Michael G0POT reviews WSPRlite with DXplorer
Wondering how well your antenna works? WSPRlite with DXplorer will tell you…
The WSPRlite is a special test transmitter that sends a signal to a Worldwide network of receiving stations. When used with our web-based DXplorer system, it’s a powerful new way to evaluate antenna performance. Going way beyond antenna modelling or antenna analyzers, this unique system allows you to see how your antenna is performing in its actual location and in real-time! This type of analysis has never been possible before.
- antenna performance testing (great for contesters)
- compare antennas
- compare locations
- test beam antennas
- spot openings when you are out of the shack
…all in a way that has never been possible before!
Using a simple computer interface, you program the WSPRlite with your callsign, QTH locator. Once set up, the WSPRlite does not need the computer to operate. Just connect it to a USB power supply (e.g. mobile phone charger), press the “sync” button at the start of any even minute, and off it goes! WSPRlite will make regular transmissions that are automatically received by stations around the world. These stations send their reports to a central website where you can see where your signals are reaching within seconds. Even more fun is to leave your beacon running and monitors its performance using DXplorer on your smartphone or tablet. This is a great way to see how your station is doing when you are at work – or even on holiday!* Take a WSPRlite on your next business trip or cruise and see where it it being heard while you sit at the bar.
What makes our product unique is the ability to compare antennas and location. We use the WSPR data to generate a special metric, DX10. We recalculate your DX10 range (km) every 2 minutes. DX10 is a great system performance indicator! The best HF system will give the longest DX10 ranges. Because you can compare the DX10 ranges for two station in real-time, you can see which one is the best – and by how much. Along with real-time DX10 graphs we calculate a mean and maximum DX10 score for each station – very handy if you make changes to your antennas to see what the changes actually do!
For beam users we generate on-the-fly Great Circle maps that have colour-coded spot locations showing signal to noise ratios. If you are doing a comparison, you can easily see who got the furthest spots and who was strongest!
WSPRlite is a self-contained propagation beacon transmitter. Once configured using a special Windows app, WSPRlite only needs a USB power supply to operate (no need to tie up your computer). WSPRlite operates on 160-80-40-30-20m. The unit contains filters for 30 m and 20 m operation. Operation on other bands requires a band-specific lowpass filter, we can supply a suitable kit. WSPRlite has accurate digital power control over a 16 dB range to facilitate precise measurements of antenna performance differences. WSPRlite is a low power device at only 200 mW but because of the clever encoding of the WSPR signal it has the DX capability of a 1 KW SSB transmitter (80 W CW).
The DXplorer website is designed to operate with WSPRlite. DXplorer provides you with antenna performance information and propagation information in a new easy-to-use format. DXplorer has been optimised for use on mobile devices. Each WSPRlite comes with a free 1 year subscription to DXplorer Premium worth £19.95 – allowing access to additional facilities including detailed antenna comparisons.
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