West Coast To Europe on 50mhz.... 

the wall is finally broken!

After 50 plus years of amateurs launching 50 MHz rf from the propagationally challenged Pacific North West area we finally succeeded in an over the pole contact with Europe! This historic day came June 10, 2001 during the ARRL June VHF contest on this side and just after the UKSMG contest had concluded on the other side; a fact which arguably helped make this happen. 

Digging into the logs submitted to me it seems the 2 stations to ultimately thank are DF9CY and K7RAT. K7RAT (op Tree), hearing the VE6EMU/B and W6 stations had his antenna's split in both directions calling 'CQ CONTEST'.  DL9CY, (op Christoph), heard Tree and with great shock and surprise returned his CQ. They unfortunately did not complete. Tree now alerted to the opening switched to the north facing yagi only and continues his 'CQ's'. Christoph later hears KB7WW and VE7XF but his 10w was obviously not enough. Tree goes on to work some 13 European stations in 5 countries and a few 'insurance dupes' over the next half hour. Meanwhile other stations on both sides are alerted by the activity and / or by seeing the posts on the clusters. The North American stations involved were in CN89, 88, 87, 85. Via the reports I received I concluded:

  • Many stations disregarded the posts at first as jokes; a decision that may have cost them dearly!

  • The footprint and selectivity on both ends was relatively small 

  • Of those 'in the propagation zone' higher power output and / or high gain antennas stations did better. 

  • The pounding hearts, disbelief and shock lasted for days.

From a VE7 perspective we have to thank VE7XF, (op Ralph). Ralph was beaming south at the time cruising contest contacts when he heard K7RAT reply to a 'DL'.  Listening for a few more minutes he soon realized he wasn't hearing Tree repeating a DL grid field but was working Europe. "RAT's WORKING EUROPE" was what we heard Ralph screaming over our 2m fm chat frequency. With great disbelief VE7SL, VE7SKA and myself quickly rotated north. A few minutes later ...BINGO. VE7DXG who was mtn topping later heard the melee and joined in the action. VE7SL, op Steve, has the privilege of first VE7 to Europe. VE7XF finished his WAC on 6m's from CN89 for another VE7 first. Both ops are 30+ year veterans of the band from the West coast. Below the logs in summary:

VE7DXG (CN88):  ON4GG.   Heard: F2YT
VE7SKA (CN88):  heard ON4ANT, ON4GG, F2YT

About 30 minutes later with hearts still pounding it was all over. It took us 50+ years of trying to successfully send 50 MHz over the pole to Europe. It took 50+ years to catch up to our eastern friends that have constantly tortured us with their posts of European countries. I'm sure it will take forever to answer the big question -- what was the propagation mode?!?!

On a personal note this opening came just 1 week after I had worked my last state for my WAS award and made a 13,300+ km contact with VK6JQ; not bad for a 'non F season'. Needless to say I take back every bad thing I've ever said about my addiction to what we call 6 meters!

Jason Timmis



Last modified February 08, 2004 by Paul B. Peters, Show contact information
Copyright 2000 -2003 Paul B. Peters, VE7AVV. All rights reserved.