with the access tone and receive my own picture back. I then had an excellent QSO via the repeater with G4LVD based in Ipswich !
Having completed the QSO I was left wondering, how is it I could suddenly receive the SSTV repeater which is so far away. A posting to our clubs mailing list provided the insight – a temperature inversion had caused a opening on VHF between the QTH and MB7TV. Not really knowing what a temperature inversion was, I looked that up, and the met office giving a great explanation. I was just lucky to be listening at the right time and to receive the signal from so far away!
With that I wondered as these are predictable, there must be some forecast, sure enough I found a site that looked to model the inversion that was seen this morning.
This means that I will be able to at least listen out at these times and try a QSO again. I’m not sure if I would ever be able to reach the SSTV repeater on mainland Europe, but with P13DFT in Delft in the Netherlands and another Germany, it will be great fun trying ! Heres to more ‘temperature inversions’ and more SSTV QSO’s on 2M!