KD6RF's blog

For those times when you're without access to network time or a GPS unit.......

This small program allows you to listen to the radio, click a button when you hear other’s start to transmit, and zero your PC or Laptop’s clock to the nearest minute or even-minute. This procedure usually gets you close enough to start decoding and making contacts.

You may find that you can get closer to “real” zero by clicking a second or 2 early on the next go-around, as it seems that most transmissions start a bit after the minute.

From FB:

"I am finding I may be in some sort of login limbo on the website. My email & call are registered but I cant login. When I try a lost password procedure, I am told my email & call are not registered. So I try to register, only to be told my email & call are registered already. Could you connect me to someone that could help me out please? Thanks W6ORV"

WSPR is so cool that it is (but is becoming "was") my favorite mode.

Real propagation science is done, real antenna measurements are made. A quick place to look to see if a path is open to a DX location. A great way for city-bound or HOA-limited hams to see real world-wide contacts.

And, it is (or was) a nice place to recommend for newb's as well as a place to re-invigorate interest for the old-school ham.

I've also received some emails, as well as noted some forum posts, regarding folks who have completed the registration forms, but are still waiting for some sort of action.

I see KF5RHI and KF5RRF, as well as some others down lower on the front page here.

I/they are also looking for someone to contact to get their ball rolling, but don't see any contact info to help them out. Help!

2 Meter WSPR activity now comes to Texas - We will be running our WSPR stations Sundays and Mondays, so join us if you can in the East Texas (and general ArkLaTex) areas on 2 Meter WSPR!

Myself (KD6RF) in Gilmer Texas and Jim WB5WPA in the Allen (Dallas) Texas area, have been making the link on a regular basis - a 150 kM distance, all using low power and modest antennas. Last weekend, Christopher KF5KAX also joined us for some good "spots".

2 Meter WSPR activity has been happening daily for years in the California area (and elsewhere!) and I was happy to be a part of that effort when I lived there in the Bay Area. You can read of their exploits, as well as other VHF and UHF WSPR activity here ----> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/2-meter-wspr

I decided to do some low power runs, after chatting with some new friends on this site.
It's always amazing to see what low power (and good band conditions) can do!

TX setup is an IC706MKIIG turned down all the way to 1.4 Watts, fed to the tuner/antenna through a "green" 5X (voltage) Tektronix attenuator.

This gives us 1.4Watts/(5^2) = 0.056 Watts.

With this 56 milliWatts, here are some of the results:

Antenna - Inverted L, 80 ft, parallel LC to "resonate" on both 160M/80M, trapped for 40M, metal fence ground, total cable/tuner loss < 1.5 dB over full 3 bands.

About 45 ft is vertical, the remaining 35 ft horizontal, suspended between 2 trees.

The base parallel LC achieves simultaneous resonance on both 160M and 80M. Note that there is nothing magic about "resonance" - it's only purpose is to reduce the in-band SWR in order to reduce the feedline loss to below 1 dB over the entire 160M and 80M bands.

Interesting contact from transmitter K9AN to receiver KD6RF, 10 Meters, on 2014-09-18 13:06 ---->

2014-09-18 13:06 K9AN 28.126167 -27 -1 EN50wc 2 KD6RF EM22 1050 218

Propagation on CONUS for some time before and after the above time was nil - I saw only US/Europe contacts for hours before and after the above spot time.

In addition, K9AN shows doppler 3 Hz low in frequency, and with a -1 drift. K9AN is, I believe, GPS locked, and KD6RF is rubidium locked, so the frequencies are likely accurate.

Occasionally, I like to head out in the truck and run JT65, or even let WSPR run a while from some remote or hilltop location.

The laptop I use for mobile op happens to have a pretty crummy clock – it can easily loose several seconds per day. (Of course this is not a problem when at home and connected to the net – I use Dimension4 to keep clock synch.) I imagine that the internal clock in many laptops suffers from this same problem – and as you know this makes any type of timed operation difficult or impossible when mobile.

To address this issue, I made a little windoze app that synchronizes the laptop clock to “0” seconds when a button is clicked. - See attached image...

One button syncs to the current second - I use it for JT65 operation – listen for when everyone else starts TXing, click the “Zero to CURRENT Minute” button, and next time around JT65 will be close enough to decode and be decoded.

The other button syncs to an even second – I use it for WSPR operation - listen for when everyone else starts TXing, click the “Zero to EVEN Minute” button, and next time around WSPR will be close enough to decode and be decoded.

Both functions work quite well, but as you can imagine, it’s not hard to be “off” by an integer minute or a few integer minutes. This doesn’t really matter for JT65. But for WSPR, this will put good decodes, but possibly with the wrong minute value, into the WSPR database. In fact, the decodes shown in the attached screenshot are in the WSPR database, but are 2 minutes off – bad me!

I am thinking of releasing the app for download. Mobile JT65 and WSPR is fun. I have no problem releasing the JT65 version – being off a minute or 2 is not an issue. But, if I do release this little app with the WSPR “Zero to EVEN Minute” button, then eventually bad times are going to end up in the data base. Probably not many, but it will happen.