Monday, 2 May 2016

More WSPRing...

While the propagation doesn't seem to be getting any better, and given the place we are in this solar cycle, I doubt it will, the bands were not too bad yesterday.

I had a few good PSK31 contacts into Europe yesterday afternoon which did surprise me, but their signals were pretty solid on the waterfall.   Once I had worked everyone I could I switched over and tried WSPR for a while.

Here's the results....

This was 20m at 1430 UTC.  500Mw using my 148' inverted L longwire antenna.

This was 17m at 1638 UTC - using the same antenna and power setting as above.

Given our position in this dying solar cycle, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch on WSPR - and see just what we can do with low power communications when we get to the solar minimum.   I believe this will be the first one that WSPR will be available for.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Lonely Tonight......

I thought I would do a bit of 20m WSPR tonight before supper.  So, I set things up and went off to eat.  I came back about 40 minutes later and here's what I found....

Yep, that's it.  One very lonely contact.  I have never seen 20m so empty as tonight.   Oh well, there's always tomorrow....

Monday, 18 April 2016

Monday....and WSPR

It's no secret that band conditions have not been very good for the past couple of weeks.  This seems to be a combination of the decline of Solar Cycle 24, and solar storms causing poor propagation across the board.

So, after doing pretty poorly over the weekend on the Ontario QSO Party, I decided to see just how bad the conditions were today using WSPR.

Below you can see the results of my efforts.  This was done at 500mw and using my 148' inverted L long wire which is up at 50'.

Things don't look too bad today......

40m at 0046 UTC, April 18th.

20m at 1336 UTC, April 18th.

It was great to see VY0ERC on the air from Eureka, Nunavut.  I was at Eureka for three summers while I was flying on Chinooks with 450 Squadron back in the 1980's.  Lot's of good memories from up there at "Fort Eureka"....

VY0ERC is the station call of the Eureka Amateur Radio Club, now proudly claiming to be the most northerly ham club in the world.  

Monday, 11 April 2016

This and That......

Not much going on in the VE3CLQ shack these past few weeks, getting over another bout of Kidney stones and generally just not feeling too ham radio has suffered.

I have built a new 4:1 Balun for the 31' vertical in order to be ready for the first portable operating session of the year, this coming Saturday on Fort Henry Hill.   Long time readers will remember that operating on Fort Henry Hill used to happen on a regular basis until a few years ago when the new interpretive centre opened on the Hill, and the dozens of inter-active plasma displays installed there caused the background noise to go from S0 to S9+ overnight.

That interpretive centre and displays cost the tax payers in excess of $20, three years later the noise has gone away as the plasma displays have all failed and have been quietly removed.

Next Saturday is forecast to be sunny with 15C, a welcome change from the crap weather we have been having over the past month.

So I'm going to blow the cobwebs off the gear and see what we can do from the Hill.  Hopefully the propagation will cooperate, although I doubt it will given what has been going on with it for the past few weeks.

Next month is shaping up to be pretty busy so far, with at least two island activations on the books, but more about them later.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Lots of fun over the Easter Weekend taking part in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest.  It seemed to me that participation was down this year, perhaps due to being held over Easter?

The propagation was also not the best.  The numbers were: SFI=85.  SN=25.  A Index=7, and the K Index=1.  I guess as we get close to the bottom of the cycle we can expect to see more and more poor to non-existent propagation.

There did not seem to be very many "new ones" on the air, but I did manage to put one new country in the log, I managed to work a station in Palestine, never heard them on the air before.  Other than that it was nothing too special.  There was lots of some pretty deep QSB on some of the bands which caused some issues.

Now it's time to do the annual maintenance on the antennas and get ready for the Ontario QSO Party coming up next month.  I also have a couple of island activation planned for May, can't wait to get out and start operating portable with no snow on the ground....