For several years I have looked at 4m in the Es season. An ideal tool for examining propagation is none other than WSPR. What other mode would give me instant proper reports today during some antenna improvements I was making. I am using a simple 1/2 wave dipole home made and mounted in my loft. Go on ask the question, I bet it has gone through all our minds, “what is a 1/2 wave at 4m”? 2m you fool.
Today conditions were pretty flat and some of the regular TX stations were not around it seems, luckily M0NKA had left his WSPR capture running so when I raised the dipole as high as I could and re orientated it slightly I saw a 3 to 5dB increase is signal.
Additionally I had Spots from other usual spasmodically possible stations and one new Spot G6HSM at 172Km all with a genuine 5Watts except for G0MJI who needed 10W to get a Spot today but then he is 8Km further 😀
It is a pity there are not more stations willing to give 4m WSPR a try, it may be the lack of stations but it has always appeared to me that 4m is not influenced as much by Aircraft Scatter as 6m or 2m.
I have never used DX Clusters etc. ‘cheat lists’ to get my contacts and idea of conditions, shame there are not more active beacons on 4m. WSPR does the job of indicating the propagation from my QTH, for me. I hate the modern lack of SSB activity on the VHF bands until there is an opening then all the bellowers, some with affected procedure come up en mass and its dog eat dog and no one wants to work a fellow G station. When the band closes, off they go until someone blows the whistle again.
How many stations I wonder have been intimidated into not daring to use WSPR on 6m and up due to not wishing to be seen in “the wrong trousers”. Its such a pity that those who don’t understand are the most vocal, making statements about how much Doppler there will be on a 6Hz wide signal which must cause trouble. Fact is Aircraft Scatter does not generally have an adverse effect on WSPR. Aircraft Scatter can be made use of in a technical controlled manner using WSPR or Opera and there will always be fortuitous coincidental Scatter which produces results for minimally equipped stations.
Those who do not understand, need to understand that they must stop thinking in terms of AirScout for WSPR Aircraft Scatter. I have nothing against AirScout for the purpose it is intended, which is not WSPR, the very mention shows that the penny has not dropped for them, yet they set themselves up as expert commentators. One has to smile.