Low Bands (1.8 MHz, 3.5 MHz, 5.3 MHz, 7 MHz)
The Lagunaria DX Group is well-known for their high priority on Low Bands, especially 160m. We feel that our 4W8X operation can bring many new band slots for Low Band enthusiasts. Regarding propagation on the Low Bands, here are a few mosaic puzzle parts:
- Europe: Shall be relatively easy at European sunset (Short Path) with a possible peak around the 4W sunrise. We do not really expect any Long Path openings to Europe.
- Asia + Oceania: Should be easy during common darkness.
- Africa: Not many Low Band enthusiasts there. We suspect openings similar to Europe.
- South America: Very difficult, especially on 160m/80m. There are chances for OA, HC, HK, YV and the Carribean at our local sunset grayline (local SS 09:38z). And very slight chances for PY6, PY7 at our local sunrise grayline (local SR 21:08z). Other SA areas are very unlikely. Every Low Band QSO with South America will be a great achievement for the operators on both sides!
- North America: This will be a focus field for 4W8X. Low Band QSOs between 4W and North America took place before, but there is still a great need. And it will be a great challenge, too. Please read the following info.
Bill Tippett, W4ZV, on Low Band propagation between 4W and W4:
"I've done some playing with the PROP7R5 (latest rev) DOS program by VE7VV. BTW he now makes it publicly available on his personal website https://qsl.net/ve7vv well down the page under PROPAGATION PREDICTION. This program is the best I have ever seen for 160m propagation including Long Path. It is mostly in agreement with many years of 80m/160m Long Path experience from both W0 and W4.
Here are some key points of my analysis:
- Both Short Path and Long/Skewed Path after your sunset may be possible for 4W <-> W4 (and probably other USA East Coast areas). It appears that 160m Long/Skewed Path may be much better during the latter half of November, which fortunately agrees with the major team effort beginning November 6th. It also extends into December but I realize the 160m antenna might be taken down early for logistical reasons.
- Short Path may be available at reduced strengths from 1045z to 1215z. Long/Skewed Path is actually several S-units stronger from 1100z to 1130z. This generally agrees with my experience that signals may first be Short Path, then switch to Long/Skewed, then back to Short as my local sunrise (~1205z) approaches. So both paths may actually be possible from 1100z to 1130z, but Long/Skewed path may be better. Since you will be using a single vertical, you will not need to worry about switching TX directions but keep a close watch on both RX directions (Short Path direct and Long/Skewed Path) during that window.
- All of the above was only for my North Carolina QTH. Most likely North East USA will have shorter and weaker openings and areas south of me like Georgia/Florida will be longer and better. If you want I could also run the program for a North East area like W1/2, but it would likely show earlier openings since their sunrise is earlier than here. BTW I'm sure you realize there is no chance for propagation at this time of year at your sunrise since it is too much before sunset here.
MANY THANKS, Bill, for your analysis, and we do really hope that we can make many people happy with a Low Band contact with 4W8X.