Saturday 28 August 2010

Just when a pattern seemed to be forming...

After describing the silence which fell on my WSPR spots during (local) nightime last weekend, I continued to gather overnight data through the week.

The pattern of activity fading during the evening to an overnight quiet, followed by a re-awakening with the dawn seemed consistent (although there was a general fall-off in spot frequency throughout the week). Then, just as I was getting complacent, last night's data threw up a surprise - spots throughout the night!

The week's data are seen here (with apologies for the AWFUL 3-d graphing capability of Excel)...

I wonder if this is a reflection of a real change in propagation last night - or a reflection of greatly increased WSPR reporting activity at the weekend? There is a slight suggestion of weekly periodicity in the "spots per hour" data at - although the peak seems to be on Sunday/Monday as opposed to Friday/Saturday.

Despite this collapse of what I believed to be a consistent pattern, one truth does seem to be preserved throughout the last week's observations; I have good chance of DX on 30m just before midnight (UTC). Aside from Douglas, w3pm's spots reported last week, I was delighted to be seen by John, w3prb to the West and Al, ra6as to the East in this "hot time" around midnight (UTC) - pity I'm fast asleep!!

Incidentally, the manual collation of numbers of spots of each of my five-and-a-bit Joule flashes was becoming a bit of a bore - so I wrote a program to convert the data from WSPRnet into a count. The program was written in MATLAB (because of familiarity and convenience).

Here's a typical section of data downloaded from WSPRnet...

and here's the associated section of the "counts" output file...

Logging the actual spots (such as those at 17:24 and 18:04 in the example above) is pretty trivial - but padding out with the flashes which weren't reported (such as the zero spot count at 17:34) is a more interesting programming problem - especially as I wanted the program to be robust to "resets" of my transmitting schedule (which meant I may have been transmitting at 4,14,24... minutes past the hour but then reset and changed to 8,18,28... minutes past).

Either that or my senility is advancing faster than I first thought HI HI

...-.- de m0xpd

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