First I started Opera on 40 meter this morning, no spots with 5 watt. So I switched to WSPR on 40 meter with 5 watt and my end fed wire. Stations came rolling in. Best result was ZL1MA from New Zealand 18017 km, Also PY2GN (see photo taken from QRZ.com) and from over the pond: KE7KRF, NA4U, K9AN, KC2STA and W8LIW. I received TG8AMX, unfortunately, he didn't spot me. 4 continents in a few hours. Last week I thought my antenna was defect, but conditions were poor, as Julian G4ILO wrote today: "... did someone break the ionosphere?"
Monday, January 30, 2012
Again a test on 30 meter early this morning. Same time (almost) same power, same antenna. It could be that there are more participants with WSPR than with Opera. So I can not conclude what the best software is. As a propagation tool is WSPR still the best, because of more active stations.
I see the possibility to make auto QSO's with Opera in the new version 1.2.1 How it works, I don't know yet. But Opera is still a beta version in development. So it can be a promise for hams. Try it yourself, you can download the program here.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Now is also 40 and 20 meter available, HF is complete. Also 60 meter, but this band is not allowed in the Netherlands. Opera is good for checking band conditions or testing the antennas.
Can I say conditions were poor today when I was spotted in Australia with 5 watt? With Opera no DX really on 30 m. Maybe not enough users on the frequency. With WSPR I was spotted in VK. It seems that when conditions are poor, Opera fails. With good conditions Opera is a slightly better in performance than WSPR.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Amateur radio: it’s a man’s world. I do not work al lot of women, but today I did, well just one. I came across Bernadeta SQ9ROO from Kamesznica, Poland. With BPSK-31 on 30 meter, 5 watts output and my Sand Piper antenna (MV-5+3) Also worked Leo OK2BWK on 30m. The Sand Piper antenna works very good on 30 meter. Most of the day I run Opera on 30 meter. I did check WSPR and Opera under the same conditions, and I think Opera is a little bit better than WSPR.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Yesterday I did worked YO6PJS Claudio from Romania with 5 watt SSB on 20 meter. He was very loud 59+ here. Several stations were calling but he picked up my qrp signal with SSB, the underdog mode for qrp-ers. Most QRP operators choose Morse as their favourite mode, which I can understand. I use my FT817 only for QRPp operations or 5 watt SSB on 10, 20 and 40 meter (and VHF/UHF) For CW and digital modes I use my FT450. Claudio gave me a 58-59 report. In principal, I can work stations which are S8 or stronger on 10, 20 or 40 meter with 5 watt SSB. I never call CQ, but I search for strong CQ calling stations. I will participate with the PACC contest in February with SSB and maybe CW, of course with QRP.
This afternoon I worked II6LN and IT9IMJ on 20 meter with SSB.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
When you don't come often here, you haven't miss me. I was for a few weeks off line with the intention to stop blogging. But I'm afraid it's a kind of addiction. Since I am playing with Opera (experimental QRSS) it's nice to share it with others. I feel a bit silly that I was saying good-bye, and now I am back again. You must think I am mad or something. Sorry for that.
I use my old URL (dutchhamradio.blogspot.com) because in about two months my call sign will be changed in PHØTO. So, I will leave PC4T call sign and blog. I imported all postings and comments into this blog, nothing is lost.
This afternoon I was spotted by VK4YEH with Opera on 30 meter (5 watt - Sand Piper antenna) I do like Opera, more than WSPR at the moment.
X-Ray image from a GOES satellite at 14:12 UTC on January 23, 2012. Credit: NOAA. Earth’s magnetic field is already full of activity from an Earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) last week. But all indications are another blast is headed our way from the strongest solar radiation storm since September, 2005.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Opera frequency on 15 & 80 meter are close to the JT65A frequencies. Many times JT65A interfere with Opera signals. Still 10.135 Mhz is very popular by Opera users. On the pic you see two JT65A signals, one of them between the Opera window.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
For two weeks now I am testing Opera, a new digital mode, developed by EA5HVK, the man behind ROS. It is similar like WSPR, it is not a qso mode but a beacon with slow CW. First meant for low frequencies like 136 and 500 KHz. But with the latest version v 1.1.2 is also possible 80, 30, 17, 12 and 10 meter. Popular frequencies are 30 and 80 meter. The interval time for WSPR is set, but with Opera you can choose your own interval time between 1 and 60 minutes. Because the mode is in an experimental phase, software updates are almost daily. Results are quite good. I think a little bit better than WSPR. Decodes are possible with -33 db. The old way of QRSS was a struggle. I have never been reported with QRSS! Always in vain transmitting a signal. But with Opera it is fine business. Spots are visible with PSKreporter and Hamspots.com. I saw a test with a few milliwatts: 32 million miles per watts is accomplished. Wow! I hope that Opera will be a QSO mode as well in the future.