25 Aug 2012

WISPY (Polyakov RX) - 1st spot

I rebuilt my 10m WSPR RX today (the rig has to be called Wispy) onto a tidier, smaller board using MeSquares and took a few steps to reduce the 50Hz common mode hum pickup, although there is still too much there and more work is needed. Someone suggested it was radiation of the 28MHz 2nd harmonic of the oscillator mixing with 50Hz in nearby PSUs being re-radiated and detected. Still unsure of the mechanism but there are lots of things to overcome this.

EA8FF on the Polyakov RX (note the 50Hz and harmonics lines locally generated)
However, the good news. The RX, even without a preamp, can detect down to an amazing -127dBm MDS, possibly lower but this is as low as my signal generator will allow and I did not try with an attenuator. My first reception of a WSPR signal was EA8FF at -18dB S/N. Remember this is a DSB RX so the noise figure is actually 3dB worse as it is picking up noise from both sidebands.

Next stage is to add a small preamp to see if this helps reduce the common mode 50Hz pick-up and increase the sensitivity another few dB.

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