I am fairly new to amateur radio. I only have my license about 3 months. My QTH is on the island of Newfoundland in eastern Canada. I have a question regarding short and long path propagation. I have been listening to many stations and always hear them comment about using the short path in the mornings and long path at other times of day or vice versa. How do you know when to use one path and not the other? I have been using a windom antenna but I am upgrading to a yagi and I am also a DX chaser so I figured this would be of great importance. Can anybody help me out. Thanks!!
It will bne self-evident once you put up the beam. There are some general conditions from the east coast - 20m LP to VK/ZL and infrequently southern Africa and JA (oposite headings) in the afternoon, Asia and Europe LP in the a.m. I maintained a separate log of all my Lp contacts over the years and found the above to be fairly consistent although masked by simultaneous SP conditions as well such as european openings easily missed. It's always a more interesting way of working DX.
I wouldn't be concerned with the other bands at this point in the solar cycle
You can't conclusively prove if it's long path or short path without a beam...but there are lots of other hints...one of which is following the gray line...it will tell you the most LIKELY path.
Originally Posted by [b
Hmm...actually, I partially lied....even a BEAM won't ABSOLUTELY give you the direction...especially if you live up here, where the ionospher is tilted. But in any NORMAL place, it's a good method...HI
"The more you know, the less you don't know."
An indicator that both paths are present is an "echo" sound on the signal. It's not echo boxes like some people presume.
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Long path often has a "watery" or "fluttery" quality to it that a short path signal usually does not exhibit. Once you have heard it, you will have no problem identifying the sound.
A friend of mine was once asked what the longest distance qso he ever had, was. His answer, "a station about a hundred miles away, on 20 meters. His antenna was pointed north, and mine was pointed south, and we figured that our signals traveled around the earth the long way ( long path ) making our DX just 100 miles short of the total distance around the Earth."
Good story! I cannot vouch for the truth of it, but it is entirely possible!
When the "Russian Woodpecker" was putting out its pulses on 80 and 160 meters, you could take a beam and point toward the source of the transmission and distinctly hear the pulses as sharp and distinct. However, turn the antenna in the other direction, and you could hear the reflections coming back from the other beam heading, with that echo and "watery - fluttery" sound described in the previous posts. A great illustration of short vs. long path propagation!
DX is cool!!!!!!!!!& #33;
keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
Also a watery fluttery signal can be evident when you make a contact over the pole. A thick Asiatic Russian accent mixed with polar flutter makes for an interesting time trying to understand what is being said.
Backscatter is another way stations can communicate when they are too close for normal prop but too far for tropospheric prop.
HF is a whole lot of fun. You never know where your signal will end up....or how it will get there. I had a conversation with a guy in Brazil and got a QSL card from him, then not long after I got an SWL card from a guy in Moscow who had heard our QSO...
"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."