How to Find Your Own Grid Square

By Dave AD7DB

Revised June 17, 2002

Most hams are only concerned about the first four digits, such as DM04. In microwave work or around the dense metro areas the full six digits are useful, since a four digit grid square (which is 2 degrees across and 1 degree high) can cover a lot of area! My own is DM04se.

Regular grid maps can be seen at the W6AMT page. A detailed map of North America is available over here.

You can even make your own maps at WM7D's Map Generator. There are a lot of different options available. Here are a few samples of what you can produce there.
6-digit grid ham population plot
for Southern California.
Click for a larger image. 4-digit grid ham population plot for
western United States.
Click for a larger image. The world from Los Angeles.
Click for a larger image.

From these maps you can see that my home grid DM04 covers a large portion of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in California. The intersection of four grids in the greater Los Angeles area is at 34°N and 118°W, which is in a sparsely populated area of Turnbull Canyon between Whittier and Hacienda Heights. Notice that you can have distance rings, county and state boundaries plotted. You can even include city names, which I turned off for this map (it was getting a bit jumbled anyway). Phoenix Arizona is bisected by DM33 and DM43 at 38th Street. There are other major cities which span two or more grid squares. (Very few hams live in DM19, as you can easily see.) The third image is an azimuthal bearing map for the world based on Los Angeles (34°N, 118°W). Madagascar covers 30° of radio horizon from here. Most beam patterns aren't narrow enough for it to matter.

Reverse Lookup:
I haven't yet found a completely automated website where you could plug in the grid square and produce a map centered on it. (There ought to be one!) But here's what I have found so far, just a couple of steps needed.

For more information about Maidenhead Grid Locator Squares please visit the ARRL website.

Dave Bartholomew
Copyright © 1997-2001 David G. Bartholomew, AD7DB.
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