Radio Active

Radio Active

About the Blog

This blog is an occasional 'diary' of my radio activity, what I have been up to, any interesting stations I have heard, experiments carried out and my thoughts on band conditions etc.

Make sure you check out my website:

Please Note: The 'RSS Subscribe' button does not operate correctly with the Google 'Chrome' browser.

It works fine with Internet Explorer 8 (and probably other versions too) and also Firefox. I haven't tested it with any other browser, but if it doesn't work on your browser, try one of those mentioned.

More on WPSR

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Mon, August 30, 2010 08:43:52
I have just been going through the WSPR archives for my callsign, and have discovered that I have been heard by well over 500 stations - 500 is the limit for displaying entries, even though you can display entries going back as far as you like. I decided to display the maximum 500 entries but sorted by distance, showing the longest first. I was surprised to see that my little 5 watt signal has been heard by a total of 198 stations with a minimum distance of 4000km. 22 of these stations were over 10000km, with the furthest being 18934km (in fact 5 of those were over 18000km distant). Just yesterday I was being received on the west Coast of the USA whilst running 5w but, more amazingly, I was hearing that West Coast station who was running a mere 0.5w (over 15000km per watt!). I think he could have reduced by another 3dB and I would have still copied him, possibly even another 6dB

Here are the furthest stations that have heard my WSPR signals (notice the spread of frequencies):

Band Call QRA km

10.140174 ZL1JA RE66ir 18934

10.140278 ZL2CCO RE78lu 18767

10.140171 ZL2TLD RE79tb 18756

14.097082 ZL2RX RE68pr 18743

10.140165 ZL2IFB RF80hl 18613

14.097091 VK7ZL QE36mx 17438

10.140170 VK2DDI QF55hf 17057

10.140177 VK2/VK6DI QF55hf 17057

10.140232 VK2NR QF56kb 17001

14.097126 VK2KWY QF56gh 16960

10.140263 VK1UN QF22lf 16939

10.140231 VK2EVB QF69nr 16800

10.140147 VK4CMV QG63mh 16459

14.097096 VK6LD OF84px 14867

10.140164 VK6XT OF86td 14803

7.040075 VK6POP OF88bd 14549

14.097129 VK6BN OF88ac 14546

10.140262 VK6ZRY OF78wd 14532

10.140125 LU8WAG FE77lf 12203

18.106060 AH2DT QK23 12028

14.097077 LW1EXU GF15ac 11135

14.097111 CX2ABP GF15wc 11048

I am impressed by this, hopefully as more stations become active, the better picture of propagation we will get. There are usually around 70-90 stations active on 30m and 20m but more are needed, especially on the other bands. I try to operate on 40, 17 and 15m when conditions allow (and even 10m, but this is limited to Sporadic E at the moment so is not really useful for long distance propagation studies).

  • Comments(0)//

WSPR - 24 Aug, part 2

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Wed, August 25, 2010 11:15:57
Here is the 2nd part of the WSPR session from 24th August on 20m. In the end I stuck with 20m until I closed down at around 2200 UTC. Propagation was quite good, with long openings to the USA. Below is the complete list of stations that heard me yesterday, arranged by distance. From the list I can see there are 19 stations over 5000km away which I am pleased with. Furthest distance was just short of 17000km, right down in the Australian Capital Territory (or ACT as it is known). Trying with 2 watts will be interesting and is something I will try later in the year (I would think that with the better propagation of the winter, there won't be much difference between 2w and the 5 watts I was using for this session.

I will repeat this experiment from time to time to see how propagation changes.

16:46 5 VK1UN QF22lf 16939km

16:52 5 JF3MKC PM74xm 9520

15:54 5 KO6SY DM14kb 8616

14:48 5 VU2LID MJ88lm 8436

16:58 5 WA7KGX CN85no 7827

16:58 5 N6QW CN88ob 7597

20:14 5 W5CGC EM12kx 7568

19:42 5 YV4GJN FK50xf 7553

14:10 5 N4AU EM62vp 6904

17:22 5 K9LZJ EM79bs 6327

19:42 5 N9VN EN52ui 6281

15:32 5 VE4SIG EN19ku 6221

17:22 5 WA4OSS FM05rt 6155

19:50 5 N8LWF EM89nw 6125

19:54 5 N8BX EN80mp 6078

19:58 5 WB4KLJ FM18ku 5835

20:06 5 NB3N FM19ki 5799

20:06 5 W3GXT FM19ol 5768

19:10 5 KF1Z FN33nx 5202

16:14 5 4X1RF KM72ls 3586

15:20 5 OX3XR GP44de 3165

14:46 5 UA3ARC KO85so 2525

17:26 5 RA1ALG KO49vv 2080

17:22 5 YO7IJO KN25ec 2004

14:26 5 OH5MD KP20ng 1840

16:52 5 I53CASWL JM49nf 1621

18:24 5 LA6TPA JP54rl 1558

19:42 5 OE5VLL JN78fc 1181

17:58 5 IZ1ANK JN33ut 1116

20:14 5 LA3JJ JO59bh 1065

18:46 5 IW2OGZ JN45ql 1048

17:26 5 DG6RCH JN68hp 1033

21:08 5 DL5RBD JN69kb 1030

17:58 5 DG7RCL JN68dl 1019

18:32 5 IK1RGM JN35uc 998

19:54 5 DH8HHA JN58tc 996

19:50 5 DL1RDB JN69ba 982

19:58 5 DL6RBQ JN58nb 967

21:02 5 DL4RU JN69cr 957

19:30 5 OZ7IT JO65df 942

17:22 5 HB9YJ JN47pj 897

18:32 5 DH1GD JN48vc 881

17:40 5 DC8SE JN48xi 876

18:36 5 DJ7KA JN48mn 807

17:22 5 DK8XU JO53ef 776

18:36 5 DK7XD JO43wo 748

18:24 5 DJ3VI JO43vi 739

17:26 5 DH2RAL JO41lu 680

20:54 5 DC5BN JO42jx 668

19:10 5 F/DM1KD IN87we 544

16:06 5 G4FUI IO84pp 314

16:34 5 MW0VVO IO71mt 275

19:22 5 G3JKF JO00bs 158

18:50 5 G4CUI IO93fi 153

19:22 5 G8BKE IO90er 151

18:58 5 2E0MAY IO82xo 98

16:38 5 G0IMX IO92ao 94

19:30 5 G4BYM IO82wg 84

  • Comments(0)//

WSPR - 24 Aug

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Tue, August 24, 2010 17:44:11

I decided to have a WSPR session this afternoon, mainly to test the station (making sure that all the various software programs work now that I am using a different computer - getting them all to co-operate has been quite difficult).

The table shows unique stations (i.e. no duplicates), and the results are quite interesting:

Best DX is 9520km (Japan), not bad as I am only running 5 watts.

Other notable stations that heard my signals were from both the East and West Coasts of the USA, Manitoba in Canada, India and Venezuela.

UTC QRG SNR dt My QRA Pwr Callsign DX QRA km

15:54 14.097110 -17 0 IO92ma 5 4X1RF KM72ls 3586

15:54 14.097129 -14 0 IO92ma 5 I53CASWL JM49nf 1621

15:54 14.097118 -23 0 IO92ma 5 JF3MKC PM74xm 9520

15:54 14.097133 -26 0 IO92ma 5 KO6SY DM14kb 8616

15:38 14.097118 -22 -1 IO92ma 5 LA3JJ JO59bh 1065

15:32 14.097094 -25 0 IO92ma 5 VE4SIG EN19ku 6221

15:02 14.097121 -23 0 IO92ma 5 W5CGC EM12kx 7568

14:48 14.097131 -28 0 IO92ma 5 VU2LID MJ88lm 8436

14:46 14.097070 -2 1 IO92ma 5 UA3ARC KO85so 2525

14:44 14.097084 -23 -1 IO92ma 5 DJ3VI JO43vi 739

14:44 14.097108 -26 0 IO92ma 5 W3GXT FM19ol 5768

14:44 14.097126 -27 0 IO92ma 5 OE5VLL JN78fc 1181

14:26 14.097116 -8 -1 IO92ma 5 LA6TPA JP54rl 1558

14:26 14.097137 -25 0 IO92ma 5 OH5MD KP20ng 1840

14:22 14.097084 -27 0 IO92ma 5 YV4GJN FK50xf 7553

14:18 14.097118 -23 0 IO92ma 5 NB3N FM19ki 5799

14:10 14.097116 -17 0 IO92ma 5 N4AU EM62vp 6904

The map shows WSPR signals both TX and RX heard on 20m this afternoon.

I am going to leave WSPR running all evening, probably on 20m but I may change to 30 or 40m later on if conditions look promising on the lower bands (there have been a lot of QRN/static crashes on the low bands over the past few days, making reception a bit hit and miss).

  • Comments(0)//

More changes to ROS QRG's

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Tue, August 24, 2010 16:37:14

Well no sooner had I posted the set of frequencies that I found on the ROS site, did they go and change them, again! There have been at least 6 changes just in August (in fact there could well have been more I didn't check too closely earlier in the month as I was arguing with a reluctant laptop!)

So here are the latest offerings (Changes to the last list are marked in bold):

One thing I have noticed is the bandwidth has apparently reduced from 2250Hz down to 2000Hz/2kHz, which can only be a good thing.

ROS QRG's (Aug 2010)


136kHz MF

502kHz MF

1838kHz 2000Hz

3598kHz 2000Hz

7048kHz 500Hz - NEW

7055kHz 2000Hz

10144kHz 500Hz

10145kHz 500Hz - NEW

14078kHz 500Hz

14079kHz 500Hz - NEW (ex 14091kHz)

14103kHz 2000Hz

14112kHz 2000Hz

18111kHz 2000Hz

18114kHz 2000Hz - NEW

21110kHz 2000Hz

21114kHz 2000Hz - NEW

24931kHz 2000Hz

28295kHz 2000Hz

50295kHz 2000Hz

70074kHz 2000Hz - NEW

144160kHz EME

144980kHz 2000Hz

Here is a screen grab of the PSKReporter screen, seems I was heard in a few places when I ran my ROS beacon yesterday. I received a few email reports detailing my signal strength etc. in a few countries. Still enjoying playing about with the mode.

  • Comments(0)//

ROS - latest QRG's etc

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Tue, August 17, 2010 12:36:23
There has been an incredible amount of stuff written about ROS both good and bad. One thing that crops up time after time is the subject of which frequencies to use. Here is the latest list (as of today), taken from v5.0 of the ROS software. The first column denotes the suggested frequency and the second column is the mode or bandwidth to use. I would like to see options to use 500Hz on all bands, especially on 40 and 12m. The fact that there are now no less than 5 spot frequencies on 20m is likely to raise some eyebrows. Although ROS seems to work reasonably well, to my mind it is still not as good as some of the narrower band modes. The other thing that I find disconcerting is that there is an awful lot of pre-amble and 'aft-amble', when you hit the ptt button to stop the transmission a good 5-10 seconds pass before the tones stop and you are returned to receive (even if all the text in the box has been sent). I have just discovered that you can't change mode on some bands (like 15m, you are stuck on 2250Hz whether you like it or not, the only way out is to turn off CAT and change band to, say, 20m where certain frequencies allow 500Hz. Not a very flexible system and does not allow for easy experimentation. Using 2250Hz for all transmissions is not spectrum efficient! That said I am still using the mode and just adapting it to my own preferences as much as possible. Any way, here are the latest frequencies:

ROS QRG's (Aug 2010)


136kHz MF

502kHz MF

1838kHz 2250Hz

3598kHz 2250Hz

7055kHz 2250Hz

10144kHz 500Hz

14078kHz 500Hz

14091kHz 500Hz

14103kHz 2250Hz

14112kHz 2250Hz

18111kHz 2250Hz

21110kHz 2250Hz

24931kHz 2250Hz

28295kHz 2250Hz

50295kHz 2250Hz

144160kHz EME

144980kHz 2250Hz

15m (21110) has been quite busy, and I am seeing a lot of spots on the dxcluster (this is another area that is causing some bad press as it is generating a lot of spots because of it's autospotting routine).

You can download the latest version of ROS from the homepage:

  • Comments(0)//


Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Wed, August 04, 2010 15:41:02
Despite the poor conditions due to the CME, there is still some dx to be had on JT65. This afternoons haul on 20m includes JA6CRP (Japan, weak at -23dB but solid copy), 9H1BT (Malta, A new station for me on this mode), DS1DLS (Korea, also weak at -24dB, about the same time as yesterday) and a scattering of European and Eu Russian stations.

I have not seen a single signal from the USA so far today, which is unusual. It's 1430UTC so they should be audible by now as the whole of the USA is well into daylight, the exceptions being the Hawaiian islands and the far West tip of Alaska, both of which are in the greyline area but the lower 48 states and all of Canada are in broad daylight.

I am going to put out a few calls on JT65 and see where I am being heard (by checking the 'reverse beacon' page (, this allows you to filter results and you can see who is hearing you - there are usually a good selection of stations monitoring and it is a great way to see if a path exists between you and your desired area (providing of course there are monitors active there!).

It's stopped raining here and the background noise level has dropped. This is also helped by the fact that there are no other computers or TV's on here and the neighbours are out so electrically it is fairly quiet too.

Note to self: Next time you buy a TV make sure it does not have a plasma screen, boy do they radiate some rubbish. I wouldn't mind but it was a top of the range one by a well respected manufacturer!! Thus far I have not found a solution, other than to minimise it with the MFJ1026 as detailed on my website.

Better go and enjoy the quiet while it lasts, as I'm sure it will start raining again soon. smiley

  • Comments(0)//

Today on JT65a

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Mon, August 02, 2010 19:05:23
Quite an interesting day on 20m JT65. Best DX has been V31UB in Belize, and at -7dB was quite strong. Another good one was DS1DLS from Korea. I've heard him a few times now, ZS1LS from South Africa was also logged once again. The West Coast of the USA is coming in now (1845UTC) in the form of N6MZ from Washington State (which is in '7' land, rather than '6' - it gets confusing when USA stations move states and keep the same call!).

It's a pity there isn't more JT65 activity on bands other than 20m, it's a great mode even if it's pretty limited as far as QSO content goes. I quite often put out a call on 17m just in case!

I may well try 30 or 40m later on, so keep your ears open for G4UCJ :)

73, Sean

  • Comments(0)//

Setting up the blog

Digimode happeningsPosted by Sean Gilbert Sat, July 31, 2010 19:32:49
I thought it about time I had a 'proper' blog! I have a couple knocking around on the internet somewhere but this is the first time I have set one up properly with a dedicated address and RSS feed subscription (sounds technical - It's not, it's just a way of keeping up to date and having a notification when I post something to my blog). So what has been happening digimode wise? Well ROS is still being developed and is still attracting just as much press (good and bad). It's an interesting mode but it can be rather frustrating to use, especially if you are in a QSO and someone starts sending on the same QRG as that effectively means QSO over!! There are a few niggles with it, such as not being able to key in a tx/rx switch into a macro, so you can remain in transmit mode until youre member to switch it back to receive. I have been busy with JT65 and WSPR, both have produced good results from my 5-10 watts. My signals have been reported on the West Coast USA, something that is rather pleasing to me. PSK has been busy, lots of stations active we just need beter conditions on the higher bands. It seems that the Sporadic E meter has run out of credit this month as there has not been much heard above 21MHz. Very pleased with the way the new OCF antenna is working (details on, particularly on 40 and 17m. 73 de G4UCJ ...-.-

  • Comments(0)//