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Ground Gain in Theory and Practice by ON4KHG 1.0.0

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The development of digital modes has opened the doors of EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications to small stations, compared with the standards of equipment previously required for CW moonbounce. Even more, it revealed the CW EME capabilities of these small stations, many of them having no antenna elevation system (as in my case). All this can be achieved or, at least helped, thanks to the so-called “Ground Gain”.

Ground Gain has been emphasized by the 144 MHz EME community, but it is also of prime interest for the terrestrial propagation modes. Indeed, we will see below that if the free space antenna gain of a station is an important parameter, the environment surrounding the antenna is as much important, if not even more.

Apart the well known article of Palle, OZ1RH [1a] about the Ground Gain (focusing on tropo-scatter), there has not been a lot of articles on that topic in the amateur literature.

This article, focusing on 144 MHz band, is the result of researches in the literature and own experiments. It has been published in the German magazine “DUBUS” (in English and German languages), issue 3/2011.

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