WSPRing is addictive

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 8:29 am in

WSPR on 2m

WSPR on 2m

Like the mermaid calling the sailor, this mode called WSPR seems to be calling me back every time. Circumstances pushed me out of the house into my new outside semi-underground shack which made me QRT for a while while I was painting and renovating, but the first thing I did (after making the few compulsary voice contacts on 40m) was to set up my WSPR station again.

But this time it came with a different urgency. After getting the basics right and decoding a few stations on 10m (wow the bands are lively!) I tried 6m. My antenna isn’t very good but what the heck the Flex-1500 can go there. No decodes. Can it go higher? Nope, that is the highest frequency the Flex will do.

Thus out comes the old trusty Yaesu FT-857D, still a remarkable and reliable radio after so many years, a true benchmark model to compare against. The G4ZLP modem is also the best money I ever spent for first-time-lucky set-ups. But oh dear, nobody on 6m (lots on 10m), so we tune up to 2 meters on a nice vertical. Still no decides, sigh. After reading a bit more, it seems like not a lot of people are WSPRing on 2m and so I posted in the SARL forum as well for some help. Tropo ducting is rife at the coast and my always-opportunistic self decides to make 2m a priority.

As of this morning my station is QRV on 144.489MHz (dial setting) and I’m in and out of the shack doing chores while thinking about the next step. I’m going to have to wake-up shake-up some rusty old hams to participate otherwise I’ll get no spots. I’ll keep you posted.

P.S. the upshot of this all is that I spoke to the minister of home affairs about how far we can bend the budget and she agreed that we have enough to buy one of Hans Summers’ Ultimate U3S QRP kits. I’m so excited I can eat raw popcorn!