My XYL built one of the QRSS beacon kits for us to take on a trip to SW Turkey in September 2010. The QTH is the same as in the Mediterranean beacon, 2009. Again the antenna installation is on top of a 5-storey apartment building. The power supply this time is four C-cell batteries in series wrapped in a newspaper tube.
11-Sep-10 to 22-Sep-10
"G0UPL XYL" in FSKCW with 3Hz shift
Photos of the construction by XYL, and the antenna installation on the roof...
Please click the images to see the fullsize screenshots.
There were initially no reception reports anywhere, when there should have been. After a couple of days, I went up on the roof to visit the transmitter. I found that the newspaper wrapping the battery tube was damp, and when I put the small headphone speaker I'd brought along, across the audio output of the keyer, there was no output. It seemed that some water had accumulated (from where?) on the roof where I'd stood the battery pack, and seeped up into the newspaper.
I replaced the soggy newspaper with fresh newspaper, and stood the battery pack this time on a small slab of marble found on the roof to keep it off the roof surface and away from any water; and balanced another slab on TOP of the pack, to ensure pressure would keep the batteries nicely connected inside the newspaper tube (probably an unnecessary step). The speaker gave audio keyed output so all seemed well.
12-Sep-10 1613Z: As far as I can work out, the first reported reception came from Pierre ON5SL in JO10tt, Eitkhove, Belgium.
12-Sep-10 1630Z: Paolo IZ1KXQ used the stacker/stitcher program by Scott Harden, AJ4VD to average 5 transmission cycles. This reduces QRM and QRN, but makes the wanted signal stand out more as it is reinforced 5 times. Very nice! Paolo reports:
"Today I had a wonderful signal from the Greek side of Hans Summers. [Editors note: he means Turkish side, and Hans Summers' XYL ;-) ]. From 1630 UTC I made a stacking process of n 5 complete cycles (760 seconds each), total 3,800 secs. with the magic Scott's program QRSS Stitcher / QRSS Stacker. My Spectrumlab scrolling speed was 0.75 sec. So the final Stacked image , lower side in the picture shows a 100% signal copy. With a little of patience , we can get very nice results like this. 73 de Paolo IZ1KXQ"
12-Sep-10 1852Z: Johan PA0TAB sees the signal too, on his grabber in JO33hf, Groningen, The Netherlands.
13-Sep-10 0005Z: John VK6JY reported some weakly decodable reception, taking some effort as I understand, from Albany, Western Australia
13-Sep-10 1602: Nice clear reception report from Johan ON5EX's grabber in Belgium, with annotations added by John VJ6JY.
13-Sep-10 1900Z: Reception in New Zealand by Pete ZL2IK in RF74ci, Ruatangata. Pete adds: "Hans Summers’ spotted from his Turkish visit, and also George from Greece, good copy from both Mediterranean stations."
14-Sep-10 0332Z: First report from Bill W4HBK who says: "I had been looking for Hans with no success until just as I was checking my grabber before retiring for the evening he suddenly popped up....easy copy. Gotta love the sunrise effect!"
14-Sep-10 0540Z: Another nice report from Pierre ON5SL, who says: "G0UPL XYL and ZL1EE on the same capture... while Hans' MEPT was visible for long time, Murray's signal started strong at 05h30UTC to fade gradually away... disappeared completely at 07h00UTC... bad conditions to US...
15-Sep-10 0600Z: Another report from Bill W4HBK: a nice story goes with this one!
Bill noted the dramatic drop in frequency, which happened at the same time every day, and asked if the beacon was in the sun, with 10-15C temperature rise, during that time. I replied that indeed, there would be a period of an hour or two every morning after sunrise, where the beacon would be in full sunshine, until the sun rose high enough for the beacon to fall into the shadow of the water heater (see photo, left).
CLICK HERE to read the nice email correspondence on this topic.
15-Sep-10 2247Z: Another interesting report from Paolo IZ1KXQ, who used Scott's stacker/stitcher program. The top image shows the long "stitched" image covering several hours, and the bottom image shows the results of the averaging of six transmission cycles to improve signal-to-noise (and QRM) ratio.
16-Sep-10 0400Z: Report from Johan ON5EX.
16-Sep-10 2352Z: First report from Colin G6AVK, showing just the "G0" but clearly identifiable and on the expected frequency.
17-Sep-10 0340Z: Good copy by Pierre ON5SL in JO10tt, Eitkhove, Belgium.
18-Sep-10 0202Z: Another one from Pierre ON5SL in JO10tt, Eitkhove, Belgium.
19-Sep-10 2245Z: The last known reception of the G0UPL/XYL beacon, by Paolo IZ1KXQ. Did the batteries finally die? Who knows. It certainly looks like the signal is a lot weaker. They were only C-cell batteries and powered the beacon for over a week, which doesn't seem bad at all.
6 days of reception in one image, by Michael DL4MGM!
13-Sep-10 0000Z: Michael DL4MGM put together a set of 24-hour reception images showing 6 days of reception of the G0UPL/XYL beacon and reports:
"I finally got around and put together a compilation of my 30m reception over the past days. Primarily I did it to show the behaviour of the G0UPL XYL MEPT but there is much more to discover.
My receiver has drifted a bit high over time that's why there is so much WSPR in the window...
Things I see: 1)The "morning slant" on Hans G0UPL's XYL MEPT which really is very similar every day, including the hump at the bottom of the slope. 2) Sorry to Paul G0XPD but I had no pretty copy of your Hell section these days so I didn't put a zoom of it in. Apart from that you can see that you are with me quite regularly. 3) With Steve G0XAR I have the impression that his signal is affected more by quick fading that others - I might be wrong... 4) You can see George SV8GXC "re-packaging" his TX and also the obvious improvement that gave for short term stability. Everything is much smoother now. 5) There is some DX too, like Vernon VE1VDM, some glimpse of the WB3ANQ reference snake provided by Larry and ZL1EE too, which is a first time with me I think. Remove the question mark after W4HBK, I'm sure now as I decoded the call correctly and I see the exact same run in after turn on as some other grab posted earlier on the list.