WSPR 630m and Distance

Having had no response from a question regarding how well those who are running WSPR15 performs, compared to WSPR2 I decided to examine the Database. Checking 10,000 entries in order of distance.

We know the current longest distance decode was on WSPR2 power stated is RF to the antenna I believe.

VK1DSH WSPR2

2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 -29 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 F6CNI/BEV JN19qb 1683210459

The next longest decode used WSPR15 and high ERP.There were several decodes on the same day down to -34dB

WE2XGR/2 WSPR15

2013-02-05 03:46 WE2XGR/2 0.475813 -30 0 FN31ls +30 1.000 SV8CS KM07js 7602 4724

Next comes WSPR2 again several repeatable spots just a random reports shown.

DK7FC WSPR2

2013-02-02 03:36 DK7FC 0.475686 -25 0 JN49ik +30 1.000 WE2XGR/2 FN31ls 6099 3790
2013-02-02 04:00 DK7FC 0.475685 -24 0 JN49ik +30 1.000 D2XSH/17 FN42pb 5927 3683

Next very similar distances and WSPR2 again, repeated results.There were several decodes on the same night.

PA0O WSPR2

2013-01-18 02:00 PA0O 0.475780 -28 0 JO33hg +33 1.995 WE2XGR/2 FN31ls 5796 3601

SM6BHZ WSPR2

2013-01-18 00:32 SM6BHZ 0.475720 -19 0 JO57wq +27 0.501 WD2XSH/17 FN42pb 5768 3584

Just one decode of WSPR15 for the next one, I nearly missed it, there may be more like it but the overall picture should not suffer too much. This complete excercise is a look at the database for an overall picture, not a deep technical study, you can do that if you wish to.

G8IMR WSPR15

2013-01-18 03:16 G8IMR 0.475810 -34 0 IO90iv +33 1.995 W1VD FN31ls 5379 3342

We now get to shorter distances which are covered more often using WSPR15 just random reports shown here some are down to -38dB.

DL3NDR WSPR15

2013-02-18 21:16 DL3NDR 0.475820 -28 0 JN59no +27 0.501 TF3HZ HP94ad 2531 1573

LA6TPA WSPR15

2013-01-23 21:16 LA6TPA 0.475808 -36 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F59706 JN07th 1999 1242

The same station does the same distance to the same station during the same session using WSPR2.

LA6TPA WSPR2

2013-01-30 21:40 LA6TPA 0.475673 -22 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F59706 JN07th 1999 1242

I am not sure where to cause a stir here. The above are 2000Km all but for 1Km so on this occasion I will call everything under this the ALSO RAN reports, despite the power being used.

G4JNT WSPR2

2013-02-18 21:22 G4JNT 0.475737 -27 0 IO90iv +33 1.995 TF3HZ HP94ad 1904 1183

Another case of WSPR15 doing the same trip as WSPR2 during the same session but what do the S/N figures mean.

LA6TPA WSPR15

2013-02-07 22:16 LA6TPA 0.475822 -38 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK-W15 JN18hp 1838 1142
2013-02-16 22:16 LA6TPA 0.475803 -36 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK-W15 JN18hp 1838 1142
2013-02-16 22:00 LA6TPA 0.475802 -33 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK-W15 JN18hp 1838 1142

LA6TPA WSPR2

2013-02-16 22:56 LA6TPA 0.475731 -30 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK JN18hp 1838 1142
2013-02-16 22:52 LA6TPA 0.475723 -30 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK JN18hp 1838 1142
2013-02-16 22:54 LA6TPA 0.475723 -28 0 JP54rl +10 0.010 F5WK JN18hp 1838 1142

Back to WSPR2 for the next distance spot, everyday stuff really, very repeatable at these powers.

DK7FC WSPR2

2013-02-21 21:06 DK7FC 0.475688 -7 0 JN49ik +30 1.000 OH6JKN KP22xk 1789 1112
2013-02-21 21:12 DK7FC 0.475688 -2 0 JN49ik +30 1.000 OH6JKN KP22xk 1789 1112
2013-02-21 21:18 DK7FC 0.475688 -3 0 JN49ik +30 1.000 OH6JKN KP22xk 1789 1112

That is it, what I found in 10,000 reports in distance order, of course there are other reports of other stations between the distance markers chosen, otherwise the list would be huge.
Why do I call under 2000Km ALSO RAN reports? Well that is my next target and I am “wasting my time” I have a “tiny stupid antenna” and I run “pathetic QRP Power Levels”.

I don’t know how much further down the list after No.9999 I am, but I knew I was there, getting very close to these big boys. the results are repeatable too, just not as often.

G3ZJO WSPR2

2013-01-21 23:24 G3ZJO 0.475669 -27 0 IO92ng +7 0.005 OH1LSQ KP03td 1785 1109
2013-01-21 23:12 G3ZJO 0.475669 -26 0 IO92ng +7 0.005 OH1LSQ KP03td 1785 1109
2013-01-21 23:02 G3ZJO 0.475669 -25 0 IO92ng +7 0.005 OH1LSQ KP03td 1785 1109

What a great band 630m is.

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Goodbye Microsoft Security Essentials

When Microsoft Launched Security Essentials I though great who else knows the full inside story of the security loopholes in Windows. I installed it on most of my machines.

Recently the last machine that still had MS Security Essential installed announced an update that would not instal. The machine adopted a cycle of ‘updates to install, can’t find the file, abandon, yes, updates to install. That was enough I decided to un install this poor piece of software. The uninstall wouldn’t work, why because there was an update which of course then couldn’t install.
I searched the web and found that of course I was not the only one, several forums had advice going back to the first version and involving registry item removals with warnings that it must be the correct version.
I searched further and found a Microsoft Fix It for just this problem. Thankfully this ‘fix it’ worked and the last example of this rubbish anti virus has gone.

In the time it was in use it let in several Trojans, the Metropolitan Police Virus and allowed Security Essentials itself to be hijacked, the MSE interface itself very convincingly asking for money to fix problems.

Thank goodness for Avast and other decent Anti Virus Software that is Free and is Efficient. Also thank goodness for Linux, Android and Google for decent O/S. How much longer will Windows survive, I think they have lost their way. They have had their run of exploiting the public and calling the odds.

Australia to France on 630m

Those who know my blog will know that I am a fool, some on the 600m band called us who run QRP on the 600m Band fools and told us we would never get beyond our own garden fence, well how does a garden nearly 2000Km long sound to you, not bad aye.

It was also well known that despite running 100 Watts or more and full size dipoles on 600m there was no chance of ever reaching the Antipodes on 600m. So those who had the fortune of running such gear didn’t bother to try after Australian Hams were licensed for the band.

Well WSPR makes it to the Antipodes on 160m, why not give 630m a try, I suspect the F6CNI temporary Beverage antenna was used for 160m also.

From the WSPR Database there is little room for doubt that this event took place VK1DSH was on air at the time and receiving reports from as little as 8Km away.

2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 -2 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK4ZE QG62nl 940 584
2013-02-16 16:4 VK1DSH 0.475078 -9 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK7TW QE37pc 866 538
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 +15 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK1SV QF44mt 8 5
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 +2 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK2XGJ QF55jl 178 111
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475077 -6 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK3DB QF31dt 410 255
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 -13 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK5ABN/8 PG66wh 1946 1209
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 -29 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 F6CNI/BEVJN19qb 16832 10459
2013-02-16 16:44 VK1DSH 0.475078 -6 0 QF44ms +47 50.119 VK2CCJ QF56ma 230 143

What a wonderful band, I have seen more humble pie eaten re 600m than on any other band in all the years I have been licensed, the only fools are those who listen to those who think they know.
A friend who was a marine operator said with his 1500Watts on his ships he was lucky to be heard by the nearest port. How equipment and methods have improved.

The Zurich / Watson 25/30Amp 13.8V Power Supplies

Following my Previous posts I have had more mail re these PSU’s, GW4TOD has a problem with the Voltage leaping up intermittently which sounds very similar to my original problem. Hopefully we can help solve that one.

UPDATE

OK I have heard back from GW4TOD, his problem was indeed the Set Voltage Pot at fault. Now I know of another example I will warn that this is a common fault and a serious one at that. The over voltage could possibly do damage to equipment. I recommend either my 12Volt float battery system or Thyristor Crow Bar circuit across the output.

END

Really good news he has found the circuit diagrams for several versions of the supply, these will be very helpful. Thanks for passing them on.

They are available to download from me here:-

W25SM Circuit

W30AM Circuit

Watson W-30AM Power Supply-Chassis parts

Watson W-30AM Power Supply-Control board

Watson W-30AM Power Supply-Fan controller mods

WSPR’s slow brother WSPR15

I haven’t commented on WSPR15 previously as I hadn’t run it in TX mode I knew very well that my 474KHz Transverter would not be stable enough. JT91 is OK, JT92 is far too narrow and critical. WSPR15 is the same, what a fine mode it would be if this slowed down WSPR had the same tone spacing as WSPR2.

I think my Transverter set up would not be stable enough but I can do better.
My PIC WSPR system is very stable, with the new thermally separated PA I am sure it would be fine for 15 minute TX periods. But its Ham Radio, again it is fine for WSPR2, I delighted in using an LED as the Varicap for almost all my FSK designs, their characteristics are perfectly adequate for WSPR2 but not linear enough for WSPR15. I use second hand LED’s and many junk box bits in my construction, its fun, proper Ham stuff. I remember at the time of the first experiments, when WSPR was MEPT-JT, that many self appointed experts wrote up their opinions, “you will never be able to set the tones accurately enough with potentiometers, it won’t be stable long term”. Well I recently pulled my very first PIC generator from the junk box where it had been for several years connected it up and it works fine with no need for adjustment. With the fractional Hertz shifts of WSPR15 they may be right.

By the very little of use that JT9 modes and WSPR15 get on the air I suspect that many stations have problems. There are those stations with GPS and Rubidium locked DDS’s and Radios that can do it. Not every Ham wants such precision of frequency and timing. Yes it can be done with a dedicated DDS set up, but who wants to bother for the sake of trying it out a few times then abandoning it which seems to be the trend. I think its a shame that many ‘normal’ stations get excluded by this narrow to the extreme trend. It feeds the insults and jibes of “Black Box Machine Operators” that the Anti Data Mode Happy Hams throw around at every opportunity, heaven knows we don’t need to give them any ammunition.

Having said that G6AVK has a 10MHz GPS reference on his Transceiver and here are his first WSPR15 transmissions. Hmm, 2dB worse than I get him with WSPR2, definitely not worth the effort for QRP boys.:DD
Mind you it could be the 2 minute holes my WSPR2 transmissions have chopped in each signal.:DD Although most other reports are similarly down.

10W RF PA for my PIC WSPR TX

The G3XBM 472KHz 630m Transverter works very nicely, trouble is Transverters don’t last long for me in the shack, no I don’t blow them up, I just find them inconvenient. The Rig that drives it gets tied up, the level has to be set carefully so as not to overdrive, the computer needs to be on for WSPR use, the whole set up doesn’t meet the QRP criteria.

Fine if that’s the only way you can do it, but for real QRP, I have the home brew kit. Upping the PA to some 10W RF certainly extends the MF range, on MF with the antenna inefficiency this is still QRP.

Talking to G6AVK the other day I mentioned Electronics as an Art Form, I like to built neatly, some say who cares if it works, both arguments are valid.
I think this picture would make a nice RF site background / wallpaper.

Both pictures are large, Right Click and select View Image to view full size, I don’t mind you seeing the hairs on my coil formers.

When you find a design is stable and repeatable with some neat little features it would be silly to abandon it. This PA is based on the G3XBM one, I kept the relay less T/R switch option, in the final version, after this picture, I have changed the gate drive to make it more suitable to be driven by my PIC, QRSS, CW and Opera drive modules. Also the drive method is more fail safe.