Why 4m Wspr?
I have been asked
this by those who perhaps do not want Wspr on 4m, or who do
not see the point. I choose to do it because it is
interesting. It is also difficult when compared to HF Wspr.
Most of all I choose to do it because it is fun.
When I first discovered
Wspr I was in awe of it. I have always been fascinated by
propagation on the airwaves, much more so than talking on
SSB - everybody is different I suppose. For the first few
months I satisfied myself by spotting on all HF bands,
reducing power, running portable etc. amazed by what was
possible. Eventually though it all seemed a bit easy. I
noticed there were drop down menus on the Wspr map for all
the HF bands as well as some LF and 2m/70cm. However 4m was
missing. It was in the old database but there were no spots.
This was back in 2010.
Years before this, I had purchased an FT847 (as soon as they
were released) I had always been interested in 4m and
this was the first mutlimode radio advertised with 4m
capability. I had to have one. Life changed for me and a job
change, a house move, the birth of twins meant the radio
spent most of eleven years in the loft.
4m Wspr was too tempting. I was not prepared for the
difficulties that lay ahead however. I assumed there would
be other people on 4m who would want to try. Not so, at
least at first. In fact some of the 4m operators who replied
to my pleas for spots were quite hostile. Here is an
'I'm not surprised
at all that there is an absence of spots in the database.
In the first instance very few operators will know that
you are 4M-active.
More importantly though, why would a cw/ssb operator want
to sacrifice their operating time by listening to
70.0286MHz? They will be tuning up and down the band
looking out for Sp-E openings - or more likely just
watching the DX Cluster for openings.
Or is it an automatic monitoring system when you're not in
the shack and we'll just have to park the beam in your
WSPR isn't suitable for VHF anyway, is it? Well - that's
what Joe Taylor told me when I spoke to him in person
about it. '
Ah well, what happened to the spirit of
experimentation? It is quite funny to read this now- very
'shouty.' At least we have the drop down menu on the map for
4m and it is possible to see that there really are other
people who are interested.
Thank you to the following for being out there:
Colin G6AVK - Thank you for the idea of an online window
inspired by your part time grabber.
And all the other people I have spotted, or have been spotted
Eventually after many weeks of trying
a few of us began to spot. I discovered my radio was not as
accurate as it appeared. It was 100hz off frequency on 4m,
this was solved by tuning the radio dial down by the
required amount. Naively I had assumed that what the radio
said on the dial was accurate enough, especially as it
worked fine on HF. Not so. This was
my first important lesson.
I am still learning. That is why it is fun!