31 Dec 2013

Logging into a Windows PC and 10m WSPR

When I came to log in on my old (lab) Windows XP PC today it was a nightmare. Firstly it had not been used for almost 4 months and refused to bring up the log-in page. Then I'd forgotten my log-in details: even my old hint did not help. In the end after many attempts all was sorted but what a struggle with my poor addled brain currently. I've even made a small start on the tax return online. At the moment I am making lots of typos on the PC and everything takes twice as long as it did.

 I've started WSPRing on 10m for the first time since September! My old life is slowly returning, thank God. Not bad reports too.

Initial 10m WSPR reports with 2W out

Release Date

The latest news from Addenbrooke's Hospital is I should be  home for good by Jan 6th. After that, apart from continuing to get better, I hope to buy a new rig and do my on-line tax return! Expect blogging proper again within a week or so. I continue to slowly improve on all fronts but find I am making lots of errors typing on the PC still.

Currently on 2 days' home leave over New Year (1 night at home) but have to return to hospital by 5pm Wednesday.

11 Dec 2013

IC7100 from Icom

When it comes to new 100W HF rigs the new IC7100 looks to be relatively good value at just under £1300 in the UK. This includes 4m and 70 cm coverage and DSTAR. I am a little skeptical about the clarity of the LCD touchscreen display.  Other good rigs don't cover 4m or bands above 6m.I am still tempted when I get " released" from my hospital prison. My heart is still in QRP but the Elecraft KX3 is a similar price with  just 8-10W,fewer bands and arguably less well suited to base station digital use. We'll have to see when I get out of my hospital  "prison". I may just buy a second FT817 and another auto ATU. 

9 Dec 2013


The last few weeks has seen me devouring a number of novels to kill the monotony of being in hospital still. Latest estimates are mid January for going home ,when I hope to be able to swallow some soft foods. Books read include:

"Oranges are not the only fruit" by Janice Winterton
"Night Fire" by Ken Follett
"Eye of the Needle "
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo " by Stieg Larsson

At the moment it takes about 3 days for a 560 page book. I am REALLY looking forward to going home when the ham radio blogging can resume.

Interestingly, I have read very few amateur radio books apart from  1 QST and a few RadComs and PWs. So far I have had visits  from around 45 people including a few local hams. My brother has raised over £1000 for the charity "Headway" as a result of my bleed on the brain.

1 Dec 2013

Latest Health News

All being well, I should get home from hospital for brief home visit within the next 3 weeks. Thereafter, the is a good chance of getting home for good, probably in January. I still cannot eat or drink normally but I can do the excercises to improve my swallow as well at home as in hospital. My walking is wobbly on a walking frame, but getting better, and my writing and speech are a mess still, but also heading in the right direction. Being at home will be so much better after around 4 months in hospital wards. Physically I can see and hear well, my  memory seems to be maily intact, so  I have lots to be grateful for. The facilities lacking should work eventually. A good chance of more "normal service" on the amateur radio blog  from mid-January.

In the meantime my brother John  has raised almost £1000 for the brain injury charity Headway. I cannot thank hi  enough. My continued thanks for all donations including some very large donations from my American friends. This has been a very long haul personally and a big reminder how precious normal, everyday life is. We take everything for granted whereas we need to remind ourselves just  how wonderful everything is.