HAM Radio 101

What is “Long Path” in Ham Radio?


A situation where HF propagation exists between two stations in the inverse direction of the great circle heading.  “Beaming long path” means pointing your antenna 180 degrees different from the “short path,” or great circle heading, for a particular station. Long path propagation, for example, might allow a North Carolina station to work a station in Hong Kong on 10 meters in the morning by beaming southeast. Depending on the season of the year and the propagation on any particular day, this can be an extremely effective event in a DX contest, allowing for long distance QSOs not possible during short path openings. Gray line QSOs, for instance, are frequently long path.  Learning and checking the long path openings, in terms of times, bands and geographies, from your QTH can be very valuable for increasing your multipliers and contest scores in DX contests.

Leave a Reply