There was no activity on WSPR on 40m today so I decided to bite the bullet and put up a simple dipole for 30m (10Mhz) which is where the majority of activity seems to be.
It's a very simple thin wire dipole, 7.034m (minus a bit) per leg, from the trusty gum tree to the house. No balun at this point just direct to the co-ax.
I couldn't get the co-ax into the main shack so I've run it through a window to my little work bench area. The software is running on an EEE PC running XP.
The rig is an FT-817 running 5W and it was immediately picked up, or "spotted" as they say, by stations in Europe and America.
I don't seem to be receiving too well so far, lots of bad packets, not sure what's going in but I'll leave it over night and see if it picks up as night falls.
I'm very lucky to have this wonderful gum tree in the neighbour's yard right next to the fence.
Today I re-ran the 40/80m dipole support through a pulley with the eventual aim of keeping it taught with a weight so that it moves with the wind rather than snapping. A second loop of cord was taken over the branch today as I'm worried that I'll let go of the wrong cord one day and lose my fantastic high anchor point.
All credit to Joe Taylor, K1JT, for creating WSPR and WSJT, I told my neighbour, a maths wizard (BSc BE PhD, MIEEE), that I was running some software written in Fortran and he was somewhat surprised.
Looks like 5W on 30m is working just fine, here's how my station looks first thing this morning:
Must track down VK2AWD who is just 10km away. Searching the WSPR Spot Database I can see that my 37dBm (5W) signal was spotted up to 16,758 km away and I spotted a 37dBm (5W) signal up to 16,737 km away.
Just stumbled across the bozo's guide to jt65a. Great stuff! (The author Andy K3UK clearly isn't).