Saturday, 10 November 2012

WSPR on 40 metres

A half an hour this afternoon, and the arrival of an Elecraft T1 (portable automatic ATU) prompted a little play - I threw a piece of wire out of the shack, over a drainpipe, connected the other half to a metal washing line post, connected up the 817, dropped it onto 40m, tuned it (4 seconds) and started up WSPR.

Running about 5W for the moment, the only mistake I made was to forget to set the mode to DIG (Yaesu rigs only take the audio input from the rear connector in this mode - it you're in USB the input comes from the MIC)

Quite pleasing after a few minutes to see a bit of "DX" arriving. The plot above is after about 15 minutes of operation this afternoon. The 10m plot at G4ILO looks distinctly tastier...:-(

The T1 tunes very quickly, quietly and efficiently. It's a lot less trouble than my old ZM3 Z-Match, which worked well, but I was always suspicious of losses, particularly above 18 megs. To tune, one presses a button for a bit, then transmits - there's a visual indication of SWR on the top. Next time round (because I bought the swanky 817 lead) as you change bands a light flashes to say it's restored the last set of settings. It uses no power once it's latched.

I had to get it from in Germany. I've dealt with them before - no import duty, pretty quick despatch. I couldn't find a UK dealer with them- so the hobby is *that* bad then?

I toyed with making one, but the prospect of winding coils threw me into a fit of buy-it-assembled. The other fear I have is of surface mount stuff. I have done ONE SMT before - the k1el keyer, IIRC. It wasn't that bad, but I remember getting into a sweat beforehand.

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