04 February, 2014

Ultimate QRSS kits

I'm a great fan of Hans Summers (G0UPL) and his effort in launching kits for various slow speed modes. In fact I have all three generations of the Ultimate QRSS kits up and running. That includes the original single-band kit (30 m in my case, bottom in picture), as well as number 2 and 3, the multi-band kits.

The latest version, in the middle of the picture, has a nicer two line display, and it can also be fitted with a relay board. It makes it possible to jump between up to 6 different bands.

I have used them exclusively in the WSPR mode so far. For time synchronization with the first and last version I have used an EM-406 GPS module which also provides the required pulse-per-second output. My Ultimate 2 has a too early software revision to work with the GPS, so it is on my list for a firmware upgrade.

I have a lot more experimentation to do before I know these kits and their capabilities, but I have at least gotten some experience with how far 150 mW of WSPR can take you, and that was to Australia on 30 m in my case. This is really amazing.

I would recommend the latest kit to anyone who is interested in experimentation with digital modes and who wants to compare e.g. antennas or just observe how propagation varies. The price is reasonable also, starting at GBP £17.50.

The challenge for me has been to find suitable enclosures for the two last kits. I hope to be able to make something from plexiglass for the last one. But I am still looking for that great idea for how to do that.

The last 24 hours on 10 m with a horizontal loop antenna, 80 m long, has caused my tiny signal to be decoded in the US several times as shown below.



See also "My first 24 hours on WSPR" and the G0UPL pages.