Monday, 24 October 2016

Observing my own 30m WSPR TX results last week(s)

I dare to have my WSPR W5OLF 1W transmitter almost on 24/7 with 18 minute TX intervals (still continues). It might be a interesting thing to analyse who received me and when. But I haven't got the time for it. Hoping for some new ones in my WSPR log, so far only one (9A2WB Croatia). Still nothing from south and central America, could it be they are not allowed on 30m digital? However some interesting reports in the morning did catch my eye. Those are the reports from the USA around 8-9 UTC. Most of the time just one spot, sometimes a couple of spots. It seems it is a different from normal path but excisting almost every day according to my log. PH0NO Lars did point me at some propagation predictor called Droidprop which is a app that installs on my android phone. I actually already installed the app but never used it before. Anyway, I predicted 30m on a particulair day I saw K4COD spotted me (just as a example so I have a locator).

Normally 30m opens late in the evening. But you see that one spot again on 8:10 UTC. Now what does the prediction say. I thought to use both Droidprop as VOACAP although they say the same. See that peak at 8 UTC? But it just is below 10MHz although there is a small possebility it could rise a bit. I discussed it with several operators because I think it is much more likely that it these spots are made on longpath.

Look at the prediction. The MUF goes beyond 10MHz, actually there is much more chance for a long path signal to travel to the USA over the day. But I haven't got a directional antenna on 30m and can't prove it. I'm not a expert either. Interesting to think about it just as a experiment.

The 1W WSPR TX is normally powered from my solarpowered battery in the garage but since it is in my shack now I connected it to a new homemade device. It's a mini switched power supply with over/under voltage protection. It gives a 4 Amps max with 13V output. Especially made to power my FT-817 at vacation as a conventional power supply was too heavy and too big. I'm testing the durability before I will take it with me. The small TX does a great job on it at least. I still want to change some minor things on it. So a review of the internals and test will be given later on on this blog.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Icom IC-7300 price drop

Lots of radioamateurs that don't want to spend all their money on their radiohobby are waiting for a expected price drop of the Icom IC-7300 including me. I know it's too early and the radio is still too new. But with a expected follow up SDR from Icom the IC-7610 I think the radio will be much cheaper. Price here in the Netherlands has dropped down with 30 euro, a new one will cost you 1339 euro now. I already saw the radio sold second hand on the dutch marktplaats (kind of eBay) for as much as 1150 euro for a 3 month old IC-7300. I think that's too much considering you can almost buy it new in the UK that price. Since the british pound has made a downfall compared to the euro it is now interesting to buy a IC-7300 in the UK I think. Several HAM stores in the UK sell it for 1049,95 GBP. Which is converted to euro 1160,55 and considerable cheaper as here in the Netherlands. Buying it via internet however is not interesting as you have to pay shipping and custom taxes importing the radio. But if you  dare to make a trip to England to get a few of these radios you can make some extra money or fund your own one . It's just a idea!

Update: It seems no problem to order one in the UK as you don't have to pay extra taxes within Europe. Thanks to some of my readers comments! So, this could really be interesting. Sorry for those living in the UK but I think it's just a matter of waiting till the british pound is dropping any further. You really can get a bargain out of this...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

WSPR DXCC active and needed

When starting with WSPR in 2009 I immidiatly got the  idea to see how many DXCC I could reach with only 1 Watt and a simple antenna. The ultimate goal of course is to reach 100 DXCC. Now, 7 years later I have not reached my goal yet. It seems not to be easy and it's not the propagation or my power. With only 1 Watt I can easily reach all the DX I want around the world even on longpath. I already have proof of that. The problem only is that there are not 100 DXCC on WSPR. That makes this list even more difficult compared to reaching 100 DXCC with 5W QRP or even with QRO. It's a matter of time, sometimes you see a "new" one in the activity list and then you have to be on WSPR and try just like I did last weekend. I'm not on WSPR every day 24/7 like some stations are. It certainly helps if I was. But I don't like the idea of having a WSPR system 24/7, that means you have the system online also when no one is at home and besides that it costs a lot of electricity. For me radio is just a hobby and I don't want to spend money to just keep a system on for just a few more DXCC on WSPR. Anyway, I kept a eye on the activity list and found some stations I need. Sometimes they are on, sometimes not. I still have 19 to go for 100 and I hope I will reach it before I have my 10 year anniversary on WSPR.

Stations seen in the activity list and needed:

C91PA (Mozambique), KP4MD (Puerto Rico last year, currently only seen on 2m/70cm), VR2UIF (Hong Kong), E51WL (North Cook Isl.), ZF1EJ (Cayman Isl. currently on 475KHz), YC0MLC (Indonesia). 

If I reached them all I would be on 87 DXCC.
Time to continue the hunt...