Bob Sutton - ZL1RS

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

 

Mobile WSPR operation on the 30m band:


Now QRT ... more mobile WSPR later this year.

A small WSPR transmitter built following the concept of the QRP-Labs U3S transmitter and using several QRP-Labs kits and parts. This project uses a QRP-Labs firmware chip, Si5351A synth kit, LPF, and several parts from a U3S case kit. The U3S BS-170 PA FET is further amplified to about 3 or 4 Watts of RF output with an IRF510 power FET. Everything is mounted on a piece of vero-board inside a small Eddystone/Hammond die-cast aluminium box similar to 27134PSLA and measuring 111 x 60 x 31 mm overall.

The antenna is a home made, 3-section, base loaded mobile whip which dismantles to fit inside my suitcase for other travel when the "mini-U3S" is not used on a car.

The QRP-Labs firmware parameters are set to transmit 'extended WSPR' format to send the overseas prefix, my callsign and the 6-character Maidenhead locator ... e.g. VE6/ZL1RS DO02XU



ZL1RS - mini-U3S mobile WSPR project

The finished "mini-U3S" transmitter



ZL1RS - mini-U3S mobile WSPR project

The "mini-U3S" transmitter internal layout before assembly



ZL1RS - mini-U3S mobile WSPR project

The partially built "mini-U3S" ... still to add the IRF510 PA stage and LPF



ZL1RS - mini-U3S mobile WSPR project

The home made mobile whip antenna - the complete 2m tall antenna



ZL1RS - mini-U3S mobile WSPR project

The home made mobile whip antenna - detail of the loading coil end of the antenna



The "BBxx" balloon flight project:

Lightweight 'tracker/telemetry' transmitters built following the concept of the QRP-Labs U3S transmitter. Some of the flights use a trimmed down QRP-Labs synthisizer kit to generate the transmitter's signal, and all run on a modified version of QRP-Labs U3S firmware. Track the latest flight at the QRP-Labs balloon flights page.



ZL1RS balloon flight "BB05" was launched at around 21:15 UTC on 24 April 2018. It completed:
the 1st circumnavigation of the earth on 08 May 2018
the 2nd circumnavigation of the earth on 23 May 2018
it appears to have gone down somewhere west of South Africa late on 28 or early on 29 May 2018
Tracking map and information at the QRP-Labs "BB05" flight page.



ZL1RS - balloon transmitter

The BB05 Transmitter



ZL1RS balloon flight "BB04" was launched at 20:45 UTC on 10 January 2018 and appears to have suffered a burst balloon about 4,400 km east of New Zealand after 3 days of flying.



ZL1RS balloon flight "BB03" was launched just after 17 UTC on 07 January 2018 and was lost in an area of bad weather 2,000 km east of New Zealand after 2 days of flying.



ZL1RS balloon flight "BB02" was launched at 17:45 UTC on 17 Dec 2017 and was lost in an area of bad weather in the southern Indian Ocean after 9 days of flying.


ZL1RS balloon flight "BB01" was launched at about 18 UTC on 07 Dec 2017 and appears to have come down in bad weather about 3,000 km west of Chile after 5 days of flying.

 

 

The ZL1SIX Ocean Floater project:

An ocean going marine buoy containing a GPS and Ultimate3S based transmitter. This project is intended to drifted in the Pacific Ocean at the mercy of the tides, currents and wind directions while sending its position, battery voltage and temperature information via HF radio telemetry on the 30m band in WSPR and JT9 digital modes. The battery bank finally went flat on 29 June 2017 after 407 days at sea.

 

 

The following 6m Beacons are currently operational from ZL:

ZL1SIX ... 50.0110, 25W ERP beamed to the west from RF64VT

ZL1VHF ... 50.0433, 20W ERP from RF73MB, attended beacon while a permanent site is being arranged

ZL2MHB ... 50.030, 10W ERP from RF80KL

ZL2WHO/b ... 50.0240, 100W ERP beamed to the west from RE79VR

ZL2SIX ... 52.490, 1W ERP from RE68 (very weak, rarely heard)

ZL3SIX ... 50.0399, 100W ERP beaming alternately NE and NW from RE66EJ

ZL3MHB ... 50.055, 20W ERP from RE57MI



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