The solar eclipse provided the perfect reason for a number of amateurs to launch high altitude balloons. AMSAT-UK is the place to go and read more about amateur radio space exploration and amateur radio satellites.
Southampton space flight launched MAJORA and OLAF (pictures on their website)
Further launches are detailed on the UK High Altitudes website and these included MARVIN, KRYTEN, EAGLE and an APRS beacon GEMINI 1 (Callsign LZ2WIN-11 on 434.5 MHz).
I tracked Buzz, with its altitude peaking at 30 KM above the earth. Using a special version of FLdigi detailed here I was able to track, decode and upload the position of Buzz every few seconds.
This weekend saw the ARRL DX phone contest, and with 28 MHz in good shape this provided lots of USA stations. I did hear quite a few M3 and M6 stations (10w) making contact with the USA, so even low power provided results. With many of the big contest stations out this weekend, signals ranged from strong to very strong.
I found the conditions on 14 and 21 MHz to be poor, although I managed a few. 7 MHz provided a few more contacts after dark, and provided an opportunity to test out split working. Many of the USA stations TX above 7200, and listen below 7100.
Using 200w and a ground mounted 5/8 vertical on 28 MHz I managed to work 92 stations, with the remaining 35 being on a mix of 7, 14 and 21 MHz. A map showing the stations work is enclosed.
73 Dave M0TAZ