21 Oct 2014

472kHz ERPs

Something seems wrong to me in that the difference between reports I give and I get on 472kHz WSPR suggests either my ERP is higher than I think or the ERPs stated by some others is lower than they think.  I am pretty sure my ERP is about right give or take a few dB "experimental error".  I am able to measure antenna current, I know the actual antenna height and can calculate the effective height. If anything, I believe my ERP is over-stated as my losses are pretty high.  I suppose my reports of others may be a few dB down because of the poor-ish sensitivity of my FT817 at 472-479kHz?

UPDATE 1740z:  I have been on 472kHz WSPR for just over 1 hour now. Just the usual early evening reporters with some very decent reports from G3WCB (101km) and G8LCO (58km) amongst others.   As always, PA3ABK/2 (306km) is putting in a big signal again this evening from across the North Sea. 

UPDATE 1752z:  Just been spotted in Wales by GW0EZY (251km) at -25dB S/N.

Genesis Q5 1W QRP kit from Australia

A trawl of the internet earlier found this kit, a 1W QRP transmitter for any band from 3.5MHz to 14MHz. It is available for S19.95 (US Dollars) + S9 (US Dollars) shipped anywhere worldwide. That seems pretty good value. Also on the website are SDR transceivers.

I last showed this particular kit on my blog 5 years ago.

See http://www.genesisradio.com.au/Q5/ for more details including how to order the various kits. Details on the page include parts lists, schematics and building details.

The are some pretty good SDR transceivers on this site.

Day off amateur radio operating

As I had my U3AC course on Human Evolution in Cambridge , I have decided not to be active on amateur radio today.  I may go on 472kHz WSPR this evening. 10m WSPR, even at 500mW, is becoming quite easy of late with good DX to be had with no real effort.  Even on 472kHz my genuine 5mW ERP has spanned over 1000km already.

I am beginning to feel like I need a whole new challenge,  but I just wish I felt better inside: my remaining stroke systems are getting me down.

Tuesday Sunspots

Sunspot count has climbed further to 93 (with blackouts) and 20-30MHz propagation is forecast to be "normal".  We should expect some decent F2 propagation on 10m today. Already, well before noon, Europeans were being spotted in the USA. FR4OZ was being spotted in GM before 0900z by F2.

20 Oct 2014

10m 500mW success

Running 500mW to my end-fed PAR tri-band antenna, I have so far been spotted by 4 stations on 10m WSPR. Best DX is UA3ARC (2436km) and 4X1RF (3529km). The band has not yet opened to the USA yet at the time of writing. Yet again I am spotting Karen RA3APW's 100mW Moscow WSPR beacon strongly (-14dB S/N) at 2443km.

UPDATE 1345z:  USA stations are now spotting my 500mW and also being spotted by PY3FF (10440km) at a decent -19dB S/N.  500mW seems quite enough to be noticed around the world on 10m WSPR even with my less than ideal antenna.

UPDATE 1610z:  Dropping power to 500mW really seems to have made very little difference to the stations spotting me. I may be less strong, but that is all. Apart from quite a few stateside spots (best DX in that direction is KD6RF (7547km), my best DX spot is from PY3FF at 1250z.

UPDATE 1630z:  These are the unique stations reporting my 500mW so far today on 10m WSPR. Quite a decent selection.
10m WSPR unique reports today with 500mW TX

HF conditions and sunspots

Although the sunspot count is up to 86 (with blackouts), the 20-30MHz propagation forecast is only "fair".  Conditions on 10m are therefore hard to predict. With such a high sunspot count I would hope we'd see some decent F2 openings, but 10m is a fickle band and it can be hard to tell. As yet, I have not started up on 10m.

UPDATE 1012z:   Both PY3FF (10440km) and CX2ABP (11127km), plus several Europeans, coming through on 10m WSPR already.  Conditions on 10m are good!  So much for 10m propagation being just "fair".  Today I am running 500mW on 10m WSPR. So far just locals spotting me.

UPDATE 1036z:  No more South Americans seen since the earlier spots.

Over 1000km on 5mW ERP on 472kHz!

Last night, for the first time, my 5mW ERP WSPR signal broke the 1000km barrier with 2 spots of my signal from Norway by LA4ANA (1042km). He was spotted here 9 times too. Conditions must have been good. I need to recheck how many stations have received my 5mW ERP on 472kHz WSPR as I was also copied by GW0EZY (251km) at 2252z last night. Several (nearer) stations should be able to copy me too, but they need to be active!

19 Oct 2014

472kHz WSPR - LA4ANA copied already

LA4ANA (1042km) has already been spotted here this evening at 1812z right on the limits of copy (-31dB S/N) with his 50mW ERP.  This is a new station I believe on the band from this QTH.

33 unique WSPR spots (of others) in last 2 weeks on 472kHz WSPR
I am still hopeful of some new reporters of my 5mW ERP overnight.

UPDATE Oct 20th 2014 0908z: LA4ANA was spotted here 9 times last night. A couple of new reporters of my pipsqueak 472kHz signal too. A good night on MF for me.

10m WSPR in good shape again

Although I have remained on MF all day, I have been checking WSPRnet to see how 10m WSPR has been shaping up. Well it appears, with USA stations exchanging spots with Europeans and LU8WAG exchanging spots over 13000km. Good F2 propagation on 10m again today.


The sunspot count today is 60 with a risk of blackouts. 20-30MHz propagation is "normal" so I'd expect (on 10m) USA stations and more distant stations by F2.

As mentioned earlier, I am not on 10m WSPR today, instead concentrating on 472kHz WSPR.
Recent 472kHz spots of my 5mW ERP signal.