Who's transmitting where now?

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N6KK
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Joined: 2008/04/18 - 05:51
Who's transmitting where now?

It seems to me it would be very useful to have an easy way to determine what frequency particular stations are currently WSPRing on. Something other than just announcing on the chat/sked page where such announcements tend to scroll away or get lost in the general chit-chat. I believe the spots log file has a line that gives transmit status, but I don't know if the transmit status is passed in WSPR automated spot uploads. It seems like transmit status could be parsed and presented in a web page that is updated every few minutes with what station is transmitting where (along with grid, power, and whatever else seems useful). A map with current WSPR transmitter locations would be very helpful.

I think there would be several benefits:

1) Help avoid WSPRing into the wind (i.e., one station transmitting on a band and no one listening). I think I'm doing this right now on 50 MHz, but I can't be sure.

2) Encourage people to spread the WSPR beacons out, both in frequency and geography. Currently there seems to be many 10 MHz beacons clustered in relatively small geographic areas, and as WSPR becomes more popular this problem will become more acute. If people notice that there are already a dozen stations on 10 MHz in their immediate area, perhaps they will try another band even if there doesn't appear to be any propagation on that band at the moment. WSPR enables propagation investigation and discovery, but we need a critical mass of beacons to do the investigation, particularly on the low/high bands. I'm encouraged to see the 1.8 MHz activity, and will start monitoring tonight!

I've mentioned this idea to Bruce and he graciously said he'd look into it. It would obviously take a considerable amount of work on his part (and perhaps mods to WSPR) to make it happen. If the community doesn't think it would be valuable then he shouldn't spend his valuable time implementing it. On the other hand, if the community gets behind it, he may encouraged to give it a go :-)

So, what do you guys think?

joe n6kk