12 Aug 2020
We ate out this lunchtime and had fine meals (hallumi starter and swordfish main) including wine and sparkling water for £22!!
UPDATE 0920z: 23 stations have spotted me so far this morning and 19 stations in 3 continents spotted on 10m FT8. An outside antenna I think should be better? I guess 6dB (maybe more) could make quite a difference on weaker signals that might not be in audible on the indoor loop. For Es, the loop is probably is good enough most of the time but on marginal F2 or TEP I guess this loss could matter.
UPDATE 1500z: Since returning from our meal out 39 stations have spotted me already. 11 stations spotted here so far this afternoon.
In the next few months I hope to re-elect an antenna for 10m. In the past this would have been trivial, but sadly not anymore. A couple of people have kindly offered me help, but with Covid-19 I am reluctant to ask them. My thoughts are what could be erected with the least effort. I guess this either a wire dipole or inverted vee. My own Homebase-10 would be good, but the trouble would be making it now.
UPDATE 1548z: Although the nearest thunderstorms are about 100km away, i think there are distant rumbles.
11 Aug 2020
10 Aug 2020
We get most colour in Spring and about now. Our grass is suffering in the heat. They used to say, "don't water the grass as it will recover".
Until recently, I followed this advice. Then in 2018 a third of my front lawn just died and never recovered. Since then, I have watering particularly dry patches for almost an hour most dry nights. Hopefully my lawns will recover in the autumn when the dew returns.
For TX high power and big antennas certainly help. DK7FC has had some excellent results with long distances using earth probe antennas. These don't require very huge loading coils.
VLF amateur work requires dedication, although VLF earth-mode can give good results with quite simple kit. This is certainly one of the frontiers ripe for experiments.
UPDATE 0917z: Now 9 Es spots of me already and 16 spots on 10m FT8 RX. Promising.
UPDATE 1235z: 23 spots of my 4W 10m FT8 to the indoor loop.
UPDATE 1807z: 24 stations spotted me today. On 10m FT8 RX the best DX spotted was PU5BOY (9961km). In all, 67 stations were spotted today.
9 Aug 2020
8 Aug 2020
On the photo, the V2000 is on the left. The big-wheel is above my head and slightly right.
Not shown are the 10m loop (in the shack) and the earth-electrode "antenna" which gives me very good results on 630m WSPR. Norway is reached most nights despite the 10mW ERP on 630m.
I see Southgate News has a link about this.
Like Bas yesterday, I have sent them my feedback. If you have a blogger.com blog please send them your feedback too. The more people the better.
The old interface is fine, whereas the new is painfully slow.
|Stations that had received |
me to 1145z on 10m FT8
UPDATE 1702z: Amazingly, 67 stations have so far spotted my 4W 10m FT8 to the loop antenna. On 10m FT8 RX the best DX so far today is LW2DAF (11213km) in Argentina.
UPDATE 1950z: Now QRT. 233 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX and 75 stations spotted me on 10m FT8 TX today.
7 Aug 2020
For years I have used an interface for this blog that seemed to work fine. Now Google has changed this and I find it is far slower. I also found out that sometime in the next year I have to change all my websites to their new format. Now I am sure there are some upsides, but the overall impression is they make things worse, not better.
A few years ago they stopped supporting Picassa, so it is now far more involved to post people photos. One step forwards and two steps backwards!!
It is like clothes - made to a price, so thinner material, poorer quality. We bought a coat recently to replace one that was many years old. You guessed - fewer pockets and thinner material.
We thought about buying a new bag from the National Trust. You guessed - fewer pockets and poorer material.
Since mid-morning, I have been on 10m FT8 with about 4W and the indoor loop. It is now 1230z. Up to now, 23 stations, all in Europe, have spotted me. On RX 67 stations have been spotted here. Best DX on RX is 5T5PA (3791km).
UPDATE 2049z: In the last half day, 104 stations were spotted on RX and 39 stations spotted my 4W and indoor loop. Now QRT.
6 Aug 2020
Some erect serious stations with big antennas and linears with far more power. These people can access scatter modes and get ranges that some would consider amazing for a microwave band.
I guess the trouble is that we cannot do everything as time and money are limited. There is so much I would like to try!
UPDATE 0819z: Just a single spot of me so far by G4IFX (146km). On 6m FT8 RX nothing.
UPDATE 0923z: 3 stations spotted on 6m FT8 RX. With 1 Italian spotted the looks like there is some Es around.
I also want to erect either a wire dipole or inverted V for 10m, which is my favourite band and which should be better next year.
My problem is ladders. Since my stroke in 2013 I feel very wobbly on ladders! I have not ventured into my floored loft since 2013! I have a box of amateur gear up there waiting to be explored, HI. I have forgotten what it is in it.
I shall try to do these projects before the end of 2020.
5 Aug 2020
One CQ was answered by local G4NBS (22km) and I was spotted by 17 stations in 3 countries the best being EI2FG (565km).
On 2m FT8 RX the best spotted here was PE3T (361km) of the 11 stations in 3 countries.
Even without any visible signals in the sky I was able to detect my beacon from home on 481THz (red optical) way over the horizon, even though it was firing through double glazing. Had I been able to carry on, there were so many things I wanted to try including higher powerLEDs, further distances and a better tripod.
Sadly, these days I am too wobbly to do this portable work. As all the gear can be built and tested in the "back of a garage" with simple test gear, this could appeal to those interested in serious, but low cost, experimentation. Over the horizon optical work could do with attention.
What I did not know was that his family had settled in the area in the 1800s as freed slaves. I wonder how many people today, perhaps unknowingly, owe their wealth to slavery centuries earlier?
Until recently I did not know that when slavery was abolished in the UK, slave owners received compensation for their losses! This debt has only recently been paid off. There must be some very rich people today who owe their wealth to this.
Personally I find slavery abhorrent.
UPDATE 0850z: Just a little early Es today with a spot of me from Lithuania. In all 5 spots. On 6m FT8 RX just 2 spots so far.
4 Aug 2020
Unlike many contests, this is good humoured. Although I usually submit a log and enter the contest, there is no compulsion to do so. Many just come on as there is plenty of 2m SSB activity.
UPDATE 2050z: In all, 9 stations worked tonight. I stayed on one hour.
UPDATE 1355z: So far today, 1 QSO and 24 spots of my 4W to the indoor loop.
UPDATE 1710z: Best DX on RX is VP8LP (12773km). On TX 29 stations have spotted my 4W with the indoor. 1 QSO.
UPDATE 2114z: 67 stations spotted on RX (including two in South America and one in the Falklands) and 30 stations spotted me on TX. Now QRT.
3 Aug 2020
UPDATE 0923z: No Es here yet today.
UPDATE 1822z: Just G4KPX spots today and no Es here.
So far, just a G and GW copied on 6m FT8 RX and not a single spot on TX. I re-did a time re-sync just in case the internet had gone off and I had lost timing. It can happen. Very quiet so far today. Just now I restarted the PC too and did another time re-sync.
UPDATE 0920z: Just UK spots today so far on 6m FT8 TX.
UPDATE 1823z: 8 spots of me today. Some late evidence of Es in the last hour or so.
Behind us was Spring Close meadow which has the remains of a Roman villa as well as the remains of Burwell Castle from the time of King Stephen about 1000 years ago.
2 Aug 2020
More accurately, some of these were windpumps, not windmills, as they were used to pump water and not grind corn. The photo shows two of these that have now gone.
The climb begins....
See https://www.solen.info/solar/images/cycles23_24.png for a graph showing how the transition to the start of the next cycle is expected pan out.
See also https://www.solen.info/solar/ for more general information.
UPDATE 1320z: 4 spots of me so far today.
UPDATE 1325z: 15 spots of my 6m FT8 today so far.
UPDATE 2100z: In all, I was spotted by 30 stations today across Europe. Now QRT.
1 Aug 2020