N8LWF's blog

After years of continuous use, the beacon died this week. For something that contributes nothing more than a blinking LED to look at, I sure was sad when it saw no light. It died. Today I was able to download a fork of the old (2015?) source code and re-compile it for the new RPi 4 Raspbian OS. the old TAPR low-pass 20M filter slipped on easily. The biggest challenge as usual was getting the beacon timer script to start when the unit is rebooted. But it works! Hope it lasts 6 more years. I hope *I* last 6 more years! I've determined that the beacon now is very close to 20mW, so I changed the beacon text to reflect that.

There's a bit of remodeling and reorganization going on, and I need to relocate the Raspberry Pi and co-ax that runs the beacon. Will be QRT today. Might off be a day.
Carry on,

PS. Back on line, and with 70 feet less co-ax, too. Still, a hamster could generate more than 10 milliwatts, but it's amazing what WSPR can do.


I will occasionally submit heard spots now. I have an IC-9100 and want to see what I can hear on 20m and other bands.

Lesson: Never upgrade the Kernel of the Pi while WsprryPi is running. I had to wipe the SD card and rebuilt it. Fun.

I upgraded the Raspberry Pi Linux, and now WsprryPi lockks up on transmit. Will fix... in my spare time!

It really is. Using Wsprry for Rasperry PI. Columbus Ohio, USA, to NSW Australia. 15000 kM, 10 MW!!!

2017-05-27 05:20 N8LWF 14.097045 -26 -1 EM89nw 0.01 VK2XN QF59ar 15155 266
2017-05-27 04:42 N8LWF 14.097045 -25 -1 EM89nw 0.01 VK2XN QF59ar 15155 266

I think I have one of the last of the TAPR 20m wspr LPF/filter output boards for the Raspberry PI. Please support TAPR and let them know if you want them to continue to produce these neat things. In any case, mine is on the air on 20 meters today. Maybe someone will hear it! Contact me at N8LWF at arrl dot net if you need to.

Have fun!

Since I first joined here, I renewed my license and upgraded to Extra!

Just this week, with the help of a post on the forum, I was able to get the IC-7200 fully functioning with WSPR on Windows. The tasks are as follows:

    - Go to sourceforge (link) and download HAMLIB v1.2.11
    - unzip it. We need just three files.
    - Find hamlib-icom.dll, rigctl.exe and libham-2.dll. Copy these to the wspr program directory. We want to replace the existing versions.
    - Find the text file "hamlib_rig_numbers" (at least it seems to be all plain text) and add this line somewhere:
    361 Icom IC-7200 0.5 Untested
    The above is a direct copy paste from my own file.
    - Start WSPR. See if it complains about something in the hamlib_rig_numbers file. I messed with it for some time, I couldn't see what it was unhappy about, but I eventually got it to take the new line.
    - In setup, select:
      -- PTT Method is CAT

My name is Andrew. I was born in 1959. I built my first shortwave radio about 1974. I've been a ham for just about 20 years (It is time to renew, actually.) I had great fun with packet radio in the early 90s. In August of 2009, while vacationing in Good Hart MI, I was scanning the bands for anything interesting, and found a type of FSK I had not heard before. It was extremely narrow bandwidth. So narrow, that I had trouble discerning with my ear that it was any kind of data at all. It was heard on LF, about 290 kHz, too. Very strange, I thought. I recorded the signal, took it home and downloaded it to PC where I could view the waveform. Indeed, it was data.

Flash forward to November 30th, when I learned of something called WSPR. Aha! I downloaded the program, poked at the User Interface for a while, and finally read the user manual. In no time, I had decodes! How exciting.

This technology combines many areas of interest for me: Low power, beacons, and data over radio to name a few.

My current set up is RX only: Eton E1 radio and an Acer Aspire One netbook/laptop.