Thursday, 18 December 2014

WSPR’ing on 10m

My interest in WSPR has been rekindled. WSPR is a fantastic tool; it is most useful in understanding the behaviour of propagation.

I believe WSPR can be also be used obtain other meaningful data for example: making antenna comparisons, dispelling many of the wild claims made by the antenna designers and manufacturers. At some stage I would like to pursue this aspect of WSPR.

Today I was playing a bit with WSPR on 10m. Initially I was using 5 watts (37 dBW) and that worked very well. I then reduced the transmit power to 1 watt (30 dBW)

The image below clearly shows what can be achieved with 1 watt and a simple dipole at 8m (25 Ft) agl.

Tomorrow I hope to reduce the power to 100 mW (20 dBW)

WSPR combined with the Reverse Beacon Network is simply amazing. The persons behind WSPR program and the Reverse Beacon Network deserve our heartfelt gratitude.

Click on image below for a more detailed view.

WSPR 10m 1 watt (30 dBW)

Monday, 1 December 2014

CQ WW CW 2014 - My first 100+

I most certainly enjoyed the weekend doing what I like most, that is chasing DX on CW.

I am fairly pleased with my results, considering I don’t have any decent antennas to speak of. My best antenna is a rigid rotating dipole for the ten metre band, some 8m agl. The rest of the antennas are simple low wire dipoles.

As a rule I don’t monitor my progress during a contest nor do set specific goals. However, late on Sunday I realized that I had already worked some 90 countries on 10m. As I had never worked 100+ DXCC entities during a single contest, I then I set myself that goal since it seemed within reach.

For the most part I operated in “search and pounce” mode, which is fairly slow but at least could chase the country and zone multipliers I needed.

I tried “running” a few times and the QSO rate was much higher, but found it rather stressful, mostly because I am not as proficient on CW as I would like to be. I find it rather daunting to be at the sharp end of a pileup, I need to practice my pileup skills. Maybe if I used Morse Runner more often I would become more skilled in being able to extract calls from the quagmire.

I was very happy that I was able to reach my goal: 106 DXCC entities worked (on a single band) with a few extras for insurance.

My total score for SOSB(A) 10m = 152,066

ZS6A CQ WW CW 2014 score

ZS6A CQ WW CW 2014 stats