Medium wave radio waves propagate in a manner that is different from VHF and UHF radio waves. Medium wave signals can travel much further than VHF and UHF signals, but are generally limited to local and regional coverage. Medium wave radio waves propagate through a combination of ground wave and sky wave propagation. Ground wave propagation occurs when the radio waves are absorbed by the Earth’s surface and follow its curvature, allowing them to travel over relatively short distances (up to a few hundred kilometers). This mode of propagation is most effective at night, when the Earth’s surface cools and the ionosphere becomes more reflective.
Sky wave propagation occurs when medium wave radio waves are refracted back to the Earth’s surface by the ionosphere, a layer of the upper atmosphere that can reflect radio waves. This mode of propagation allows medium wave signals to travel much further than ground wave propagation alone, typically up to a few thousand miles. However, sky wave propagation is highly dependent on the conditions of the ionosphere, which can vary greatly depending on factors such as time of day, season, and solar activity. The hours of darkness is the best time for medium wave DX.
Medium wave DXing used to be a hobby in its own right. I’d spend hours tuning up and down the band, listening to stations from around the world…. But noise began to creep in and finally destroyed the band. However, something happened to bring medium wave back to life – the Mini-Whip Active Antenna arrived. The results are unbelievable! With little or no noise wiping out the band, medium wave is packed with stations!
I’m now using a dedicated receiver for short medium and long wave DXing. It’s an Alinco DX70 with the TX inhibited so I don’t blow up the Mini-Whip active antenna. I’ve also removed the microphone. It’s a sensitive radio with plenty of memory channels, ideal for use with the Mini-Whip.
I’m now using Lowe HF150 communications receiver. There’s more on this amazing radio here.
Listed below are a few medium wave stations I’ve heard using the Mini-Whip Active Antenna. The list is very new, started on 27/6/19, so I’ll be adding more stations as and when I hear them.
|BBC Radio Ulster||Ireland||1342||S9|
|BBC Radio Wales||887|
|Manx Radio||Isle of Man||1368||S7 at 20-18 BST|
Medium Wave loop aerials.
This is one of my home-brew medium wave loop antennas. It works well and nulls out unwanted stations and noise perfectly. I’ve made another one, about four feet square, which works extremely well. The trouble is… it’s huge! There’s more info on this aerial here.