Someone the other side of the world asked on a group if the ZEVS 82Hz transmission was still active, thinking there would be a flood of replies I left it to the others. After a couple of days it seemed everyone else was doing the same, so I fired up my VLF set up and took a look, a carrier of the usual strength was there. Its operational I replied.
There were some queries, ZEVS shows on G3ZJO’s Grabber from June 2016 but not elsewhere. I looked again live there was the line, on frequency. I then thought back to June 2016 when the Capture was left on screen. I went over to Windows7 at that time because K1JT’s latest WSJTX was not just crashing and failing to upload but locking up XP totally every time it was shut down. Naturally I did a test of the VLF set up on Win7 all looked normal. The Grabber screen had recorded the results.
This is what the capture looks like now (no carrier at 82Hz)
I investigated the line at 82Hz it was so convincing as the ZEVS carrier it showed changes as if from propagation, but there was no usual DATA ever, there were tones of several seconds length at times which I suspected coud be a new keying scheme. I went back to Windows XP the phantom ZEVS was not present.
So it seems my sound card when used on Win7 produces a weak carrier, where, bang on 82Hz. Cunningly produced to mislead the world.
From some research it seems that although there are Win7 drivers for the Delta44 sound card it will never perform correctly on Win7 and up. Increasingly software won’t work on XP anymore, so another expensive piece of kit bites the dust.
Tests of WSPR2 and Opera on 23cm indicate that excessive Aircraft Scatter and Rain cause decode fails, despite this, long periods of decodes are there to be had under normal Tropo conditions with QRP.
Beams being sharp and QRP has, as expected, meant usable Aircraft Reflections are super rare. Aircraft trails are strong though and it was decided that ISCAT may give some results.
Once again WSJTX-dev brought disappointments and non operative features. First tests brought almost one way results, just one decode of G6AVK at G3ZJO.
Then I found MSHV.
We both knew each other would be about today but my CQ was rather to look for MS signals, not seriously expecting reflections from my 2W, but then we can live in hope.
A 2way QSO resulted from my CQ.
The QSO was more despite Aircraft Scatter than via AS because there is a Tropo path.
Previously we had tested turning the G6AVK beam off the direct path and so display just Scattered signals, WSPR and OPERA can do nothing under these conditions. We had many successful contacts using Aircraft Scatter and ISCAT today including passing beam heading/elevation and comments.
There is no need for Air Scout or other software for this. I have been asking for some 20 years for skeds with those who know that they do not hear me on the VHF / UHF bands. Beam direct Tropo path or toward an Air Corridor between the two stations and wait for an Aircraft.
Once again I must say thank goodness for G6AVK the one station who can and will with enthusiasm try what may not work.
I expressed my attitude to experimentation this afternoon with “I will try reflecting 23cm off next doors plastic dustbin if you like”.
WSJTx dev has WSPR (only 2 not 15) on it, I suppose no one on the development team has a use for 15 so it is being forgotten. During my tests on MF I had my doubts about the advantage of WSPR15 over WSPR2 but by no means is the case proven.
“WSJTx 1.6 dev handles 1296MHz fine”. Now that will be nice, I installed it. But I run XP, do the developers test on XP ? During set up Test PTT locks in TX mode the only way out is to kill the program..
Despite a few foibles the thing works nicely on on 1296MHz displaying the reports correctly and producing an ALL WSPR log that works. Next day is when the problems start WSJTX.bin does not work. Other WSPR and WSJT software works OK still. Ah well shut down the computer, it wont, part way through close down the computer locks up and you have to crash it. Wanting to use WSJTX dev for tests I uninstalled the program WSJTX.bin does not get removed, after much struggling you can remove it and re install. Running the Program produces an error message ‘A File is Locked would you like to remove it’, say yes and nothing happens.
At computer close down after the first or re-install there is an odd period of blank screen, suspicious behavior.
So we have no version from the JT stable that runs 1296MHz WSPR on XP and sends usable reports to the Database.
Want to run WSPRx dev. on XP ? Here is how to do it.
Install at the beginning of the session, after use before you close the computer, uninstall WSJT dev.
Tomorrow re install.
As I say my activity on air is plagued by flaky software. I lost faith in JT stuff working properly years ago waiting for a few moths before gong to the next release. I found it a thankless task reporting the problems, things have not changed.
I am sure at some time I have had sensible results on 23cm WSPR. The problem of wrong tabulation of data I seem to remember was with WSPR2.
I have tried WSPR2.11 and that is the same as WSPRx.
151104 2244 1296.500000 Transmitting G3ZJO IO92 7
151105 1120 36 3 -1.01296.501503 G3ZJO IO92 33 0 1 0
151105 1128 36 3 -1.01296.501503 G3ZJO IO92 33 0 1 0
151105 1138 36 3 -1.11296.501503 G3ZJO IO92 33 0 1 0
Needless to say these Spots are not acceptable for the Database.
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There are an awful lot of Amateurs setting themselves up as programmers these days, my life on air and off is plagued with poorly written and buggy software.
Come on guys if you can’t do it, admit it and give up writing the stuff. Otherwise its not Rocket Science, it might be Amateur but that’s no excuse for amateurish.
It was only a matter of time before G6AVK got set up for 1296MHz again and he won the challenge to get some signals 2 way outside the county on 23cm.
2015-11-04 13:08 G3ZJO 1296.501599 -18 0 IO92ng 2 G6AVK JO01ho
I was amazed to find that WSPRx does not cope with 1296MHz. I told JT years ago that in the WSPR display field the data is Nomadic. That is it wanders about the display and is not aligned with the Labels above. I even gave him the code to cure it which I was using when I compiled WSPR for Linux, the advice was not appreciated.
Well not only has the 1296.501xxx wandered across into the DT column making the display look horrific, it does the same in ALL WSPR.txt so the Spots are not uploaded. I have to manually edit all reports by adding a [SPACE] between DT and Freq.
Lets make life even harder shall we.
I have done some local, arranged WSPR on 23cm it is most interesting for seeing Reflections from low flying Aircraft in the area which do not worry WSPR decodes much. I have recently been beaming South East, North, and North West to see if anyone wants to try and Spot my signal. It seems there should be quite a surge in 1296MHz activity judging by the number of this sg-lab range of Transverters 23cm Transverters
They are nicely designed and built.
I am using the dial frequency of 1296.500 if anyone want’s me to put my beam on them just drop me an e-mail. g3zjoATnptonDOTplusDOTnet
The South East heading of 125deg from here is sure to yield results soon.
We can’t all be wearing the wrong trousers can we Grommit ? I couldn’t display all the stations on one WSPR.net map so I had to do a paste job, can you see the join Ern ?
Conditions, flat, no forecast of extended Tropo or SporadicE. Two of the keen Es boys are absent. Not much chance of a report on 4m with just 5W and a loft dipole then aye lad ?
Well only 42 Spots today and best DX 221Km I think that’s well past Wensleydale.