Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WSPR'ing on 20 Meters

WSPR Stations heard here
I decided to run a bit of WSPR on 20 meters today and the results were far from spectacular. Having an indoor antenna set up for that band yielded the following results. I'm still trying to get a grip on propagation paths here. But in looking at space weather websites like Solarham, I saw that there was some geomagnetic activity that may have effected what I could hear (or could not). To get an accurate estimation on propagation paths here, I need to look at signal reports over several days while looking at solar conditions. My main test was on 20 meters as I tend to spend a bit more time on that band than any of the others. It was also the band I had my Buddipole set up for.

WSPR 12 Hour Map
When I look at my station specifically over the course of 12 hours on WSPRnet, I got a visual perspective of the stations I was hearing. I was only receiving, and of course, propagation data needs stations transmitting as well as receiving. I also need to transmit my QRP signal to get the full picture as well. I plan to do that when I'm around the shack and most likely during the evenings or weekends. I also want to experiment with a few other bands.

All 20 meter activity in the same 12 hours
And in speaking of the big picture, I look at all the stations that were on 20 meters during that same 12 hours. I see several hops outside of the USA by those stations sending and receiving. Not seeing any DX in my world, but in following propagation paths and the sun, I did not expect to hear much outside our borders anyhow. I would imagine DX for me would be more of an afternoon / evening experience considering my set-up. I'll be curious to see how even an outdoor end fed antenna will help in my propagation experience result. I have a few friends I want to work on various modes and this will help me understand the best band and time to be successful on any future QSO attempts. With a beam and some moderate height, you can defy some challenging propagation. But when you are running as I am, an indoor antenna and QRP, it helps me to know what I'm up against. When you study for a test, you will more times than not, get a better grade. I'm studying...  

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