Propagation in the HAM bands

Propagation properties are sometimes difficult to understand and statements about current propagation in one of the amateur bands are difficult to make. The properties of propagation are highly dependent on the time of day, the season and the average sunspot number. A lot of information can be found on the internet, both theoretical information as well as current propagation reports.

Overview of the propagation properties per band

BandDaytimeNighttime including twilight
2200mConnections up to several hundred kilometers via surface wave.Due to the disappearance of the D-layer, the sky wave reflected by the ionosphere also appears in addition to the surface wave and connections over 1000 kilometers are possible.
160mShort distances due to strong absorption.DX possible in winter.
80mShort distances, up to ± 400km.Worldwide DX possible, escpecially in winter.
60mShort and medium distances, day and night.
40mUp to ± 1000km.Worldwide DX possible throughout the year.
30mUp to ± 3000kmDX possible, excellent near vertical incidence skywave (NVIS) propagation.
20mThe most favorite DX band. DX possible with low sunspot activity.
17mGood DX band, opening very much dependent on the sunspot activity.
12mExcellent DX band only in periods of high sunspot activity. With a lower sunspot activity, this band may not be open for months or years.
6mUnder normal circumstances this band behaves like the 10 meter band and only ground wave connections are possible. Multiple sporadic E (ES) and a high sunspot activity allow connections over great distances, sometimes worldwide connections are possible.
4mThe characteristics of this band are still partly unknown, the band was only released on January 1, 2012 to radio amateurs in The Netherlands. Its properties are likely to be very similar to the propagation properties found at 6m.
2mPropagation depends on the used transmission power and bandwidth and can vary from ± 100km to ± 600km. With the help of auroral backscatter, sporadic E (ES) and meteor scattering (MS), distances of up to ± 2000 km are possible.
70cmProperties can be compared to those of the 2m band except for ES.