15 Feb 2014

Back on 474.2kHz TX

Partly as a result of damage to the Par HF antenna, I decided this morning to connect my earth electrode antenna on 474.2kHz and TRANSMIT for the first time in around 6 months. It works OK, although the baseline will be extended later. with spots exchanged with G4KPX (Ely), G3WCB (101km) and G6AVK(78km) at sensible levels. It will be interesting to see the results this evening with some sky wave. UPDATE 2230z: No sky wave reception reports yet received.

For reasons I don't understand, I have received NO reports of my signal since 1550z. I have rebooted the PC, reloaded the WSPR software,changed frequency (several times),  checked internet time synchronisation, checked antenna current, checked just about EVERYTHING.  Received signal levels of other stations are as before. The only change is it has been raining. A puzzle as if the earth-electrode was behaving differently I would have expected changes to antenna current and received signal strength. I'll leave everything running to see what happens. Or is it just that my weak signal is being clouded out by higher band noise as afternoon becomes night? I'd still expect to receive some reports, especially considering how good some stations are on RX.

Eventually I got a -31dB S/N (just copied) report at 2034z from M0EMM in IO82sq at 192km. Shortly afterwards I was copied at -23/-24dB S/N by G3WCB (101km) several times.

Maybe it IS that my signal is right down in the noise for most people a lot of the time?  If so, significantly lengthening the earth-electrode baseline is a priority (see next post).

These are the unique reports so far on the short baseline earth-electrode system up until 2150z this evening.All stations reported me many times:

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