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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle

J.C. van oosten (PA0O) on March 24, 2011
Website: http://pa0o-jaap.blogspot.com/2011/03/run-your-radio-as-wspr-beacon-when-not.html
View comments about this article!

Maybe I am not telling you any news but this WSPR system is a real genius system.
Easy to set up. It needs a PC + internet for time synchronization and logging in the WSPR database.
If a Transceiver already is used for data RTTY / PSK it is practical ready to be a WSPR beacon.
It uses the same audio CAT connections.
WSPR is a full automatic multi band beacon TX and RX system that uses very low power and very small frequency resources.
More information at: http://wsprnet.org/drupal/

I have always been active in CW and other non PC related communication. But this WSPR is just to good and simple not to be used when your radio station

is idle.
1W power would be enough in a simple GP f.i. to run a WSPR beacon that will be reported over the Globe!

I am running my station as WSPR beacon when away QRL or doing something else. I simply do not understand why a lot of DX-rs do not make use of this GREAT! beacon system.

I get reports from VK ZL on the low bands with 1 or 5W and report a lot of DX

But WSPR outside EU USA VK is rare . (i am mainly talking 10,15 80 160 bands) 2 South America 1 PY 1 CX
2 TX only 1W beacons in South Africa and FR5GZ 1 or 2 ZS6 that's all from 2 continents ! Asia just a few Oceania 2 or 3
It is a bit of a shame!... and a waste of good radio locations.
Not a single WSPR beacon in the Caribbean.

WSPR in my opinion is just about designed for 6M. Hoping that ZD8SIX will be a WSPR / CW ID beacon this season.
The "Magic band" means 99% digging into noise. Most openings are not noticed due to inactivity.
But WSPR never gets tired listening to noise.
And WSPR is not interfering much with its low power and 200Hz tiny band-slot. All beacons of 6M would fit in 200Hz.
Every DX interested HAM will know that the major factor of success is being at the right time at the right frequency.
WSPR meets those two conditions at low costs in energy and time.

I am an old school HAM i started with hand-key first some years. I should be very conservative...
But it puzzles me why most of the ?DX-interested Hams? Keep stick-ed to the old QRM! steam-age beacon systems.
Why not make (much) more use of some of the most fantastic radio locations?

I am on air 24*7* ( months already) when not in he shack.
WSPR 10 15 80 day time 80 160 600m rx nighttime the frequency hopping option gives more bands.
A WSPR PC can if necessary be remote controlled easy by Team viewer or other common used remote desktop systems.
Even by mobile phone HTC with Teamviewer it is possible to control the beacon remote if that would be needed.

I hope someone in the WSPR blank area's will try WSPR i am sure it will be a success and addictive too.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe it's a language translation deal, but I guess I get a little annoyed when someone's particular interest is presented as: "what's wrong with you people.....don't you understand how cool this super duper thing is?", etc.

I'm sure it works well and you enjoy it very much.

 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by WK4U on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Certainly a "to each his own" type of mode.

I have to wonder how many hams using this mode are really using low power? I've seen numerous WSPR signals on HF with signal levels well above S-9. I know QRP can deliver strong signals at times, but...

I also wonder how much spectrum these unattended transmissions will take on the bands if this mode gets popular? Trying to run Olivia, Domino or any other digital mode doesn't work too well with a strong set of piccolos in the background.

Tim
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K3DCW on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"I also wonder how much spectrum these unattended transmissions will take on the bands if this mode gets popular? Trying to run Olivia, Domino or any other digital mode doesn't work too well with a strong set of piccolos in the background. "


WSPR has a bandwidth of only 6Hz. It would take a LOT of WSPR signals to cause QRM to an Olivia/Domino QSO. Perhaps you are confusing WSPR with JT65?

A bigger question on this topic is that of unattended operation of these "beacons".

Dave
K3DCW
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by AA5TB on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
J.C.,

I appreciate your enthusiasm. However, here in the U.S.A. it is not legal to run an unattended beacon on many of the WSPR frequencies. 7040 kHz is a popular WSPR frequency where I know many folks run these stations 24 hour a day and that in NOT a legal unattended beacon frequency in the US.

I'd advise US stations to review the FCC rules before following the WSPR advise of many of our European counterparts.

These stations are anything BUT a whisper and have been quite annoying to some users given their continuous nature.

That all being said, WSPR is still pretty cool as a propagation tool. It is not the same as a QSO.

73,
Steve - AA5TB
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,

I think you nailed it. Isn't the best beacon an actual station that's available for a QSO?

If you see a WSPR beacon from BFE somewhere, and get excited with: "woo hoo, we've got a direct path!", you still need to be able to QSO with a station there for it to be worthwhile.

Maybe guys who are big into beams would disagree, but I just don't see the point. That's the issue JC, not that we're somehow so ill-informed.

Best,
Brad, K9MHZ

 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KG4RUL on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yet another group slicing out a bit of spectrum for their special use. Only so many slices left so get yours early!
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KW3U on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
But it puzzles me why most of the ?DX-interested Hams? Keep stick-ed to the old QRM! steam-age beacon system:

Well in my case i use tube radios (with xtal of 7040)
and qrp gear. No computer in radio room(i use only radios there)
I check propagation quickly by listening to the callsigns in the band I am on. I even qsl with real cardboard.
Digital modes are fine but using 7040 in the middle
of the US cw band qrp area really is inconsiderate IMHO.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by AE4RV on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Digital modes are fine but using 7040 in the middle of the US cw band qrp area really is inconsiderate IMHO."

I agree. There's room higher up. And what is with this robot invasion on the air and in DX clusters? Run your radio yourself. Submit to clusters yourself - please don't automate those activities.





 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KB4QAA on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Gosh Darn It!

We went thru this sort of irrational exuberant QRM'ing 20 years ago with HF & VHF Packet!

Please DON'T leave your station in beacon mode. Especially unattended. Don't trash up the bands.

 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, remember those packets that guys would send up and down lines of VHF digipeaters.....hundreds of miles of digipeating a guy's call, location, and home BBS? Like anyone really cared. Almost like a first gen. Facebook or something.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W8AAZ on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well that will probably be his last eham article after everyone peed in his wheaties. But that looks par for the course, as soon as someone posts an idea, bam!
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by N4JTE on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
RR AAZ, been there did that, tough crowd. Thanks to the author for sharing his idea. Like most articles the non responders take the info and file away for possible future use.
Regards,
Bob
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KG4YMC on March 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
beacon mode? what about stations that seem to run a tape of them calling cq but don't listen ? next great idea!!kg4ymc
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W5LZ on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If that beacon serves a useful purpose, why not? The 'key' word there is "useful".
Paul
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9CTB on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not sure it's coming, but I'd like to see a PC based ionospheric sounder application in one place on each of our bands. I know that the way things are presently regarding "beacons", everybody and their brother wants to get in on the action. However, if a dedicated, PC based, GPS-disciplined sounder could be placed in strategic parts of the world, and a PC-based receiver could be available for client stations, it'd do away with the "what ain't beacons is a net, and what ain't a net is some boat owner checking his hotmail account" syndrome!

Not that beacons are a bad idea ... especially for DX chasers, but sheesh -- when there's elevendy-thousand of them and they're all operating 24/7, it makes our already crowded bands even more of a challenge. If we had a coordinated way to check soundings with precision-timed receivers, looking in one place on each band, it'd alleviate a lot of crowding.

73,
K9CTB
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K4PZ on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't believe WSPR was intended as a beacon mode. You transmit/recieve grid, call sign and signal strength but it isn't a means of rag chewing. Signal strength is so low that cw and digital modes don't notice you're there and when operating even Pactor and RTTY stations rarely cause your signal interference. WSPR will decode to -28 dB below the noise floor! You can operate in a passive mode and report on the Internet what you have received only or in a transmit/receive mode while ATTENDED. You'll need an attenuator and a QRP watt meter if you intend to operate in the milliwatt range. 500 mW Atlanta to Anchorage on 80M got my attention. I do transmit at the signal level I report. Give it a try.
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by G0GQK on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I know its become popular but I smile when people write in that they had 20 "contacts" all over the world, while they were in bed ! These contacts are not real contacts in my opinion, its not ham radio and these can just be 2 second connections, a flash connection. I see strange calls appear on my PSK "grab" screen, these are like subliminal calls which the software picks up momentarily but never appear on the waterfall, but I don't call them a contact
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W5TTW on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The man takes the time to share his excitement over a new facet of the hobby and he's rewarded by the boo-birds singing their familiar song.

Tiresome.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by AA5TB on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Signal strength is so low that cw and digital modes don't notice you're there..."

No offense intended but you obviously are NOT a QRP CW operator. When you set up a WSPR station so that the carrier is almost dead center on 7040 kHz (the original QRP watering hole) it certainly gets noticed. Even 1 Watt can be very loud. That QRP calling frequency is unusable now for QRP CW.

Most QRP stations have given into WSPR and now try to meet each other on 7030 kHz. My only point being that a WSPR IS easily heard by other stations that are use to QRP operations. I'm not trying to knock the WSPR mode, only the perception that it is somehow invisible and that no one will notice if you leave it on transmit and go to bed. ;-)

73,
Steve - AA5TB
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KB4QAA on March 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
He may have pissed in his wheaties, but someone had to be honest and tell him that he already had a turd in his cereal bowl!!!

Being enthusiastic with a bad idea, is not a reason for those with experience to hold back honest comments.

Again, if you want to use Beacon Mode for a few minutes to attract calls, that's fine. But don't leave your station on Auto, unattended. It only takes a few dozen operators to trash the band.

Bill
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by PA0O on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hello eHAMS
My article was a a bit too enthusiast i did not want to offend my fellow hams.

Reading comments.

Some HAM fear a future with bands filled with robot stations.

For WSPR the worst-case scenario is that 200 Hz "wide" band maybe is sacrificed to this mode.

But already WSPR is used a lot in USA and EU.
Most HAM will not even notice that they are working in the middle on top of the WSPR bands.

I was talking WSPR mode do not confuse this with other digital modes.
WSPR means a 200Hz band with low power beacons using 6 Hertz (six) B/w only.
Hard to believe that that would be a problem even with delicate QRP operation in the same band it is easy to avoid QRM by tuning a few 100Hz away.

I have had no reports of any interference so far
But i have had interference from some conventional beacons on 40m and 160m. Those beacons have no talk back like WSPR has if any QRM might be there.

I was not talking about shutting down your normal HAM operating and be a robot station. I was talking about using your station INSTEAD off being QRT.

If your licence regulation forbid unattended Beacons then WSPR will be not that interesting to use.
Since anytime you have to leave the shack you have to switch it off..

But WSPR can also be used as receive only ..

Btw ever tried to "move" a chat QSO from a DX frequency ? sometimes it is easier to deal with a robot...




 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K2WH on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have to ask, what is WSPR? I run most of the popular digital modes all the time and never heard of WSPR.

K2WH
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K2WH on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
And another thing. What about the worldwide CW beacons on 14.100 mhz?

K2WH
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by AA4PB on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Any time you let your computer control your transmitter unattended, you are risking a lock-up that could cause QRM on the band and perhaps "cook" your transceiver. I've seen it happen a number of times back when people were running unattended beacons on 2M packet. One local guy was out of town on business for 2 weeks. Fortunately when we tracked it down his wife was home and pulled the plug for us.

When you think about it, the packet in those days used a dedicated hardware controller (TNC). Think about allowing a Windows computer controlling your transmitter unattended! At lease you should add a hardware time-out timer to the PTT line. Don't just load the software onto your PSK31 setup.

As someone else said, you also need to check the FCC regulations regarding unattended beacon operation if you fall under their jurisdiction.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W5GNB on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
You QRM Consious CLOWNS need to realize that the bands are not being trashed by specific frequency beacons or similar operations.

just listen to these CONTESTERS going nuts this weekend running thier KW-PLUS power rigs with Overmodulated screaming into thier microphones, all looking for that Extra Point to get thier callsign listed in QST or some other rag.....

Sounds like a bunch of disorganized CB ops shooting SKIP!!

What a MESS!!!!!

Actually, the WSPR beacon system is quite useful and works very well..
Give it a try and quit whining about QRM of such a narrow banded use of the spectrum.

73's
Gary - W5GNB
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K1CJS on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Not only does this idea clog up the bands, I wouldn't want my shack active if I wasn't there. There IS a reason for a master disconnect for the shack, and that reason isn't because it looks professional. It's to stop possible bad situations from happening because radio gear is accidently left on--or gets accidently turned on.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by PA0O on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The NCDXA beacon system is very good. Frequency and time of transmission are exact known. It has in common with WSPR exact timing < 1 second and exact frequency reporting (within 1 Hz) Plus the signal reporting is accurate messured by a standard in dB / 2k7Hz b/w That makes it usefull for compairing antenna systems.
The advantage of WSPR over the NCDXA beacons is that there are far more beacons active and they are always monitored and reported. There could be more locations active if this WSPR system was more used.

I red a comment saying whats the deal if a WSPR beacon is heard but no one is active? But what's the use of a beacon when no one is listening?
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by PA0O on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Just to avoid further QRM of the 5W WSPR signal I quit . I will fire up my ACOM1000 ( sorry only 1kw) and join the crowd in the SSB contest ... Also i got afraid to burn out my K3 at 5W level. Or the PC would hang and my WSPR signal could block the contest traffic in Europe..
To the tubes only x-tal controlled i would say that is a remarkable step forward leaving the machine spark transmitter and carrier pigeons far behind.

 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by N4JTE on March 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Point taken Jaap, take care good luck in the contest, hi.
Regards,
Bob
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KB9TMP on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Seems to me that JT65HF is better. You can run it in a "Reverse Beacon" mode and just report your received signals. Plus it's much easier to make work than WSPR. I've tried both and JT65 is the only one I can seem to make transmit. WSPR just sits there and looks at me.
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
What's a Robot within the context of this thread? Why are they spoken of disparagingly?
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I noticed in the QST article that even Joe said that WSPR is an attended mode in the USA. Why is that? What does it lack in order to run unattended?
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KB4QAA on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
What it lacks is a control operator at the point of operation!!!
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, but that is the very definition of an automatically controlled digital station (which is allowed by FCC rules).

I'm wondering why WSPR doesn't qualify as such? What is lacking in the WSPR system that keeps automatic control from being an option?
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VK3XPT on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hi all,

I am really suprised by some of the negative comments here.

In my opinion, WSPR is brilliant. Here are couple of my thoughts that I would like to share:


1) WSPR is NOT "clogging up" or "trashing" the bands in any way. WSPR signals have a bandwidth of only 6Hz, and is run on dedicated/set frequency segments - You will not find WSPR signals all over any band!!!

2) Most WSPR transmissions are QRP - That is 5 WATTS or LESS.

3) If running an unattended station is against your country's regulations, then simply don't run it unattended! (WSPR can be run in RX Only mode, which is still very helpful as the WSPR software will log all received signals to the online database, for everyone to see! No TX required!)

4) As a QRP operator, I enjoy using the WSPR mode when my station would otherwise be QRT. I operate WSPR on 10M mainly, and I am constantly surprised by results achieved with less than 5 Watts into a 1/2 wave antenna that is only 3 meters off the ground. I hear nothing on 10m Voice for MONTHS in my location, but find WSPR contacts on 10M are possible almost daily!

5) When I say that my station is "unattended", I always have access to my computer AND radio via "Ham Radio Deluxe" for rig control, and "Teamviewer" for remote control of my PC. I can control my station at any time with my laptop or iPhone if I choose to!

6) Although I mainly operate on 10M, I will say that perhaps the WSPR frequency on 40M should be shifted a little further away from the 40M QRP calling frequency? While I DO NOT believe that a correctly transmitted WSPR signal will cause any issues for voice calls on 7040, it might help remove some of the negativity from this discussion? Just a thought....

7) If you are not sure what WSPR is all about, have a look at the Activity, Mapping and Database pages on the official WSPR page here:

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/



For those that enjoy digital modes and QRP, WSPR is one of the best. Digital modes are not for everyone, and many would rather "rag chew". Rag chewers should not be concerned abut WSPR getting in the way. It is one of the lowest impact modes available!

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers,

Perrin
VK3XPT




 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by AA4PB on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
FCC Part 97.203(d) A beacon may be automatically controlled while it is transmitting on the 28.20-28.30 MHz, 50.06-50.08 MHz, 144.275-144.300 MHz, 222.05-222.06 MHz, or 432.300-432.400 MHz segments, or on the 33 cm and shorter wavelength bands.

WSPR beacons can only be legally operated unattended on these frequency segments.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on March 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I see. So WSPR participants are considered beacon stations rather than an automatically controlled digital stations. Thanks. That answers the question.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by NN4RH on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Why should WSPR get special treatment? If it's OK for WSPR ops to run their stations as beacons all the time, why shouldn't ALL modes do the same thing? PSK beacons. RTTY beacons. Olivia beacons! Thor Beacons! CW beacons! Hell beacons!

Then we'll have plenty of beacons for everyone. Imagine! Hundreds of beacons all over the planet! all modes! all over the bands!. Everyone will be able to find out what propagation is like for any mode at any time!

Of course, the bands will be so crowded with beacons that nobody will be able to have a QSO, but that's a small price to pay isn't it, for the amazing benefits of running your station 24x7 without having to be there.



 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VK3XPT on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Very constructive comments indeed. 'sigh'.....

One more point for those who insist on being negative towards WSPR and other digital modes, is that commercial spectrum availability is becoming harder and harder to obtain. The bottom line is IF WE DON'T USE IT, WE WILL LOOSE IT!

Even if you don't operate WSPR the database / propagation data can be used to assist with contacts in other modes, including Voice.

@NN4RH - WSPR has a genuine purpose, and I really doubt that you have actually been inconvenienced by it at all... Please correct me if I am wrong.

Perrin
Vk3XPT
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K5TED on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
My two cents...

WSPR is a propagation tool that is as effective in receive only mode as it is in transceive. It reports receptions either way. The previous revision even features programmable frequency hopping.

JT65-HF is not a beaconing tool, and JT65-HF beaconing chews up a very narrow slice we use for contacts.

PSK31 is not a beaconing mode, but using HRD, with DM780 and FreqMode2HRD together makes an effective propagation reporting tool.

PSK Reporter shows JT65-HF spots as well as PSK.

WSPR has it's own map page but the spots show up on DX Sherlock as well.

It's not a good idea to leave any of the above mentioned running in unattended mode.

 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"It's not a good idea to leave any of the above mentioned running in unattended mode."

Why not?
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K2WH on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've read all the posts here but, no one has described what WSPR is (except a beacon), and what it does except obviously sending out a signal. Who does it send its signal to? In addition, others have said it "Reports" its reception. If it receives, then is this a transceive type of operation and if so, who or what does it send its information to?

K2WH
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VK3XPT on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
@K2WH - Your questions are answered above.

From my earlier post:

WSPR can be run in RX Only mode, which is still very helpful as the WSPR software will log all received signals to the online database, for everyone to see! No TX required!

If you are not sure what WSPR is all about, have a look at the Activity, Mapping and Database pages on the official WSPR page here:

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/ - (This is where the the information is sent to...)

Cheers,

Perrin
VK3XPT
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KJ4RQX on March 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
After seeing WSPR for the first time in the November QST, I found it to be a very intriguing tool. by putting all the WSPR stations in one section of the band, it eliminates the possibility for a missed contact. As a new, and somewhat timid Amateur operator, this operating mode is one of the first that I can see myself warming up to.

As the article states, WSPR encourages low power operation. I think that we should learn to operate with low power long before we move to high power.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K5TED on March 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I should have specified, in unattended transceive mode. Why? Because I don't like it. It bothers me. That's my personal opinion.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VK2ILO on April 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hello...

I normally do not comment on articles or postings but the way the majority of members of the Amateur Fraternity ganged up on someone who was only expressing his opinion is appalling!

3/4's of you do NOT even have a clue as to what WSPR is, yet you raise your hackles that another type of communications mode is invading your precious spectrum space.

How about enduring the over-the-horizon radar which is still in operation in parts of the world and literally wipes out complete Amateur allocations?

How about 1KW+++ crowd that that just HAVE to make that contact at all costs to get a silly postal-sized card so they can put a plaque on the wall?

How about the stupid operators that keep looking for position 11 on their mic gains and speech processors?

How about the "private" nets that won't talk to anyone whose parents were NOT cousins or didn't have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower?

How about the HF Pirates/Bootleggers or the foreign fishing fleets that communicate via HF?

This is what it has come down to Boyos...

While the USA has restrictions on un-attended many countries do not.

A 6hz signal transmitted at 5 watts, every 2 minutes is not going to take over any particular part of the radio spectrum.

Think about it. A world-wide propagation reporting system that doesn't rely on CW (which most ops today cannot copy), accessible 24x7 via the Internet. Push a button and the 21st Century Ham can be where the DX is is. Why is that so bad?

Be real... Why not embrace the mode instead of b*tching about it?

Amateur Radio is a fun hobby. Unfortunately, egos, pocketbooks and attitudes always seem get in the way. Remember the Packet Radio Wars...

There was a time when Amateur Radio led the way for communications. Sadly, that is all but gone now.

I just don't know anymore...

73,

Jan VK2ILO/KC2CT






















































1
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on April 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, Jan...you are correct.

Bravo to the WSPR group for what they do.

I applaud those who continue to chase their interests and push the state of the art.

Amateur experimentation is alive and well.

Cheers,
Ev
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by W2EV on April 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I see comments above about "robot" operation, but no reply to my two questions below...

"What's a Robot within the context of this thread? Why are they spoken of disparagingly?"

I'm interested...any input on this?
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by NU6A on April 4, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The least someone could do would be to provide a lengthy piece of toilet paper to clean up the mess. In fact, the comments were so funny I just sat in my chair and had a good hearty laugh for about two minutes. Ain't ham radio fun?

 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by LEIGH on April 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use WSPR quite regularly on as high a freq as possible, or as low as possible to see what gets through.
Having invested a lot of time and money in a Ham Radio station just to have it sitting idle is a bit of a waste I think. So when I am busy do other chores and when I cant get on air I leave my rig running as a RX beacon, anyone who wants a test can TX my way and see if they can get through and at what signal level. Reports given back via WSPR site. Brilliant. It can be left running 24/7 and you can log into the site and see what your missing out on when your not actually there. You can refer back to data for many months and years and view statistics etc. Its amazing.
The beauty of it also is that, with such low power its easy to run TX and keep things cool.
You can experiment with antennas, directions, power levels etc.
I also use WSPR on 2m and 6m, have had 2m tropo signals heard out to 2664 Km and paths identified which have previously been unknown. And 6m sporadic E picked up that otherwise would not be found.
I cant speak highly enough of this program and the associated web site. Excellent, hope to see more stations become active on WSPR.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by LEIGH on April 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry my callsign not showing up. Last msg posted by Leigh VK2KRR.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VE3LXL on April 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Because of this article I installed WSPR at my station and left it running, in receive only mode, for several hours on this past Saturday and Sunday. It was pretty neat seeing station IDs popping up on in the received list, and seeing those spots also appear on the real-time map at the WSPR site. The map certainly gives a vivid representation of what propagation paths are open. And it's amazing that the mode is able to decode signals so weak. I haven't decided yet if I'll also transmit regularly but even just running it in receive mode is worthwhile.
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on April 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by VK2ILO on April 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hello...

I normally do not comment on articles or postings but the way the majority of members of the Amateur Fraternity ganged up on someone who was only expressing his opinion is appalling!

3/4's of you do NOT even have a clue as to what WSPR is, yet you raise your hackles that another type of communications mode is invading your precious spectrum space.

How about enduring the over-the-horizon radar which is still in operation in parts of the world and literally wipes out complete Amateur allocations?

How about 1KW+++ crowd that that just HAVE to make that contact at all costs to get a silly postal-sized card so they can put a plaque on the wall?

How about the stupid operators that keep looking for position 11 on their mic gains and speech processors?

How about the "private" nets that won't talk to anyone whose parents were NOT cousins or didn't have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower?

How about the HF Pirates/Bootleggers or the foreign fishing fleets that communicate via HF?<<<<




Um, I don't remember reading anywhere on here that we find any of those activities more acceptable than WSPR. Experimentation and innovation is gone, just because we don't fall over ourselves for every super duper cosmic new thing? Believe what you want, but you're being a little melodramatic.

 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on April 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by PA0O on March 26, 2011
To the tubes only x-tal controlled i would say that is a remarkable step forward leaving the machine spark transmitter and carrier pigeons far behind.<<<<


Oh please......


 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KB4UHK on April 13, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Why 7040? QRP activity already had to leave 7030 due to qrm from rtty. A lot of these are homemade rockbound transmitters on this frequency. It would seem to be far more considerate to move these "WSPR Beacons" to another freq higher up.
 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KC5RET on April 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm glad I didn't let my son, Ian, KF5JZZ, a new minted ham for about 5 weeks, read the TRASH that some of you have the gall to post when was someone from across the pond was trying to be informative.

I've been telling my son that the ham community is a outwardly helpful bunch who are all ready to help in a time of need.

All I've seen here is a majority of post replies from folks ready to string this guy up.

I didn't see ANYWHERE in that post were the person was advocating running a beacon outside the agreed upon band plan. But somebody (from 4 land) had to jump to conclusions and jump this poor soul.

K9MHZ & W5GNB, thanks for sticking up for this guy. I am personally going to look into WSPR because anything with a computer attached to a radio is going to hold my son's interest longer, AND, well, setting up a WSPR station just might irk a few that need irking...

AA5TB, I didn't see ONCE where this guy said he was going to park his beacon mode xcvr on your precious frequency. I think you need to read his post again.
And the majority of you from 4 land, nah, nevermind. I won't have a battle of wits with unarmed men.

Give it a haters. What's the matter, you miss a chance to kick a dog or beat up a little old lady today?

Rob, KC5RET
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by VK2BEN on April 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Quote:

"Um, I don't remember reading anywhere on here that we find any of those activities more acceptable than WSPR..."


Disappointing that VK2ILO's comment has attracted this type of misguided response.

I have seen, time and again, on all sorts of forums, people jumping to the erroneous conclusion that the mentioning of categorically obnoxious activities is somehow intended to justify another activity that some people might be prejudiced against. Fact is: they aren't.

Why can't we just live by some simple points like these?:

If you don't like the sounds of it; QSY!
If you don't agree with it; participate in one of the other 9,999 facets of the hobby!
If you don't own gear that can tune to a frequency a few kHz away from the "offending" signal; maybe you should build something that _can_, in the spirit of the hobby!
Nobody is forcing you to participate or embrace certain modes of operation. And neither can you force others.
So far as band utilization; Use it or Lose it!

Over-processed, kW+++, Overly-broad-banded, dirty transmissions and Pirates are far more disruptive than a few Hz-wide digital beacons. Go and complain about _THEM_!

Kudos to the Original Poster for bringing this interesting mode (for want of a better term) to our attention.

 
Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by KE2IV on April 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Rather amazing how almost all of the negative comments come from US hams. It's as if we are increasingly dominated by cranky curmudgeons who are incapable of commenting positively about much of anything.

We've got competing spectrum users constantly seeking re-allocation of our frequencies and these guys are complaining about creative uses of our bands by fellow amateur radio operators.

Go figure.

About the only good thing I see in all of this negative commentary on eHam.net is that the time spent by folks doing so here takes away from time they could spend instead on the air commenting negatively....
 
RE: Run Your Radio as WSPR Beacon When Idle  
by K9MHZ on April 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by KE2IV on April 20, 2011 Rather amazing how almost all of the negative comments come from US hams. It's as if we are increasingly dominated by cranky curmudgeons who are incapable of commenting positively about much of anything.<<<<



That's not true at all, and I'd strenuously debate you on your assertion.

Relax....there was honest disagreement about this mode in particular, not digital modes in general.



 
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