G4FUI's blog


Spots uploaded from me from 0724 through to 0900 this morning (Sept 7th) had incorrect band data.

They were reported as 80m but were in fact 30m spots.

Apologies once again :(

Martin - G4FUI

Today, I think for the first time, I have unleashed one of my "old ladies" into WSPR action.

The "old lady" I am referring to is an FT-101ZD Mk3 which I brought back from the dead a few years ago. An EBay "tech special" in US terminology, or "spares or repair" in terms of UK terminology.

This features on my web site (www.g4fui.net) so I won't repeat too much I have already covered elsewhere, but I think I have proved to myself, at least that these old radios can, with care be used reasonably successfully on today's modern computer-generated modes.

I have been spotting stations with this radio for a couple of days, and today, I enabled transmission and others have spotted me.

The principal disadvantage with the older radios is that of frequency stability, or rather the lack of it.

On my "to do" list for this radio is to (hopefully) improve this facet, probably by replacing the zener diode based voltage stabiliser to the VFO with something of somewhat higher specification (eg low-dropout IC regulator, or similar) as this is where I think the thermal stability weakness lies with this particular radio.

However, having allowed the radio to warm up for some considerable time (four hours) the case temperature of the radio is still gradually increasing but at a very gentle rate. Yesterday the case temperature crept up ALL DAY, as did the VFO frequency error!

Nevertheless, I regard the performance as just about good enough for me to join in the WSPR fun. The results will be stashed away in a spreadsheet on my PC and used in a "before" and "after" type comparison once I decide to tackle the thermal stability issue.

In the meantime if any other WSPRers are wondering why their "drift" as received at G4FUI isn't quite as good as they think it ought to be, then the above hopefully provides some sort of explanation!

Well here in the Northwest corner of England we are experiencing probably the first spell of very snowy weather since (by my reckoning anyway) 1996.

I think we have about seven inches (18cm) of level snow, and thankfully there hasn't been any wind to whip it up into deep drifts.

No big deal. However ... Not good for loft-mounted antennae!

There appears to be about 3 to 4 inches of snow lying on my roof.

All the rage here are "LED" Christmas lights with "wall wart" power supplies with some fancy electronics to produce an amazing variety of light switching sequences.

In my neighbourhood "Light Wars" broke out earlier in the Christmas season - everyone seemingly trying to outdo everyone else with the brilliance of their festive displays.

Outdoor arrays seem to make pretty reasonable TX antennae.

Not good news for the poor QRPp WhiSPeRer :( I reckon my noise floor has risen by 3 to 6dB!

Hey Ho, c'est la vie!

... and probably what gets people hooked on QRPp ?

For the first time since I discovered this mode of operation I found myself at home in the morning with a mind to switch on the radio and play. A Saturday morning with the whole weekend stretching away into the distance, and all this after a particularly hectic week at work.

Unlike last Thursday when I forgot about the "20m Activity Day" until it was really too late, I remembered good old WSPR and fired the system up on 30m and left it going.

Hello all.

I discovered this web site and mode via a link from the "PSK Reporter" part of the ever-improving Ham Radio Deluxe suite of programs.

Having been interested in propagation since I was a teenager, 30+ years ago I am finding this mode right up my street.

At the time of writing the difficulty for me is to ensure that I can generate WSPR signals at an acceptably accurate power level (I have opted for half a watt) whilst still providing reliable triggering of my transmitter.