24 Mar 2017

Sunspots and 10m - Friday March 24th 2017

Solar flux is 72 today. Sunspot number is 12. A=11 and K=2. 10 propagation is expected to be "poor".

First swallow (bird) seen in Devon - NOT amateur radio

A first swallow was reported in Devon yesterday. If this report is correct, this is the first seen this year. They usually start to arrive about now in Devon, but it is usually later up here in East Anglia.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/s/swallow/

QRP and QRP Club

More from Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,
I'm happy to inform about new Club 72 member -
RU6ME op. Eugene (# 96)
Who's next?

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"

This is a periodic Newsletter of the Club 72. Don't reply to Newsletter address! Send any requests or news to
mr72@club72.su please.

VLF (8.97kHz) TX

8.97kHz 5W TX
Before my stroke in 2013 I did a fair bit of experimentation at VLF, successfully receiving quite a few European amateurs on VLF doing radiated tests. I did some "through-the-ground" utilities assisted earth-mode tests out to 6km using just a 5W transmitter. At some point I'd like to do more.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/vlf/8-97khz-earth-mode-transmitter

6m MSK144

This morning, I am again on 6m MSK144 RX. At the moment, the best DX is Switzerland.

UPDATE 1806z: GI4SNA (488km) brings my country total on 6m MSK144 to 17 now.

UPDATE 1834z: 7 stations in 5 countries received on 6m MSK144 RX today so far.

UKAC results

The results of the 2m and 70cm UKAC activity contests have been published and I notice I had points deducted for logging errors. These were me being careless - sometimes it is as if my brain runs at a slower rate than it once did and I fail to get everything written down. Later, I see there are missing data, but it is too late. I notice this with driving too - these days I drive slower as my reactions are not as fast.

Nonetheless, on both bands my scores were still respectable considering I use just 5W and a big-wheel omni on 2m and 5W and a 2m halo fed with lossy coax on 70cm! I enjoy these contests but I need to take more care with the logs in future. In the end, it is more about taking part than the actual scores, but I need to try harder. Getting accurate logs should be straightforward.

23 Mar 2017

uBitX 10-80m HF rig

This came in from Steve G1KQH:

Recent interview with Ashhar Farhan:
Scroll video forward to around 54 mins to start.
uBitx HF-10-80 plus Gen coverage RX in production within the next couple of months, to be not much more expensive than Bitx40!!
(If you want to cut out some of the waffle and get down to it. Scroll video fwd to around 1:12 to watch the uBitx stuff) Link here:

Performance of FT-817???
Very interesting well worthy of watching with a glass of beer..

Alien space travel? - NOT amateur radio

This is pure speculation and there may well be other explanations, but two Harvard scientists have speculated that alien lifeforms on distant planets may be travelling through the cosmos using powerful radio beams to power their sails.

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/aliens-space-travel-fast-radio-bursts_us_58caf1f7e4b00705db4d8f65

Man has been searching for alien life for about 50 years. It is surprising that nothing has been found.

New cloud type - NOT amateur radio

Apparently, a new, rare cloud type has been officially acknowledged in a cloud atlas.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39351843

Although I am not "into" clouds, I know some people are.

I do recall seeing lenticular clouds in the Yorkshire Dales some years ago.

The full version of the image on the LHS is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_cloud#/media/File:Lenticular_Cloud_over_Harold%27s_Cross_Dublin_Ireland_30-6-15.jpg

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_cloud

Cowslips - NOT amateur radio

The first cowslips have appeared here and, by any measure, we are now officially in spring. The clocks go forward this coming weekend.

100 sand martins (birds) have been seen in Devon. These are migrants often seen returning about now. I remember my dad telling me when he first saw these over the golf course. He died in 1987 sadly. I miss him.