10 Meter Ham Radio

This Page Covers
1. Most "Bang"
2. 10M Propagation
3. 10M Dipole
4. 10M DX Forecast

10 meter ham radio has much to offer.

  • 10 meters (28.0-29.7 MHz) offers superb long distance contacts (DX) even on very low power (QRP).
  • An antenna for ten meters is smaller and easier to build than for any other HF ham radio bands.

Most "Bang For The Buck"

In other words, here is a band on which you are likely to get the "biggest bang for the buck" than on any other HF band ... if you are looking for DX that is. Why?

Sunspot cycle number 24 will be putting new life in this band until at least 2017 or 2018. How?

10 Meter ham radio propagation is the result of sunspot activity. Here is the latest from the Solar And Heliosperic Observatory (SOHO).
Source: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_284/512/latest.jpg
For more info on the sun, visit: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/classroom/classroom.html

For the latest ARRL report
on what the present solar activity
means to ham radio signal propagation
Click Here

The sun is entering another one of its 11 year cycles of activity. This activity is characterized by "spots" appearing on the outer limits of the sun's atmosphere. These spots are huge nuclear explosions.

During cycle 24, the sun will be producing an increasing number of nuclear explosions until about 2014.

10 Meter Propagation

The "solar wind", generated by the sun's explosions, impacts the earth's upper atmosphere. When it does, ionized layers (called "F2" and "F1") form in the ionosphere, some 160 to 500 km above the earth's surface.

Daytime 10 meter ham radio propagation.

The "F2" layer acts like a mirror to a 10 meter radio signal. The "F2" reflects the signal back to earth, thousands of kilometers beyond your antenna.

Often, the signals you hear have "bounced" a few times between the "F2" layer and the earth's surface. This is commonly called "skip".

When that happens, radio signals can be exchanged between ham radio stations located on opposite sides of the earth!

What's going on right now 10 meters?
Find out anytime, right from your PC?
Try this URL

A Simple 10 Meter Ham Radio Antenna

During the most active years of a solar cycle, often a simple dipole will work wonders. It's easy to put one up because of its relatively small size.

The formula to calculate the length of a dipole on 10 meters is:
length (meters) = 142.4 / 28.0 MHz which gives 5.086 meters.
length (feet) = 467.2 / 28.0 MHz which gives 16 ft. 8 1/4 ins.

Of course, as you operate higher in the band, that dipole will be too long. You can either

  • Trim it down to resonance (cut & try ... a few centimeters on each side of the dipole at a time). For example, a 29 MHz dipole will be about 17.5 cm shorter than the 28 MHz dipole.
  • Or use an antenna tuner. The automatic antenna tuner of some transmitters might have enough capacitive range to tune out the inductive reactance of the dipole as you move up in frequency within the 10 meter ham radio band.

Many Years Of "DX" Ahead

Beyond 2014-2015, the sun's activity will slowly subside again, but will still throw enough energy toward earth to maintain the "F layer" in good enough shape to continue reflecting 10 meter radio signals for a couple of years.

Even during years of low sunspot activity, 10 meters can sometimes offer "DX openings". The best way to take advantage of them is to have a good 10 meter ham antenna system and an excellent receiver.

10 meter ham radio is my favorite for low power DX.

It's 1.7 MHz wide! That's a big slice of radio spectrum, as much as all the lower bands put together! Lots of "elbow room". I'll see you there!

10 Meter Ham Radio
Transceiver? Kit? SDR?
Start here.

Author: Claude Jollet - VE2DPE

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