23 Jun 2017

Low storm risk in the UK

With the nearest storms being in Austria, I think I can safely "play radios" today.
 Just I case, I'll keep and eye on the maps.

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#y=53.2284;x=-3.9585;z=5;t=3;m=sat;r=0;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;n=0;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;

Where I was born - NOT amateur radio

The picture shows where I was born in Devon, UK when a nursing home after WW2. The film "Sense and Sensibility" was, in part, filmed on the Flete estate. This is Flete House. These days they are posh retirement flats.

Not much Es on 6m JT65 yet

I have been on 6m JT65 for some time. No Es seen yet today on 6m, although I am supposed to have spotted a station in Indonesia on 6m, which I do not believe. This suggests the pirate is in the UK. Sad.

UPDATE 1045z: Some Es with my 1W ERP 6m JT65 being spotted in Finland.

Sunspots and 10m - Friday June 23rd 2017

Solar flux is 74 today and the sunspot number 23. A=6 and K=1. 10m? Expect Es but F layer N-S is more doubtful on 10m.


Until I sold mine to a local fellow ham several years ago, I used this rig most days. They are hard to find now, and I am not surprised. In many ways I regret selling mine, but it went to good home and is well used.

Sadly, there is no real equivalent QRP rig outside of Japan. The IC7300 is probably the nearest, modern rig, but the 10W version is only available in Japan. If the 10W version was available in the UK, I would buy one, as I suspect would many.

The IC703 is a 10W 160m-6m multi-mode transceiver with an auto-ATU. It has a good DSP filter. Altogether a good, solid radio.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/hf/ic703

22 Jun 2017

VLF transmitters

Recently I had an email asking me if stereo amps (100W) would make a suitable VLF TX. The short answer is "yes", although these are designed for a low impedance load, so would require a suitable matching transformer. I have not tried one.

Storm gone, so back on 6m JT65

The storm has passed through, so I have returned to 6m JT65 transceive (1W ERP). I tried replying to a few CQ calls, without success, so I am currently in beacon mode sending "B G3XBM JO02". Best report is from CT2IWW (1382km). There seems less Es about at the moment.

UPDATE 2038z: As well as spots of OX3LX (2570km) which I do believe, I also (supposedly) spotted another Indonesian station, which I do not believe: I am convinced this is a pirate somewhere in Europe. Unless proved otherwise, I am dismissing these latter spots.

Storms, so QRT

Although the weather forecast showed no risk, there is thunder close by, so I have disconnected antennas and power and gone QRT. I have found the weather forecasts very poor.

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#y=52.5523;x=-0.4813;z=7;t=3;m=sat;r=0;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;n=0;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;

UPDATE 0852z: The forecast says less than 5% of rain. Guess what? It has just rained!

Youngsters and amateur radio

This is a point I have made many times: unless we attract young people into our hobby and keep their interest, it will die with us. I see on Southgate News that the ARRL has been doing something about the growing crisis.

See http://southgatearc.org/news/2017/june/amateur-radio-needs-young-people.htm#.WUuA4LpFzmQ

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday June 22nd 2017

Solar flux is 73 and sunspot number 35. A=4 and K=2. 10m? No idea, but Es should be decent especially later.