30 Sep 2016

South America (again) on 10m JT65

LU8HGI (11257km) in Corduba, Argentina was the best RX DX on 10m JT65 today. There was Es on 10m today with an Italian spotted earlier. At lunchtime my 500mW WSPR was received in Denmark. OK, you have to go looking, but the DX is still around on 10m.

Rally

Sunday 2 OCTOBER : BLACKWOOD ARS RALLY
 
Rougemount School, Llantarnham Hall, Malpas Road, Newport NP20 8QB. The venue has free car parking. A talk-in station will be on 145.550MHz. Doors open at 10am to 4pm with disabled access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands a car boot sale, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and a lecture programme. There is catering available on site. Details available from Mike Rackham, GW4JKV on to 01495 226 149 or by email to rackhamone@aol.com. Or Wynn Wright, GW8UAM on 02920 889 156 or email wynnwright7@aol.com .

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

QSY to 10m JT65

Both on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65 I have now gone QRT.  Since about 1531z I have been active (RX and TX) just on 10m JT65. In recent days despite "poor" 10m forecasts, low sunspot numbers and disturbed conditions, I have been quite successful to South America even with QRP on 10m JT65.

Es again on 10m

OZ7IT (853km) has spotted my 10m WSPR this lunchtime. I presume this is Es. G4KPX (14km) is also spotting me on 10m.

No signs here of Es on 6m with G0LRD (25km) and G6GEI (73km) spotting me recently on 6m JT65.

Waters and Stanton Newark Rally Offers

W&S are offering the Yaesu FT450D at a special Newark rally price of £469. This is quite a bargain. I wonder if this rig is not selling as well as it should? At this price it should certainly sell. They have other offers too, but this one caught my eye.

Alibris (again) - NOT amateur radio

This crowd is yet again offering special discounts. Like buses, wait a while and along come 3.

Sunspots and 10m - Friday September 30th 2016

It seems amazing that we are already at the end of September. Time flies by!

Solar flux is 83 today. Sunspot number is 17. K=4. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation is, yet again, "poor".

10m WSPR and 6m JT65 again

As in recent mornings, I decided to go on 6m JT65 (a couple of spots by UK stations) and 10m WSPR (nothing yet) initially. I will probably switch to 10m JT65 only later this afternoon in the hope of catching some DX. Best DX on 6m JT65 RX is 107km at present.

29 Sep 2016

OFCOM consultation on DECT

See http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/DECTGB/#utm_source=updates&utm_campaign=DECT&utm_medium=email .

OFCOM are consulting on DECT.

365project - NOT amateur radio

For several years now, my wife and I have done a photo each day as a kind of visual diary. You can see these at:

http://365project.org/g3xbm/365  (me)
http://365project.org/foxes37/365 (my wife)

For $19.99 a year you can make your pictures private and have more albums. We have the free membership, which anyone can sign up for. It is great fun to look back and see what we have done. My wife's favorite trick is to say when friends and relatives came to see us. She can usually pinpoint the exact day. Sad?

Some people use this to show off their excellent photography skills. I'm afraid our photos are more mundane. Some pictures are good, but most are very average. To us it is a visual diary. It is a good discipline too. I have much enjoyed doing it.

QSYed

At about 1426z I went QRT on 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR and am now active on 10m JT65 only. I took the opportunity to check the PC clock was synchronised to internet time.

UPDATE 1728z:  PU3AMB (10431km) in southern Brazil has been spotted on 10m JT65. Even with very disturbed conditions and low sunspot numbers 10m JT65 still reaches deep into South America.

UPDATE 2056z: A couple of stations from Belarus now being copied. Es? No further South Americans copied tonight.

630m Transverter

A reminder that there was a 4 page article in Sept QST on the design of my simple transverter for 630m. This is also on my main website at www.g3xbm.co.uk. I use it with my FT817, but other rigs could be used.

630m is a good band and the transverter puts out 10-15W into 50 ohms. Even with my earth-electrode "antenna" it has spanned most of western Europe on TX with a measured ERP of about 5mW on WSPR.

6m JT65 and 10m WSPR

Because of the internet outage, I have only just returned to 6m JT65. I have been on 10m WSPR since 0600z synchronising time using the radio BBC pips rather than internet time, as I had no choice.

UPDATE 1238z: G4KPX (14km) spotted me on 10m WSPR and G0LRD (25km), G3YDY (65km) and G6GEI (73km) are spotting me on 6m JT65. No Es or F2 seen here yet.

Rallies

30 SEPTEMBER & 1 OCTOBER : NATIONAL HAMFEST
Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. Brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club. The venue has free car parking and has disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and RSGB bookstall. There will also be representatives from the RSGB Services and committees. Morse proficiency test will be available. The venue has catering outlets and a seating area. www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.

Saturday 1 OCTOBER : LAUGHARNE 'TIN SHED' RALLY
Tin Shed Experience, Clifton St, Laugharne, Carmarthen SA33 4QG Doors open from 10am to 2pm. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Refreshments are available including bacon sandwiches. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581 or by email to matthew.twyman63@btinternet.com

2 OCTOBER BRITISH VINTAGE WIRELESS SOCIETY AUTO JUMBLE 
The Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Stalls £30, admission £5 with early admission from 9.30am available at £10. For bookings/enquiries please ring 01892 540 022 (8pm to 9pm only). www.audiojumble.co.uk.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday September 29th 2016

Solar flux is 84 today and the sunspot number 20. K=5. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

Lack of internet - NOT amateur radio

We lost our Virgin Media broadband and TV yesterday and it has just come back. I rang up to complain, saying I was leaving to go to another provider, and was upgraded to a faster internet speed for free and my monthly bill was slashed. They will also compensate me for the loss of service. If you are not satisfied with your bill or service tell your service provider!

28 Sep 2016

There is STILL some Es around

EA1FAQ (1249km) has just spotted my 500mW WSPR on 10m, so there is still Es about. Once again, it pays to have some presence on 10m. WSPR and JT65 are ideal modes needing only low power (no TVI) and they can run in the background.

Tomatoes - NOT amateur radio

To be honest, I am no plant expert. Yesterday our son Tim came to see us. He took back to London the tomatoes our granddaughter Amandine grew. We expected these to turn red, but they stayed green. Maybe this is a variety that is meant to stay green? This is our son with my wife Lis outside our home.

Sunspots and 10m - Wednesday September 28th 2016, and cancer research

Solar flux is 83 today. The sunspot number is 21. K=5. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor". With disturbed conditions I am not expecting much DX today on 10m. Mind you, thing change!

Had my mother survived cancer she would have been 99 today. It is still not too late to give, even a little, towards cancer research.  If you want, you can hide your name and give, just a little even, anonymously. Cancer effects many people of all ages. Thank you to the kind person who donated earlier. Your gift may just make a difference.

Only last week a radio ham friend, Paul G8GML, died of bowel cancer. He died too young.  When I first came to Cambridge we talked and talked on 2m FM most nights. RIP Paul. In more recent times he enjoyed amateur TV and 160m.

One day this could be you and the research you help to fund might save your life.

OFCOM Crowdsourcing

See http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2016/Calling-all-android-users/?utm_source=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Ofcom-launches-research-app&utm_term=Research%2C%20Ofcom%20Mobile%20Research%20app%2C%20Mobile%20coverage%2C%20Consumers%2C%20App%2C%20P3%20

OFCOM are crowdsourcing Android users.

Return to 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR

Following my pattern of recent days I am active (QRP of course) on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65. G4KPX (14km) has spotted me on 10m WSPR and 3 UK stations have spotted me on 6m JT65. As yet, no sign of F2 or Es DX. Later in the day I shall swap to just 10m JT65.

It is funny how I always get better inter-G results on 6m JT65 rather than 10m WSPR. This is purely down to activity levels I think.

27 Sep 2016

Cancer research. Can you spare just a little please?

It is still not too late to give, even a little, towards cancer research

If you want, you can hide your name and give, just a little even, anonymously.  I posted something similar a few weeks ago and was blown over by your generosity. Nothing!!! Yes, that's right - not a single penny was donated.

People happily spend £10k on rigs, linears, towers and beams, but seem unwilling to spend a very little towards research that may one day save their life.

Please think if you can spare something, however small. You can use your credit or debit card.

40MHz (8m) Band

Yesterday I heard from LY2YR that there is a small 8m allocation in Slovenia as well as in South Africa.

There is an IARU meeting next year, so please lobby your national society to press for such an allocation! There are already beacons in this band in the UK and Denmark.

Being mid way between 10m and 6m this would be really really useful for Es radio science. Just 50kHz wide would be enough I am sure.This band would not be heavily used (a secondary allocation would be fine even with a low ERP limit), but it would certainly help with "self training" and research. It is a real chance for radio amateurs to lead the way. As no commercial amateur gear covers this frequency, special antennas and rigs would be needed.

See http://www.hamradio.si/images/dokumenti/zakonodaja/splosniakt2013.pdf. Now my language skills are not that good, but I see the Slovenian amateur allocation is 40.66 to 40.7MHz.

Ice Cubes - NOT amateur radio

When on holiday, we enjoyed several drinks in the hot sun in the hotel garden in Corfu. I quite liked this photo of ice cubes!

Now just on 10m JT65

A few hours ago I went QRT on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65 and am now just on 10m JT65 with 2W. As yet, no spots. Yesterday was quite good on 10m, so I remain hopeful for today on 10m.

UPDATE 1635z:  Still no 10m JT65 spots given or received.

UPDATE 1818z: Still no spots on 10m JT65 here according to the PSK Reporter Map.

UPDATE 1842z:  HA9AL (1454km) in Hungary has been spotted on 10m JT65 by Es.

UPDATE 1846z:  CX8ABF (11123km) in Uruguay (GF15 square) has just been spotted on 10m JT65. He has also spotted my 2W on 10m. Yet again 10m is open for QRP DX. As yet this autumn, I have not spotted, or been spotted by, any USA stations on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1914z:  PU2OOC (9596km) is now being spotted on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1920z: Now Argentina is being spotted on 10m JT65 here.

UPDATE 2020z:  With 10 South Americans spotted on 10m JT65, this has again been a good day, but I think the days now done.

Sunspots and 10m - Tuesday September 27th 2016

Solar flux is 86 today. Sunspot number has climbed a little to 23. K=4. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor", although there were a lot of South Americans and South American spots on 10m JT65 yesterday.

10m WSPR and 6m JT65

This morning, I am QRP as usual, on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65. G0LRD (25km) is spotting me on 6m JT65, but nothing at all yet on 10m. Later in the day I may switch to just 10m JT65, which proved very good yesterday.

26 Sep 2016

"This could take a while" - NOT amateur radio

And they are not kidding!!! Usually the "perfect" Windows 10 updates take a few seconds to install. The latest took a full hour and a half! They must have redone Windows 10 in its entirety. If Windows 10 is supposed to be that good, why was such an update needed? Impressed? Not at all. Now I wonder if I switch off this PC will it ever switch on again?

Leaves - NOT amateur radio

The weather is turning chillier, the nights are drawing in and the leaves are starting to turn in colour. This picture was taken yesterday by my wife at nearby Anglesey Abbey.

My 10m QRP reaches deepest South America

My 2W 10m JT65 has reached Argentina and Uruguay this evening. Several South Americans spotted here too, as well as several Europeans by Es.

With a low sunspot number and K=4 it proves that DX is still possible on 10m JT65 with QRP.

UPDATE 1854z: LU3VCC (12470km) is the best DX so far on 10m JT65 RX.

QRP and QRP Club

From Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,
Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report (September 19 to 25, 2016)
Visitors  of  the  week:  UA1ADF, RV3GM, UR7VT, UR0ET, UR5EFD, DK1HW, RU3NJC,  GB2IWM, DK9LO/m, EA3JUK, G4RJA, US3EN, S57TX, S52GP, UA1CEG, OK2BPU, R8AT, HA7REM, RK4CY, SM5LNS, RW3AA/p, UA9MLY, UR5FA/mm, R1CAF,RK3AF,  UA0SBQ,  SV1RHL/p,  OH6NPV,  Z35M/p,  UA4NU,  DL8DZL, US5ERQ, UA1CEX, RA1M/mm, IK2RMZ
Congrats!
DK9LO, EA7JUK, S57TX, HA7REM, SM5LNS, UR5FA became Honor Frequenters
See full Frequenters and Visitors lists on the Club 72 web page.
See  full  report including comments and pictures on the Club 72 blog
page - http://qrp-club72.blogspot.ru/
See  you  ALL  on  next  QRP  Rendez-Vous  each  Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 9.00 UTC on 14060kHz (CW Net) and at 10.00 UTC on 14285kHz (SSB Net)

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"

This is a periodic Newsletter of the Club 72. Don't reply to Newsletter address! Send any requests or news to mr72@club72.su please.

10m JT65

At breakfast time I checked internet synchronisation. So far just local Richard G4KPX (14km) spotting my 2W 10m JT65 signal.

UPDATE 1032z: There is some 10m Es about. IZ0AIS (1506km) has spotted me twice already. May, June, July for Es? Yes, but as this proves, there is still Es about on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1052z:  EA7EDP (1737km) has been spotted on 10m JT65.

Sunspots and 10m - Monday Sept 26th 2016

Solar flux is 82 today. Sunspot number has dropped to 18. K=3. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

25 Sep 2016

Staying with 10m JT65 overnight

Although I now think it unlikely I'll see any more real DX on 10m tonight, I have decided to stay on the band overnight. There is an outside chance of some more Es and I may get a few UK and near European spots by aircraft reflections. I guess it will be morning before I have any chance of F2 propagation.

UPDATE 1940z:  I have just checked synchronisation to internet time.

UPDATE 2022z:  No further spots on 10m JT65. I think this is it for the night, although I am still on 10m JT65 overnight.

Brazil (already) on 10m JT65

PY2JEA (9596km) has already been spotted on 10m JT65 from Sao Paulo in Brazil. I wonder if my QRP will reach South America on 10m JT65 today? The K index has dropped from 5 to 3.

UPDATE 1512z: Now LU2FHX  (11304km) in Argentina has been spotted on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1516z: F4GUK (416km) was probably aircraft reflection I think.

UPDATE 1520z:  Best 10m JT65 DX today is reception of CE3GDR (11768km) in Chile. 7 South Americans spotted on 10m JT65 so far today. 9 copied in the last day. Who says "10m is dead"?

10m JT65 log this afternoon
UPDATE 1600z: There seems to be Es now on 10m JT65 with lots of Europeans being copied on 10m. I am also copying ZS6EA (9084km) in South Africa.

UPDATE 1620z: The first report of my own 10m JT65 QRP signal was from SV1JSM (2413km) a few minutes ago.

UPDATE 1624z: It is as if 10m has "woken up" and there are now stations all over the place monitoring 10m JT65. It would be really good to be copied in the USA!

UPDATE 1635z: Now another South African ZS1CF (9649km) is being copied on 10m JT65.

UPDATE1752z:  No more stations copied.  Is that it for today on 10m JT65?

Last Corfu picture - NOT amateur radio

This was a sunrise in Corfu, Greece last week. As we are now home again, this is probably the last Corfu picture that I shall post on this blog.

Sunspots and 10m - Sunday Sept 25th 2016

Solar flux is 83 today and sunspot number 47. Conditions are quite disturbed with K=5. The forecast for 10m F2 is still "poor". We are now in autumn so we may be in for better conditions if the solar activity holds up a bit longer.

6m JT65 and 10m WSPR

This morning I decided to go on 6m JT65 (2 local spots so far, no Es) and 10m WSPR (nothing yet). I shall probably QSY to 10m JT65 only later this afternoon.

UPDATE 1238z:  Still just local spots on 6m JT65 and nothing on 10m WSPR so far today. No Es and no F2 as yet.  Soon be time to QSY to 10m JT65 only. It is funny how there are usually more spots (from the UK) on 6m than 10m.

UPDATE 1242z:  Now active only on 10m JT65 (TX and RX).

24 Sep 2016

Google going backwards? - NOT amateur radio

"We recently announced that the Google Feed API would be retired. As a result, the Slideshow gadget will no longer function and we will remove it from your blog by 29 September 2016."

Funny how Google announces changes to its blog "features". See https://developers.googleblog.com/2016/06/announcing-turndown-of-google-feed-api.html . It seems that they withdraw features more often than they introduce new ones. "Turndown" means the feature is going!  Sorry, "retired" is the euphemism I should be using.

More Rallies!

Sunday 25 SEPTEMBER : CHIPPENHAM & DAR MINI-RALLY
NEW VENUE: Kington Langley Village Hall, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. The doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 30 minutes earlier at 9.30am. Admission is £2.00 with under 16s free. There is on site car parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and refreshments will be available. The new venue is 1.5 miles south of the M4 J17. Details from Brian, G6HUI on 0772 224 2741. www.g3vre.org.uk.


Sunday 25 SEPTEMBER : BELGIUM AMATEUR RADIO & COMPUTER RALLY
Hall 'Louvexpo', 7 rue du Hocquet, La Louvire. Direct access from the motorway (50km south of Brussels). Open from 9am. to 4pm. Talk-in on local FM repeaters 145.600MHz, 438.875MHz and DSTAR 439.4375MHz. Features 4000m, trade stands from United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, France and flea market. Michel, ON7FI, +32 475 45 45 78, michel.dewyngaert@skynet.be. www.on6ll.be.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

Very Quiet on 10m JT65

At the moment, things are very quiet on 10m JT65 with no spots given or received at all so far. No Es and no F2. As well as this, no UK stations copied. I did a re-sync recently and everything is connected and working. Great shame. Maybe things will look up later?

UPDATE 1640z:  Plenty of monitors on 10m JT65 in South America but no spots given or received here so far.

UPDATE 1658z:   I am still awaiting 10m JT65 spots to/from the USA this autumn. As yet I have not been lucky. The solar activity levels suggest this will happen. 

UPDATE 1706z:  See http://www.solen.info/solar/ .

UPDATE 1906z: LU5CQC (11211km) in Buenos Aires, has been spotted on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1924z: I have now spotted Brazil and Paraguay on 10m JT65, but I have not been spotted in South America.

More Corfu - NOT amateur radio

Fruit and Vegetables For Sale in Corfu Old Town
As you will have read, we enjoyed a lovely week on Corfu last week. We went with my brother-in-law and his wife and had a great hotel just outside Corfu Old Town. We ate sometimes in the town and sometimes in the hotel. It was a great spot to relax and read. Now back home.

Rally and BATC Convention

23 - 25 SEPTEMBER : WACRAL FELLOWSHIP WEEKEND
Elim Conference Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4DG. Guest speaker on Saturday evening Don Field, G3XTT (Editor of Practical Wireless. Details from Shirley on 01924 229 630.

24 & 25 SEPTEMBER : BATC CONVENTION
RAF Museum Cosford, near Telford.

BATC is the British Amateur Television Club. If you cannot get there, then you can watch it streamed live at https://beta.batc.tv/live/cat16 .

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

As I have said many times, if travelling any distance check details are correct.

QRP and QRPclub

As I have been away these posts from Oleg were not published earlier.

Dear Space Friends,
remind the rules - www.club72.su

Devoted  to  Sputnik  and  Vanguard launches and to HAMs copied their signals.
Dates: October 4 to 18 annually
Mode - CW, output power less than 5 watts
Bands  -  all,  including  WARC  (it's  not  a  contest),  around QRP frequencies recommend
Categories:

"Sputniks"
-  use old type valves (50'th)  TX, output power recommend less than 1watt.  To  identification  add series of "dit" (beep-beep-beep...) in start or/and finish of transmission

"Vanguards"
-  use  old  type  Ge (germanium, 50'th) transistors TX, output power recommend  less  than  100mW. To identification add series of "V" in start or/and finish of transmission

SWLs
- copy time and freq of Sputniks and Vanguards (CQs or QSOs). Use main callsign as SWL.

Each  operator  may  take  a  part in any categories sending separate reports/logs for each category. Any QSOs in account. Same station may operate on other bands or in other category on the same band.
Reports/logs  must be send daily (preferably) to the "Center of Space Communications" :-) to - mr72@club72.su
Add  photos  of equipment, antennas including any comments. Dead-line for reports/logs before October 25. Memorably certificate will be sent to each station/SWL.

Ask  "Mr  72"  to add your e-mail in the special "Sputnik" discussion group (reflector)
Enjoy last years results, logs, pictures -
http://club72.su/sputnik-res.htm

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



Dear Club 72 members and friends,

Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report (September 12 to 18, 2016)
Visitors  of  the  week:  RU3NJC, US3EN, R1OA, UR0ET, UA1CEG, IK5ZWN, EA5DNO,  HA2BFO,  DK1HW,  DL1VTL,  SM2FIJ,  RW3AA/p, RX3DIT, RA1M/mm, RN4AO,  R1CAF, LZ1TS, UA9MLY, DL1FU, DL2ASG, UA1CCA, RV3DSA/0, RV3UF, OH6NPV,  UR5EFD, UA0SBQ, Z35M, RW9TN, ON6KZ, LZ2RS, UR5FA/mm, IT9IFI, SA4BLM, CT1DBS/p, DK3WX
Congrats! DK1HW became Rendez-Vous Frequenter
Comments: ...... Read more and see pictures at Club 72 blog/news page-
http://qrp-club72.blogspot.ru/

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72" 

10m JT65

Since before breakfast I have been on 10m JT65 but no spots at all so far.

Sunspots and 10m - Saturday Sept 24th 2016

Solar flux is 83 today and the sunspot number 49. K=1. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

23 Sep 2016

Sunspots and 10m - Friday September 23rd 2016

Sorry for the lack of posts this last week but we have been away. Solar flux is 83 and sunspot number 30. K=0. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor". I shall be on 10m JT65 in the morning.

Back from holiday - NOT amateur radio

As you can see I have returned from a week in Corfu on holiday. Although I had some internet, I was unable to update the blog, so I missed the last week. If previous "absences" are anything to go by, it takes several days before people notice I am back. At this time of year Corfu starts to cool down a bit. It was still  hot and sunny most of the time but we did have a few storms. Corfu is among the greenest of the Greek islands with views that are truly great, although I still think the South Hams beats them all.

15 Sep 2016

South America yet again on 10m JT65

CE3GDR in Chile was spotted on 10m JT65 earlier. I have now gone QRT and disconnected all plugs and antennas as there could be thunderstorms later.

Blog posts unlikely for a week - NOT amateur radio

Although the house is occupied, it is probable that I will not have internet for about 7 days. So, if no posts appear, don't panic! If things go to plan I should be blogging again around Sept 23rd or 24th.

10m Es

With modes like JT65, it is possible to find out what 10m is doing, almost in the background. For example, today has seen Es spots from 3 countries despite running QRP to a relatively poor antenna. If this was SSB, these openings would probably have been missed. We are now well outside the main Es season yet 10m still shows that Europe is workable on very many days. I have copied South America on 10m JT65 many times in recent weeks. No, JT65 is proving very useful on a so-called "dead" band.

"In the midst of life...." - NOT amateur radio

"In the midst of life we are in death" - so goes the famous saying. Recently I have been made aware of this more than before with another of my university friends dying from cancer. I expect this is an age thing with more of my own generation dying. In the meantime,we must all milk life like Dame Sarah Storey at the Paralympics. She is the daughter of a university friend.

My son Tim Lapthorn is raising money for cancer research. If you are able, please support this good cause by giving just a little.  Every little helps.

See https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tim-Lapthorn-dryathlete2016

"Media vita in morte sumus ; quem quaerimus adjutorem, nisi te Domine, qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris? Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte et misericors Salvator, amarae morti ne tradas nos."

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_vita_in_morte_sumus 

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday September 15th 2016

Solar flux is 84 today and the sunspot number 24. K=2. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor". There is a little 10m Es.

QRP 10m JT65 only

Today, I am just on 10m JT65 only using 2W. I have just been spotted by IZ0AIS (1506km) by Es. I am afraid 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR will have to wait for a different day. I am still using WSJT-X V1.6, although I gather there is now a V1.7 out.

14 Sep 2016

QSYed - now on QRP 10m JT65

As on previous days, I have gone QRT on 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR and am just on 10m JT65 (2W) hoping for some South American spots later. Already I have had an Es spot from Germany by DO4CP (915km).

UPDATE 2106z: At the moment, a couple of spots from South America this evening, but as yet no-one there has spotted me from South America.

Pye Telecom - NOT amateur radio

http://www.pyetelecomhistory.org/prodhist/portables/chiefexec/jan31-2005-0020-800p.jpg
Please note the picture above is at the Pye Telecom History Site and NOT on this blog. The link will be removed if a problem. This link may not work with https links to this blog.
My first job was with Pye Telecom in 1970 in the Portables Lab. I had to put 12.5kHz channel spacing into the PF1 receiver. My boss was a John McLean and his boss was, now SK, Mike Gotch (later G0IMG). At the time I did not know that Mike was interested in amateur radio. In his latter years he was keen on 10m and 6m.

The 2 unit PF1's sold in good volumes to the UK police. These were the first common UHF portables in the world.  A few specials were made for chief constables and the like.

Work was very different then! These days people would not get away with what we did back then. There was very little competition and work was easy.

Sepura - NOT amateur radio

Since a profits warning earlier in the spring, Sepura share have tumbled. This was my old company before I retired in 2008. Nowadays I have no connections with the place. These days the shares are probably well undervalued. There have been takeover rumours which would probably mean a change in top management.

Anglesey Abbey - NOT amateur radio

Every time we visit here there is something to see. It changes through the seasons although some things are beautiful at any time of the year such as the bark on this tree on the winter walk.

QRP on 10m and 6m today

I restarted the PC at breakfast time and am currently on 10m WSPR TX (500mW) and 6m transceive JT65 (2W). Nothing yet on 10m here, but I was spotted in Norway on 6m JT65 2 hours ago, presumably by Es, by LB5JE (1152km). On 6m I just use a simple V2000 vertical omni fed with RG58 coax. On 10m the antenna is just a low Par 10/20/40m end fed i.e. nothing special.

UPDATE 0932z: Still nothing on 10m WSPR. Funny, if I just had 10m WSPR I'd have concluded the 10m band was "dead". Yet I have already had spots of my JT65 on 6m including one which was almost certainly Es. Never give up! A dead band may not be dead at all.

UPDATE 1254z:  No further 6m spots. 10m WSPR? Not sure as I have been unable to contact the WSPRnet database yet again!

Sunspots and 10m - Wednesday September 14th 2016

Solar flux is 84 today. Sunspot number is 27. K=2. The 10m F2 propagation forecast is (again) "poor".

13 Sep 2016

Burwell windmill - NOT amateur radio

Lovely to see the Burwell windmill 4 sails turning in the wind earlier. It is the first time these have been working for a long time.

See  http://www.burwellmuseum.org.uk/.

70cm UKAC tonight

This evening, the second Tuesday in the month is the RSGB's UK activity contest for 70cm. I often go on for a little while and work a few stations, although I only have a 2m omni antenna which radiates after a fashion. The contest runs from 1900z to 2130z, although I shall probably be on for about 30 minutes only because of my poor voice. Activity levels are usually good. With the hot weather in most of England, there could be a few more portable stations out on hilltops too this evening.

Yesterday I sent in my modest entry for last week's 2m UKAC. I was only on for about 20 minutes but still managed to work decent distances with just my QRP and omni antenna.

These contests are good fun and a good way to work more squares.

70cm QSOs this evening using 5W and a 2m halo with lossy coax
UPDATE 2010z: Well I made 5 QSOs  in 30 minutes with my poor voice, 5W and a 2m halo fed with lossy coax. Best DX was JO03 square. Fun and surprising with such a poor antenna! Great.

Soon be time to change band and mode

With WSPRnet still struggling, I think I'm going QRT on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65 and QSYing to just 10m JT65 for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Clearly there is Es about on 6m, but on 10m I don't (yet) know.

UPDATE 1806z: A few hours ago I QSYed and am now only on 10m JT65. With German and French stations copying me, there is clearly Es about on the band. Nothing from South America yet. When I eventually managed to access the WSPRnet database I see that I was spotted in Spain, Germany and Sweden on 10m WSPR earlier. As usual. I was using 500mW.

UPDATE 1840z: Several spots of South American stations on 10m JT65 (CE and PY), but no-one there has yet spotted me on 10m JT65.

Buskers - NOT amateur radio

Whilst my wife spent our money I was having a drink in Pret-a-Manger watching these buskers across the road. I didn't have my camera, so had to use my old iPod Touch 4g for the photo. Cambridge was very hot this morning and Pret-a-Manger was a cool spot to watch the world for 30 minutes.

Sunspots and 10m - Tuesday September 13th 2016

Solar flux is 86 today. Sunspot count is 57. K=2. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

10m WSPR and 6m JT65

ON5AV (320km) is the best on 6m JT65 RX so far this morning. This is either tropo or aircraft reflection and not Es (far too close). As yet, nothing on 10m. I have been spotted by a couple of UK stations on 6m JT65 TX.

UPDATE 1440z: Several Es spots from Spain on 6m JT65. I have been spotted and spotted others. At the moment I cannot (yet again) access the WSPR database to check 10m WSPR results.

12 Sep 2016

Autumn Conditions on 10m?

We are already in autumn according to the UK Met Office, although I have yet to see any signs of autumn conditions on 10m JT65 or 10m WSPR. The best 10m conditions are usually later in the season but I remain hopeful of some USA openings on 10m this autumn. With solar conditions getting worse, this is probably the last chance many of us will see for USA stations on 10m by F2. Es occasionally allows 10m openings to the USA and Canada in the summer. The next peak is years away and may be poor.

I think the mantra is "wait and see". We live in hope! This is where WSPR and JT65 are particularly useful: there are usually plenty of people TXing and RXing all the time. If the 10m band opens even briefly, it will be noticed.

UPDATE 1938z: I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of Es on both 6m and 10m this late in the year. I have said many times that there is Es at all times of the year, although not at the same level as in the main Es "season".  WSPR and JT65 are ideal 10m modes when the band seems "dead". You'd be surprised!

UPDATE 2050z: PY2HH (9610km) in Southern Brazil has been spotted on 10m JT65 this evening.

Bark - NOT amateur radio

We went to nearby Anglesey Abbey yesterday.  I just love this tree bark. The texture is amazing.

Activity today

At the moment I am active on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65. I did a manual re-sync to internet time about 30 minutes ago "just in case". As yet, no Es on 6m but there has been Es on 10m WSPR with EA1FAQ (1249km) spotting my 500mW.

UPDATE 1540z:  It helps to be on the right frequency! I have now gone QRT on 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR and fired up on 10m JT65. I noticed I was on 50.270 and not 50.276MHz. The dial lock was not on and the dial must have been knocked! I am now definitely on 28.076MHz JT65.  So far, no spots.

UPDATE 1710z: Just G4CJC (73km) and OH1EEZ (1657km) spotting me so far.  There is clearly some Es on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1735z: Nothing from South America spotted on 10m JT65 here so far this evening.

UPDATE 1931z: I see that I have copied a South American in Brazil as well as a UK station (IO81) on 10m JT65, although neither station reported this to PSKreporter maps. LA7DFA (1312km) spotted me a little while ago.

Sunspots and 10m - Monday September 12th 2016

Solar flux is 87 today and the sunspot number 63. K=2. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation is still "poor".

QRP and QRP Club

From Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,

Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report (September 5 to 11, 2016)
Visitors  of  the week: US3EN, UA1CEG, R1OA, RV3GM, DL1YAY/p, OH6NPV,
DL1YEF,  UR0ET,  HB9DAX,  UA1ADF,  RA1M/mm,  R1CAF,  OE6GYL,  RU3NJC,
LZ2HT/1,  DK1HW,  RV3DSA/0,  ON4ADR, UA0SBQ/p, UR5EFD, DJ1PQ, DL2ASG,
RV3UF, G4GIR, LA8BCA/p, UA9MLY, DL2WA, RN4AO, G0FVH, G6HUI, US5ERQ

Congrats!
RN4AO, UA9MLY, R1CAF became Honor Frequenters of QRP Rendez-Vous

See full Visitors/Frequenters lists and "rendezvous" schedule at Club
72 page - www.club72.su

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"

11 Sep 2016

Shakespeare's famous speech - NOT amateur radio

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_quality_of_mercy_(Shakespeare_quote)

This is probably one of the most famous speeches in the English language. It is Portia's famous speech in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice".

Like many, I had to learn this off by heart at school. I'm glad I did. It means much more to me now than 50 years ago.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
.......

Not buying.....for now

With BREXIT, Japanese goods, and USA goods, priced in USA dollars should be some 10% more expensive to import into the UK. I expect dealers will absorb some of this, but maybe not all. This could mean some prices go up later this year or next.

I was thinking about investing in a new rig like the ICOM IC7300 but the offered cash price was too great, so I shall stick with my present rigs for now. The FT817 has served me well and has enabled me to work some impressive QRP DX over the years. I like the rigs I own and don't need a new radio. We are always bombarded with adverts trying to persuade us to buy consumer goods and we have to ask ourselves can we, should we, resist?

Our whole society is based on buying "things" we don't really need that wear out quite soon. In the end this is not sustainable in a world with a growing population and limited resources.

Flint - NOT amateur radio

This is part of a church tower at a church we visited back in the summer. I just love the texture.

Anglesey Abbey, Nr Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

Every month there is something to see here. We go regularly because it is so near. We are very lucky. The autumn crocus were out and this blue flower, which was in the herbaceous garden.

Band/mode change

At about 1224z I went QRT on 6m JT65 and 10m WPSR (just after OZ7IT spotted me at 853km on 10m WSPR) and am now just on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1238z: G6WPJ (47km) has already spotted me on 10m JT65. No 10m Es seen here yet on JT65.

UPDATE 1512z: Best DX on 10m JT65 TX so far is OH1EEZ (1657km) in KP10 square and on 10m JT65 RX is LU1AMH (11223km) in Argentina. I have the feeling my 2W QRP 10m JT65 will reach South America again today.

UPDATE 1744z: No further South Americans on 10m JT65 here. Maybe I am not going to be heard in South America after all.

UPDATE 1928z: PU4HPC (9136km) and PY2WND (9449km) were recently spotted on 10m JT65. I guess there is still a chance my QRP 10m JT65 will reach South America tonight?

UPDATE 2042z: Widespread 10m Es tonight.

Sunspots and 10m - Sunday September 11th 2016

Solar flux is 90 today and the sunspot number 66. With K=0 we could be in for reasonable 10m F layer propagation later. The 10m F2 forecast remains "poor" however.

6m JT65 and 10m WSPR this morning

As I tend to get better results on 6m JT65 (in the UK) than on 10m, I decided on 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR today, at least until this afternoon. 4 UK spots of my 2W ERP already on 6m JT65 plus a couple of UK 6m spots of others. Nothing yet on 10m WSPR apart from an early spot by G4KPX (14km) who I think must have changed bands or gone QRT. No Es as yet and no F2.

UPDATE 1006z: I see that LB5JE (1152km) was spotted on 6m JT65 at 0934z. This must have been Es. Sept 11th but still seeing some Es on 6m.

UPDATE 1240z: 5 UK spots of my 6m QRP JT65 before I QSYed to 10m.

10 Sep 2016

Late 10m Es

It is now well after dark but as recently as 40 minutes ago I was being spotted on 10m JT65 in Germany. This is late in the year for Es and late in the day. WSPR and JT65 are ideal for "smoking out" such openings. Personally I find beaconing with JT65 more productive on 10m than WSPR even though it is not as good theoretically. This is because there is more activity.

Small cycle 25 peak?

See http://www.arrl.org/news/view/higher-bands-will-pick-up-this-fall-data-suggest-smaller-solar-cycles-lie-ahead?utm_source=amateur-radio-weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

The next QST will see some "navel gazing" on the small matter of, "what size will the next solar peak be?".

In truth, no-one is quite sure, but the science points to a minimum around 2020 and a small next peak. This was reported in Amateur Radio Weekly. We can be pretty sure the large peaks seen in my youth will never be repeated in my lifetime. Sad, but that's life and we have to make the best of it.

Time to change modes and band

With very good Es on both 10m WSPR and 6m JT65, I think it is time to move over to 10m JT65 just in case there is some F layer DX about. I am off to go QRT on 10m WSPR and start up 10m JT65 and do a manual re-sync to internet time "just in case".

UPDATE 1735z:  Now QRT on 6m JT65 and 10m WSPR and active (2W) on 10m JT65. There are several South Americans active on 10m JT65 so we'll have to see if there is any propagation.

UPDATE 2006z: Just EU7KBB (1931km) in Belarus spotted on 10m JT65. No South Americans. It is still not too late, but I think South American 10m JT65 spots are unlikely today.

Renovation - NOT amateur radio

For over 40 years there has been a grade 2 listed former farmhouse empty in our village. Slowly it was going to ruin.  Over the last 2 years it has been extensively renovated and is now for sale. Today was an "open house" so we went to have a look around. Someone will like it and buy it. It is on the market for just under £1M. It would make a good Bed & Breakfast house or large family home. It is just across the road from the church. This picture shows the view from one of the bedrooms.

10m WSPR and 6m JT65

Since before breakfast I have been beaconing on 10m WSPR (TX only) and active on 6m JT65 (RX and TX). So far just G4KPX (14km) spotting me on 10m WSPR. G4VXE (136km) is the only station spotted on 6m JT65 so far. No Es on either band.

UPDATE 1034z: There is now Es evident on both 10m and 6m with spots of my signals from Austria, Finland, Denmark and Germany.

UPDATE 1050z:  Loads of Es 6m JT65 spots of my QRP now. The latest are a couple of spots from Poland.

UPDATE 1222z:  Best RX DX on 6m JT65 so far is UX4UA in Ukraine and OH6XG (Finland). On 10m WSPR I have been widely copied in Scandinavia with my 500mW.

Sunspots and 10m - Saturday September 10th 2016

Solar flux is 91 today and the sunspot number 65. K=2. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation is (yes you guessed!) "poor".

9 Sep 2016

Waters and Stanton taking orders for IC-R8600 receiver

See http://hamradiostore.co.uk/ic-r8600-wideband-base-station-receiver.html

I see that Waters and Stanton is taking £25 deposits to secure this new wideband RX covering 10kHz to 3GHz. It is based on the IC-7300 transceiver but can receive a number of digital modes. I'd like to show a picture, but copyright prevents this. It looks a very interesting RX.

It would be good to know the cash price.

There is at least one YouTube video of this RX.

From the W&S site:

"The IC-R8600 replaces the IC-R8500 wideband receiver and will feature the technology incorporated into Icom’s best selling IC-7300. The IC-R8600 will be able to receive a wide frequency range from 0.01-3000MHz frequency in analogue and various digital modes (D-STAR, P25, NXDN and dPMR). The IC-R8600 will feature a larger 4.3 inch touch screen display which will feature fast moving spectrum scope and waterfall display"

Amateur Radio Blog

See http://www.amateurradio.com/.

There is usually something of interest on this blog, so I take a look most days.

Dame Sarah Storey - NOT amateur radio

Dame Sarah Storey has become the most decorated UK paralympian in history. Excellent and the result of lots of very hard work and dedication. I was friendly with her dad at university and he must be very proud of his daughter's achievements. She looks like John, her dad!

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Storey .

Supermarkets and plastics - NOT amateur radio

Have you noticed how much packaging, especially plastic, is used in supermarkets these days? When I was a child we had none, really.

Why is it so hard for supermarkets to make clear which plastics can be recycled? Why are not all plastics used in supermarkets recycled? They all have a lot of power over their suppliers and should insist on this.

Basically, I hate plastic packages for so much, especially when it cannot be recycled.

More rallies this weekend

Sunday 11 SEPTEMBER : TORBAY ANNUAL COMMUNICATION FAIR
Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission in £2. There is plenty of car parking on site. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. There is catering on site. To book tables call Pete, G4VTO on 01803 864 528 or email rally@tars.org.uk.

Sunday 11 SEPTEMBER : ANDOVER RADIO AND COMPUTER BOOT SALE
Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance will be £2. Tables in the hall are £10 and pitches in the field £8. There will be a Bring & Buy, Car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering will be available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY, 0777 573 8200, paul.g4kzy@gmail.com.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

Spelling mistakes (as received) corrected. Can no-one spell these days?

10m JT65

A South American was eventually spotted last evening on 10m JT65: PU3AMB (10431km) in Brazil. Today, I am sticking with 10m JT65 all day, but things are quiet so far with no Es and no UK spots as yet and certainly no F2. As we get more into autumn we may see some F2 on 10m in the daytime from Africa and even the USA.

UPDATE 1110z: Still no spots here yet on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1215z: EB5AYE (1418km) was spotted at 1158z from IM99 square. I assume this is 10m Es.

UPDATE 1245z: No more 10m Es seen.

UPDATE 1450z: No further spots on 10m JT65 here.

UPDATE 1456z: I just re-synced the PC to internet time to be sure, although this should happen automatically every 1000 seconds. It was also a check that the WSJT-X software and PC were OK as things were quiet. All was fine.
Last 24 hours on 10m JT65
UPDATE 1652z: OH3NE (1737km) recently spotted me on 10m JT65 by Es.

UPDATE 2132z: F5RRS (819km) has spotted my 10m JT65 in the last 20 minutes, but no South Americans.

Sunspots and 10m - Friday Sept 9th 2016

Solar flux is 91 today and the sunspot number 49. K=1. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

Windmill sunset - NOT amateur radio

The sun setting in the west last night. Note the reflection in the museum window. We are very lucky to have a windmill literally "over the garden wall". Last night and early this morning were splendid. This is the view from our lounge window.

8 Sep 2016

Jupiter VLF - NOT amateur radio

On YouTube, recordings of Jupiter's emissions at VLF and LF as recorded by the Juno probe and some stunning images.

Easter Island

 Recently seen:

"From September 26-30  some LU amateur radio an LF MF DXers will be operating in CE0Y.

Hamradio from 80 to 6 meter maybe 160 meter. TX RX

VLF LF MF listening with  R-75 and Perseus SDR recording WAVs from 100 KHz to 1710 KHz at night times .  Not grabber online.
Maybe: Notebook+SpectrumLab with antenna via Mic in for VLF.
Antennas: Loops and  Beverages 200-600 meter long to…. ??? meter long. maybe Kite antennas.

If you are  interested in TX (136 kHz -472 kHz ) to Easter Island in this week please write to me only via: lu8ydnqn@gmail.com  

73s Alex LU8YD"

Soon be time to return to 630m

It is rapidly getting more like autumn with nights starting to get darker earlier. It is my intention to return to 630m soon.

I need a better antenna though and a better ground system.  For several seasons I have used my earth-electrode system, but it would be good to try with a higher ERP.

Rally

Saturday 10 SEPTEMBER : CAISTER LIFEBOAT RADIO RALLY
Caister Lifeboat Station, Tan Lane, Caster on Sea, Norfolk, NR30 5DJ
Doors open from 9.30am to 3pm with traders gaining access from 8am. There are indoor tables available at £10 and outside car boot pitches for £5 and booking is advisable. Admission is free and the venue has free parking and disabled access. All proceeds go to Caister Lifeboat. Contact Zane, on 0771 121 4790 or by email to m1bfidx@ntlworld.com. www.m1bfidx.wix.com/cl-radio-rally.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

As I always caution, check details with the organiser before going any distance. I reproduce what I get sent in good faith.

QRP and QRP Club

More from Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,
welcome all QRP operators to the
FAR EAST QRP NET
in Thursday (weekly) at 9.00 UTC at 14060 +/-
In the DX list today (Sept 8):
RV3DSA/0 (Vladivostok), UA0SBQ/p (nr Irkutsk), JA1KGW - all QRP
Comments and reports are appreciated to "mr72" e-mail, please.
Enjoy 2-way QRP!

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"

Remaining on 10m JT65 today

No further Es since the single spot from France late last night. I have decided to stick with 10m JT65 today although without Es I rarely get UK spots on this band. It is still quite early in autumn to expect much F2 propagation on 10m.

UPDATE 1020z: G4CJC (73km) spotted, but no Es seen here on 10m JT65 today.

UPDATE 1144z:  Still nothing else spotted on 10m JT65 here today.

UPDATE 1205z: DO4CP (915km) has been spotted. So there is lunchtime Es about on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1502z: GI4SNA (488km) has spotted me on 10m JT65 but is wrongly reporting me as on 12m.

UPDATE 2016z: It is dark now and no spots (given or received) on 10m JT65 here. As it is quite late, I think South America is unlikely today on 10m.

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday Sept 8th 2016

Solar flux is 92 today. Sunspot number is 50 and K=4. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

UPDATE 1010z: The K index is going down (less disturbed) and currently K=3.

7 Sep 2016

Brazil copied on 10m JT65

Although my own signals were not spotted in South America, PU2KOB (9653km) in GG56 square was copied at 1930z. As there was no Es, I assume this was pure F layer. Are we approaching autumn conditions? Although conditions cannot be expected to match recent autumns, I am still hopeful of some openings to North America on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 2220z: 10m is filled with surprises! 12 minutes ago I was spotted in France by what appears to be Es. I was going to go QRT but instead I'll remain on 10m JT65 overnight.

Going away

When I've been away it seems to take a few days before readers return. Perhaps they assume I've died and am never returning!

Anyway, don't panic I am still here and intend to be around for a good few years to come. If the blog disappears for a week or so, I am probably unable to access my blog as I am away or the internet is down.

The longest "outage" was when I was in hospital for 3.5 months 3 years ago.

10m JT65

About 20 minutes ago I went QRT on 6m and started up on 10m JT65, hoping to reach South America this evening. I also re-synced the PC to internet time. As yet, no reports from South America.

UPDATE 1832z:  No South Americans on 10m JT65 as yet.

6m JT65

This morning I decided to go on 6m JT65 rather than 10m, although I may switch to 10m later. So far, just 1 UK spot of my QRP on 6m, by G4VXE (136km). There is no sign of Es here on 6m JT65. At least on 6m JT65 I do get UK spots.

UPDATE 1248z: 2 spots of my 6m JT65 QRP from UK signals plus a couple of spots of others but nothing from mainland Europe by Es.

UPDATE 1558z:  4 UK spots today on 6m JT65 with the best DX G1IDZ at 182km. No Es on 6m all day.

Sunspots and 10m - Wednesday September 7th 2016

Solar flux is 92 today and sunspot number 32. K=3. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

OFCOM updates

Form the latest from OFCOM see http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/.  I am not a great believer in the value of this organisation, but I leave it to you to decide.

6 Sep 2016

Kids and puddles - NOT amateur radio

We have been visiting our son and his family who live near Canterbury in Kent. Their children are still very little (4 and 7). What is the magnetic attraction to muddy puddles?  Yesterday they went out on their scooters, but as soon as they found a puddle they just had to jump in it!

2m UKAC tonight

A reminder that tonight 1900-2130z is the 2m leg of the UK activity contest organised by the RSGB.  The enjoyment is working new squares although I have been suprised how well I am doing.

As we have only just returned from visiting our son and family in Kent, I shall be late on tonight.

UPDATE 2225z:  I was only on for a very short time (about 15 minutes) but worked 6 QTH squares with 5W and my omni antenna. Best DX was the south coast. Conditions were up tonight. I shall put in an entry tomorrow.

Sunspots and 10m - Tuesday Sept 6th 2016

Solar flux is 91 today and sunspot number 22. K=2. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

There was no solar forecast yesterday as I could not update the blog from my son's home in Kent.

4 Sep 2016

UKAC 2m this Tuesday Evening

A reminder that this coming Tuesday evening 1900-2130z will be the 2m leg of the UK activity contest. Activity is usually high. Even if you dislike contests, these friendly contests are a way to enjoy increased SSB/CW activity. There is no compulsion to send in a log. The enjoyment is working new squares.

Garden winding down - NOT amateur radio


UK autumns often have strong winds. Winters often cold but not very cold. Some winters have no snow but the average winter has a few days of snow only. One winter is likely to buck the trend. For the last few years years our sensationalist press has been forecast a very cold winter. By the law of averages they will be right some time.

Lightning

According to my storm map there is thunder activity over Germany at the moment moving east. The UK seems to be storm free, just as well with lots of 2m contest stations with big antennas up high on hill tops.

See http://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en

QRP and QRPclub

More from Oleg:

"Dear Club 72 members and friends,

Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report (August 29 to September 4, 2016)
Visitors  of  the  week: UR5EFD, OH6NPV, DK1HW, US3EN, RV3GM, UA1CEX, RU3NJC, UA1CEG, UA1AV, UR0ET, UA1ASB, R4NX, RV3UF, OE3RV/p
See full Visitors and Frequenters lists on the Club 72 page - www.club72.su

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72" "


RSGB 2m Trophy Contest

Because of my poor voice I was only on for a very short while this morning. In all I worked 5 QTH squares but could have worked many more if I had stayed on longer. Sunday morning is a good time as many stations have worked most stations and are looking for stragglers like me! My 5W and omni antenna did not seem to be a great handicap. Several continentals heard.

10m JT65 Sunday

I stayed on 10m JT65 overnight (no spots) and did a re-sync to Internet  time early this morning. There is already some Es about with HA5CAR (1451km) spotted and spotting me. IU1DZZ also spotted on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1130z: F5RRS (819km) has also spotted me on 10m JT65.

Sunspots and 10m - Sunday Sept 4th 2016

Solar flux today is 99 and sunspot number. is 46.  K=4. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation is again "poor".

3 Sep 2016

Church Bells - NOT amateur radio

 
There must be (at least) 2 weddings today as our local church bells have rung twice so far today. See also http://eachurches.blogspot.co.uk/ .

2m contest reminder - this weekend

For once, I remembered!

This weekend is the 2m Trophy Contest organised by the RSGB, It runs from 1400 UTC Saturday until 1400 UTC Sunday. See http://www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/contest_rules.pl?year=2016&contest=144trophy&seq=

There is also the RSGB Backpacker's Contest on Sunday morning. I hope to be on for some of the time.

On Tuesday evening is the 2m UKAC Contest for September.

Even if you hate contests, these are a good chance to work a few new stations and QTH squares. There is no compulsion to send in a log. Just enjoy the activity.

UPDATE 2116z: I went on the 2m Trophy Contest for 20 minutes just now and worked 4 stations with my 5W and big-wheel omni. Best DX was a station in IO81RF which is 227km. I may try again tomorrow morning.

Letter from Howard in Billings Montana

I received a letter in the mail from Howard in Billings Montana MT59102-1420 USA. No callsign was given but he enclosed a stamp (USA Global) which I am not sure is valid on letters from the UK.

Howard is after a Peter Jones PK-205 straight key that was distributed in the USA by Palomar at one time. If anyone knows any data please contact me and I'll try to contact Howard. I don't think he reads the blog or has email/internet.

A quick Google search did not show any results for "Peter Jones straight key".  I wonder if he is no longer in business?

10m JT65

After no activity overnight, I switched everything back on 10m JT65 just after 0930z. So far no spots at all again.

UPDATE 1100z:  Still no spots on 10m JT65 here so far today.

UPDATE 1242z:  IK8TNG (1639km) has spotted me be Es on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1646z: Three Es spots so far on 10m JT65 (2 Italy and 1 France). No real DX seen yet. As there is no Es towards S.America, I think it is unlikely there will be any Es joining with F-layer today on 10m JT65. Let's hope I am proved wrong.

UPDATE  1912z:  Well. I was wrong! I have spotted stations in Paraguay and Brazil on 10m JT65 this evening already. I do not think this was Es related.

UPDATE 2018z:  With CU2ZG (2572km) in the Azores just spotted, and spotting me, I am wondering if the South Americans are a linkage of Es and F layer after all?  I have recently also spotted a couple of LUs on 10m JT65, with best DX  LU1ECF (11223km).

See https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html .

Sunspots and 10m - Saturday Sept 3rd 2016

Solar flux is 97 and the sunspot number 50. K=5. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor". Will it ever be better?

For a look at the solar conditions in recent months see http://www.solen.info/solar/ which shows the slow decline in solar conditions.. We are now on the way down the solar cycle but have a long way to go before the next minimum.

2 Sep 2016

QRT time on 10m JT65

After the worst day I can remember on 10m JT65, it is time to go QRT and turn everything off until tomorrow. This was the first time in ages when I spotted no-one and no-one spotted me on 10m. Still, things are likely to get better F2-wise as we enter the autumn, at least on better days.

UPDATE 2150z:  Now QRT for the night.

Pizzas in Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

We went shopping in Cambridge this afternoon. These pizzas were in a cafe window. Although tempted, I resisted but they did look very nice. Out of interest, the cafe was on Be'n'et Street not far from the Mitre pub where DNA was first formulated and just across from Free School Lane where the old Cavendish Labs are: these were made famous by Rutherford in the last century.

Grandchildren gone home - NOT amateur radio

Lego done!
Well our grandchildren have gone home and the house is quiet again. We love having them, but as they say, "we love to see them and see them go".

QRT - storm risk, but now back on-air

As the weather forecast talked of storms and lightning this afternoon, I decided to go QRT this afternoon. Having just checked the lightning map, I have gone back on-air on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1606z:  Still no spots here on 10m JT65.

UPDATE 1645z:  Still no 10m JT65 spots today. I have the feeling this is going to be a quiet day!

UPDATE 1844z:  Still nothing at all on 10m JT65 all day.

UPDATE 2002z:  Still all quiet on 10m JT65 here.

PSK reporter not working?

Ever since I went on to JT65 on 10m or 6m I have used PSKreporter maps to see who I am spotting or who is spotting me. In the last hour when I look, I have been unable to connect. This may be just a blip, as I have never seen trouble before. By contrast, WSPRnet has been very unreliable at times, so much so that it has been totally unusable at times.

UPDATE 1158z:  PSKreporter seems to work on 6m. Maybe it is just that there are no active monitors and no spots on 10m? So, maybe it is me.

VLF Loading Coil

Joe VO1NA sent me a nice photo of his VLF loading coil (8.277kHz), which I have copied here. For those carrying out radiated tests at VLF you have to be able to wind big coils!  Sadly, the top coil arced in testing and had to be rewound.

10m JT65 today

At the moment I am on 10m JT65. There have been no spots so far. No Europeans by Es, no UK spots - nothing! I shall stick with it but without Es it could be a quiet day, HI.

 UPDATE 1026z: Still nothing RX or TX on 10m JT65 here.

Sunspots and 10m - Friday September 2nd 2016

Solar flux is 96 today and sunspot number is 66. K=3. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".

Rally

Sunday 4 SEPTEMBER : TELFORD HAMFEST
Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. Doors open at 10am. More information from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416. www.telfordhamfest.co.uk.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

If going any distance it is worth contacting the organiser to check details.

1 Sep 2016

End of main Es season?

It is now early September, which the UK Met Office calls the start of autumn. Nights are starting  to draw in and the days are shorter. With another day with no signs here of Es on 6m and 10m, I think we are definitely at the end of the Es season in the Northern Hemisphere. Yes there will still be some Es but nothing like the scale in the summer. Today, only UK spots on 10m WSPR and 6m JT65. Let us hope the F2 this autumn is not too bad on 10m. I think tomorrow I shall switch to 10m JT65.

JT65 - early success on 6m

Although there is no Es evident here yet, several UK stations have spotted me, and been spotted' on 6m JT65. Best DX spot is G1IDZ (182km).

UPDATE 0938z: On 10m WSPR nothing since M0DMC (15km) who was consistently spotting me until early this morning. I have checked that the 10m WSPR and 6m JT65 are synced to internet time.

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday Sept 1st 2016

It is hard to believe it is already September! Solar flux is 95 and the sunspot number 91 which is much higher than we have seen lately. K=4. The forecast for 10m F2 propagation remains "poor".