# R ADIO W AVE P ROPAGATION A R EFRESHER B RIEFING B Y : R ON, KØMAJ.

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R ADIO W AVE P ROPAGATION A R EFRESHER B RIEFING B Y : R ON, KØMAJ

Introduction I’m not a genius and I don’t know everything, I’m just the guy who was selected to make a presentation I’ve tried to minimize the technical theory and focus on: Practical concepts Some info not presented in textbooks Tips Techniques Because of limited time, the focus is on HF

http://www.smeter.net/propagation/sunspots/current-sunspot-cycle.php The good news: Conditions haven’t been better in 8 years!

Not so good news…

Example of actual current propagation Today on 10 Meters: England station, 100 W, 20-foot beam, S-9 +10 (S-3 on dipole)

“Propagation” refers to the travel of radio waves from point A to B A grasp of propagation theory allows you to be a more professional amateur If your radio signal does propagate, who’s out there to receive it? Propagation

Propagation: If you have it, who’s there to hear you?

SEMO ARC Demographics Extra = 20 Advanced = 6 General = 15 Technician = 12 Cape = 22 Jax = 20 Scott = 4 Other = 8

(Wikipedia)

If you aren’t much interested in HF, you might not be Interested in this topic Technicians: HF Phone on 28.3 – 28.5 (worldwide) Many clubs have their own stations If we had a club HF station, who would be interested?

Terminology: HF = 3.0 – 30 MHz (80 -10 meters) VHF = 30 - 300 MHz UHF = 300 MHz - 3 GHz Propagation varies with many factors, including time of year, time of day, geographical location, solar and geomagnetic activity, weather, power, frequency, and antenna type Propagation

Radio waves belong to a family of electromagnetic radiation Family includes infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, others Radio waves, like light waves and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation, normally travel in straight directions and in all directions away from the source Propagation

Radio waves weaken as they travel, from the dispersal of radio energy from its source Range = distance a radio signal can be received Most propagation at VHF and higher frequency is usually line-of-sight, so earth curvature and obstacles are range-limiting factors HF can travel along Earth surface, “ground waves”

The ionosphere (30-260 miles high) is made up mostly of O 2 and N 2 Solar energy, in the form of ultraviolet light (UV) and X-rays going thru atmosphere can convert gas atoms to ionosphere layers of ions which can refract radio waves The ionization plays basic role in long-distance contacts in amateur bands from 1.8 MHz to 30 MHz Maximum one-hop skip is about 2500 miles. Beyond that involves multiple bounces off the ionosphere VHF and higher usually pass thru ionosphere to space D-layer: (lowest region) can absorb HF radio waves, especially 1.8 – 4.0 MHz during day

(DX net example including Louri)

E-layer: occasionally patches of the E-layer can become overly ionized and refract even VHF and UHF, called “sporadic-E” propagation F-layers: (highest region) refracts HF, divided into two sub-groups HF refracted back to earth = “sky wave” or “skip” Highest frequency that can be refracted = MUF Lowest frequency that can be refracted = LUF “Band open” means sky waves are possible

Gray line (twilight) Radio wave-absorbing D-layer disappears faster than the higher altitude radio wave propagating F2-layer

WWV

Band Plans (ARRL) (Beacons) QRP stations with CW ID If you need CW help, get a CW program from SEMOARC.net links

NY - Corsica DX Cluster

Contests

DX Nets If you can get through to the state-side moderator, you’ll have a good chance with the DX… 1100Z : 14.2385 MHz every day 1430Z : 14.244 2000Z : 14.247 Or, call CQDX yourself

ARRL Propagation Charts (solar flux 146) MUF Line LUF Line MHz Zulu

Keep in mind that the earth is round when pointing a directional antenna (central Russia is north of here) Some times long path works best, due to the ionosphere situation between two stations, especially if short path >

12 3

I’m out of time (and ideas) You can view or download this presentation from the “Links” section of SEMOARC.NET (viewer) Questions / Comments / Discussions? Time Out New YorkJapan AlaskaIowa Hawaii

R ADIO W AVE P ROPAGATION A R EFRESHER B RIEFING B Y : R ON, KØMAJ

Conclusion CQ

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