WSPR in 2015

I haven’t done much with my amateur radio kit over the last year but I’ve been wondering what software is compatible with Windows 10 and what isn’t.  This bank holiday weekend I decided to get WSPR up and running and see what the propagation was like on 20M.  WSPR Build 3617 installed with no issues on Windows 10 and I was up and running in a few minutes with my FT-897D.



Its great to know  you can be heard from Canada and Japan from a £15 antenna mounted in a loft.  I really should use the FT-817ND more and cut down to 2.5 watts or even .5 watts and then see how far I get.



I haven’t played around with WSPR for a while, so this morning while I was revising for my Intermediate Exam I thought I’d leave WSPR running on 20M.  I’m much more comfortable with the Yaesu FT-817ND and LDG Z-817 autotuner now, and understand the differences between long and short button presses, so I am able to keep my SWR ald ALC nice and low.

The only issue I am having is getting the RX noise dB correct.  On the WSPR chat page people have told me it should be as close to 0dB as possible, but the only way I can close is to turn the RX down on my SignaLink USB and when I do that I don’t hear anyone. If I have it around 25, I hear plenty, but the RX Noise bar is red!  Anyway take a look at the propagation map for this morning.

I think the next digital mode I’m going to look at is JT65A.  From the little I have read about this, it seems like another WSPR-like piece of software.



I’ve been playing around with WSPR over the last few evenings with my new Yaesu FT-817ND.  WSPR stands for Weak Signal Propagation Reporter.  You basically send low power signals out over HF and some software on another persons computer picks these signals up and decodes them so you can see how far your signals getting. I’ve finally made my first trans-Atlantic contact.  Station W3HH in Florida could hear my transmissions at 5W from the UK.

It took me quite a bit of reading to get WSPR setup correctly, so I thought I’d write a blog post on how to do it in the future.  Some of the options and settings you need to choose for both the software on the computer and the radio were difficult to work out.