n0udm's blog

I found a nice QRP WSPR transmitter online from Zachtek.com and ordered the mid-range model that covers 17, 20, 30 and 40 meters. Output is a reasonable 200mW on all bands and I am running it into a converted vertical antenna over a few buried ground radials (I plan to add more radials soon) and am pretty pleased with the results. I have worked all four bands on and off the last couple of days and seem to get consistent results from Hawaii to the East Coast and up into Canada pretty reliably.

I've been perusing the maps of my spots and over the last year or so, since I have been paying any attention to it, anyway, there is a definite lack of spots from here in the northerly direction. There could be a couple of different explanations for that, however. It is entirely possible that there are no other WSPR transmitters or receivers in the area over North and South Dakota and the empty spaces in that part of Canada.

While visiting friends out in the country, I noticed an old vertical antenna stacked with some plastic pipe and managed to talk them out of it. They were happy to get rid of another piece of scrap and I have a plan for t, already. Originally made for use on 11 meters, I realized it should be simple enough to convert it to work on 10 meters and maybe even tune it for 20 meters, so I began working on it. The mast itself had at some time been replaced with galvanized electrical conduit, which was corroded, so that will be removed and replaced with 3/4 inch copper pipe of the correct length.

So, I recently reworked my 'snake' antenna that is merely about 600 feet of two pair armored telephone cable. I terminated it by wrapping it onto the top wire of a barbed wire fence down by the road and drive it at 1 watt from a Yaesu FT-890 with an on board tuner. I didn't expect much, but am pleased that it produces better results than a handful of Hamstick verticals mounted on the house. Next, I'll probably try to use that wire on the ground to work FT4 and FT8. Nothing to lose, I guess.

I have been active on WSPR for a couple years, but have just recently found the time to sit down and do it right. My shack is in the mountains of Colorado, USA, at an elevation of 8,064 feet above sea level. I have lately been using a Yaesu FT-890 as my WSPR rig, since I can adjust the output power down to a QRP level. I have recently also discovered that the antenna I rigged up to try to communicate locally on HF -- a one mile barbed wire fence, fed with about 600 feet of old 4 pair armored telephone cable that was left here on the property some 22 years ago.