G4ILO's blog

Why I'm not WSPRing much these days

When I first discovered WSPR I had an initial burst of great enthusiasm for it. I still think it is a great mode. It is fun to see how far signals usng low power or a very small antenna can be received.

But I have really lost most of my enthusiasm for actually using WSPR these days. Why? Because virtually all of the activity is concentrated on 30m, to the extent that there often isn't a sufficiently large number of stations monitoring any other band to guarantee the chance of a report.

I supported, indeed was involved in the inception of the idea of special activity days on other bands. These have been pretty successful in encouraging more stations to use other bands. But the rest of the time everyone goes back to 30m. Why? Personally I'm bored with getting the same old reports from the same old places on the same old band. There is nothing new to do on 30m as far as I am concerned.

Eee PC SMPSU noise

One disadvantage to using the Eee PC as an WSPR station - apart from the flakiness of its Linux OS - is that its power supply is a switched mode wall wart of the worst sort, a wideband noise and wandering warble generator. It's made in China and is rated at 9.15V 2.3A output. I don't suppose it will be easy to find a noise free alternative.

WSPR for Asus Eee PC

In response to popular request I have made my compiled binary version of WSPR for Linux available. The program has been compiled on Xandros Linux similar to that used by Asus on the Eee PC. The user interface has been optimized so that it fits the 800 x 480 display of the original Eee PC, which I own. Some of the fonts have also been changed so that they are easier to read.

Compiling WSPR for Linux

I have just succeeded in compiling WSPR for Linux. Hurrah! I feel like someone who has been lost in the jungle for two days and has just staggered out into the daylight, bruised and scratched but happy at what I achieved. But the experience is the ultimate proof that Linux will never succeed as an operating system, except as a plaything for computer hobbyists. It has taken me several hours to achieve what Windows users could do in about one minute and a few mouse clicks.

First signals from WSPR on the Eee PC

Soon after I got interested in WSPR, I was interested in the idea of running it on my Asus Eee PC netbook. Partly because running a desktop PC and an Elecraft K3/100 all day was consuming a lot of power just to generate a 1W signal. And partly because in any case, I was interested in using WSPR to test the effectiveness of some portable antennas, which needs to be done out of doors.

Comparing 20m dipole and magnetic loop

Did an interesting test today to compare the performance of my 20m multiband dipole and my MFJ magnetic loop. Both are in the attic of my very small detached house, the dipole is in the apex at a height of about 8m above ground.

New article about WSPR

I have written an article about WSPR and how to get started. I thought I'd do it while it was fresh in my mind!

Just got started using WSPR

Just got started using WSPR, after it was mentioned to me in an email from a fellow Elecraft user, Trevor, G0KTN.

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