Phase Shift Keying (PSK) and other digimodes

psk31waterfall.jpg~originalWhile on our holiday in Belgium propagation forced me to use digimode (PSK). It’s funny when you are in a relaxing mood like on holiday and you spend some time setting up PSK again, it’s actually a great way making QSO’s. I really enjoy watching the waterfall for signals and looking how other ham’s programmed their macro’s. Many inspire me to fine tune my macro’s a little more. Of course I plug this blog in my long-reply-macro 😉 Great way to propagate the formula.

I read my fellow ham’s are also busy in digimode: PE4BAS in WSJT-X (which is on my to-do-list too) and VE3WDM.

It sure is fun doing some PSK or other digimode when propagation is low. Morse code is a mode which is also very suitable for low propagation. A little harder to learn though. We are heading for another low in the 11 year sun-spot-cycle. I guess that means we have to wait at least for 5 or 6 years for new really good propagation on the bands. Looks like we have to use CW and digimodes for a while.

The definitive guide to WSPR

wsprWeak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR, pronounced:” whisper”) is a protocol developed by John Taylor, K1JT in 2008. It’s one of the many protocols used by radio amateurs but WSPR is a special one. The “Weak Signal”-part refers to signals being transmitted with a maximum power of 5 Watt (37 dBm), what still is regarded as QRP. But you can use much less then 5 Watt. Use more power is pointless, because it removes the accuracy of the “Propagation Continue reading “The definitive guide to WSPR”

WSPR on 80m

Screen-Shot-2011-09-02-at-07.18.07Last night I leave WSPR on for the whole night to see what happen. According to propagation rules, the best opportunities on 80m should be around the greyline. In the evening that means in western Europe I should get signals out of the east and in the morning I should get signals out of the west. A little disappointed I was this morning when the only thing I saw is stations from Europe. Could it be my antenna? Bad propagation on 80m? Not enough WSPR-station on the air? I guess my S9 noise level on 80m don’t help much.

WSPR 2.0 up and running

WSPRnetAfter reading about WSPR 2.0 getting out, it did grab my attention. I still like the whole WSPR idea so I looked around in the shack to give it a try. The idea was to set-up my blown-final FT-817 and connect it to my Antron 99 vertical for 10m. It wouldn’t be possible to tx with the Yaesu, but at least the WSPRnet would have another listen station on 10m. I already picked up a nice signal from Asia one time, but on average it is really quiet on 10m.

I think I leave the setup running for a few weeks. See what happen when the propagation will be better on 10.

My mind is spinning off, wouldn’t it be nice to have more ‘beacon’-like WSPR kit? Something very small, no interface required, just a little box with an antenna and UTP connection. Dedicated to WSPR 24/7 and just sitting in the corner of the shack. Hmmm, interesting idea. Let me know if someones already come up with this idea!


CQwwWPXTwo weeks ago I switched on the transceiver on saturday and listen around on the bands. I couldn’t believe my ears! There where incredible conditions. 40, 20 15 and 10 where completely open! It wasn’t hard to hear there was a big contest going on. I wasn’t into the contesting lately so I had to pull out the contest calender to check which one was on. It turn out to be the CQ WW SSB contest. After I read the contest rules I started to make some contacts. I was even able to make a qso with South Africa on 10 meters! Finally I’ve got a change to test out my Antron 99 which I installed for 10 meters. It worked very nicely!
At the end of the weekend I’ve made 77 contacts in the contest. Not extremely much, but okay for me. Especially if you bare in mind that I was totally unprepared.
If these conditions are a sign of what is possible in a high sunspot cyclus, I’m gonna have a very nice 6 years to come!

I seem to be unable to convert my HRD-ADIF-log into the needed Cabrillo-format for the contestmanager. I send him the file anyway. A few days later I received an email that my log was processed! Now that’s what I call service… Thanks Bob, K3EST.