7 Oct 2015

Poorly - no amateur radio

Most of today I have been in bed with a nasty stomach bug. It has meant no amateur radio today. To be honest I slept a lot and have eaten nothing. This is the first time since my stroke that I have been ill from anything other than the stroke.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Oct 7th 2015

Sunspot number is a bit higher at 24, but conditions are disturbed (K=6). 10m propagation is again expected to be "poor".

6 Oct 2015

OFCOM email - NOT amateur radio

This is the latest email from OFCOM. It looks like it was written by a bunch of bureaucrats who probably have never used a radio. To me it is a quango. Sorry, WHAT do they actually do that adds value?:

"This update provides a list of selected recent Ofcom publications. For all latest documents, please visit: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/
This month’s update covers:
  • Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator Update 
  • BBC Significance Test: Radio 5 live Sports Extra
  • BT Undertakings: BT’s temporary use of the Enterprise Cloud for specified Openreach operational support systems
  • Made out of London register
  • PSB Nations and Regions compliance reporting
  • Radio licensing monthly update
  • Television broadcast licensing update
  • Consumer Protection Test
Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator Update
The Independent Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA2) has published its update for September 2015. At the end of September 2015, the number of unbundled lines stood at 9.81 Million. There were 5.50 Million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS was 1.97 Million.
BBC Significance Test: Radio 5 live Sports Extra letter
Ofcom has published a letter providing input into the BBC Trust’s significance test of proposals to increase BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra programming. Ofcom has considered the potential impact of the proposals on other players in the market. Ofcom’s input forms a specific part of the BBC Trust’s significance test but any decisions are made by the BBC Trust.
BT Undertakings: BT’s temporary use of the Enterprise Cloud for specified Openreach operational support systems
Ofcom has published an exchange of letters between BT and Ofcom concerning BT’s use of the BT Enterprise Cloud, which is shared across BT, for specified Openreach operational support systems. The letters include Ofcom’s agreement to a request from BT to allow it to use the Enterprise Cloud in this manner on a temporary basis until December 2015.
Public Service Broadcasters’ nations and regions compliance reporting, 2014
Ofcom has a duty under the Communications Act 2003 to ensure certain public service broadcasters comply with quotas for programmes made and shown in the nations and English regions. Ofcom has reported on ITV, STV, UTV, S4C and BBC programmes made and shown in the nations and English regions. The report also sets out the delivery of original and independent productions by ITV, STV and UTV.
‘Made Outside London’ programme titles register, 2014
The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are required to broadcast a proportion, range and value of programmes made outside the M25. This report sets out the programmes the broadcasters have certified as ‘Made outside London’ broadcast during 2014.
Radio licensing monthly update
The monthly update provides information about Ofcom’s broadcast radio licensing activity with regard to both the commercial and community radio sectors, including news of the planned advertisement of a new local analogue commercial radio licence in Scotland.
Television broadcast licensing update
The latest broadcast licensing update provides information about Ofcom’s broadcast TV licensing activity, including details of new licences issued and changes to existing licences.
Consumer Protection Test
The Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation focuses on communications providers that have used numbers to cause serious or repeated harm to consumers. Ofcom will not allocate 070 personal numbers, 0871/2/3 special service higher-rate numbers or 09 premium rate numbers to anyone who appears on either of two lists. Ofcom strongly encourages all providers that assign telephone numbers to others to take best use of numbers and consumer protection into account, and to refer to the following two lists when making assignment decisions. "

Web SDR to listen to

Just got this from Steve G1KQH. Apparently there is a WSPR decoder, so I should see if I can spot myself on 472kHz:

"A good WEB SDR to listen in to.  This link has been brought to my attention.  It appears to be quite good.

73 Steve G1KQH

IMF warns of stagnation - NOT amateur radio

See http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/06/imf-warns-stagnation-threat-g7-economies .

OK this is the Guardian and it is a paper of the left, but this is worrying.

The growth in the west is not based on firm foundations. For a long time I have advocated living within our means and not on borrowed money at low interest rates. This will not last.

At some point debts have to be paid.

Julian Moss - almost a year on.

It is nearly a year now since Julian G4ILO died. He was a tower of strength and has been sadly missed. I used to read his blogs regularly. His "One foot in the grave" blog was inspirational. He tried everything to beat his brain tumour, but sadly it got him in the end.

More Sputniks

This just arrived from Oleg:

"Dear Space Friends,
First of all I happy to inform about Sputnik QSOs.
Thanks Cosmonauts Jos ON6WJ and Jozef OM6TC for reports and very nice
pictures of their Sputniks.
Using 800 mW TX on 3561 kHz Jos ON6WJ/S logged follow stations ON5JD,
Jozef OM6TC used 100 mW two "rod" tubes TX 21060 kHz logged OM3PV.
Me, over a hour I CQ'ed on 14060 kHz with my "Vanguard" 50 mW but got
only  RBN  reports  from  DL,  HA,  SM  2...10 dB. Sorry no one alive
operator copied my "Vanguard" TX.
See pictures and read comments on the "Sputnik Days" page on the Club
72 site - www.club72.su

72! beep-beep-beep...
Deep Space Communications Center
operator on duty -
Oleg ("Mr. 72") RV3GM / KH6OB"

2m UKAC contest

This is on this evening from 1900z. The contest lasts for 2.5 hours, although I can usually manage only an hour or less because of my poor voice. I actually feel below par so an hour will be the most I can manage. I shall be using the FT817 at 5w pep and the 2m big-wheel horizontal omni.

UPDATE 2008z:  In the end I only stopped for about 30 minutes to make 4 QSOs as I was just too unwell to continue. Had I stopped on I am sure lots more QTH squares were workable.  On top of my other problems I think I may have caught a virus as I feel more exhausted and tired than I have done in over a year. Hopefully it will pass. At the moment I am WSPRing (RX only on 472kHz) with my Par tribander as antenna. This is an experiment as I can monitor WSPRnet on a laptop in the lounge.

472kHz antenna analysis

Because conditions vary so much, it is not possible to make sweeping statements about antenna effectiveness however I can draw some impressions.

Judging by my experiments on 472kHz last night loading up the 2m big-wheel and feeder, I have concluded that the earth-electrode "antenna" in the ground works as well.  I am sure a much more efficient 472kHz antenna can be made but, looking at compromise antennas the earth-electrode  "antenna" is not at all bad. I suspect this works as a loop.

North Devon on 10m

G3XKR (347km) spotted me on 10m WSPR this morning. No-one else has spotted me so far today - no other Gs and no DX.   This is an odd distance: probably tropo, but possibly with the assistance of aircraft? With quite a bit of drift, it suggests aircraft may well have been involved.  G3XKR is more commonly on MF. In the past I have worked all over the UK with QRP SSB on 10m. I am surprised that there is not more GDX on 10m. I guess low activity levels on 10m WSPR don't help.

UPDATE 1235z:   Local G4IKZ (18km) is spotting me too.