An afternoon’s WSPR on 7MHz

It’s a long while since I spent a whole afternoon on a single HF band, but it’s quite an interesting thing to do, watching the propagation change. I decided I would try my 1W WSPR tests again. I started off at around 1230z.

Reports from around the UK and near Europe were constant, with distances as little as 20km (thanks to Peter, 2E0SQL just over the hill in Oxford!) and further into Germany. Interestingly, Peter, running 5W was heard at consistently further afield than me, as you’d expect, but I was keen to stick at the 1W power level and see how it performed.

As the afternoon wore on, some of the UK stations faded, and I started to be heard by LA9JO in the far north of Norway at just under 2200kms. Late afternoon too, I heard UA3ARC in KO85 (though he did not report hearing me until much later in the day). After around 1815z or so, I stopped copying very much at all and wondered whether I should continue transmitting.

I was glad I did though, as around 1915z I was reported in Spain and Portugal and I wondered whether this was a precursor to the path to the USA opening. Sure enough it was and on the next transmit period, I was very pleased to be heard by K1JT and WB2JEP. After a few minutes more, reports dried up for a while, though then things seemed to swing around to the east with reports from EW1LN and UA3ARC, as well as some Italian stations.

Just before I closed at around 2230z, there were more reports from further into the USA, with AD3X at 5683kms and most distant for the day’s trials was W3GXT at 5747kms.

Lots of fun and I was pleased to see how the 1W signal propagated. With the CQWW CW contest set to take over the bands next weekend, I think I can guarantee it won’t be worth playing WSPR, But it might be interesting to spend some time at the 1W power level and see just how many contacts I can make on CW. I’m guessing not many, but I’d love to be proven wrong!

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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