Info on best band for DX to Europe

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by K1ZNE, Jun 7, 2020.

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  1. K1ZNE

    K1ZNE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello. I would like to know which frequency would work the best for DX contacts with Europe (Spain mainly). I am located in Norfolk, Nebraska. Since my space for antennas is very restricted, all i can install is an horizontal dipole. A half wave 40m would fit barely so I would prefer a half wave 20m. Any advice you could give me on the above? I could also cut one for 10m but i don't hear much activity in there. I don't have access to 6m.

    Also, if I am not wrong i think I should install it on a north-south direction, having in account my location and my objective. Is this correct?

    Thank you very much for your help; i recently got my General Class license but i am a total newbe!


  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depending on conditions and time of day either 40m or 20m would be good bets. There isn't a specific frequency but DX activity on the SSB band segments is often below 7.2 MHz on 40m and often below 14.2 MHz on 20m.

    If you're located in Nebraska per your QRZ page and your main objective is Europe then your dipole should ideally run in a ESE to WNW orientation. Europe may seem like it's due East, but look at it on a great circle map and you'll see it's more of a NE to NNE bearing. Due East from Nebraska points towards South Africa. You don't have to get perfect orientation on a dipole as it has a fairly broad main lobe but if Europe is your main interest then running the antenna in a bit of a SE to NW or ESE to WSW orientation makes sense.


    You can generate and print great circle maps centered on your shack location here:
    K0UO, KD2TTM, WB5YUZ and 4 others like this.
  3. K1ZNE

    K1ZNE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much!
  4. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I lived in Nebraska up till 3 years ago 20M was best during the day to Spain and 40M and 30M during the evenings. Problem is a 20M dipole would be terrible on 40M.
    I had a Fan dipole that worked well with elements for 80, 40, 20, 10. I had good results with a 29' vertical with an autotuner at the base and a good radial field as well.
  5. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There were a lot of European hams contesting last night and I picked up a lot of DX on 20m yesterday.

    40m DX is usually pretty good too. (given band conditions)
  6. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    As others have posted, that depends on time-of-day and band conditions at any particular moment.

    These on-line tools will tell you:

    VOACAP Online for Ham Radio

    DXMAPS - QSO/SWL real time information

    To educate yourself about HF propagation, try one (or both) of these books:

    Propagation and Radio Science

    Radio Propagation Explained

  7. KE8KMX

    KE8KMX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    MFJ-2012 off center feed dipole 1500w max or MFJ-2010 off center feed dipole 300w max gets you 6,10,20 and 40m no external tuner needed

    I have used the 300w version one great results. I got on HF in Dec 2018 and had DXCC in 6 months running 100w. 80% was made with this antenna. I now have a hexbeam that covers 6-20m.

    Cost is $90 for MFJ-2012 and $70 for MFJ-2010 both are 67 feet long. Low SWR on 6, 10, 20 and 40m.

  8. 2E0RLR

    2E0RLR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Conditions are poor at the moment.. but they will improve the more we go into solar cycle 25
  9. KN4QFR

    KN4QFR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm in Virginia and for an example on 20M at 98 watts I have worked Moscow, Slovenia, Canada, Puerto Rico and Brazil on my North to South 200' endfed as well as on my new home made East-West 80M OCFHW. The OCFHW generally receives a stronger signal on all Bands and I have worked Moscow, Ukraine, Asiatic Russia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Brazil, Costa Rica and No. Ireland.
  10. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This implies you are thinking about a horizontal antenna. A horizontal antenna is good for DX on 40m only if it can be gotten at least 40' high. If it cannot be gotten that high, a vertical antenna would usually (almost always?) be better for DX. But if you can have both, that would be even better.

    With my 40m vertical delta loop fed for vertical polarization, I work EU almost every time I sit down to the radio in the evenings. It works far better than my conventional delta loop on 20m, which is too low (top edge at about 25').

    Lately (remember, we are having the longest days of the year right now in the northern Hemisphere) I have been hearing Europe twice a day on 20m, morning and evening.

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