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what is the most reliable ham band (HF)


Active Member
Nov 23, 2013
I am in North Carolina and My Friend is in Michigan . What would be the best band for reliable communications for my friend and I . Normally I would experiment throughout the bands but I do not have any decent HF antennas at the moment .
Secondly could you please recommend an antenna for the band you mention.
thank you for all your help. I have been on 2 meter for years and do not want to be stuck there .

Thank you for any help on this .


My former Elmer, now SK used to have a daily sched from his QTH here in North Central Ohio to about mid way down the Florida coast on 40M using a just dipole some days were better than others but they were always able to have at least a 20 min. QSO running just 100 watts.
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Depending on the time of day will make a difference as to what band to use,some bands will start to open up at night as others are closing down.

All I can say is get a multiband dipole ( I use an off center fed windom ) and start trying the different bands out to see what happens
For that distance I would suggest 40m as a primary and maybe 20m as a secondary band. For an antenna, it's hard to beat a good dipole up as high as you can get it for 40m and a three element tribander will give you a decent antenna on 10/15/20m.
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40 or 80 meters. 20 meters is too long. I'm in MI and used to chat with a buddy in NC every morning on 40 and on 80 after dark.

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40 or 80 meters. 20 meters is too long. I'm in MI and used to chat with a buddy in NC every morning on 40 and on 80 after dark.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

It may be a little close for 20m. I was basing it on a similar distance from me to Ottawa Ontario which while not 100% reliable it is common to work into there on 20m from here. Then again that is very much a due east-west thing whereas Mi-NC is not.
40 meters is the choice for daytime out to about 400 miles.
For that time slot you don't need a really high antenna.
A 1/2 wave (476 divided by 7.2= 66 feet) dipole in the 25 to 30 foot high range will benefit the high angle for that path.
Don't worry much about the antenna being directional because it will be essentially Omni directional at these heights below 1/4 wavelength high.
In the late afternoon and evening the band gets longer but the same antenna will still do well.
Listen to South Cars and East Cars nets daily to get a feel for what and where you hear stations and check in to ask other in the distant locations how well they hear you..
S-cars is 7251, E-cars is 7.255, Mid-cars is 7.258 from about 8 am to 2 pm.
Good luck.
I like a simple G5RV antenna (with an antenna tuner). I use a home made antenna that works from 10-40 meters. It's simple and it allows you to get a taste of most HF bands without spending a lot of money and it works well. Good luck!
I would agree with the others that 20 meters would probably work best in the daytime, possibly 17 or 15 meters depending on conditions, but I would try 20 first. At night, 40 meters would be great. You could probably also make the trip on 80 at night, but you'll likely have stronger signals on 40.

So basically my answer is 20 during the day, 40 at night.

The great thing about ham is that you have multiple bands to pick from and can almost always find a band to work just about any path at any time especially within CONUS.
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