Recently i made lots of contact on 40 meters. I can reach bosnia, israel, russia, united states, slovenia, germany and many countries easily. Sometimes the report are between 559, 579 and 599 too.
Im using a simple wire dipole antenna at 2 meters above the ground. I cant go anywhere than japan, indonesia, thailand, vietnam, singapore and malaysia on SSB mode.
On local communication, i received 57 to 59. Enough for ragchewing with local hams. At this height, we can consider it as near vertical incident skywave. It is because the height is lower than 1/4 wave length and it's take off angle is near to vertical.
Usually hams will use this height of setup for emergency communications since it can support from 100 kilometres to 300 kilometres without shadow or skip zones.
But, if we use narrow bandwidth modes, we can make dx contact too. Depends on the propagation, soil conductivities and also transmission power.
Some ham maybe have various type of antenna. A yagi, vertical, loop is famous. Some will stick to one type only. Maybe because of their home are lack of spaces.
I once saw a home of ham with full types of antenna. He owns a house with spaces arround it. I saw a 2 stack 2 meters yagi for satellites comm, a multiband qubical quad, a large loop surrounding his home and also a vertical in the roof.
I also saw an old ham who lives in a flat. Using his own trusty magnetic loop antenna that he made since 1989.
These ham are motivated and knowledgable. I like to talk with these people. There are lot of things we can learn from them
Back to the 40 meters, i can assume that this band is good for local comms and also for dxing. I havent tried 80 meters yet. Maybe it is time to explore 80 meters.
A dipole will need a lot of space. I can consider a linear loaded or a quarter wave vertical. Full size G5RV antenna can work on 80 meters too. 102 feets of wire element. An end fed also good, but i think it will need a very long pole to make it stand vertically.
Time to lookup on my radio magazines. Hopefully i can find any tips to operate on 80 meters.