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Propagation patterns in North America

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by W4CWL, Aug 22, 2019.

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  1. W4CWL

    W4CWL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not sure if this is the correct forum, but here goes.

    I've wondered for a while now why certain geographical areas seem to have better propagation than others. I base this on DX spotting network observations over the past 6 months.

    Example: Stations in New England, esp Maine, will spot a dx station, and I can't even pick them out of the noise. I notice similar scenarios with spots from Florida or the Caribbean. For the cases I'm remembering, the distance between my station and the DX is similar to the spotted station.

    I live in GA, which is kinda sort of mid-way between these two extremes of "Eastern North America," and it's always fascinated me how HF propagation seems to favor certain areas. I know it has a lot to do with antennas, and mine aren't the best, but on the other hand, when I call someone in a pile-up, I usually get them pretty quickly. My vertical with tons of radials is a great little performer.

    I'm certain there is a comprehensive and well-reasoned explanation to this phenomenon, I just haven't found it yet, and I'm the first to admit I don't know it all. Any of you fellow Dx'ers have insight to share?

    Is it an effect of latitude? I know proximity to salt water helps. What else?
  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Anything and everything can affect propagation, but one of the most often ignored factor is the Earth's magnetic field. If you get a chance, read my December 2010 QST article, Gimme an X, Gimme an O
    AI3V, W4CWL and KM4FVI like this.
  3. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You should do a google search , lots of results , almost too many to list .
    Where to start with soo many reasons & types of propagation .
    The ground at your antennas location .
    The weather at your location , also the other stations for both .
    Then for DX space weather .
    The weather stuff [ both weather & space ] change .
    Land contour .

    One of the 1st of my search results ,
    W4CWL likes this.
  4. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh , and then there is Eric KL7AJ
    Some blame the weather , propagation and a hole lot of stuff on Eric ;) and the toys he plays / used to play with .
  5. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    People spot stuff when they can hear the DX station. Or perhaps a few minutes after.

    On 80 meters morning grayline propagation reliably moves from East to West across the USA. Which means that I can usually hear DX stations before most of the stations in the USA from my Connecticut location.
  6. W4CWL

    W4CWL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good point. I usually anticipate 20-30 minutes between new england spotting a DX station and me being able to hear them in GA. But then that window will pass, and I will notice that FL is spotting the same station, but I can't hear them in north GA. It's just a fascinating phenomenon to me, and we continue to learn more about it. I appreciate the comments, and will definitely have to check out KL7AJ's QST article.
    AD7DB likes this.
  7. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a 40' top loaded vertical on 80M that hears remarkably well. On 160 I'm not so lucky and put up an array of receive loops to hear the DX.
    W4CWL likes this.
  8. W4CWL

    W4CWL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This article was magnificent. Thank you for sharing. It reminded me of a commercial I saw for a local TV station when I was a kid (back in the 80s). They made a big deal about how they broadcast a signal that was circular. They had animated graphics showing a corkscrew pattern. Their point was to illustrate how they had the best signal because of their fancy technology. Now (35+ years later) I realize they were talking about elliptical polarization.
    AD7DB likes this.
  9. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you look at the MUF map you will see that the farther south you go, the higher the MUF. In general , the southern states and coastal areas will have better propagation
    and be able to use higher frequencies than the northern states.
  10. M0ODV

    M0ODV Ham Member QRZ Page

    And there is the chordal hop propagation to consider also.With chordal hop propagation you have much less attenuation due to the fact the signals does not reflect against earth’s surface.You may have signals travelling above you along the ionosphere, but you cannot receive them.and propagation is always moving.
    TIC..tropospheric propagation(warm&cold fronts). Trans-equatorial propagation. greyline/twilight & sunrise,multi path/hop,sporadic E mechanisms.and as mentioned before Space & earth WX.SF index jet streams etc.

    ..and MUF's maps
    W4CWL likes this.

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