21 Sep 2014

PT2WWV - multiple 10m WSPR spots

PT2WWV (8873km) in Brasilia, has been spotted 7 times this evening so far up to 1900z. I suspect he'll be coming through for a while longer. I wonder if he is monitoring too and if he will be able to decode my 500mW TX?

UPDATE 1945z:  PT2WWV has been spotted 11 times so far this evening.

Another G1KQH eBay find - pen multimeter

Another G1KQH eBay find:

At  £15.11 this looks good value with free post and packing. Of course, the supplier is in China.

Time to reduce 10m power to 500mW?

My 2W 10m WSPR is getting me daily spots from the USA now.  I think I should drop to 500mW now to see how it goes. USA spots of my signal will be fewer, but it is probably more than enough for a lot of the stations to still copy me as long as the noise floor is not the limitation at the RX end of the path. Sometimes, especially in urban areas, this can be a real issue.

UPDATE 1725z:  I reduced power to 500mW and my first spot was from AB4DF (6436km) in EM8ti square (at -20dB S/N). Both locals G0VQH and G0LRD also spotted me. I shall stick with 500mW for the rest of the evening on 10m WSPR.  In the next 500mW TX transmission I got 4 WSPR spots with best DX spot being from KD6RF (7547km) near Fort Worth, Texas.



G3TFX visit

Just before lunch, Richard G3TFX called in on his bike. He was on the way to his granddaughter's birthday party in the village.

This is a photo of us in my shack. Richard is on the left. He is a regular visitor.

It was Richard's alertness that probably saved my life a year ago. I shall always owe him a debt of gratitude. Richard has recently returned to the hobby. He is usually on 40m SSB, but is fighting a very high noise level on RX. Already he has worked some impressive DX.

Sunspots and 10m WSPR

Sunspot count today is 75 (falling a bit) and 20-30MHz propagation "normal". I went on 10m today and was immediately spotted in Finland.

Around lunchtime spots were exchanged with N2OTO (Florida) and this afternoon many USA stations have been spotted or were spotting me. I got excited (at first) to see KH6 in the log only to find out that the station was not in Hawaii, but near the Gulf of Mexico. Darn FCC!!!

20 Sep 2014

6m WSPR DX

As G4IKZ (14km) was looking, I decided to QSY up to 50MHz to see what was happening, expecting to be spotted only by G4IKZ.  Sure enough, I got a few spots from G4IKZ but I was nicely surprised to see I had spotted IK1WVQ (1084km) on 6m too at a strong -12dB S/N. This is Es.  So, there is life on 6m too.
6m WSPR this afternoon
With this promising start, I shall remain on 6m for a few more hours in case any other Es turns up.

UPDATE 1500z:  G6AVK (78km) being spotted at 1428z.#

UPDATE 1620z:  Just spots from G4IKZ for nearly the last 2 hours on 6m WSPR.  It may get better around teatime? IK1WVQ was spotted twice early afternoon at up to 0dB S/N.

UPDATE 1720z: G8JNJ/A (184km) spotted me at 1652z at -23dB S/N for my best 6m GDX spot today. 6m has pleasantly surprised me today and all the more reason to leave the V2000 vertical in place.

More low cost parts (via G1KQH)

Once again, I have no knowledge of this supplier or if the goods are genuine, or "ripped off", but the prices are very good. My thanks to Steve G1KQH once again.
Other valuable finds which may prove useful to constructors or groups:
 
5V 100mA regulators per 100 ( I had some of these).
 
Mixed Zeners pack:
 
1N4148s
 
Precision Ref board (ideal for checking Cal of your DMM) could be used for stable VXO supply:
 
If you put the word “Transistor” in the search on Banggood quite a variety of well known general purpose come up at good prices..
 
Orders seem to take about 7 to 10 days to the UK

No storms here

The thunder and lightning that got quite close earlier today seems to have abated, for now at least.   The lightning map now shows storms in the North Sea and Northern France, but not in the UK. This means I can leave 10m WSPR running this afternoon and probably early evening.

See http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime?lang=en .  Always worth keeping an eye on this for approaching storms. I find these maps fascinating. Although not perfect, they give a good indication of when antennas and rigs need to be made safer.

UPDATE 1341z:  It is raining here now. Storms seem plentiful on the continent, but not in the UK.

10m WSPR - USA again

N2OTO (7088km) in EL96wi square (Miami, Florida) has already spotted me a couple of times. This definitely F2 propagation and not Es. Every day now, the 10m band opens to the USA.

I do hate FCC rules than do away with call USA areas. You now have no idea where a USA station is located: in the past "2" would have been somewhere in/near New York and "4" would probably be Florida or nearby.  Also the FCC seem unbelievably slow releasing the 472kHz  and 136kHz amateur bands in the USA.  Are you all stupid at the FCC?? Get into the real world. The world looks at the FCC and thinks it is daft. When the rest of the world seems "with it" the FCC seems to behave like a backward little baby, slow to grow up, still wanting baby toys to toss out of the pram. Pathetic, truly pathetic.

UPDATE 1223z:  PT2WWV (8873km) is spotting me now from Brasilia, Brazil. He was copying me again at 1315z.

UPDATE 1238z:  Plenty of European activity on WSPR. I assume this is probably Es, especially as lunch and teatimes are peak Es times. Stations from all across the continent.

UPDATE 1252z:   Now spotting ZS1ANF (9720km) weakly at -26dB S/N. This station is just north of Cape Town, which is a beautiful city. We spent a few weeks in South Africa on holiday a few years ago and very much enjoyed it. We experienced no violence, but this can be an issue. You are advised not to go out at night in some parts. We traveled with Saga and never once felt unsafe. I can recommend Saga Holidays. They really are very very good. Excellent hotels, food and travel. No worries and door to door service.

UPDATE 1315z:  My last 2 minute 10m WSPR TX transmission resulted in 10 different spots in 3 continents with my 2W to an indifferent antenna. 10m at its best.

UPDATE 1355z: PT2WWV (8873km) has spotted me 5 times today already.

10m WSPR, sunspots and storms

Just turned on 10m WSPR about 12 minutes ago. Already being spotted by CT1JTQ (1843km) several times and I am spotting  IK1WVQ (1084km). I would have thought Portugal and N.Italy would have been much the same distance. Not so. Portugal is much further.  I assume this is Es?  G0LRD (25km) and I are exchanging WSPR spots at around -14 to -16dB S/N.

Sunspot count today is 91 and 20-30MHz propagation "normal". We should expect some F2 DX later.

The thunder storms are, currently, well south of here. I am still watching the lightning map though. Last night I went QRT but heard no storms overnight.

UPDATE 0942z: Now  EA5CYA is being spotted. Still plenty of EUs around on 10m either Es or F2 backscatter. A great pity I am spotting the same stations . Where is everyone else?

UPDATE 0954z: 4X1RF (3519km) has spotted me for the first time today.  I think this is F layer propagation.