Why I like WSPR

     These are some of the reasons I like WSPR mode:

    • About 100 stations (or more) can co-habit in a 200Hz wide WSPR sub-band on each band, time and frequency sharing. In reality, usually far fewer stations on worldwide per band.
    • Low power is all you need 1mW to 5W is quite fine. I tend to use 1-2W, but have been spotted at DX distances with a few mW. Some even use uW power levels!
    • If there is an opening everyone has a fair chance (anyone can be spotted at great ranges)
    • Simple antennas work. No need for beams on HF.
    • Can monitor activity (your own and that of others) in the lounge by visiting website www.WSPRnet.org on any PC or tablet.
    • Speaking not needed (saves my stroke damaged voice).
    • Highly sensitive (12-14dB better than 12wpm CW?).
    • Can do other things whilst WSPRing.
    • Automatic – requires no manual intervention once running.
    • Ideal for accurate comparative measurements (e.g antennas, rigs).
    • Ideal for propagation experiments.  
    • About QRSS10 equivalent.
    • Works from VLF to UHF (watch stability on higher bands).
    • A QRP man’s dream mode.
    • For 2-way QSOs use JT9-1 (about 2dB worse than WSPR).

    Disadvantages:

    • Needs accurate timing (usually sync’d to internet time).
    • Need good frequency accuracy.
    • Usually needs a PC (not always e.g Hans Summers Ultimate 3 and similar kits).
    • Needs careful interfacing to rig to avoid loops and 50, 100Hz sidebands.

    Download WSPR software at http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wspr.html .

      Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

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