27 Sept 2022

8m GB3MCB beacon

This is being copied in Eire by EI9KP by weak tropo, but after several days I have had no sign here in East Anglia. I only have a low dipole and it is obviously too weak for tropo and with MS or aircraft, I almost certainly need more time for a decode on FT8. 

I shall try again when there is a decent MS shower, hoping the Doppler doesn't kill the FT8!


This is one of the best QRP transceivers I have ever owned. The best was the Yaesu FT7, but the IC-703 is very considerably smaller and covers more bands with speech processing and an auto ATU. Many years ago, I sold this to a local amateur, Ted  G4NUA. Ted is now a silent key sadly. He was a keen experimenter, especially with 20m WSPR.

Sunspots - Tuesday September 27th 2022

Solar flux is 135 and the SSN 120. A=6 and K=6.

26 Sept 2022

Cambridge University Church - NOT amateur radio

This is the exit from the University Church in Cambridge called Great St Mary's. It is next to the market and very near King's College Chapel. It is very central in Cambridge.

Many famous people have given sermons here. I have heard a few in years past.

Chinese lanterns - NOT amateur radio


These plants are commonly seen at this time of year and are popular in indoor displays.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Monday)

Gear turned on earlier this morning. As usual, running 500mW from my WSPR beacon.

UPDATE 1300z:  Just 3 unique stations spotting me so far today. These are one local and 2 in the Canary Is.  The Canary Is looks like F2 propagation.

Yosemite National Park - NOT amateur radio

This photo shows a ledge in the Yosemite National Park. Rather him than me!

I visited there in the late 1990s when working in California, USA. 

No, that is definitely not me!

See https://www.yosemite.com/.

Plans for today

 Although I suspect my chances are low, I am continuing to monitor the beacon GB3MCB in Cornwall on 40.050 MHz FT8.

As the 10m antenna is free I shall probably go on 10m QRP WSPR TX with my 500mW W5OLF beacon.

UPDATE 0825z: 10m QRP WSPR TX turned on and PC manually re-synced "just in case".

PC time syncing

Many digital modes like WSPR and FT8 depend on accurate timing.  

For the last few weeks I have just used Windows 10 to sync PC time.  As a matter of habit I do a re-sync perhaps once a day "just in case".  

Judging by results on FT8, I am perfectly sure this is fine. In the past I used special software for this. My advice is do not bother. 

Make sure your settings for time automatically sync. This is extremely easy.

GB3MCB 8m beacon in Cornwall

This beacon on 40.050 MHz began operation this weekend. 

It is situated in mid-Cornwall near St Austell. It should be very useful to indicate when 8m is open across the Atlantic. It has an FT8 sequence, so can be monitored with WSJT-X free software. The antennas are crossed dipoles.

Initially, it is operated under a test and innovation licence. In my view both the RSGB and OFCOM should have just granted them an NoV to the amateur licence as this truly helps propagation research and self training. The RSGB should have made the case and OFCOM agreed.

OFCOM and the RSGB -- just wake up!!!  You are making yourselves look unbelievably stupid! Surely the whole purpose of our hobby is self training and radio research. Is it any wonder we cannot find RF engineers in the UK if there is no support?   

8m need not be "more of the same". It is uniquely situated in the radio spectrum, on the HF/VHF boundary, to offer radio amateurs a real chance to contribute to radio propagation research. Instead, both the RSGB and OFCOM appear to be obstructive.

I am still totally puzzled why OFCOM seems so against even 5 kHz (just 5 kilohertz!!) at 8m being allocated to the amateur service by NoV. They could insist on narrow digital only and make us secondary users with limited power. It just seems so short-sighted. Like the Chinese trying to stop Covid or King Canute trying to stop the tide - there are some things in life that make no sense.

UPDATE 0804z:  No spots overnight.

UPDATE 1556z: Still not a sign of that beacon. My feeling is that this is a complete waste of time.  I thought I might see the odd MS burst, but nothing. Maybe I should remain on until the morning? Probably the 15 second TX period is too long for random MS. In a shower I might have better luck.