Two weeks of WSPR
The last two weeks of WSPR on the 20 meter band has been very interesting. So I thought it was time for a reprise of reception reports. But first of all, what is WSPR or Weak Signal Propagation Reporter?
WSPR implements a protocol designed for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions. Transmissions carry a station’s callsign, Maidenhead grid locator, and transmitter power in dBm. Monitoring stations can decode WSPR signals with S/N as low as -28 dB in a 2500 Hz bandwidth. Monitoring stations with internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called Wsprnet.
Two weeks of WSPR
The last two weeks of WSPR on the 20 meter band has been very interesting. I have been experimenting using the WSPRlite Classic from Sotabeams: https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wsprlite-classic. Initially, I ran the WSPRlite into a Diamond HF-20FX mobile antenna. The antenna was fitted on a magnetic mount on the roof on my car on the drive. However, yesterday the 22nd December 2019, I began using an inverted V antenna with the Sotabeams Antenna Centre + 1:1 Balun https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/antenna-centre-1-1-balun/ hung from the same fibreglass mast as my V2000 antenna. The apex of the inverted V antenna is at a height of approximately 32 feet.
Here is a pick of the most interesting signal reports received:
- DP0GVN (Neumayer Station III, Antarctica) 21st December 2019 20:40 UTC (13773 kilometres)
- ZS6KN (Pretoria, South Africa) 22nd December 2019 16:28 UTC (9269 kilometres)
- W4HOD (Loachapoka, USA) 11th December 2019 12:26 UTC (6737 kilometres)
- TA4/G8SCU (Alanya, Turkey) 15th December 2019 10:30 UTC (3157 kilometres)
- UR7HDK (Ukraine) 22nd December 2019 12:54 UTC (2470 kilometres)
- LA7EPA (Storsteinnes, Norway) 18th December 2019 12:02 UTC (2111 kilometres)
- OH8GKP/SDR (Liminka, Finald) 21st December 2019 12:24 UTC (2034 kilometres)
- M7AVK (Greater Manchester) 23rd December 2019 15:20 UTC (9 kilometres)
What is amateur radio?
Amateur radio is a popular technical hobby and volunteer public service. As a licensed amateur radio operator, you are permitted to transmit and receive radio signals on frequency bands allocated for use by amateur radio amateurs. Amateur radio operators use these designated bands of radio frequencies for non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communications. A 1910 announcement by the then HM Postmaster General licensed “experimental wireless”, which still uniquely gives radio amateurs the ability to innovate without commercial or statutory controls even in the closely regulated environment of the 21st century. Amateur radio is the only hobby governed by international treaty.
Amateur radio operators use the amateur radio bands for a variety of purposes:
- Contacting people all over the world by radio which often leads to developing international friendships,
- Competing in international competitions to test the effectiveness of their equipment and their skill as a radio operator,
- Technical experimentation — many of the leaps forward in radio technology have been initiated by radio amateurs,
- Communication through amateur space satellites or with the International Space Station (which carries an amateur radio station),
- Providing communications at times of emergencies and undertaking exercises to maintain that capability.
There is no better way to explore the fascinating world of radio communications than by becoming a radio amateur.