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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Payoff from WSPR

2010-12-22 09:28 N2CQR 10.140215 -28
FM18jv 0.2 VK6XT OF86td 18576 288
2010-12-21 10:28 N2CQR 10.140221 -28
FM18jv 0.2 VK6XT OF86td 18576 288

I know some of you guys consider WSPR kind of weird, kind of narcissistic, more like broadcasting than real amateur radio. I hear you. As creator Joe Taylor himself has pointed out, these are not really QSOs. But I have to tell you, it is very satisfying to walk into the shack, and, with coffee cup in hand check the WSPRnet screen to see who has recently received your little QRPp signal.
For the last two mornings, I've found VK6XT receiving mine. That's 18,576 kilometers covered by 200 milliwatts to a low dipole. In Western Australia my signal is 28 db below the noise (that means below the noise in a standard SSB passband). I see that I'm making the trip only once each day, at around the same time, and that VK6XT is the only Oz station picking me up. Very cool.

Here is Richard, VK6XT, the fellow at the other end of the path:

I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in December 1954. Keen on shortwave as a boy, I went to Rangiora High School and met Gary Watson ZL3SV who sparked a lifelong interest in Ham radio. However Life intervened and it wasn't until 1976 in Wollongong, Australia that I first transmitted as VK2NNL.(after a brief fling on The illegal CB band). I upgraded and then returned to NZ to become ZL1OK from Rotorua. I became a DX hound and worked 256 countries for DXCC. The high point of my DX activities was in 1991 when I organised a DX-pedition to the Auckland islands. We operated as ZL9DX / ZL9YL and Kerry operated ZL9TPYon 6 metres. Always keen on home brewing and QRP gear I now work in Perth as a Design and Technology Technician. My ham radio activity is at present operating an Icom IC7400 to a variety of antennas 160m to 2m. . I am keen on the digital modes, especially PSK31, and spend my spare time on my hobby farm near Katanning(300 kM south of Perth).

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