WSPR is a great way to test band propagation and the efficiency of your setup. By sending WSPR signal and monitoring reports, you’ll be able to quite easily understand what’s the best band to do operation and I suggest you to do a quick band test (takes a few minutes in total) before starting transmitting.
What you need:
- Elecraft KX3
- Android device
- WSPR Beacon Android app
- Audio cable with 3.5 male jack on both sides
Setup on the KX3:
- Set MIC BIAS to OFF
- Set MIC BTN to OFF
- Set the KX3 to VOX
- Set PWR to 0 (for testing)
- Set the KX3 Mode to DATA A
- Connect the KX3 Mic IN to the Android device Earphones OUT with the Audio cable.
On the smartphone/tablet:
- Check that the smartphone/tablet clock is synced. Make sure that your offset is as low as possible. Under 2 seconds is fine but the lower the better. I personally use a nice free app named: ClockSync. The ClockSync app can sync your clock for you so worth using it.
- Open the WSPR Beacon app
- Press the START button and wait for the WSPR signal to be transmitted. Leave everything to default. For now we don’t care about callsign and other fields as we are only testing for best audio setup.
- Lower/Rise the smartphone/tablet audio until the KX3 starts transmitting. We need the lowest possible volume.
- Adjust the KX3 mic volume until we see 4 ALC bars with 5th bar flashing
Ok. We’ve found the perfect audio setup on the smartphone/tablet and on the KX3. Take a note of them so that next time it’ll be faster to be reach perfect setup.
- Set the CALLSIGN
- Set the LOCATOR (or press the GPS button to have the app calculate it automatically based on your position)
- Set the POWER LEVEL to respect the Power out of your KX3. I suggest you to start with max 5W and then try to lower to 2W and 1W (or even lower!) and you’ll be surprised on how far you can be heard with such low power outs. The important is that the POWER LEVEL value matches the one of your KX3 Power out
- Select the BAND you want to try to transmit and set the KX3 to the shown frequency value (DATA A mode)
- Set the TX FRAMING. You can start with a single transmission (SEND ONCE) and eventually then move it to repeat every N minutes mode. Don’t transmit too often. Considering that a WSPR transmissions lasts about 111 seconds, a frame of 8/10 minutes is fine.
- Set the base FREQUENCY. This is the value you have to add to the BAND frequency to know which exact frequency you are transmitting at. Look at the “Activity” section in the WSPRnet.org website to see where people is transmitting and find a free “slot”.
- Press START. The app will wait for the frame start and will automatically start transmitting when it should.
- Once the WSPR signal transmission is over you can monitor your reception reports using the MAP and/or the DATABASE buttons. They open the related pages of the WSPRnet.log and there you can put your callsign and view reports.
I hope this helps all the people wanting to start using WSPR for their tests, particularly KX3 owners 😉
72/73, Andrea IU4APC