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

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you check the DX clusters - states in NY and New England will spot work stations from europe that aren't even remotely heard down here in GA. The relative distance between NE and europe and GA and europe isn't that different. The peculiarities of propagation are fascinating to me.
  2. AA6YQ

    AA6YQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are many factors that affect what you can hear relative to what ops in other locations can hear. At this stage of the solar cycle, gray line enhancement is a major factor. If you want to work stations in Europe, look to see if and when you have a gray line opening with them.
    VK6APZ and W4CWL like this.
  3. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most of the above comments are spot-on.

    The other thing to keep in mind is the pattern your antenna produces on receive. Very few antennas, unless they are in the middle of nowhere receive equally in all directions. There are more often than not, things like elevation changes, trees, powerlines, buildings, ponds, differences in the angle the wire makes with the ground, my wife's hair dryer, and all manner of things that alter how signals reach your antenna. I always make a habit of marking QSO's and Stations Heard on a map.... and more than once I've discovered holes and / or zones of better reception. After just a short time, you can see in what direction your antenna is good, and where it's not so good. It's not totally scientfic, but it does work.

    The odd thing is that this does not always translate into good or bad transmit capability. I log onto a net quite often, using 100w. There are many times when I can't hear the net controller very well at all, but he reports that I'm coming in great guns on his end.... then when I switch antennas, the situation changes.

    ....and yes, close proximity to salt water does help, IF there is a good salt-water path between you and the other station. I'm right on the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and Florida, Mexico, the South America coastal regions, the Carribean, and parts of Africa come in stronger here than they do farther inland.... and if you plot a great circle route from there to here, they are all over mostly water.

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  4. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Screwed this one up. What I wanted to say is below.
  5. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's about 20 percent, which is not insignificant.

    However, the portions of the path over land are about three times greater, and land refraction attenuates HF radio waves more than water refraction.
    W4CWL likes this.

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