WSPRing

What is the best hobby of all possible hobbies…that’s right AMATEUR RADIO!

After all these years I’m finally starting to dabble with the digital modes.  After an extended period of time (measured in years since they were first released) I finally bought a Signalink.  I picked up the Signalink USB at the local candy store, Amateur Electronic Supply.

What finally drove me to get the Signalink was learning about WSPR from a post on G4ILO’s site (http://www.g4ilo.com/wspr.html) that I came across while searching on some propagation topics.  This post led to some searches for more on WSPR which resulted in a bunch of information including this post on AA7EE’s site: The Awesomeness That Is The Signalink USB Sound Card Interface which clinched both the Signalink purchase and WSPR.

While there are a lot of ways in which to WSPR my current setup is the Signalink USB, an ICOM IC-718, my Cobra UltraLite Senior antenna, and a Dell Optiplex 760 running Windows 7.

After connecting the Signalink to the radio (using the 13-pin DIN cable that comes with the Signalink SLUSB13I for ICOM radios) and a USB connection to the PC the configuration for the WSPR 2.0 software was as follows:

WSPR Station Parameters

WSPR Station Parameters

Once configured and switched out of idle the WSPR software started to receive its first WSPRs at my station.

First WSPRs

With the confirmation that receive worked I dialed down the power and tuned up for transmit, moved the Tx fraction slider to 20%, and let the WSPR software take control.  After a wee bit my spots were showing up on the WSPR map:

First WSPRs 2

And the software has been WSPRing along now for over two hours:

First WSPRs 5

Including a WSPR station in Antarctica, OC3HHY:

First WSPRs 6

This is very cool!

Part of what make WSPR tick is time synchronization (+/- 1 second) with UTC. While there are many ways to accomplish this I’m using NISTIME 32.  Be sure to “Run as Administrator” if your not using an account with admin privileges in Windows 7 otherwise the app won’t be able to update the PC clock.

More information on WSPR is located at the WSPR site and the WSPRnet.

 

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2 responses to “WSPRing

  1. Very interesting! About how high is your antenna and how well do you like the performance of the antenna?
    I am very interested in the digital modes
    73 Shawn
    N3TEE

    • Shawn:

      The antenna I was using is a Cobra UltraLite Senior that is oriented north\south between trees with the ends at over 30 feet at the ends, sagging to 25 in the middle.

      I think that this antenna performs reasonably well for a multiband antenna. It’s certainly better than a G5RV that I had up some years ago.

      73,
      Tim
      KA9EAK

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