Tag Archives: propagation

Ground Wave Propagation

Is everything I have ever learned on the “ground wave” topic is a complete nonsense? This magical world between line-of-sight and ionosphere bound signal propagation; what is it and does it exist? In my experience, HF signals do mostly one of two things: They either refract/reflect off the ionosphere or they are “line of sight” (or almost line of sight). I realise that there’s meteor scatter, back scatter, tropo and other specialist propagation paths but lets face it, most propagation for the average HF Jo Ham is either line of sight or ionosphere refracted.

Last Monday evening during the 80m CC contest, I had QSOs with several of our local club stations over a circumference of about 10 miles. Most of the local stations were consistently 5 and 9 or better, sampled during the whole 90 minutes. I have since discovered two stations that couldn’t QSO with me at all and they tried many times over the 90 minutes apparently. They could hear me but we couldn’t work each other. So who was ground wave and who was ionosphere propagation? Why is it that over a circumference of 10 miles, I can almost always have a guaranteed QSO with a local station and other times they can not be heard at all?

If ground waves existed, then we could all communicate, all the time. Does this mean that all the other club members I spoke to locally were via the ionosphere? I have therefore made a conclusion that most signals on 80m are ionosphere bound propagation other than the very local 1 mile away station.

What do you think?