30 May 2015

CCS - NOT amateur radio

My wife sings in a local choir and I do their website. You do not want to hear me sing, believe me!

See www.cambschoral.org.uk  for details of the choir. If local you may want to join the choir and sing? Otherwise you may want to attend the next concert?

6m WSPR this morning

On 6m WSPR this morning I have only seen GDX spots and no sign, yet, of any Es propagation. It is early days and Es later is entirely possible.  Best DX so far is G0OQK at 98km. Some of this GDX may only be possible via aircraft reflections, evidenced by lots of Doppler traces on the received traces.
6m WSPR this morning so far (overnight spots not included)

Sunspots and 10m - May 30th 2015

Sunspot number has risen to 23 (K=1) and 10m propagation is expected to remain "poor".

UPDATE 0925z:  Only local G4IKZ (18km) spotting me overnight and this morning so far on 10m WSPR.  I reset the 10m beacon clock to internet time just before breakfast time.  No F2 or Es spots seen yet on 10m WSPR here.

29 May 2015

Es on 10m and 6m WSPR

I noticed Es propagation on 10m and on 6m WSPR today as well as single-hop F2 to EA8BVP (2986km) on 10m.  Conditions otherwise on 10m have not been good.

UPDATE 2015z:   EA8BVP (2986km) has spotted me (single hop F2) no less than 77 times so far today. Getting further is proving impossible, but this path seems to be open daily.

Stroke update - NOT amateur radio

Not sure if the cranial osteopathy is the reason, but I do seem to be less tired than I was.  This week we have had all our little grandchildren staying (2 lots of 2 and they are all less than 7.5 years old) yet I am coping better.

Overall, I still have a poor voice and poor thin liquid swallow and I still feel drunk when walking, but feeling less tired is a positive step on a long road. Small steps.

Return to 6m WSPR

Last night I had to use my FT817 and PC to check the frequency and DT of my 10m WSPR beacon. Since about 1000z I have returned to 6m WSPR as well as 10m WSPR.  So far, no Es seen on 6m WSPR but I did get spotted by G3ZJO (79km).

I received a weak 6m WSPR direct signal with lots of aircraft reflection signals, but this did not decode. The signals reflected off aircraft were much stronger but with lots of Doppler shift., sadly too much to allow the WSPR software to decode. This is often the case. Aircraft reflection only works on WSPR if the Doppler is sufficiently low.

UPDATE 2022z:  A little Es on 6m WSPR but most spots were GDX.
6m unique WSPR spots today.

Big wheel antenna

Big Wheel for 2m
A good 2m antenna for horizontal polarisation is the big wheel. Quite a few beacons use these as they require no rotator and a couple of these stacked give about 5dBd gain horizontally. So, these would be ideal for fixed station use. They would suit me well for UKAC 2m contests and general 2m SSB/CW use. I know that my 3 el, hand rotated, beam has about the same gain.  One big wheel alone is better than a halo, but two suitably phased would be better than a small beam.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/antennas/bigwheel .

Sunspots and 10m - Friday March 29th 2015

Sunspot number has dropped to 11 (K=1) and 10m is expected to remain "poor" today. These are figures more typical of a good day in the sunspot minimum  years.

At least my DT was good on my 10m beacon overnight. Still unsure why it was so high before doing a frequency change and long hard reset by turning off the beacon's DC power supply.   My WSPR signals on 10m should all be in-band now, whereas before some fell outside the lower WSPR sub-band limit so most people would not have noticed these.

UPDATE 0822z:   Most spots overnight were by Nick G4IKZ (18km) but there was one spot from Italy by Es at 0730z.

28 May 2015

DT puzzle

As you may recall, I use (very successfully) on 10m a WSPR-AXE-CW beacon by W5OLF.  In the last 6 months this has served me well.  However I was puzzled by a second report last night that both DT was way out (around 4.7) and the frequency was sometimes outside of the lower end of the WSPR sub-band. I decided to check DT locally using my FT817/PC as a receiver. Sure enough, DT was very high. Setting the clock to internet time -4 seconds made almost no difference. This evening I set my beacon TX frequency about 150Hz higher (adjusted the multi-turn pot) and, for reasons I do not understand, my DT has dropped to - 1.4 setting to internet time exactly on an even minute. It seems resetting the frequency has also fixed the DT issue. Perhaps this is something to do with Wolf's software? Anyway, I am now waiting for local Nick G4IKZ to confirm my DT findings.

UPDATE 2216z:  For reasons I do not claim to understand, I needed a long hard reset (mains power off for 20 secs) to get modulation to appear after a small frequency adjustment. All seems to be working now but the beacon will be on overnight to see if the modulation remains on.

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday May 28th 2015

Sunspot number has dropped like a stone to just 24 (K=1) and 10m propagation is "poor". No F2 DX seen today.  Only Es seen here has livened up the 10m band.