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QRSS shows 30m propagation conditions

October 15, 2010
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W4HBK Grabber 15th Oct 2010

W4HBK Grabber 15th Oct 2010

 

After reading about Julian’s QRSS activities I decided to put my 30m QRSS beacon back on the air which has had a break for a few months. This morning I checked W4HBK’s grabber and was pleased to see my signal getting into Pensacola, FL  (see 10140020Hz in the image above).  I then checked his 4 hour scan and saw something interesting, but not too surprising.

 

4hrs grabber scan by W4HBK

4hrs grabber scan by W4HBK 15th Oct. 2010

 

The scan clearly shows my 160mW signal stopped reaching Pensacola, from Ontario, at around 00:40am local time (0540 UTC) and then was received again at just before 5am (1000UTC).  The closing down of the band in the early hours of the morning is to be expected, but it is nice to see the time and duration of the closing  so clearly illustrated.

A few hours later I checked again and the 4 hour scan revealed other QRSS signals joining mine about 2 hours after mine had appeared on W4HBK’s grabber.

 

4hr W4HBK grabber scan

4hr W4HBK grabber scan a few hours later (15th Oct. 2010)

 

The 10 minute grabber screenshot below shows the number of signals being received by W4HBK and how popular QRSS has become, after the release of kits by Hans Summers, G0UPL, and Genesis Radio.

 

W4HBK grabber at 1629 UTC 15th Oct 2010

W4HBK grabber at 1629 UTC 15th Oct 2010

 

Comparing that to reception in Nova Scotia recorded by Vernon’s, VE1VDM, grabber it can be seen that not all the signals were visible.  My trace was clear, but my QRSS station is perhaps the closest to Vernon’s station.

 

VE1VDM grabber at 1617UTC.  15th OCt 2010

VE1VDM grabber at 1617UTC. 15th OCt 2010

 

This nicely shows how milliwatt QRSS signals reveal propagation conditions.  I was also pleased to see how stable my homebrew QRSS transmitter still is (remember the frequency shift in the keying of my signal is about  6Hz). To help reduce/eliminate thermal drift I have the oscillator surrounded by pieces of polystyrene packing.

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