Friday, 23 November 2012

160m Opera

Just when I thought I wouldn't accomplish anything interesting this week because of work commitments an interesting bit of DX popped out of the bag.

Opera, which looks like a slightly clunkier version of WSPR, sits on my desktop. If tempted to turn it on I seem to end up on 14.065 because that's where everyone else is. So, this time I didn't - 1.836 MHz, 10 watts, and off down the garden for a cup of tea.

I pop back a bit later and there's a 2-way (heard and hearing, which Opera decorates with the label "QSO") with RX3DHR, in KO94ks. That's 2700 km, approximately, which beats my previous DX of just under 2000 km. Bear in mind all my QSOs are low power, if not strictly QRP.

Opera is worth a try if you like this sort of digital mode. It's all a bit low-tech in comparison with WSPR. The WSPR algorithm looks state-of-the-art. Opera's is a twist on QRSS CW so, as I write, the rig is being keyed by the soundcard sending an Opera beacon. Allegedly, the performance is beter than WSPR. I have yet to corroborate that - The consensus of opinion seems to be that it's about the same, but since far fewer souls spend their lives in Opera, WSPR gets far more DX because there are more people playing.

Could do with a few more on some bands though. 2m WSPR beaconing seems to be an inefficient way of warming the shack up...

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