27 Aug 2015

Stroke : yet more after-effects? - NOT amateur radio

This morning my XYL was talking about a road in our village. I could not remember at all where this road was. Most things I remember well, but it was as if this part of my memory has been erased. I am pretty sure this is yet another artefact of my stroke and nothing else. Of course, I wonder what else is missing! I need triggers to jolt my memory. Oddly, since the jolt this morning I have had no problem at all remembering where this road is. It is as if I needed the jolt to recall the memory.  Another thing: I seem to be far more emotional than before. Things that would not have made me tearful can bring on the tears nowadays. I am sure this is my stroke. Overall, I still feel giddy, still have problems with thin drinks and certain things still exhaust me. To others I look perfectly well, whereas inside I still feel very poorly. In many ways if I looked less well I might be better understood.

No Es on 10m WSPR or 6m WSPR here today, so far

Both the higher bands have been without Es here today on WSPR. Others, in different locations and using busier modes, may have been luckier.  Still no F2 propagation seen yet on 10m WSPR although I expect this will change in September. In September 2014 we were seeing F2 propagation to the USA. With falling solar conditions it may be later this autumn. I think it very unlikely we'll see any 6m transatlantic openings this autumn and winter, but a sudden burst of solar activity could suddenly change that.

FTSE 100 - NOT amateur radio

OK, it is early morning still, but the FTSE 100 share index here in the UK is staging a bit of a recovery, presumably based on better short-term news out of China.

UPDATE 1345z:  The FTSE 100 share index is up 2.93% still. Encouraging in the short-term. Things could rapidly change though.

UPDATE 2004z:  The FTSE 100 ended the day well up climbing 3.56% on the day.  People seem to think the crisis in China is over. Think again.  As they say, "we ain't seen anything yet". Batten down the hatches we are all in for a very rough ride. This will make 1929 look like a walk in the park.

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs Aug 27th 2015

Sunspot number has slipped to 45 (K=6) and 10m propagation is expected to be "poor" today. This is unlikely to be a good day on 6m and 10m WSPR with low sunspots and disturbed conditions. Es may liven up both 10m and 6m. We live in hope!

UPDATE 0840z:  So far on 10m WSPR just local G4IKZ (18km) and on 6m just G0OQK (98km). No, expect the worst and we may get a pleasant surprise. It is still very early in the day for Es.

Another new Yaesu - FT410

News via G1KQH (font of all knowledge) of yet another new Yaesu transceiver this also looks like "catch up" as it is very similar to the ICOM IC718 transceiver. You have to look twice! There is a front mounted LS just like the IC718 and no 6m coverage. This is obviously an entry level HF radio.

I wonder if they realise (rather too late) that their prices are too high? With a recent devaluation of the Chinese currency they must be waking up to the increasing threat from China. The Japanese "big three" must see the threat building. Most western goods (amateur and non-amateur) are now made in China, often in sweat shops where labour costs are rock bottom. This is not good. At the moment, I agree there is no direct equivalent to ICOM, Yaesu and Kenwod coming out of China, but surely the Chinese will wake up and make radios with a worldwide market and volumes around 500000? My recent President Lincoln Mk II was made in China. I can see a Chinese FT817 replacement equivalent (with decent quality) could be a game changer.

The new 100W radio from Yaesu covers 50MHz RX but not TX. With an IF near 4m, 4m coverage is very unlikely. It looks like the FT991 will spawn several "catch-up" transceivers. It is sad to see Yaesu in "catch up" mode. At one time they led the field. Are their days numbered? As a Yaesu fan for over 40 years, I hope not.

See  http://radioaficion.com/cms/ft-410-yaesu/

26 Aug 2015

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Aug 26th 2015

All last night and today I was in London (see previous post) so all my rigs have been "off air". Sunspot number has fallen back a bit and conditions are disturbed. SN today is 61 (K=4) although 10m conditions are still "fair" There is even a chance of some mid-latitude aurora. I have no idea how conditions were today on 10m and 6m, but as I was not on they were probably very good!

London Theatre - NOT amateur radio

Today we went with our village theatre group by coach from Burwell to see "Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games" at the Dominion Theatre in London. The dancing was very good but, if I am honest, I preferred other productions I have seen. I think the women enjoyed this more than the men. If I say what I really think, I'll be called tactless. OK so I am tactless so let me say it!  I found it pretentious crap. Definitely not my cup of tea.

25 Aug 2015

10m Es

There was Es on 10m WSPR this afternoon (Italy and Hungary), but no Es seen here on 6m WSPR all day.  We are definitely at the back end of the Es season.

472kHz preamp

As mentioned some days ago, I received a 472kHz preamp from a very kind, anonymous, person recently. In the next few days I need to check FT817 sensitivity with and without the preamp. Assuming it makes a very useful difference, I'll try 472kHz WSPR receive to see what I can copy using the earth-electrode antenna at this time of year when the LF and MF bands are still quite noisy.

UK FTSE 100 share index - NOT amateur radio

It is too early in the day to be sure, but at the moment the UK's FTSE 100 index is well up on the dramatic falls seen yesterday.

China is still spooking the stock markets around the world. Investors are worried by the slower growth in China and are wondering if its engine is losing steam and the impact this will have on the world. Lots of us are dependent on China as big pension funds may have invested heavily in China.

At one time we were all worried by Japan. Then the Japanese ran out of steam and everyone saw China as the new engine of growth (and low costs) in the Far East.

For too long we have lived off low cost imports from China. Perhaps that era is drawing to a close? Not quite yet, but at least the prospect is now real. Maybe we'll see European manufacturing again in ascendance? The sooner we all live within our means the better. The last few years were a blip.

UPDATE 1712z:   In the end the FTSE 100 index ended up over 3% higher. This crisis is far from over.  The Chinese government has reduced interest rates. This will encourage companies and individuals to become even more indebted. When the crash finally comes, and it will,  these investors will lose big time. This will make the Wall Street Crash of 1929 look tame. No, we should be seriously concerned by developments in China. We in the west will be affected.