Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whispering over Christmas

I thought I would try to keep out of the shack over Christmas. Instead I decided to participate in the two day 40m QRP activity period organized by Late on Christmas Eve I set up my computer and K3 to transmit WSPR beacons on 40m with 500mw output using my MFJ magnetic loop. Apart from popping in from time to time to see what was happening I left it to it until late this evening when WSPR was brought to a halt by a poorly designed website.

The 200Hz-wide WSPR band was very busy, as the screen dump shows. My half watt signal to an attic antenna was spotted by 186 different stations. Best DX was: VK6POP (14706km), W8LIW (5779km) and W8ETO (5002km).

My station decoded signals from 176 different stations, not all of whom were running as little as half a watt. Best DX was VK5VCO (2w - 16357km), VK6BN (10w, 14704km) and W8DA (10w, 5806km). The furthest station running half a watt that I received was IK4GBU, at just over 1500km. I guess this shows the impact of my noisy location on my ability to decode weak signals, since others were copying my half watt signal from much further away.

I spotted, and was spotted by, two of my fellow ham radio bloggers: PC4T and PE4BAS.

The best DX occurred on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day evening. On Christmas Day evening at the same time only European stations running more than half a watt were showing up. The solar flux was unchanged but the A index jumped to 5 at that time, and the K index also rose. I wonder if this was the cause?

1 comment:

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hi Julian, great to spot you last 2 christmas days. You made some nice DX. It is still amazing a 500mW can travel as far as Australia only transmitted from a indoor antenna.

73, Bas