Shhhhhh…

Posted by in Antennae

I discovered WSPR!

I was reading an article in the June 2017 issue of the RSGB’s RadCon magazine about the WSPRLite from SotaBeams (http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wsprlite) and thought, ‘That’s pretty neat… and affordable!’, so I ordered the SotaBeams WSPRLite from DX Engineering. A few days later the WSPRLite arrived.

Setting up the WSPRLite was not without some problems. The problems had absolutely nothing to do with the WSPRLite itself or its configuration software but due to:

  • My MacPro was one of the victim MacBooks which can not handle the required SiLabs USB Driver (a known issue).
  • The USB cable I was using on my Windows PC was funky.

Once I used a better quality USB cable, I was on my way to my new WSPR adventures. The configuration of the WSPRLite was extremely simple and straightforward. Almost immediately, I could see my 20m signal being received to the north of me in the Los Angeles area. I was a happy camper!

I decided to sacrifice my Ham activities and let the beacon run for a few days (I only have one HF antenna). This morning, I collected all the beacon data and images from both WSPRNet.org and DXplorer.net and re-started the beacon for the 30m band. I will let this beacon run for another few days until I have collected an equivalent amount of sample data as I have for the 20m tests.

While the new 30m beacon is running, I will use that time to assimilate the information and write a quick and dirty program to manipulate and analyze the data as well as generate a web feed of my data so that I may publish it on this web site.

I am so pleased with the simplicity of the WSPRLite unit, I want to now order the SotaBeams Low pass filter kit so that I can analyze the 40m band (my HF antenna’s top ‘advertised’ band is 40m). I would really like to be able to run WSPR on my 6m antenna but the WSPRLite is not engineered to handle that band which means I will have to find a different method to run WSPR on 6m.

In the mean time, stay tuned… my WSPR data should be available on this website soon!