Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New WSPR / QRSS beacon kit

Hans Summers (G0UPL) and Steve Farthing (G0XAR) have recently begun selling a new kit for a QRPp (150mW) beacon that can generate Hellschreiber, various QRSS modes and best of all WSPR. Unlike the ones now sitting unused in a drawer in G4ILO's shack which have my details programmed in, the Ultimate QRSS Transmitter Kit has a user interface with an LCD panel that allows you to input your own callsign, locator and power output. This means it has resale value - when you get bored you can sell it on and the new owner can program it with his own details.

At the moment, kits are only available for the 30m, 40m and 80m bands, though they can also generate an audio signal that can be used to drive an SSB transmitter.

I asked Hans if they were going to offer a version for 20m, which has become one of the most popular WSPR bands. His reply was that the kits will actually work fine on any frequency between 1MHz and 20MHz, they just require a different crystal and different components in the low pass filter.

A 20m beacon for WSPR would need a 14.097MHz crystal. I searched my junkbox and couldn't find one. Nor could I find a source for one and having one specially made would be expensive. Perhaps if there is enough demand for a 20m version it will be worth Hans and Steve's while to have a batch made which will be cheaper.


Richard G3CWI said...

Hi Julian

I have just received my kit. Let me know if you want one built!



Roger G3XBM said...

What are you folks using for the WSPR timing reference? I'm looking for a companion kit with a GPS timing output, HI.

Roger G3XBM

Alex Hill said...

Mine is on order. If its not too tricky (and it certainly doesn't look like it) then I'll get hold of half a dozen or so for the Workington club for a construction evening(s).

Would be interested in constructing a gps timing reference that could be used as an add on

Alex, g7kse

Unknown said...

I use a radio-controlled clock or watch to start the beacon off, then the software starts a new cycle every n*2 minutes. I also have a GymBoss which can be modified to send a pulse rather than beep an alarm every x minutes.

A GPS reference sounds a nice idea but I can never get a fix from inside the house (or even near it) due I presume to the high level of RFI in the area. An MSF-based reference might work better.

Alex Hill said...

I got one from this company (http://www.pvelectronics.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2) for use with my Arduino. It works quite well be can take a minute or so to read the fix. Once working it is quite stable and very rarely loses the plot.

I suspect it'll quite a job to substitute the gps code for the msf code. A mountain for me but no doubt relatively easy for you clever chaps.


Unknown said...

Clever? Not me, guv. Once upon a time I used to be an ace at that sort of thing but now I leave it to someone else.

Julian, G4ILO

Unknown said...

Hi Julian,

inspired from your blogpost I bought one of theses QRSS Beacon Kit. I made a Video from building the kit. You can see it on Youtube in my channel DL2YMR.


Greetings from Germany,
Michael, DL2YMR