Re: Is WA6I Deaf ?

Steve Goldsmith -w1hs-


This is slightly off topic, but hey, it's not like we're all working tons of PSK right now -)

Pskreporter is really good for telling how far your transmissions are getting, but it is not good at objectively telling you how well your signals are being received. 

WSPR is pretty cool tool for comparing antenna performance.  If you have two transmitters you can run at the same time, or If you get yourself a Sotabeams WSPRLite (200mw) and put it on one antenna and run WSJT on your computer into the other antenna you can do a really good objective analysis of performance.

Make sure you set your pc transmit power so both are the same, and use a compound callsign on the WSJT to differentiate from the WSPRLite.    If you run both at the same time, for a few hours, you can glean some really useful  objective information, including comparing which antenna has a greater distance as well as comparing received signal strength at stations that receive both of your signals during the same time interval.

Because you can look at rx strength at stations receiving both of your signals during the same interval you can rule out fading, local interference at the receive station and other propagation variables.  Knowing that yesterday PSK on antenna 1 got you as far as Greenland, but PSK today on antenna 2 got you to Italy isn't that helpful.  But knowing that yesterday between 1pm and 5pm you were being received 21dB better in the midwest on antenna 1 while at the same time antenna 2 was getting you into Europe but antenna 1 wasn't, and antenna 1 was getting you into south america, but antenna 2 wasn't really helps characterize each antenna.

I learned all sorts of interesting things about my 3 dipoles here (hoa restrictions, no tower for me, sadly), including a surprise that one of the smaller lower dipoles performs much better on 40m into the west  then the larger higher one does.  Knowing how each antenna actually performs made a huge difference for me in the past few contests, and even hitting some ATNO dx stations as I've been able to switch antennas based on knowing which one does better where.

Anywho, 20 just picked up for a few minutes, got 3 Qs in 4 minutes, which is one less than I got over the previous 8 hours...

/steve - w1hs

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