23 Aug 2017

QRT on all bands and thoughts of MF

At about 1930z I decided to go QRT on all bands.

It will soon be time to return to 472kHz WSPR. This autumn and winter I may concentrate on 472kHz RX and for this I need a better antenna. G3WCB, who moved to South Devon when he retired, has had good results with a small loop. Ideas!

Wrong? - NOT amateur radio

Many times I have said that I am most definitely not a financial expert.

My gut told me that the UK Pound would appreciate against the Euro. At the moment the exchange rate is worse than at any time in the last year. So, if you followed my advice you would be completely wrong! I am only going on gut feelings.

My gut still tells me that I will be right, but only time will tell.

Quiet Coffee - NOT amateur radio

Whilst my wife was busy spending, I opted for a coffee and sandwich in a Bury-St-Edmunds bookshop café reading one of the mags I'd just bought on a market stall.

Grumpy old man syndrome - NOT amateur radio

As I get older I seem to be less tolerant of stupid "jobs worth" people. I have several examples.
  • The driver of a Cambridge Park and Ride bus who refused to take a £5 note which was legal tender, saying the note was no longer valid - he was wrong.
  • A friend was refused service in a supermarket because his £20 had a very small tear.
  • British Gas, who rang me to set up an appointment for smart meters, yet no-one turned up.
  • The bank cashier who could not read what was clearly stated on the cheque about which account the money should be paid in to.
  • Having to wait ages to have an order to be taken in a restaurant, then waiting ages to get served. You had the feeling you were an inconvenience. In the USA I have always felt valued.

In my work days, such incompetence would have led to instant dismissal. Maybe I am getting grumpier, but surely it is not too much to expect decent service. All I am asking for is for people to treat their customers properly, not with total incompetence. These days, we seem to hit a wall of stupid people who are totally incompetent and unable to think. Surely, if people cannot do a job they should go and make way for people who can?


Although I shall probably have to disconnect everything because of approaching storms, I am on 10m WSPR TX (500mW). No spots as yet and no Es seen here.

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung/europe/index.php?lang=en

UPDATE 1528z: It could be because I had just turned on and w
as drifting, but I noticed a  lot of drift on my Es spots on 10m this afternoon.
UPDATE 1900z: It looks like there will be just 4 unique spots on 10m WSPR today. Definitely near the end of the Es season.

Sunspots - Wednesday August 23rd 2017

Solar flux is 85 today and sunspot number is 48. A=22 and K=4.

6m FT8 RX

We seem to be coming to the end of the Es season. It is getting harder now, although there is still Es about.  I am again on 6m FT8 RX, ever hopeful! At the moment just G spots and one station in northern France that may have come in via aircraft reflection rather than Es.

UPDATE 1315z: Having returned from shopping, I have switched everything back on. Es spots from southern and eastern Europe on 6m FT8. There was a threat of storms, but that seems to have passed.

UPDATE 1902z: 10 stations in 6 countries today on 6m FT8. Most were by Es I think.

Optical NLOS work

One of my interests before my 2013 stroke was optical communications over the horizon - non line of sight (NLOS).

Although I briefly tried a few years ago, I was still too wobbly, so had to give up. Sadly, I still feel giddy when on my feet, so further optical experiments are on hold for the time being. Others have continued the work and one thing worth trying is using infra-red, which many say is better for NLOS than red LEDs.

At some point I do hope my health improves so that I can resume these tests. Test gear is simple (easier than microwaves) and this really pushes the boundaries - true experimentation.

22 Aug 2017

East Cambs 2m FM net

A reminder that at 8pm (clock time) on Mondays we hold an East Cambs net on 144.575MHz FM (One four four point five seven five megahertz).  If there is QRM we moved down around 25 or 50kHz.

Usually there are 2 or 3 on but everyone is welcome. We usually finish around 8.30pm. This is not a highly technical net and conversations vary from what we did the week before (ATV, WSPR, JT65, FT8, etc.) to gardens, model boats, trains - well anything!

Stations are in the Cambridge and East Cambridgeshire areas with vertical polarisation.

Put it in your diary.

6m FT8

Yesterday was disappointing with very little Es. Since breakfast time I have been on 6m FT8 hoping today will be better. As we are now at the end of the Es season, openings are likely to be less frequent. As yet (0842z) no spots.

UPDATE 1102z: Just Gs spotted so far with no Es as yet.

UPDATE 1226z: EA1YV (1320km) in Galicia, N.Spain was the first Es spot on 6m FT8 today.

UPDATE 1546z: So far, 5 countries spotted on 6m FT8 today: England, France, Germany, Finland and Spain. Mostly Es.

UPDATE 2110z: In the end 7 countries spotted on 6m FT8 RX today.