30 Jul 2014

ZS on 10m F2

ZS5PMB (9563km) was just spotted on 10m WSPR. I am pretty sure this is N-S F2 propagation. It is a pity there are not more stations active this early evening on 10m WSPR. Currently there are just 14 stations active on 10m WSPR in the world.

Low WSPR activity levels

At the moment, in the entire world, there are just 20 active WSPR stations on 10m and just 16 on 6m.  These are very low levels of activity: Es and F2 openings are being missed as there are no stations active in the target areas.

UPDATE 1425z:  No new Es on 10m since switching down to 10m from 6m WSPR.

UPDATE 1505z:  Now just 5 stations on 6m and 25 stations on 10m in the world on WSPR.  Pathetic levels of WSPR activity.

Back to 10m WSPR from 6m

With little Es on 6m, I am going to QSY back to 10m, hoping to catch some F2 propagation.  6m is a great band but 10m is more productive of DX.   Initially I'll use WSPR but hope to try JT65 and JT9-1 later after I've finished helping my XYL with the ironing.

UPDATE 1340z:  Now QSYed back to 10m WSPR.

Israel, Gaza and war crimes

I don't like getting political on this blog but feel the actions of Israel overnight attacking a school designated a UN safe area, is nothing short of a war crime.  15 innocents killed and dozens injured - disgraceful in any language. There is absolutely no excuse for this slaughter. Even if rockets were fired from the local area it is no excuse to kill already traumatised children. Slaughter of the innocents.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28558433 .
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28559537 .

For years, the state of Israel has treated the Palestinian people like scum. They deserve to be treated as full humans and accorded the full rights all humans deserve. No more settlements on Palestinian land. After the horrors to the Jews in WW2 you would think Israel would want to help build a kinder world. Not a bit of it! They seem to want to spread hate.  I know Hamas must stop firing rockets at Israel and I know there are good Jewish people, but the war on Gaza is fostering hate and yet more resentment.

What is needed are real substantive talks leading to a comprehensive and fair peace for all in the region. Now is the time for jaw, jaw not war, war. Will Israel never learn? If you treat the Palestinian people as less than human what do you expect?

At the moment, Israel, supported by the USA and the UK amongst others, is not even seriously trying to get a lasting peace. I am embarrassed by my government.   An eye for an eye seems to be all Israel understands.

I am sorry, but I get increasingly frustrated by the continued violence.   Now is the time for real love and kindness to be shared and long-term peace to be given a real chance.   People of  Israel - wake up! USA and UK - support the Palestinians at the same level as Israel.   Give peace a chance!

6m WSPR again

At around 0920z I moved from 10m up to 6m to see what's doing on 6m WSPR. At first just the usual (strong) spots from local G4IKZ (18km) but I've now, at 1038z, been spotted by OH5RM (1860km) on Es.  I run 1W ERP on 6m WSPR with a V2000 vertical antenna.

UPDATE 1120z: G3WKW (134km) in IO91og has been spotted a couple of times, -20/-24dB S/N, presumably with the aid of aircraft reflection.

UPDATE 1200z:   No further Es or GDX spots since OH5RM , just spots by local G4IKZ.

10m - transatlantic yet again by Es

Just before midnight local time here KZ8C (6290km) was spotted running 5W WSPR on 10m. This is the 5th transatlantic Es opening I have caught on 10m this summer.  Despite letting WSPR run through the night, no other transatlantic DX was seen and no EU Es either, just wispy traces from G8JNJ/A (184km) - partial decodes of Martin's QTH locator through the night, but no full decodes. Signals had all the hallmarks of aircraft reflection or MS - several traces in each burst , Doppler and short duration.

This morning (early) I am seeing EU Es DX from SI9AM (1503km) Sweden and IK1WVQ (1084km) Italy by 0702z.
Sunspot count today is 160 (good) and 20-30MHz conditions are expected to be "normal". We may see F2 propagation. but none was seen here on 10m yesterday, surprisingly. This may be a lack of active WSPR stations rather than a lack of F2.  WSPR is the ideal mode to check for fleeting band openings. I would never have noticed KZ8C without WSPR. I just wish more people would use it, and in more places.

UPDATE 0918z:  OH1W (1646km) spotted me at 0848z.  I think I'm switching to 6m now!

29 Jul 2014

Same callsigns?

One of the drawbacks of WSPR (currently) is you tend to get spotted, or spot, the same stations over and over again. I am even seeing the same stations being spotted on 10m and on 6m.

It would be very nice if there were a lot more active stations, so spots came from a variety of stations. I am even seeing this on JT65 and JT9-1.

Perhaps people think these "new fangled" digital modes are hard and so only a limited number of people (currently) use them. Let me say, if even I can use these modes then anyone can! All these modes are great with low power and have really opened my eyes as to how far very low powered signal can be detected.

10m unique WSPR spots this afternoon (duplicates not shown)

Over priced KX3 options

Steve G1KQH has spotted the price of "after-market" mics on eBay.  Under £5.

"The price of a Microphone:

Someone is having a good laugh at stitching folk up with those KX3 Mics.  The whole KX3 price is through the roof but there are plenty on the bands?"
I stand by my assertion that, sadly, the KX3 is overpriced, certainly over here in the UK. I know that it is a truly exceptional radio with a first class specification but, as I have said before, for my sort of operating - mainly from home and occasionally /P, the FT817ND is FAR better value and it covers 432MHz all modes too. I cannot fault the FT817 although I appreciate the KX3 is better on RX. My FT817 has worked the world on SSB and always with simple wire antennas. I have worked a lot of continents with whips on the rig indoors too.

Back on 10m WSPR

For the next several hours I have gone back to 10m WSPR.  This means I can monitor progress in the lounge. So far, SI9AM (1503km) from Sweden, running 200mW, is coming in pretty well by Es.  I am running about 2W ERP on 18% TX duty cycle, so mostly listening/looking.

Sunspot count today is good at 143 and the 20-30MHz forecast is "normal", so I am hopeful of some F2 propagation on 10m today.

UPDATE 1435z:  OH6GKW (1839km) and I have just exchanged WSPR spots on 10m.

More JT65 and JT9-1 operation

Over the lunch period I operated JT9-1 and JT65 on 20m. Although I got plenty of reports of my CQ calls on JT9-1 (via PSKreporter) not a single QSO. When I went to JT65 on 20m I had a decent 2-way QSO with EA3KU (1307km) in JN00 square. Seems JT65 operators outnumber JT9-1 operators by about 10:1.