Posts Tagged ‘beacon’

VLF field test tomorrow

Today I adjusted the turns ratio on my 8.976kHz VLF QRSS3 and 10wpm CW 5W beacon to better match my earth electrodes. At this QTH they look much greater than 50 ohms, which I measured at the “old” QTH and optimised for.

On the way I managed to blow up a TDA2003 IC, which I had to replace. The whole exercise was far more exhausting than I was expecting. It seems that after about 10-15 minutes of physical or mental effort I am done in. Before my cerebellum brain bleed everything today would have been trivial. Now trivial tasks feel like climbing mountains! Although I can see progress in my recovery there is still a long way to go. One of my aims (among many) is to be able to resume field tests as before, but time will tell if I am really up to this: it is quite hard when your brain is still foggy a lot of the time. Oddly, when sitting down at home or when driving things are fine. It is when I do something requiring real physical or mental effort that I get tired. I guess the radio work today was hard as I had not done this sort of thing for some time.

Anyway, the good news is that I hope to do a VLF field test tomorrow.  Everything is ready and tested. It will not be until late afternoon as both my wife and I are busy before then. The XYL will be there at the test site if I get really tired.  Setting up the gear will be especially tiring in my current state. The test site is not too far from home. I have soak tested the TX and it should be fine on QRSS3 using my loop and Spectran at the RX end. I shall report results tomorrow. This will be my first VLF field test in over 18 months. How I have looked forward to this. If the loop is successful I may try the E-field probe.

Using the W5OLF 500mW 10m WSPR beacon today

W5OLF WSPR beacon – complete – no PC needed

This WSPR-AXE really is a very impressive little rig, in my case for 10m WSPR.  Because of my current disabled state –  I find all electronics building just about impossible – Jay very kindly sold me a built unit to evaluate. Results in just a few hours of operating have been truly impressive. No PC is needed as long as the push button is pressed at the start of an even minute. Jay says it stays stable for weeks thereafter. I ran mine for 3.5 hours and got masses of decodes. After lunch it has been getting LOTS of spots from the USA. I am sure it will reach Australia soon.

The unit needs about 15 minutes to frequency stabilise and after that it always on, but it randomises the slots within the WSPR transmit window. This means it is unlikely to be “clobbered” by more powerful stations or cause others co-channel issues.

Best DX report (so far) today is FR1GZ (9724km).

10m WSPR – unique spots with the W5OLF beacon today, arranged by distance

If you want to buy one Jay W5OLF may be contacted on [email protected]t .

LHS Episode #051: Careless WSPR

A short while ago, Canonical released the latest version of Ubuntu:  the fabled Maverick Meerkat, 10.10. This is the latest in Ubuntu’s normal release cycle and is not LTS. I had occasion to upgrade a couple of my personal computers running Ubuntu to the wily Meerkat. Find out what’s new in 10.10, and what’s old, in the first segment of LHS #049.

After that, Richard and I tackle the WSPR protocol for ham radio again. When it was discussed the first time around, neither of us had much of an idea what it was or how it worked. Armed with a broader understanding and a lot more experience, we talk about what works and what doesn’t work with WSPR, how to get it up and running on your system and what we like and don’t like about it.

Following that it’s on to witty banter, a passel of badgers, some hijinks, censorship, feedback and more entertainment than you can shake a wet hedgehog at. Thanks for tuning in. We love you all.

73 de The LHS Guys


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