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Thursday, March 4, 2010

African WSPRs -- Homebrew, QRP, and International Brotherhood

Jeff, K07M, and others have noticed that the WSPR system's maps show very few stations in Africa. Gernot, OE1IFM, has launched a fascinating project to help fill this WSPR-gap. He has designed and built a stand-alone WSPR transmitter. No computer is required. It is all in two little boxes. It pumps out 1 watt of WSPR signal. And -- get this -- it jumps around from band to band, transmitting a sequence of WSPR signals on all of the HF ham bands. WSPR requires good synchronization. How, you might ask, does Gernot keep these rigs in synch without a computer and without the internet? No problem: He uses time signals from GPS satellites! Bravo Gernot! One of these rigs is currently on the air from Namibia (V53ARC). You can see it in the screen shot above (taken this morning).
Here is Gernot's creation. Isn't that beautiful? Note the "Homebrewed by OE1IFM" markings on the boards. Truly inspiring stuff!
But there's more: A while back we had a blog entry on Jack Dunigan, 5X7JD. Jack is in Uganda, helping kids who are living with AIDS. Today, one of Gernot's WSPR rigs is scheduled to be delivered to Jack. So soon we should be seeing WSPRs out of Uganda.

You guys should check out Gernot's web pages on this project:
http://www.oe1ifm.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=53
His site is filled with really interesting technincal info on this amazing rig.

I found this endeavor to be inspiring at many levels: There is obviously a lot of Knack here, and this is a very good example of what the "International Brotherhood of Electronic Wizards" can do.

2 comments:

  1. Amateur Radio and WSPR in particular is great stuff!
    tnx Gernot for your execellent contribution.
    73 de Mike

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for recommending K1JT's WSPR. Now my K2 is doing something useful whilst I'm not :-)
    -- VA3NNW

    ReplyDelete

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