Propagation Prediction

Updated 8 Dec 2010, 0200 UTC

Propagation Prediction

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To some frequency propagation prediction is a black art, while others delve into the process with reckless abandon.

What is Propagation?
Propagation Beacons
Propagation Beacons Software
Online Propagation Prediction Tools
Propagation Prediction Software

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What is Propagation?

The following links will give you some information on propagation and its properties. Some of the articles can get quite deep into the mathematics and physics. Enjoy!

The Basics of Radio Wave Propagation By Edwin C. Jones, AE4TM

"Introduction to HF Radio Propagation"
Australian IPS Radio & Space Services — PDF file, 177K

Propagation Primer Flash Movie by AE4RV (requires Macromedia Flash Player)

Radio Propagation. PowerPoint Presentation 24 September 1999. Lewis Girod

HF Backscatter off Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances Identified with Pactor-II
By Edwin C. Jones, AE4TM

VHF/UHF/Microwave Radio Propagation:
A Primer for Digital Experimenters, Barry McLarnon, VE3JF (PDF)

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Propagation Beacons

NCDXF/IARU International Beacon Network

Propagation Beacons Software

BeaconSee NCDXF/IARU beacon monitor program for Windows 95/98/2000/XP with 16-bit SoundBlaster compatible soundcard. Uses audio from your radio. Free download. Registration opens up extra features.

Active Beacon Wizard++ displays the solar terminator together with the NCDXF/IARU radio beacons (30 day fully functional free trial)

Beacon Time Wizard is a group of beacon information views and tools to enhance the enjoyment and NCDXF/IARU international Beacon Network and HF radio operation. (QSL-ware license, Premium version available)

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Online Propagation Prediction Tools

Doug Brandon, N6RT, dynamic collection of propagation information gathered from many different sources

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
Current Conditions
The Planetary K Index
Detailed Current & Forecast

IPS Radio & Space Services
IPS Radio & Space Services
HF Systems
Space Weather

Solar Terrestrial Dispatch - Space weather specialists - solar activity, Amateur Radio, auroral activity, and images.
Near-Real-Time MUF Map
Near-Real-Time F2-Layer Critical Frequency Map
160 Meter Propagation Prediction Table, page refreshes every five(5) minutes.

The Grey Line is a band around the Earth that separates daylight from darkness. Propagation along the grey line is very efficient.  The map page refreshes every five (5) minutes.

Earth View Grey Line is a band around the Earth that separates daylight from darkness. Propagation along the grey line is very efficient.  Choose your map, display perspective and time.

Worldtime Gray Line Globe which you can interact with to se the gray line terminator on a globe. Use the "view list of countries" to select your country as the centerpoint for the globe map.

hfradio.org's propagation center

DX World online realtime Propagation Loggers
HF Logger
50 MHz Logger
144 MHz Logger
220 MHz Logger
UHF Logger
Digital DX Logger
DX Beacon Logger
Broadcast Band Logger

By Derwin King, W5LUU, for best EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) conditions

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Propagation Prediction Software

ASAPS - Advanced Stand Alone Prediction System 
The IPS Advanced Stand Alone Prediction System (ASAPS) allows the prediction of Sky Wave communication conditions in the HF (High Frequency) and low VHF (Very High Frequency) radio spectrum or Short Wave Band (1 to 45 MHz).

GWPS - Ground Wave Prediction System - is a program for estimating ground wave range values under specified ground and operating conditions. For a fixed set of conditions, estimates of the range as a function of transmitter frequency, power or time, and estimates of the electric field strength as a function of range, are available. GWPS V2 can also provide estimates of the frequency/time dependence at a given range. The range is the distance from the transmitter at which a signal of a specified quality can be detected.

HamCap By VE3NEA. Freeware HF propagation prediction program. Also works in conjunction with DX Atlas and IonoProbe, both shareware programs also by VE3NEA

Radio Mobile Deluxe Freeware program by VE2DBE allows you to visually see your VHF and above networks, or see how your antenna pattern over the ground is. Makes use of DTEDs, online maps, topo maps. See the path profiles between links. Maps, networks, signal strengths, can be merged.
(English) (francais)

U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA/ITS High Frequency Propagation Models HFWIN32 - Windows NT/2000/95/98/ME 32 bit versions of ICEPAC/VOACAP HF Propagation program (Free)

W6EL's W6ELProp predicts ionospheric (sky-wave) propagation between any two locations on earth on frequencies between 3 and 30 MHz. (freeware)

WinCAP Wizard powerful HF Communications Analysis Prediction package primarily developed for use in an amateur radio. The QSL-ware version of WinCAP Wizard provides the "DX Gazetteer" along with the SmartMap-Geographic View and unlimited point-to point and NCDXF beacon predictions. (QSL-ware license, Premium version available)

GeoAlert-Extreme Wizard maintains updated geophysical indices and displays the information in a friendly – “at a glance” - manner. GeoAlert-Extreme Wizard features numerous tools including a “Global Maximum Usable Frequency” - MUF - map, NVIS Toolkit.(QSL-ware license, Premium version available)

Proplab-Pro Version is a sophisticated ionospheric radio communications tool, capable of handling and diagnosing some of the most complex radio propagation problems that nature can provide (starting at $240 USD)

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