Sometime ago I reported about a cool building project of the Team Thunderbox, some guys from England. I’ve noticed the link is dead right now. But no worries! Arend, PA2AWU did read that article on my blog and send me a message. He wanted to build this cubicle quad for 40m himself and so he needed the fiberglass telescopic poles. If I was interested in participate to get a few for myself.

Of course I was! So Arend ordered a few and build the cubical quad for the CQWW SSB this year. He send me an e-mail a few weeks ago to let me know that the cubical quad worked perfectly and he was surprised about the performance! 1400+ QSO’s where made on 40m. He also send me a picture of their quad (inserted in this message). Very cool!

Now I’ve got my four fiberglass telescopic poles and as promised I would build a Skywire Loop Antenna with them. The wire is already prepared, all the connectors are there. The only thing I need to figure out is how to keep the poles up in the air. Then I will take the whole package to a area where I can build the thing. Reports will be online shortly after of course!

WSPRnetNot yet where I want to be, but did some work to get things working. I’ve installed the Gnome desktop on my Debian Etch linux server so I can compile WSPR for linux. First I had to struggle with all kinds of packages and then I had to check out an svn for the source code of WSPR. If you want to do the same thing and you are running Debian/ Ubuntu, let me save you a few hours of your time, type as root:

# aptitude install subversion gfortran portaudio19-dev python2.4-dev python-pmw python-numpy python-numpy-dev libsamplerate0-dev

When it’s done you should have the appropriate packages installed to build WSPR from source. To get WSPR from source you have to check out svn:

# mkdir src
# cd src
# svn checkout svn://svn.berlios.de/wsjt
# cd wsjt/branches/wspr
# ./configure
# make

hopefully you have a working WSPR! Run it with: python wspr.py

In my case I think somethings going wrong with the soundcard. There is no waterfall and the applications crashes after a few minutes with all kind of errors. When I listen to the input from the FT-817 on the computer, it sounds horrible. I don’t know if it’s the hardware (it shouldn’t) or maybe the drivers. I hope I’ll figure out sometime πŸ™

Some interesting links I found on the subject:

Compiling WSRP

Compiling WSPR for linux (on wspr.org)

Since I am a relative new amateur, I don’t yet own many devices where I can do measuring with. Of course I have a multimeter and some old analog CB swr meter. But I like to have a better equiped shack. When I take a look in the online shops or at the flea-markets, I’m shocked about prices for a good SWR-meter or a simple frequency counter!

It must be possible to find a good but cheaper solution, I figured and fired on my favorite browser. After a few minutes of surfing I did find this very interesting link:

Digital Power & SWR meter from OH2NLT.

After reading this article I’m very interesting in building this device. So I went on part hunt. Most of the parts are easy to buy but the display is very hard to get a hold on. The solution appeared very easy: just send an e-mail to Matti OH2MH and he did send me a display in about 2 days!

So now I need to collect the last parts and start building… I’ll keep you posted!