WSPR HF propagation on the map in just one way...

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by VE3GZB, Sep 13, 2021.

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  1. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you ever look at a map of your signal while using WSPR on HF and wonder why your signal seems only to go in one direction and not another direction?

    I'm looking at my signal propagation now on WSPR on 17m and from my QTH everything is blowing westward across the USA when really I'd prefer it to go across the big pond and reach Europe. There's absolute no WSPR signal of mine being reported east of my QTH, it's literally all west of me.

    It's almost like there's a kind of wind blowing the signal in one direction despite the antenna being a dipole. Would particles radiating from the sun cause such a one-way travel of a signal and not allow for travel in both directions?

    Your thoughts?

  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    17m propagation is heavily influenced by daily solar radiation activating the F layers. In other words look for it to follow but lag behind the Sun's position.

    Europe would be favored from mid-morning to mid-late afternoon. From mid-afternoon to mid-evening look to the West for better propagation.

    While you specifically mention WSPR stations, which may or may not be running un-attended 24/7. However, it is still worth mentioning that if few stations (live) are on the air, then few will hear you.

    Ham Activity
    Consider the local time in your target zone. European stations will be most active 1. Early morning before work (or around midnight US time), 2. After coming home from work and around dinner time (noon to mid afternoon US time).
    3. You aren't letting your occupation get in the way of hamming are you? :) b.
    4. Solar graphs showing Sun position and grayline are helpful.

    -Prediction indexes (Poor, Weak, Fair, Strong) are relative. They don't tell you whether a signal will actually be heard.
    -If everyone is listening the band will be silent. Call CQ.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  3. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today I was probing 17m, but I've seen the same type of one-way propagation behaviour on other bands when running a WSPR probe.

    My own antenna here is a stealth hidden fan dipole capable of running from 40 to 10m but in reality it's more like 20, 17 and 15m that I will use it on. Anything here on wavelengths 40m and longer is pretty much useless (QRN) and 12 and 10 here are just as bad as 40m.

    I don't know how many WSPR stations are automated versus occasionally manned by a ham operator.

  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    One other thing to keep in mind about WISPR. There is no standard station. No standard radio, no standard settings for the radio, no standard antenna type, no standard orientation, no calibration of the antenna, no calibration of the radio.

    While theoretically propagation is symmetrical in both directions that does not consider...
    -That is for an instantaneous moment. The ionosphere is constantly churning and the conditions at one moment are not identical to 30 seconds or a few minutes later.
    -The far station may be located in a deep rural location with little electro-fog with no thunderstorms for thousands of miles, and favorable regional conditions based on time of day.
    -Your location may be semi-urban with lots of neighbors, industrial businesses, plenty of electro-fog and copious thunderstorms within 1500 miles. In this case you very well may be completely unable to hear the other station even with ideal path.

    This is part and parcel of HF radio. If it was easy, it wouldn't be interesting. Best wishes. Improve your antennas if you can!! b.
    VE3GZB likes this.
  5. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Electrofog, I like that term. Well, I'm in an urban situation, a few miles away is a brewery, a car parts plant, metal fabrication factory. Lots of electricity and lots of sparks are used in these places and the beer drowns out the work. About 7 miles from me is a local AM broadcast transmitter and lots of houses in this area have home automation and electric car chargers.

    So it's more like an Electrostew than an Electrofog here. Some days are just not worth even going near the radio.

    As far as improving the antenna goes, it's an HOA condo area so there's no hope for any improving the antenna, I have to keep it stealth.

  6. KN6FWT

    KN6FWT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is a useful site that I use to track what the MUF is doing. If you look at it, it starts to make sense why certain times of day you will only get out certain directions.

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