A new way to compare HF antennas

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G3CWI, Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. G3CWI

    G3CWI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Testing HF antennas is a tricky thing to do. Simple on-air test are
    seldom conclusive and are more often than not, they are just plain
    confusing. SOTABEAMS has come up with a completely new way to test
    antennas, locations and to monitor propagation using the WSPR system.



    SOTABEAMS system consists of two parts; WSPRlite a WSPR beacon with
    electronic power control and DXplorer.net a data analysis website.

    WSPRlite sends a test transmission which is received by hundreds of
    stations across the world. DXplorer.net is a web based system that
    gathers these reports and presents them in a whole new way, allowing
    the user to check the DX performance of their antenna system. However,
    the real break-though is the ability to compare systems in real time and
    all over the world. DXplorer.net doesthis in a simple and intuitive way
    enabling you to see what difference changes to your antenna system really
    make to its DX performance.

    More information on WSPRlite and DXplorer.net is available at:

    http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wsprlite
     
    K8PG, KB8AMZ, KA4RUR and 2 others like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So you've machine-automated the reverse beacon system....using WSPR, and provided an analytical display for comparitive results.

    Frankly, I do these things on CW on a daily basis, using a real-live person, but I can understand why a machine-based system may have some value to those who don't want to call CQ on CW (thereby turning on the RBN logging), and just want to see the results.

    The REAL issue is not PROPAGATION, but POPULATION. I am not the only one to see a huge turn down in QSO's with the new onset of the susnpot min. For example, I will regularly turn on 20-40 RB receivers with my high gain fractal omni antennas, with decent to excellent SNR. But no answers to CQ's. Typically, I call CQ and also do something else while waiting for answers--write reports, books, check email, exercise. Three years ago I would get 50-300 Q's in a short run, no contest needed.

    I compare antennas all the time on RBN.

    If this new system gets people attune to the idea of 'being heard', that great--but its no substitute for 'being OTA'.

    Anyway the package sounds nice, and is clearly cost effective.

    I STRONGLY suggest you see the 2017 NA total solar eclipse as an opportunity to sell and showcase the system. Best of luck with the new product.

    73
    Chip W1YW
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    K2MIJ and K7YB like this.
  3. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You must take the results from the WSPR network with a large grain of salt. Since the receiving stations are volunteers who do not have 1. A standard, identical antenna 2. Nor a standard Spherical pattern 3. Nor any sort of calibration to compensate for installation qualities, nor to compensate for the non-standard antenna pattern, the numbers are highly subjective. It's better than a subjective RST report, however!
     
  4. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    dupe.
     
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its a comparison, not an absolute:) The ratios cancel like factors.

    It assumes that your prop differential (in dB) via the comparison is identical for your antenna A on day 1, so when you replace or raise antenna A with antenna B, any identical differential is caused by the difference in Antenna B as an antenna system. The uncertainty is probably one or two db.

    :)
     
    K8PG and KB4QAA like this.
  6. K5FAB

    K5FAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The REAL issue is not PROPAGATION, but POPULATION. I am not the only one to see a huge turn down in QSO's with the new onset of the susnpot min. For example, I will regularly turn on 20-40 RB receivers with my high gain fractal omni antennas, with decent to excellent SNR. But no answers to CQ's. Typically, I call CQ and also do something else while waiting for answers--write reports, books, check email, exercise. Three years ago I would get 50-300 Q's in a short run, no contest needed.

    Could it be all those hams living with HOA antenna restrictions? Sure, when propagation is good, you can load up a bedspring and make a contact.
    Fewer hams with EFFECTIVE outdoor antennas?
     
    WD0BCT and KM1H like this.
  7. G3CWI

    G3CWI Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are right. That is why DXplorer.net does not use the reported signal at all. It processes the data in a completely different way.
     
    KB4QAA likes this.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    ....and given that there are many people here with metrology backgrounds in antennas, what way is that?

    I don't believe there is anything new in the measurement process.
     
  9. KG5EXW

    KG5EXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Never mind all the whingers, whiners and nitpickers ... I think this is well cool and I guess I'm gonna go buy one.
     
    G0POT, KB1HQS and KM1H like this.
  10. NN5BB

    NN5BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agree.

    NK7B
     

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