WSPRlite Propagation Monitor and Antenna Comparator
The WSPRlite is a test transmitter that sends a signal to a World wide network of receiving stations.
When used with the web-based DXplorer ( www.dxplorer.net ) system, it's a powerful way to evaluate antenna performance.
Going way beyond antenna modelling or antenna analysers, 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. Uses: antenna performance testing compare antennas compare locations test beam antennas spot openings when you are out of the shack
Below is a read out of a comparison of two different antennas owned by two different amateurs .... Just one of the several information screens available in the premium version of DXplorer (Free for first year)
Below is a youtube video, which is very informative, Please click on the arrow to start the video.
At the end of February 2017, I spent £58.00, plus Post and Packing to buy one of these tiny 'Gizmos' from SOTAbeams, and it was delivered next day, together with a USB to mini USB connector and an SMA to SO239 adaptor to connect it up to a power supply source and antenna..
Sadly, although with the explicit and helpful instructions that are on a special on line site for purchasers (DXplorer - http://dxplorer.net ), I had it working as described within minutes, but all that was being transmitted was a 50Hz 'Buzz Saw' sound. On further reading, I found that this was due to a 'dirty' 5.5V supply from the USB ports on my 3 computers I tried, as well as my tablet chargers, so I ordered a kit from SOTAbeams for £15.45 plus P&P that 'purifies' any supply.
WSPRlite Power Conditioner Kit
This will run a WSPRlite from a battery supply or "wall-wart", the WSPRlite Power Conditioner will convert any 7 - 20 Volt DC supply into a super-clean quiet 5 Volt USB supply - perfect for the WSPRlite.
A linear regulator is used to avoid the noise problems so often associated with cheap switching regulators. It is rated at 200 mA and with a re-settable fuse, the Power Conditioner will keep a WSPRlite happy - and safe. The DC input is protected against voltage spikes by a special TVS diode and is provided with additional smoothing with a low-esr input capacitor. These features have been added in case the WSPRlite is used in a mobile setting. It will also condition the data lines to avoid unwanted noise affecting your WSPRlite.
The kit is supplied with a PowerPole for the DC input and a standard USB output, and making a WSPRlite at home or in the field! The PCB has M3 mounting holes (mounting hardware not supplied with board kit). The Power Conditioner is available in two forms:
The PCB kit consists of: 1 x PCB and all board components (no mounting hardware).
The PCB + enclosure kit adds an ABS box, laser-cut front panel and board mounting hardware.
(Above) the Power conditioner PCB assembled, and also as it looks in its custom made case, which is also available.
Low Pass Filter Kit,
To extend the supplied 30 & 40 Metre
kit and add 160, 80 and 40 Metres
The WSPRlite itself, as supplied, works only on 20 and 30Mhz - However there is yet another 'Add On' you can purchase - again as a 'kit' where you even have to make up your own ferrite toroid chokes, and will enable the WSPRlite to work on lower frequencies - 40, 80, and 160M. It costs £24.50, plus P&P ... No enclosure is available, but would be an added incentive to buy.
There are Low Pass filters for 40m, 80m and 160m (all three are supplied). The low pass filter kit builds up to a neat pcb with low pass filters for 7 MHz, 3.7 MHz and 1.8 MHz. The filters are selectable with movable jumpers.
I think that If a ready prepared enclosure was supplied with the required mounting hardware and either a rotary or three single switches, you could add external switching for band selection, rather than having to change jumpers all the time, and the LPF would be more visually appealing in the shack, rather than the 'bare bones' PCB.
The kit is supplied with a pre-wired co-ax tail with SMA plug to connect directly to the WSPRlite and a board-mounted SMA socket for connecting an antenna. The PCB was designed with new builders in mind. High quality through-hole components have been used throughout including Grade 1 Murata/TDK C0G/NP0 capacitors, Grade 1 solderable enamelled copper wire and gold plated jumpers. Each filter is a 7 element low-pass with great performance and low loss. The kit is rated at 25 Watts - suitable for general QRP transmitter use.
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