Solar Panel Addition

Today we added a fourth solar panel for the purpose of improving early morning power output.

IMG_0205The other three panels are aiming due south tilted at 48 degrees for maximum December 22 output at noon.  This new panel is aimed due east for the first sun of the morning tilted to obtain peak output at 8 am.  We often want to operate just after dawn when the batteries are at their lowest.  This panel should fill in the gap until the main panels are getting sun.  We still need to connect the wires.

WSPR Station

A Weak Signal Progagation Report (WSPR) station is on the air now from the permanent site at Strasburg.  It runs 1 watt on multiple bands.  WSPRnet.org shows the results.   Hardware is a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver and an Intel Compute Stick computer.  Software is WSJT-X Ver 1.8 running in WSPR mode.  Antenna is a Hustler 6BTV trap vertical.  Ground radials are welded-wire fencing.

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KC0RF, John, and I were just finishing up when rain hit.

Control is done over the Internet using a remote access application, Teamviewer.  FCC regulations specify a beacon can only run when an operator is present to control it.  Whenever I leave the house the WSPR station is shut down by using Teamviewer.

Here’s a random screen snap of the WSPRnet.org results for the last hour.  These stations have “spotted” my 1 watt beacon and posted it to WSPRnet.org in the last hour.  We’re getting many more spots with the base antenna out here than we did with the mobile antenna at home.

Screenshot 2017-08-11 15.45.08

August 15, 2017 – measuring the swr with a MFJ-259B antenna analyzer showed high swr on 30 meters and 80 meters.  We changed the WSPR configuration to only listen on those two bands.  Hopefully we’ll get time to readjust the 6BTV before the eclipse next Monday.

It’s working now but a few hurdles had to be cleared to get this station on the air, as you’ll see in the previous WSPR post.