I am into the digital modes of communication in Ham Radio and there seems to be new modes coming to life from time to time. With computers and the internet, it could not be any easier to get started on some of these modes. If you have your radio hooked up to your computer and can send / receive signals via software, you're home free. You can download any of this mostly free software and get to experimenting almost immediately. It is always highly recommended that you read the instructions on how to operate the new mode first but like many, I jump in with both feet.
After my wife was off to work, I decided to fire up the WSPR program and read about how it functions. After skimming over the user document, it was not long before I was transmitting a signal using the software I recently downloaded. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my less than 10 watts signal was being heard by a station in Europe (see map, top left).
I have some local noise or hash on 14.09560 so I am not receiving any European callsigns as of this writing but at least I'm being heard on WSPR for the very first time. My first receiving signal on this mode was NU8D, once I turned my beam toward the lower 48.
Being a DX'er, I'm always interested in propagation paths. I find this should be a great tool to see what section of the globe that my signal is being heard. I enjoy chasing the HF beacons but this adds a new exciting element to live propagation reporting.
Some of my WSPR results in the first hour or so of operation listed above, hearing & heard (TX = 8 watts).