1 Sept 2013

Initial results on 472kHz at the new QTH

Well, I have been WSPR beaconing over a period of about 24 hours at the new QTH on 472kHz. Actual operating time has been just a few hours this evening and last night plus a little bit this morning. Based on the (limited) reports received - just from G6AVK (78km), G3WCB (101km) and G4KPX (14km) and no-one else despite quite a bit of activity - I think the earth electrode antenna is some dB down compared with results "down the hill" at the old location.  On RX, the noise level here is lower using the earth electrode antenna but that may also suggest less efficiency - less signals and less noise being picked up. Having said that, I have spotted stations never seen before (I think) such as G3WCB and have spotted a couple of PA stations.
The QRP operating kit in the shack
The reasons for the poorer performance could be the shorter baseline or the directionality is such that my usual reporters are getting a weaker signal. It may also be due to the use of the mains earth at the shack end and not the copper central heating piping: some of my central heating piping here is plastic, so grounding to the radiator in the shack does not guarantee a good low loss ground! At the old QTH all the central heating pipes were copper and the copper extended into the road.  I need to do a test with a fairly local station to see how signals compare such as G4HJW although I am not sure Bernie is still on 472kHz currently.

So, conclusions so far? Mixed and a little disappointing, but it is early days and lots to try still.

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