When did hams start paying attention to gray-line propagation effects?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. K1FBI

    K1FBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I understood your question. I just thought this would be useful information for other hams who read this thread; especially those who never even heard of gray-line.
    No harm intended. :)
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Oh, no worries :) Very cool. I just thought the question got missed is all.

    K1FBI likes this.
  3. KE7AUB

    KE7AUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My copy of the ARRL Amateur Extra Class license Manual for 2002-2006 talks about the Grey line. So I was using it in late 2004 onward when I upgraded to Extra (merry Christmas in my case). I recall enhanced receipt of shortwave radio signals during the grey line - I'm not sure if I knew about the grey line back then or not (70-s - early 80's). I did, as a teenage science nut, study radio waves, so perhaps subconsciously something stuck. I know when I studied for my tickets, at lot of basic radio wave propagation stuff sort of was reactivated in my head as were a very few morse characters.

    I've had some cool contacts via the Grey Line. Computers make it easier to know when to use the grey line correctly / for maximum effect. With with a globe or flat world atlas, it can also be done.
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is the only article that pops up from search of the ARRL magazine databases.

    AUG 1984 - HAM RADIO (PG. 77)

    Fundamentals of Grayline Propagation

    Author: Wells, Bradley, KR7L
  5. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the lack of evidence on the internet is a symptom more of timing than history. In those days (1950s - 1960s), gray line phenomenon was discussed widely but not in a form anyone would find it on the web.

    Stew Perry was one of the more prolific sources of gray line propagation information and learning who made an art form of it on 160 during the 50s and 60s. I never had room for decent 160 antennas but the practice and theory obviously carried over to the other bands which we all knew in those days.

    It's not a new concept by any measure.
    WA7PRC, W4NNF and W7UUU like this.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    That's about as far back as I can find as well. But surely hams were thinking of this stuff long before Commodore 64 computers, right?

    Geochron sold a "ham version" starting as early as 1964. I doubt they sold many - but they had to have been selling into a market that was knowledgeable about what the gray-line even was, right?

    Or not.... that's what I'm trying to find out. "Who knew what, and when" prior to the computer age

    N7ANN likes this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    That could indeed be the heart of the issue: it was discussed, but not really documented due to the lack of computer tech to produce accurate graphs.

    Thanks for reminding me of Stew Perry - yes, surely he (if no one else) had a firm grasp on low-band use of gray-line propagation

  8. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I knew about grey-line in the 80s. Around sunset I recall getting down into South America on 10 :cool: Now I can't get to the south end of my block :rolleyes:
  9. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's what I used to use. I probably made this in the late 70's.

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    KB3FEI, WA7PRC, VK2WP and 5 others like this.

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