Wednesday, 28 October 2009
One of the most useful features of the internet amateur radio wise in my opinion is the QRZ.com website. Here you can instantly look up someones callsign, QSL details and in many cases a picture and additional information. The Digipan PSK program I use has a 'Lookup' button which automatically links a callsign that you are working or have worked to the appropriate QRZ page. All very useful. Of course the information isn't always up to date and occassionally, but in my experience not that often a callsign may not be listed but all in all its a very useful tool.
A little while ago the QRZ system was revamped a little and I note that it also provides you with a google map of the area in which your QSO partner is located. Most of the time it cleverly draws a line between your QSO partners location and yours showing the direct path.
I have noticed however that although there is always a map there is not always a line drawn between the two locations. I wonder why this is? Does anyone know? I guess maybe I should post a query on the QRZ forums!
I notice a number of "radio bloggers" talking about the WSPR system. This looks interesting and I wouldn't mind giving it a go. The only thing is I believe it requires you to run QRP power levels. now my Data station is based around an old Kenwood TS830S. I can get that rig down to around 10 watts, in fact I worked a CT1 on 30metres on around 10 watts tonight! But is that low enough power for WSPR? It can be difficult to get the older equipment with valve PAs down to QRP levels, although I have worked several foundation licence holders using old FT101's and similar rigs who must have managed it!!