Sunday, 18 November 2012

Why WSPR is so interesting

I'm beginning to realise why a lot of us post WSPR screenshots. Basically, WSPR breaks all the rules that you and I have been taught about dx, antenna systems and power.

When I read the received wisdom about "DXing", it tells me that I need to have a Very High Antenna. My RF-oriented friends will tell me that I need to use Power

I know we're on the top of a sunspot cycle, but regular readers will realise that I am deliberately hobbling myself here: my WSPR 10m setup is an 817 running 500 mW, and a bit (I mean a bit) of wire, draped carelessly over a shed end, with a few metres in free space. It gets up about 2.5m at the highest point.

Hence my surprise this morning to discover, after its first TX cycle, that VK2UB is hearing me. I am, well, gobsmacked. VK2UB is on the eastern edge of Australia, 16,800 km from M0DEV.

One of the things WSPR is teaching me is that propagation matters far more than I ever thought before. When a band is "open", there is absolutely no need for Power. QRM apart, the connections just work, like VK2UB above, and a session on 2m with G4VXE a few days ago, when milliwatts did 140km on 2m. When it's closed, it's closed.

I'm almost thinking of "Power" as trying to force something that isn't going to go. It's not really a solution.

I think that's an argument for QRP. Oh, and a nice email from eqsl to tell me that they have enabled JT9 as a mode :-)

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