WSPR part 1

WSPRnetIn the series ‘what is WSPR?’ I did some reading last night. If I understand it correctly WSPR is a little computer program made by K1JT that is used to detect propagation on the amateur bands. It is using a very weak digital signal which is produced by your sound card in your computer and send out thrue your transmitter. Your computer also listens on the frequency to spot other ‘WSPR beacons’ and tells the central WSPR server via internet of the status.

WSPR means: Weak Signal Propagation Reporter. The program uses your sound card in QRSS mode and scans a 200Hz band for a signal of 6Hz wide with a baud rate of 1,46 Baud. 4-FSK modulation. Apparently there is 1 tone from your sound card. The nice thing about it is that you’re be able using mini wattage (a few hundred mW) to make big distances. A transmitting cycle lasts 110 seconds and there is minimal information packed.
The signals are received and decoded and sent to a central server and put on a map and a list.

So far the theory, in part 2 my search for a mac version of the program (as my faithful readers know, I’m a real Mac-lover).

Links: original instructions from K1JT
The program
The website (of the central server)

OZ1PIF manual to WSPR

WSPR, what the ….?

wsprI read more and more lately about WSPR. For instance, this morning I did see this article from VK2PTM. I getting more curious what this WSPR is and how it’s working. And you radio amateurs out there know what we guys and gals do about curiosity…. we will disappear into our Research & Development department and find out what the fuzz is all about!
So that’s my plan for the coming weeks: let’s find out. I’ll report my findings here on this blog.

No sunspots!

The Sun is now in the quietest phase of its 11-year activity cycle, the solar minimum – in fact, it has been unusually quiet this year – with over 200 days so far with no observed sunspots. The solar wind has also dropped to its lowest levels in 50 years. Scientists are unsure of the significance of this unusual calm, but are continually monitoring our closest star with with an array of telescopes and satellites. Seen below are some recent images of the Sun in more active times.

See all pictures at Boston.com