For such a simple software, WSPR has proven to be quite addicting over the past few days. Last night, I just decided to leave it in “listen” mode, and give my HF rig a break! Not that it needs one, but I’m allowed to baby my equipment aren’t I? 🙂
The results were quite impressive for just a simple piece of wire hanging in the air:
So I say to you hams who are living in apartments, or condos, or any other place it may be difficult to erect an antenna, it’s still possible to have fun on HF even with a piece of wire!
WSJT-X software allows you to automatically select different bands throughout the day/night, and even during grayline propagation. As of recent, I had a ham contact me and see if I could pickup his 630m signal in Oklahoma, sure enough, I could! I had no clue about the 630m & 2200m bands until he contacted me, then I looked into it a little further, and holy smokes! Have you seen the amount of wire required to erect an antenna for one of those bands? It was interesting to read about nonetheless. WSPR mode is great though, because it can be a set it and forget it mode. I let it run overnight, and check it in the morning on my way out. I’m thrilled when I see an international contact in there, Japan, Australia, U.K., Germany, and so many others!
I foresee myself using WSPR a lot more in the future, and have been considering using an arduino type project as a WSPR beacon. I’d rather save my HF rig for other uses if I can rig a cheap alternative to send out the 5w signal (or less).
One thing I am concerned of as of late is that the 590SG didn’t come with that SO-3 crystal oscillator thingymajigger that everyone recommends in the 590 Yahoo Group. Apparently it’s supposed to prevent your rig from drifting when using digital modes that transmit for long periods like the ones I use do. I’m not sure how to see if I’ve been drifting though, when I check my WSPR receive reports, I rarely see a drift in my stats. But, just as you guessed, there are folks who say that the SG has “none” to “very little if any at all” drift as a stock radio.
I hope those in the Northeast are bundled up for this upcoming blizzard. News reports say it’s going to be an “epic” blizzard. Please heed their warning!