Weak Signals and More!

26 Apr

I have been abducted by the Siren Song of WSPR. Saturday morning I finally got around to reading about this latest iteration of K1JT’s weak signal protocol and downloaded it for fun. I warn you now-if you are short on self control don’t do it! It is very addictive and opens a lot of possibilities. Besides that, it is just plain fun.

What follows is a screen shot of my system running in Receive Only. I have yet to transmit as I get goosey about turning my big Icom over to a computer with transmit control while I am not watching it. However, so far it seems to run in receive just fine.

WSPR Console @ W7MAP/5

WSPR Console @ W7MAP/5

So far I have only tried to use this system on 30 Meters. That appears to be where most of the participants are centered. However, I would like to use the data from this system to validate VOACAP forecast models by comparing actual data via WSPR to forecast data from VOACAP or ICEPAC. The root of an interesting project is forming in my pea brain.

Instead of tying up my normal “Big” radio I am now thinking about finding a used QRP 2 mode, three band rig and using it with my R-7 which I will need to take apart and repair, clean and re erect on the other side of my home. I would also need to find a low power laptop (Net Appliance?) and a suitable place to leave it setup and running off of a gel cell. All of this smacks of a time consuming project as  I will try to do this on the cheap. But time I have and shopping I can do. Rome wasn’t constructed overnight.

I am not positive I could do much analysis of actual vs forecast for more than a single point to point (as in my daily schedule for Morse Practice) but it will be fun trying. Developing methods that could be applied to any generic path or patch of geography would be fun. At least finding a way to improve or reduce VOACAP’s forecasting errors would be helpful as it seems VOACAP is generous at times. Anything that improves reliability in Sunspot times like these is helpful. And what a wonderful platform for learning!

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W7MAP/5

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Posted by on April 26, 2009 in Radio


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