5 Feb 2016

Budding artist? - NOT amateur radio

The Santa Maria by our grandson, aged 6.

For a 6 year old I think our little grandson has REAL artistic talent. This is ALL his own work. We have seen him do similar and he totally switches off when doing this sort of painting or drawing. I think he could earn a living from his artwork when a grown-up. He loves drawing money!

Kaifeng Scroll - NOT amateur radio

There has been a fascinating TV programme narrated by Michael Wood about the history of China. I was particularly interested in the Kaifeng scroll  of the Sung dynasty.  Nearly 1000 years ago a Chinese artist created a massive scroll showing the capital city (of 1 million people even then) in immense detail. The scroll has been recreated with moving people and animals in a museum in Shanghai.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kRA9it9bKk .

Whatever your views on China today, it certainly has a rich history, much if it unknown in the West.

40m WSPR for the night

The 10m station hs been closed down as I was just spotting G4CUI (172km) and I am now active on 40m WSPR. So far, I see I have spotted EA4 and been spotted by TA2AEG (2547km) in Turkey on 40m WSPR despite a high local noise level on that band and a poor, low antenna for 40m..

10m WSPR - TX was NOT enabled

It was strange that I was getting no spots (of me) on 10m WSPR despite the band being wide open. I see I had not enabled TX.  How stupid can you be? Rather too late in the day, I have now enabled TX on 10m WSPR. W1VR (6965km) in Florida has been spotted several times.

UPDATE 1935z:  I have now gone QRT on 10m and QSYed to 40m WSPR.

Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

Cambridge - more bikes!
Today we visited the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and had a very nice meal at a cafe at the URC church just down the road. Cafe prices were very good, as was the food. All the cafe staff are volunteers and many have mental disabilities. The Fitzwilliam has some famous exhibits.  It is funny how one takes this wonderful city for granted. People travel half way around the world to see sites we can see every day if we want, for nothing. I am sure a visitor would love Cambridge.

Inspiron battery issue

Advice needed! I am in need of some help please.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop which recently was updated to Windows 10. Most of the time it was used as the shack computer with a mains cable attached. Recently, it has been used elsewhere in the house mainly for web browsing. It has an after-market battery pack that is not that old.

My problem is the battery (which started at 30% charged) has gradually lost charge and now shows 0% and the laptop only works when plugged in on mains. Despite adjusting all the battery management plans the battery will not charge! I cannot see how to make it charge at all.

My question is....

Is there a way of making the battery charge, maybe by adjusting something in the BIOS?

Australia early on 10m WSPR

VK3KCX  (16883km) was being spotted here as early as 0820z on 10m WSPR. He has been spotted several times since at up to -18dB S/N running 5W.  Also spotted was VK6XT (14719km).  No spots yet of my 2W 10m WSPR. Things are certainly looking promising on 10m WSPR today.

UPDATE 1530z:  Several spots of Australians on 10m WSPR this morning, but no spots of my 2W so far today.  G4CUI (172km) has been spotted several times since lunch.

Sunspots and 10m - Fri Feb 5th 2016

Things are looking up.  For the first time in many weeks to 10m propagation forecast is"fair" rather than poor. Solar flux is 120 and sunspot number 95 (K=3).  Today should be decent on 10m.

4 Feb 2016

472kHz (630m)

Since moving QTH 2.5 years ago, I have been active (mainly at night) on 630m with my "antenna" that consists of 2 earth rods in the ground about 12m apart. The ERP was measured at 5mW.  Despite this, my best DX this winter was a WSPR spot by DH5RAE at 995km and last winter I reached 1047km to Norway.  On RX, I have copied stations even further away.

Although more ERP and a better antenna would certainly help, let no-one tell you either are necessary. A lot of fun can be had with just an FT817 and a simple transverter to an indifferent "antenna". On RX just the barefoot FT817 (a bit deaf on MF) is enough to decode most of Europe on 472kHz WSPR.

UPDATE 1944z:  I am about to QSY from 10m to 630m.

UPDATE 2018z:  Now active on 472kHz WSPR (20% 5mW ERP TX, 80% RX). QRT on 10m until tomorrow.

UPDATE 2026z:  DL6TY (629km - new?) and DH5RAE (995km) spotted.  Local G0VQH (15km) spotting me.

UPDATE 2106z:   DL-SWL (701km) is the best DX on TX this evening so far.

Yet more 10m Es, I think

As well as a spot from the USA by KD6RF (7571km) I see that I am spotting IK1WVQ (1076km). Although these latter spots could be back-scatter, I think it is wintertime Es yet again on 10m.

UPDATE 1840z:  Other short-skip stations copied here this evening on 10m WSPR.