Testing HF Ham Radio Propagation with WSPR
When you first set up an HF transceiver, your biggest concern is if anyone can hear you. There is a neat digital mode called WSPR, created by Joe Taylor, who holds a Nobel Prize in physics. To use this, you need a way to connect your radio to a computer so you can use the WSJT-X client, which can do several digital modes including WSPR.
Once you’ve set it up, it pretty much runs on its own. WSPR sends out a small digital signal. Other WSPR clients can receive that signal and report it on the Internet.
Now here’s what’s cool: you can visit an online map like the one at WSPRnet and see WSPR signal propagation around the world. Each station is pinned with its callsign, so you can see just how far your signal reaches. I learned that my little 20-watt Xiegu G90 can reach all the way to Antarctica and New Zealand from my home in Middle Tennessee.
You can filter the map by the band, time sent, and callsign, so you can test out different things and compare.