Wednesday, 10 August 2016

WSPR Stats

After looking at how many people are using DMR, I thought I'd look into how many people were using one of my favourite modes - WSPR. As almost every reception report is logged and displayed online, this is quite easy.
I got the data from KB9AMG's site which shows "2 way" reception reports. These are where both stations have logged reception of each other and uploaded this to the WSPR spots database, rather than actually having a 2 way QSO. This is a pretty reliable way of counting all stations who were active, removing any false decodes.
I combined the data from the months of May, June and July 2016.

In 3 months, in England, 493 stations were active on WSPR.
Breakdown by callsign type:
2E0 = 45
2E1 = 3
G0 = 56
G1 = 21
G2 = 1
G3 = 50
G4 = 91
G6 = 20
G7 = 32
G8 = 29
M0 = 103
M1 = 12
M3 = 10
M5 = 4
M6 = 16

Compared to the figures for DMR (see the last blog post), there is much less interest from Foundation and Intermediate licence holders. As with DMR, the M0 callsigns are the most common (21%, compared to 16% of DMR), but G4s are not far behind at 18%, which is much higher than their 10% share of DMR registrations.

Worldwide, there were a total of 3990 stations active in the 3 months on WSPR. Most of these were only active in one of the 3 months
Breakdown by months active:
3 = 871 (22%)
2 = 935
1 = 2184

Where are all the G0s? Shouldn't there be at least as many as G4s (G0 callsign range was almost fully issued) and M0s (still not fully issued)?

Monday, 8 August 2016

DMR Stats

Had a look at how many people are registered on the DMR MARC database, from the UK. This gives a rough idea of how many people have ever transmitted on a DMR radio in the amateur bands. There's nothing stopping you setting the radio ID to anything you want, especially on simplex, but I think most people would register.

Total DMR IDs:
19th May 2016 = 3641
8th August 2016 = 4035
That's an increase of about 10% in the last 71 days (or 6 new IDs per day). It's still only around 5% of the total UK amateur licences. But 4000 is a very large number if you compare it with say the number of people entering a VHF contest or logging Summits On The Air contacts in the database.
It will be interesting to see how the total increases over time, 

Breakdown by callsign type (England only)
Total England = 3353
2E0 = 496
2E1 = 38
G0 = 306
G1 = 185
G2 = 7
G3 = 92
G4 = 331
G5 = 4
G6 = 182
G7 = 225
G8 = 185
M0 = 533
M1 = 124
M3 = 163
M5 = 12
M6 = 470

That may or may not be a reflection of how many of each callsign type are active on the air in general, as newly licenced amateurs could be more attracted to modern tech gadgets rather than traditional equipment.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Two Decades of M1AVV

Tomorrow will be the 20th anniversary of me having an amateur radio licence. The date on my licence was 6th August 1996 but it wasn't till 18 days later I knew my callsign. Partly because I was on holiday and the licence was on the doormat when I got home, but stuff just took so much longer before we all had internet access. 

I got the licence aged 15, so I'm "only" 35 now.
My first amateur transceiver was a Rexon RL102 144MHz handheld, and at the time was the cheapest proper handie (it was just under £100 but there were very low power radios for a bit less). Nowadays something of that spec would be about £20 from Baofeng, but it was pretty good at the time.
Things have changed a bit in the last 20 years, there were digital modes but most packet was through bulletin boards rather than the unconnected APRS messaging used now. I think repeater use has gone down (at least on the analogue ones), with simplex FM use maybe increasing in some areas with people coming off CB. There were a lot more people on repeaters actually mobile driving to/from work.
Back in '96 you didn't have to worry about what CTCSS tone to use (1750hz toneburst always worked), narrow deviation (nobody used the 12.5khz channels) and definitely no talkgroups. But even now I'm not keen on asking people to go to a 12.5khz offset channel on 145MHz simplex, I still don't bother programming them as memories, so feel free to talk about me on 145.5875 or something.
In the 20 years, I've probably had a contact with someone at least once in every single month, and the longest I've gone without having a radio switched on receiving amateur frequencies will be about a week (well it was our honeymoon!). I always think I can make more of an effort in answering or making calls though.
I was M3ICQ for 2 years (did the Foundation morse test to get on HF as an M3 in 2002) and also KC0PUZ for 10 years (did the US exam at Harrogate rally in 2003, licences expire after 10 years and never renewed it).