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Surfin’: How Far Away Is the Horizon?


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

Here are some online tools to help you answer that question.

As a fan of VHF and UHF operating, I often seek out mountaintop locations so I can work some DX, unimpeded by manmade objects and Mother Nature’s higher hills. And while I appreciate the view, I often wonder how far away the horizon is.

I discovered a great article about this topic years ago and after reading the article again, I realized that it was still good stuff. So without further ado, I refer you to Phil Plait’s blog post “How far away is the horizon?” on DISCOVER Magazine’s website.

So you don’t have to do the math, Erik Rasmussen -- who writes the American in Spain blog -- has an online distance-to-horizon calculator (scroll down to the end of the blog post). And even better, Larry Johnston, W4SAT, has a VHF/UHF line of sight calculator.

This is Hamvention weekend --- probably the biggest non-operating ham radio event of the year. More than 20,000 hams (including me) get together in America’s heartland to celebrate Amateur Radio. I hope to see you there, and you can expect a full Hamvention report from me in the coming weeks.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.




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