recommendations for newcomers

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f6irf's picture
Last seen: 12 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2008/04/18 - 12:24
recommendations for newcomers

Welcome to the WSPR net
For WSPR to work properly they are 2 important things, the DT and the DF, in other words, your Time accuracy and your Frequency accuracy:

- If you have a permanent Internet connection DT should not be a problem. You may download "Dimension 4" or any similar software, which will resync your PC-clock every 15mn or so. It becomes a bit more complicated if you are not "on line". However you may look at
Alternative methods to set your PC-clock:
- use the IARU beacons schedule, for example on 20m the 4U1UN beacon transmission starts at 00 03 06 09 12... etc...
- Use GPS time
- Use a DCF77 (Germany) or any radio-sync clock (available from less than 15 euros - ie from Conrad)
- Use broadcast stations bips at the round hour (a few also send them a +30mn).
- Use telephone "speaking clock" or whatever is available...

- for frequency accuracy, if you use a modern transceiver, you should not be more than a few Hz away (ie my IC756 pro2 is better than +/- 2hz, whatever room temperature). However Xtal's are drifting when getting old. If you have not done it for quite some time do a calibration ie using the method described here
If you have an old generation transceiver with a VFO, you should have a Xtal marker built in. It will give you a first indication, but probably not sufficient (for the a/m reason). Try to find a broadcast station (they are generally on a round Khz with a good accuracy) and do the "zero beat" on it (using USB). When the music sounds "good"... you are OK ! If you don't want to open the RIG to recalibrate, just note the freq offset and make it the same on the WSPR freq.

last but not least
- Make sure you don' t overdrive your TRX audio-input (best method is to keep the ALC indication at a very low value)
- Don't overdrive your soundcard (-20 to -30dB on the noise floor works perfectly). If you don' t have a "level meter" on you soundcard, you may try an "audio recorder" (ie audiograbber) or something like "spectrum lab" (keep the noise floor in the middle of the spectrum-analyzer window)

Enjoy WSPR...
73's Pat