16 Jun 2010

Screengrab of 1.8kHz earthmode transmission today

Today I modified my VLF TX so it could send either a 10 wpm or QRSS3 beacon signal. I also went out into the fields with my loop/preamp and a PC with Spectran to receive it. For the first attempt with a PC I went 0.3km away from home where the 4W signal from the earth electrode "antenna" could clearly be received by ear. With Spectran I could read the 10wpm CW signal with 20dB S/N in a 12Hz bandwidth, if my understanding of the Spectran settings is right. There is an audio recording here so you can judge the S/N yourselves. This suggests that with QRSS3 and really screwing the bandwidth down I should be able to do much better. My problem is knowing how to calibrate the soundcard etc and clearly I need a more stable source than my free running twin-tee audio oscillator.

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