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Author Topic: What Propagation Prediction Program do You Use ?  (Read 2278 times)
K6UJ
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Posts: 305




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« on: December 03, 2012, 08:09:37 PM »

I am currently using HamCap which is a freeware interface program to
VOACAP.  It will show point to point and overall area coverage
predictions.  I am curious what others are using and I know we are only
"predicting" but how reliable does your program seem to be. 
I'm thinking about trying out some other programs.

Bob
K6UJ

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KY6R
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Posts: 3149


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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 08:33:49 PM »

http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html

I love this web interface, and its usually fairly accurate. The first day of ZL9HR is was horribly wrong - and yesterday and today a little better, but the EU and East Coast stations have had MUCH better propagation than what these predictions said - and the West Coast has had less than what it had predicted.

Something bizarre was going on the last 2 days. I check into a 75M net each night, and I could not hear anyone for two nights straight - no one in California - only 1 guy in Las Vegas. I have never heard the band get wiped out like that. Tonight - everything is back to normal, and I wouldn't be surprised if all of a sudden - the predictions start looking like they were right.

Anyway - I think VOACAP is accurate - as much as anything else.
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1102




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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 08:57:19 PM »

VOACAP here too.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 09:01:58 PM »

HamCap, W6EL and the propagation tables from the ARRL Antenna Book. Oh yeah...experience!
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www.facebook.com/W2IRT
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
AF3Y
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Posts: 3714




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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 09:22:57 PM »

VOACAP and a rabbits foot. Grin

73, Gene AF3Y
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K6UJ
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Posts: 305




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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 09:47:00 PM »

I am trying out the VOACAP program.  Looks pretty good.
Thanks guys for the info. 
and Gene I will get a rabbits foot too  Grin Grin

73,
Bob
K6UJ
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K0RS
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Posts: 705




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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 10:15:10 PM »

None.  I watch the A and K indices as well as the SSN and SFI.  After 48 years doing this nonsense I find that I pretty well know what band is open to where and at what time better than most prediction programs.  Propagation is probably even more of my hobby in ham radio than chasing DX for the sake of just working DX.  It's interesting to me to see how far various bands can be pushed to make unlikely QSOs.  My "hobby within a hobby" is finding unusual secondary openings, long path or skew path, by pointing my antennas in the "wrong" direction at the "wrong" times.  Most of these secondary paths don't show up in predictions anyway as typically programs are concerned with high probability openings.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 10:19:06 PM by K0RS » Logged
W6DXO
Member

Posts: 364




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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 10:53:11 PM »

W6ELProp...

Simple to use, and I find it very accurate if you take the time
to do the advanced set-up.

73 de harry, W6DXO
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KH6DC
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Posts: 636




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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 12:16:23 AM »

Hamcap using VOACAP with DXAtlas
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
NU1O
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Posts: 2635




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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 01:13:26 AM »

I do not use any propagation software. I have been listening to the SW bands for over 40 years now and I know when certain parts of the world should be on certain bands.

I also agree with K0RS: I find propagation to be a hobby within a hobby. The first thing I do after brewing a pot of coffee is to go into the shack and boot up the PC.  From the SFI and A and K indices I have a fairly good idea if 10 meters will be open to Europe, or Asia will come over the pole on 15. It's not exact but at this stage I feel my predictions are as good as what the programs spew out.

Also, like K0RS, I like to find different propagation paths.  Before 10 meters opened up worldwide in the fall of 2010 I was working South Western European countries late into their evening by pointing my beam to Africa. Signals were very weak and I have no doubt E-layer was involved with probably an F-layer off the coast of Africa. 

Aside from working a new one, propagation study is what keeps me turning on the rig most days.  I find propagation study to be a real intellectual challenge.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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AJ4RW
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Posts: 568




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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 09:04:38 AM »

I use the ACE-HF program.  I use it only as a tool to help me preplan my daily schedule if there's a certain dxpedition I wish to work.  It's a fairly accurate, very comprehensive and very user friendly program.  The only drawback is that it doesn't seem to predict the low bands well, 80 and 160 mtrs.
Randy
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N2RJ
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Posts: 1160




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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 11:43:15 AM »

I use Hamcap and VOAProp.
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N6DZR
Member

Posts: 100




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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:41:56 PM »

You should also check out this web site:

K6TU Propagation As a Service www.k6tu.net

-Jeff
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N2RJ
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Posts: 1160




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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 12:57:40 PM »

One site I also use is HamQTH, which has VOACAP charts embedded if you look up a callsign.
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 1573


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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 05:37:36 PM »

I am currently using HamCap which is a freeware interface program to
VOACAP.  It will show point to point and overall area coverage
predictions.  I am curious what others are using and I know we are only
"predicting" but how reliable does your program seem to be. 
I'm thinking about trying out some other programs.

Bob
K6UJ

I use PropView, a component of the freeware DXLab Suite. PropView

 - includes the IONCAP, ICEPAC, and VOACAP propagation prediction engines, and generates easy to read short-path or long-path graphical predictions using whichever engine you choose

 - generates forecasts in response to specifying a latitude and longitude, or specifying a prefix or callsign in DXView, or clicking on a location in DXView's World Map, or double-clicking an incoming DX spot

 - monitors the IARU/NCDXF HF Beacon Network so you can calibrate propagation predictions with actual propagation, directing Commander to QSY your transceiver to the next beacon in the schedule you've specified

 - displays SFI, A-index, and K-index data from the last solar revolution

 - displays SFI, A-index, and Kindex forecasts for the next solar revolution

How well does PropView work? Well enough to help get me from receiving my Novice ticket to the top of the DXCC Honor Roll in less than two solar cycles.

     73,

       Dave, AA6YQ
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