August 2019 Club Meeting - WSPR

Friday, August 16, 2019

7:00pm MST

Ascension Lutheran Church 1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ


Handy Man Corner

Presented By Tom, W8TK

How to choose a feedline



Presented by

Curt Laumann, K7ZOO

K7ZOO SOTA at Death Valley

Curt Laumann, K7ZOO, will present both theory and practical applications of the WSPR mode. This interesting weak-signal mode allows one to observe, document and study propagation on many different bands. A live demonstration of WSPR will be present, so attendees will be able to view real-time propagation data from Oro Valley. Curt will show a time-lapse representation of 20-meter propagation across the continental US. He will also discuss a real-world application of WSPR to improve the performance of HF antennas at the National Weather Service in Tucson, Arizona.


Curt was first licensed in 1974 in Minnesota. He currently holds an Extra Class license, and is active in many facets of the hobby.

Curt has worked as a physicist, design engineer, and process engineer (Six Sigma Blackbelt). For a few decades Curt pursued flying: he is a licensed private pilot in airplanes, a commercial pilot in gliders, and held a glider instructor certification. Over the last decade he returned to amateur radio as his primary focus.

Curt volunteers to manage the University of Arizona’s amateur radio station. He led numerous activities this calendar year: antenna building (yagi’s, vertical’s), antenna azimuthal gain performance measurements, 7th QSO Party, Field Day, and a foxhunt.

Curt recently volunteered to evaluate and improve the emergency HF radio station at the Tucson National Weather Service. The WSPR mode was the key enabler to quantifying antenna performance on multiple bands.

Morse code is a keen interest -- Curt has taught two sessions of morse code through CWOps. Also of interest are portable, competitive operations, for example both NPOTA and SOTA:

a) NPOTA 76 activations, placing 46th nationwide

National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) was a thrill in 2016, motivating me to visit virtually every national park & monument in Arizona and New Mexico, and a handful of parks in the adjoining states. I placed 46th in the national list of NPOTA Activators. One especially memorable park was Chaco Culture, in central New Mexico, where amateur radio was included as part of an astronomy weekend.

a) SOTA 64 activations, the vast majority of which are “first” activations

I focus on visiting physically challenging, previously unactivated summits around Arizona and New Mexico. One of the most interesting SOTA locations is shown below, the sand dunes on the north end of Death Valley National Park.