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[TowerTalk] First Hop Skip Distance

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Subject: [TowerTalk] First Hop Skip Distance
From: (Dave Hachadorian)
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:08:18 +0000

On Tue, 29 Jan 2002 14:37:09 -0500 "Nat Heatwole" <>
> Forgive my ignorance on this topic, but I'm wondering if there is a 
> good
> way to determine exactly how far away the "first hop" is from a 
> given
> QTH. Is there a constant number that's often used as the first hop
> distance or is the distance a factor of several different things, 
> like
> frequency, take off angle, polirization, or antenna height for 
> example?
> What about the hops after the first, is there any way to tell 
> exactly
> how far away they are? Any input is much appreciated.

It varies with a lot of things, especially time of day, time of
year, and solar flux, in addition to the ones you listed above.

A great way to gain insight into this sort of question is to
download the program W6ELPROP from

In the Advanced Tab, it shows you how many hops are the
predominant mode on a given path. You can change the
path length to see where the single hop begins and ends.

This is a terrific program. Thanks to W6EL for making it
available at no charge.

Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ

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