WSPR

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What I had alluded to in an earlier post was WSPR - an interesting amateur radio mode of operation. WSPR stands for Weak Signal Propegation Reporter and is an outgrowth of Joe Taylor's incredible (he won a Nobel Prize for it) work with low power radio signalling for the two Voyager spaceships launched a bit more than 40 years ago.

V'ger had very limited electrical power on board so they had to use as minimal transmission power as possible. The trade-off was very slow speed (the images and data would take several hours each to send).

Fast forward to today - a WSPR beacon uses 0.2 watts to send. A hand-held radio uses about five watts. A desktop radio uses from 20 to 100 watts. I have a 600 watt amplifier for my desktop set. There is a guy in Sweden who makes very inexpensive WSPR beacons and I bought one of them. Some amateur radio operators are also running WSPR receivers connected to the internet so when they pick up the signal from a beacon, they will post that data to a centralized website.

This data is then available to view.

The advantage is that now that our sun is in a very quiet mood, long-distance radio communications is a lot more sporadic event and running a WSPR beacon will tell me which frequencies are carrying the farthest. Here is a sample output map:

20190608-wspr.JPG

This is from a couple of hours operation. Also, the antenna I am using is absolutely sub-optimal. A length of wire hanging out my window. When I am up at the farm this week, I will bring a better antenna to use. I am also looking at building a WSPR reciever in the next month or so - get in on the fun...

More here, here, here and here

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 8, 2019 1:09 PM.

Now that was a lot of fun - Tides and Currents was the previous entry in this blog.

Back home is the next entry in this blog.

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