WSPR on the 20 meter band

WSPR on the 20 meter band

The last twenty-four hours using WSPR on the 20-meter band have been quite eventful. But, 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.

WSPR on the 20 meter band

The last twenty-four hours using WSPR on the 20-meter band have been quite eventful.

My WSPR station was heard by DP0GVN the Neumayer Station III, Ekstroem Ice Shelf, Atka Bay, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica several times yesterday at around 20:50 UCT on Saturday 21st December 2019 on the 20 meters band.

I was using my Sotabeams WSPRlite Classic on a frequency of 14.097053MHz at 200mW using a Diamond HF-20FX on a magnetic mount on my car.

Here is a map showing locations where my WSPR signal has been heard over the last two weeks.

WSPR on the 20-meter band

WSPR on the 20 meter band

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.

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