31 Dec 2015

2015 - NOT amateur radio

As I write this we have just over one hour to go of this year. In some parts of the world it is already the new year. For me, it has been a "challenging" year with slow, slow improvements in my stroke. My voice is still poor, I still have problems with many drinks and I have not made the full recovery by now that I was hoping for so much. I just hope next year is better, or at the very least that I can better adapt to the "me" I am these days.

2016 challenge

With my voice still poor (stroke) and still the same few reappearing night after night on 472kHz, I think my challenge for 2016 will be to work as many countries as possible using JT65 and JT9-1 on HF. I have tried these modes before but as it is now integrated with WSPR in WSJT-X I really should give it a go.

South America on 10m WSPR

So far, 3 spots from FY5KE (7110km) on 10m WSPR, Nobody else spotting me today.

Newmarket - NOT amateur radio

Newmarket Horses
Newmarket, the worldwide home of horse racing, is just 4 miles away. We do most of our food shopping there - mostly in Waitrose and sometimes at Tesco. Today we drove through Newmarket and did a walk at nearby Dalham, which is a real "chocolate box" village filled with thatched cottages. A hundred and fifty years ago these would have been tithed cottages for agricultural workers living in abject and grinding poverty. These days they are worth a small fortune and they are probably homes for the well grounded.  Many may be second homes for people coming to Newmarket for the races.

ICOM 7300

There is still no news (at least not that I have heard) regarding the UK availability of this transceiver or its price here in the UK with import duty and VAT. All the main dealers are keen to take a deposit to "snag" those who must have this radio as soon as possible at almost any price.

The pattern of new releases seems to be "early bugs" in hardware and software, which are found by the early adopters, which are corrected in later releases. As I have said many times, I think it is a great pity they don't get the 10W version CE approved as it would make a great rival for the FT817 and replacement for the now obsolete IC703.

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs Dec 31st 2015

Solar flux has dipped to 98 and sunspot number is 34 today (K=4). 10m conditions are expected to remain "poor" today.

Currently I am active on 10m WSPR (500mW, 100% TX, randomised TX frequency) and 630m 5mW ERP 20% TX, 80% RX).

UPDATE 1048z:  Only 630m (472kHz) spots of G8VDQ (93km) so far this morning in daylight. Nothing yet on 10m WSPR.

Strange glow in the sky - NOT amateur radio

This morning, there was an odd sight in the sky. I think it is called "the Sun", although it seems a long time since we last saw it. The sky was bright blue with this thing glowing brightly.  All very odd. We seem to have had lots of clouds and rain in East Anglia this year, but nothing like the horrendous floods in north west England and in Scotland.

30 Dec 2015

Amateur satellites

See http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2015/december/another_eo79_transponder_activation.htm .

It is some years ago that I successfully had a QSO through an amateur satellite. Our hobby is filled with variety and it is simply not possible to do everything. This is one of the great things about amateur radio: there are so many ways to enjoy the hobby. EO79 is just one of many transponding satellites.

SPAM comments deleted

Someone has been posting comments on recent posts in the attempt to add links for free advertising. Be aware that these comments have been deleted and I shall delete anything similar I find in future as soon as spotted.  SPAM comments are not wanted, or tolerated, here. Play your silly games elsewhere please "MarkDonald".

Return to 630m WSPR

After an abortive outing on 10m and 6m WSPR, I have returned to 630m (472kHz) WSPR a few minutes ago. G3KEV (232km) has already spotted my 5mW ERP signal at -22dB S/N. He has a very good set-up on MF. I think he is ex-merchant navy?

UPDATE 1808z:  Plenty of stations spotting me and being spotted by me on 472kHz. Sadly these are all stations seen before. I am using WSJT-X tonight without the RX preamp. Now it is dark there are more stations appearing, but again few in Europe on TX.

Grandchildren gone - NOT amateur radio

Today, the last of our grandchildren went home to Kent with their mum and dad. The house now seems very quiet. At least it is tidy, although we prefer it with a slight mess and them here. They are all great kids.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Dec 30th 2015

Solar flux has dropped to 102. Sunspot number is 54 (K=0) and the 10m propagation is expected be  "poor". I reset/re-synced the 10m WSPR beacon and am currently active on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR, although no spots as yet on either band.

29 Dec 2015

10m WSPR

Sorry to report that my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon was not spotted at all today. It has been on since mid-morning and I was surprised not to get spotted even once. The WSPR beacon is still on but I doubt it will get spotted now until the morning, if at all, tomorrow. In the morning I shall do a full reset of the 10m WSPR beacon.

FT817 replacement this coming year?

It is rumoured that Yaesu will, at long last, announce a replacement to the FT817 at Dayton this year. Lots of people are awaiting this rig, which is only about 4 years too late!  If I was Yaesu I'd have launched this on the upward slope of the last sunspot peak.  In their infinite wisdom (or plain stupidity?) they have still to announce such a radio. If they are to capitalise on the replacement demand they'd better make sure it has some really nice features and get the price right. I cannot imagine it making it to Europe much before autumn 2016 or even Christmas.

By the time it is available here in Europe we are likely to be suffering with relatively low (and falling) sunspot numbers. If I was Yaesu I'd think about offering 15m, 12m, 10m, 6m and 4m, 2m and 70cms (and possibly 1296MHz) and not offer the lower HF bands at all. In the next 20-30 years the VHF bands will be more important. 15m,12m , 10m, 6m and 4m are all useful for Es especially in the summer months. With just a few watts of SSB one can work much of Europe with just a whip antenna and QRP.

Lawns - NOT amateur radio

At least 3 people were cutting their grass today, even though  it was Dec 29th!  We have had the mildest December I can ever recall.  OK, things could change to heavy snow very quickly, but if things do continue as they are, I shall be cutting our lawns all winter, which would be so different from normal.

Dual banders at stupid prices!

This from Steve G1KQH earlier:-

Sunspots and 10m - Tues Dec 29th 2015

Solar flux is 113 today and sunspot number 64 (K=1).  The forecast for 10m propagation remains "poor" today. I QSYed from 50mW on 20m to 500mW on 10m around 1030z this morning.  So far, no spots received on 10m WSPR using the W5OLF 10m WSPR beacon.

28 Dec 2015

Swallow - NOT amateur radio

A swallow (migrant bird that usually leaves for South Africa mid September) was seen in Bantham, South Devon on Dec 26th. This is incredibly late. If we have a mild winter it is possible this bird will over-winter.  I have not seen any records of these birds surviving through the winter before but this winter has been very mild so far. The best chances are on or near mild coasts where there is a plentiful supply of insects near seaweed.

More test results with WSJT-X V1.6

This came in earlier from Alan G8LCO. It seems that WSJT-X V1.6 is definitely the way to go.

Jan found out that his misleading results were due to having two programs on the same PC, now he sees the improvement on 1.60

David did a 8.5 Hour test and saw 23.7%  more spots on 1.60

I have posted a note of my test results on the LF group so the story is out now! The improvement is staggering!  And I do like the way that the facilities have been put together. The Hopping Scheduler is a very nice way of making clean band changes without the "Wrong Band" risk as well as being a great tool in it's own way. You also don't need to run a spec anl as well to see what is happening.
It seems to be a very nice package all around  with the JT modes as well. But it will take a bit longer to explore all of the possabilities.  Open Source software can really be fantastic when it is done well.

This was the very detailed analysis Alan G8LCO posted on the RSGB LF group:

WSPR is now included in the WSJT package as an alternate mode alongside JT65 and JT9. I loaded the free software just before Christmas running into some issues because I had not changed the audio settings. After changing to the settings in the instructons everything worked.

The WSPR mode use is a little different, band hopping is available so instead of manually having to change bands waiting for decoding to end etc etc you can now preset the next band(s) making the band change quick and certain. If every user picked up on this feature the "Wrong Band" issue which messes up the logs could be a past issue! that would be a very significant "WIN" for the WSPR database users!

The decoding now uses a two pass process, strong signals are processed then removed allowing weaker signals to be decoded. This makes a very substantial difference!

On Dec 27 I ran a comparison, I used my normal antenna and Rx to produce audio which then went to two seperate Rx's, a laptop running WSPR 2.12 which was a known good performer and another PC running WSJT-X 1.60. I chose to listen to 160m as it was busier than 620m at that time. There is also the prospect of TA spots.  The test was run overnight.

It was quickly evident that the two pass decoder was producing more spots than the stand alone WSPR 2.12
In some time slots 1.60 produced 6 decodes to 2.12's  3 decodes !  The main reason was that when two signals were close the old decoder only  found the stronger signal wheras the two pass decoder seemed to decode all of the signals visible on the spectral display. I had decodes of signals 2 Hz apart with 20dB amplitude differences whereas 2.12 lost weaker signals 5Hz apart. Some -10dB signals decoded  1 in 6 times on 2.12 but every time on 1.60. SNR's were broadly the same however a few signals decoded 1,2 or 3 dB higher on 1.60.

One feature of WSPR 2.12 is that high level signals seem to top out around +13dB so very strong signals peg at +13dB or so. The 1.60 software has produced SNR numbers up to +20dB so we can better see crocs blasting away. Hitherto I have run Spectrum Lab alongside WSPR so I am well aware of the levels of some stations!

For those used to 2.12 WSPR the new version takes a bit of getting used to as there are significant differences  and many new facilities that extend the way we can use the software.

The spectral display has seperate gain and bright controls with the waterfall having it's own controls. There are several pallets and display widths to select and an early decode option that displays the decode earlier than 2.12 does. There is also a 2 min "thermometer" style display at the lower edge indicating the time in the slot cycle  and a box giving the  progression of the four time periods in the Hopping Shedule, night, dawn grey line, day and sunset grey line. That I found very useful.

For me the package seems to work outstandingly well, decoding is better than ever and quicker, the spectral display and waterfall are flexible without over complication and the very clumsy old style band changing is now very quick, risk free and certain. The development people and the testers have done a very good job.

However decoding weak signals is not simple, different people have different equipment, noise levels and operating practices. I would advise against running different decode software at the same time on one machine, there is a possibility of misleading results. I would like to thank Jan, David and Roger for helping clarify matters and their independent testing.


Tiredness - NOT amateur radio

It seems that improvements following my stroke over 2 years ago come in their own time.  For the last few days I seem to be less tired than I was after breakfast. Today I managed to do 2 physical jobs right after breakfast with no rest. I still feel giddy on my feet and have poor voice and thin liquid swallow.

Sunspots and 10m - Mon Dec 28th 2015

Solar flux has declined to 106 and the sunspot number is 67 (K=1). 10m propagation is expected to be "poor" again.  I am currently active with 50mW on 20m only.

UPDATE 1208z:   Spots received from Germany and Italy this morning when running 50mW on 20m WSPR.

27 Dec 2015

20m WSPR at 50mW to a low end-fed antenna

I went QRT on 10m and 6m WSPR and switched instead to 50mW on 20m WSPR.  At this power I am still getting spotted. I am reducing power with a 10dB attenuator and 500mW from the FT817. This means I have a 10dB pad in circuit on RX. Even with this some stations are 0dB S/N on RX.

UPDATE 2056z:  Even with 50mW some spots were as strong as -2dB S/N. Later in the week I may make a 30dB attenuator so I can go as low as 500uW and try this. With very low output it is possible I'll still get the odd spot, especially by wintertime Es. Best DX spot today on 20m WSPR was 1200km, so far, from IQ5LU late lunchtime. I shall leave the 20m WSPR running overnight.

UPDATE 2121z:   The more recent spots by DL2JA (919km) of my 50mW 20m WSPR had lots of drift. This could be aircraft reflection, Es clouds moving or rig drift.

LA3EQ 472kHz RX experiment

There seems to be some issues with the newly released WSJT-X V1.6 software (combines JT65, JT9 and WSPR2 and WSPR15 into a single package) compared with some earlier releases of dedicated WSPR software, with WSJT-X 1.6 not reporting to WSPRnet all that is received. It looks as if this is not a WSPRnet issue, even though WSPRnet has not been so reliable of late. LA3EQ did a "side by side" comparison and the older versions reported more stations. Maybe there is a bug that V1.7 will correct?

Sunspots and 10m - Sun Dec 27th 2015

Sunspot number has dropped back a little to 63 (K=3). Solar flux is still respectable at 113. 10m propagation is expected to be "poor" today, so USA spots on WSPR are not too likely. I may try 10m with 50mW output later. My best chances are wintertime Es rather than F2 propagation.  I shall probably QSY from 630m to 6m shortly.

UPDATE 1100z:  I am now active on 6m WSPR (20% TX 1W, 80% RX) and 10m WSPR (50mW TX 100% but frequency randomised within the WSPR window). Unfortunately my W5OLF 10m WSPR beacon has the power shown as 500mW "hard wired" so the reported TX power on 10m will still show 500mW even though my power is only 50mW.  Only if I use the FT817 with external attenuators would I be able to change to power indicated. I may try this later in the week.

UPDATE 1248z:  No spots at all with 50mW on 10m WSPR. I may try 20m WSPR later. This will mean going QRT on 6m so I can use the FT817 and PC.

26 Dec 2015

QRP Rendezvous

From Oleg....

Dear Club 72 members and friends,
This  week  "rendezvous"  visitors:  UR7VT,  OH6NPV,  RC4HT,  ON6KZ,
See Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report - http://qrp-club72.blogspot.ru/
Full list of "rendezvous" Frequenters and Visitors - www.club72.su
Welcome all QRP stations to next week "rendezvous":
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 9 UTC on 14060 (alt 10116 kc) +/-
Comments are welcome

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"
=== In QRP We Trust! ===

More on lighter evenings - NOT amateur radio

At the moment the evenings are lighter for 5 mins more at dusk than a week ago. The light follows a sine wave curve and the rate of change speeds up as we go through the winter into spring. As I said recently, the evenings are lighter by an hour at the end of January. At the website below you can change the location and the date.

See http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/cambridge

More WSPRnet issues

WSPRnet seems to be suffering again. I get in, but it is taking a very long time. Maybe, some have given up and are using other modes instead?

10m WSPR this morning

There was a mix of F2 propagation (RZ6, RA3) and much shorter skip wintertime Es on 10m WSPR. I am pretty sure we will see USA WSPR spots this afternoon. Wintertime Es peaks at this time of year.

UPDATE 1534z:   No 10m USA spots so far this afternoon. They may come later, but I am surprised not to have been spotted already today. It is already quite late in the day.
UPDATE 1622z:   Still no USA spots today. I think it is now too late?

UPDATE 1702z:   It is now, I think, too late for USA spots on 10m, probably propagation. I am surprised as I was really expecting better today. 10m is a fickle band, filled with surprises!

UPDATE 2000z:  Did I say, "10m is a fickle band, filled with surprises!"?  So I left my 10m WSPR beacon running and was rewarded with spots from EA1FBU (1297km) by wintertime Es. The opening seems quite localised with 6 spots so far from this station.

UPDATE 2208z:   EA1FBU spotted me 16 times this evening on 10mWSPR before the opening ended at 2032z.

472kHz WSPR activity

Last night there were 70 active 472kHz WSPR stations showing on WSPRnet.  However, there were only 14 stations transmitting and at times I was the only UK station transmitting!! Although it was good to have this many people monitoring, we need more on TX.

Sunspots and 10m - Sat Dec 26th 2015

Solar flux is 123 today. Sunspot number has climbed to 71 (K=2). The forecast for 10m propagation is "fair" again today. I am expecting 10m WSPR to be reasonable today. There have been 10m USA openings on most recent days.

25 Dec 2015

472kHz TX in the last 2 weeks

472kHz unique spots in last 2 weeks of my 5mW ERP signal
These are the unique spots I have received for my 5mW ERP 472kHz WSPR signal in the last 2 weeks. At some point I must work out how many unique WSPR spots I have received this season.

Last winter my 5mW ERP from the earth-electrode "antenna" was spotted over 1000km away.

High post reads? - NOT amateur radio

Probably because many readers are on Christmas/New Year holiday, but I have already had as many blog visits as in a normal whole day and it is not yet teatime.

USA again on 10m WSPR

Yet again 10m WSPR was open to the USA.  K9AN (6505km) first spotted my 500mW WSPR beacon at 1458z. Solar conditions seem better, or is it just the holidays meaning more activity?

UPDATE 1654z:   I have just re-synced and reset the 10m beacon, although it is probably too late for further USA 10m spots. I am currently active on 10m and 630m WSPR.

WSJT-X V1.6 decode sensitivity

For many months I had been using V4 of the dedicated WSPR software After about a day of use I do not think WSJT-X V1.6 has demonstrably better sensitivity.  On spots of EA5DOM and PA3ABK/2 the S/N of decodes seems very similar in S/N terms. It is possible this not widely release version decoded at a similar level to WSJT-X V1.6. Certainly the QSB makes making a clear picture far from easy. What I mean is the signals vary far more with fades than the difference in sensitivity between packages. At the moment I am not using the preamp.

Lighter evenings - NOT amateur radio

At long last, it is getting just a little lighter here in the evenings. For a week or so the mornings still get darker, but already the evenings are several minutes better. By the end of January the difference in the evening is almost an hour. Of course this means the year has turned again.

Christmas? Bah humbug

I think it is partly a result of my stroke, but I find Christmas very stressful these days. Every Christmas, things are expected to be calm and happy, yet I am sure that I am not alone in experiencing the opposite. Even eating the Christmas meal is a stress these days. Years ago at work I knew a couple who went camping in Scotland at Christmas. Just maybe they had the right idea?

Bah humbug!

For the little ones it is still a magical time.

Sunspots and 10m - Fri Dec 25th 2015

Solar flux is 131 and sunspot number 51 (K=3) today. 10m propagation is again expected to be "fair". There have been some medium range European 10m spots which are probably by wintertime Es.

24 Dec 2015

WSJT-X - V1.6 works

I am currently using WSJT-X V1.6 on 472kHz WSPR.  It seems to work "right out of the tin" for me and I have both uploaded WSPR spots and been spotted on WSPRnet using the new software. As yet, because of family and Christmas, I have not yet tried it on JT65 or JT9-1 2-way modes. It is too early to tell how much better it is than the older WSPR packages, but others have reported better MF sensitivity with it.

Merry Christmas to all readers

May I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2016?  I try to write about what I have done and what interests me and hope you are able to find something of interest here or on my webpages at www.g3xbm.co.uk .

Most days the blog gets updated, unless I am away or too unwell.

Returned to 472kHz WSPR

There seemed little doing on 6m WSPR so I have returned to 630m (472kHz) WSPR now but using WJST-X 1.6 software to see how this does. No spots yet either given or received.

10m WSPR to the USA again

10m seems to be in good shape with K9AN (6505km) spotting my tiny WSPR beacon at 1430z. 10m WSPR has opened to the USA for several days in a row now.

New WSPR software

Interesting news from G8LCO:-

"Have been trying out WSJT-X 1.60 over the last two days. The 1.60 version -not long out!- includes WSPR alongside JT65 etc. It is a nice package, had one setup issue with the sound card rate but now it works very well.

You have GAINED around 3 dB of signal level on 472KHz- the decoder is more sensitive.I am hearing better than ever on MF and Top Band.

One very nice feature is the ability to scan bands, there is a menu to list the bands you want to include, this is split by time of day into four zones night, dawn greyline, day and dusk greyline. The software switchs the bands automatically without screwing up the band data!

Having the other modes too and a spectrum view that can be taylored to your needs is very useful.

All in all it's a nice Xmas freeware present to the Ham community. They have 1.70 in development- not far from release- that has even more good features. It looks like the merge of packages is a good way forward from the old arrangement."

UPDATE 1342z:  I have just loaded WSPR-X 1.6  onto the current shack PC. It is currently running WSPR on 6m (RX and TX).

Sunspots and 10m - Dec 24th 2015

Solar flux is 132 and sunspot number is 63 (K=3) today. The propagation forecast today is "fair". There were early winter Es spots from Italy and France on 10m, but this would not be related to solar conditions. As far as I know Es is not related to sunspots. The RA and LZ spots received on 10m are more likely to be single hop F2.

23 Dec 2015

10m USA WSPR spots today

Several USA spots today on 10m WSPR. Not a bad day at all. The first at 1454z was K4BYN (6231km) with several since.

I am also active on 630m WSPR and DK7FC (669km) was the first to be spotted. I went QRT on 6m when I turned on 630m (472kHz) WSPR.

6m and 10m WSPR

G8VDQ (93km) has been spotted on 6m several times already, but no 10m WSPR spots of my signal apart from the stations spotting me earlier.

IC7300 and FT991 prices

Well, the IC7300 has not yet been sold in the UK (as far as I know) although the FT991 has. The price has still to drop in my view, but it looks like the dealers are trying to maximise their profits from early adopters. I have no idea when this price will finalise.  Easter or summer 2016?

630m (472kHz) WSPR

Overnight the same stations were spotted on RX and M0LMH (223km) and G0HWW (29km) spotted my 5mW ERP on TX.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Dec 23rd 2015

Solar flux is respectable at 128 and the sunspot number is rising. Today SN is 68 (K=2) so 10m WSPR might be quite good. The 10m propagation forecast is "fair".

UPDATE 1104z:  I have just switched on 6m WSPR and reset the 10m WSPR beacon. I am now QRT on 630m (472kHz) WSPR.

UPDATE 1114z:  10m WSPR spots from FR1GZ (9724km) and RA3UDF (2693km) quite early today, which is encouraging.

22 Dec 2015

Early USA WSPR spots on 10m

N2NOM (5581km) was spotting me on 10m WSPR very early today at 1354z. It was good to be spotted at all in the USA on 10m WSPR, but this early is encouraging for more spots later.

UPDATE 2130z:  K9AN (6505km) was also spotting my 10m WSPR beacon this afternoon. In the end the day saw spots from 4 unique stations in the USA.

10m and 6m WSPR this morning

G8VDQ (93km) has been spotted a couple of times on 6m WSPR and EA8/DL9XJ  (2981km) has been spotting my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon. It will be interesting to see if there are any WSPR spots on 6m and 10m by/from nearer Europeans by wintertime Es later.

DL-SWL reports last night on 630m (472kHz) WSPR

Last night DL-SWL (701km) spotted my 5mW ERP 472kHz WSPR from the earth-electrode "antenna" no less than 12 times, which was quite remarkable. He must have a good system as I was peaking at -25dB S/N at times, although very weak not surprisingly.

Sunspots and 10m - Tues Dec 22nd 2015

Sunspot number is falling and is 38 today (K=3) although solar flux is 122 and the 10m propagation forecast is "fair".  After a reasonable start, 10m WSPR was disappointing yesterday. Surprisingly (for me anyway) I am no longer getting spots most days from the USA on 10m WSPR. Maybe these will return in the late winter and spring? With generally falling solar activity, it is a battle between "normal" 10m conditions and the general fall-off in the solar cycle.

21 Dec 2015

10m and 6m WSPR

As we have grandchildren here, I have chosen WSPR rather than JT9-1 today. I am active on both 10m and 6m WSPR but will return to 630m (472kHz) later.

UPDATE 2300z:  No USA 10m WSPR spots today.

10m F2 (?) WSPR spots

EA8BVP (2986km) has spotted me many times today on 10m WSPR. This is probably single hop F2 and this was the first time this season. FR1GZ (9724km) spotted me once only, so far today. No spots yet from the USA, but these will be later, if at all. EA8/DL9XJ (2981km) has also spotted me on 10m WSPR. It is just possible this is winter Es.  CT1JTQ (1843km was also spotting me on 10m WSPR, so this makes Es a possibility. I think F2 is more likely.

UPDATE 1352z:  All quiet on 6m WSPR so far today.

Sunspots and 10m - Mon Dec 21st 2015

Solar flux is 117 and sunspot number is 33 (K=4) although 10m propagation is forecast to be "poor" today. It is anyone's guess how 10m WSPR will be today.

20 Dec 2015

20m JT9-1 QSOs

As WSPRnet has been "flaky" of late I gave 20m JT9-1 a go, looking for some 2-way QSOs. It seems busier on this mode than I recall, but this may just be conditions. Anyway, I managed 2 QSOs (HA and YO) and according to PSK Reporter my signal was reaching Canada and the USA. Not bad considering my 2.5W and low 20m antenna. A good change. I must use this mode more in 2016.

UPDATE 1622z:  I have returned to 472kHz WSPR for the evening and night with 5mW ERP (20%) TX and RX without a preamp (80%). I still use the earth-electrode "antenna" on 472kHz. F6GEX (590km) was the first station spotted on 472kHz WSPR this evening. Others include DK7FC (669km) and G8HUH (250km) and PA0A (417km).

Anglesey Abbey (NT) Daffodils - NOT amateur radio

Anglesey Abbey Daffodils
There are daffodils, snowdrops, hellebores and more out at Anglesey Abbey (National Trust) which is just a few miles away from us. Some trees are in blossom. Everything is 4-6 weeks ahead of normal. The weather is crazy.

Sunspots and 10m - Sun Dec 20th 2015

Solar flux is 120 today, which is quite respectable. Sunspot number is 44 (K=5) yet 10m propagation is expected to be "fair" today. Early indications on 10m are promising.

Overnight on 630m (472kHz) WSPR

Overnight I was on 472kHz WSPR RX only, with the preamp in circuit. Sadly, no new stations copied. Just the usual stations copied yet again. I am now on 10m and 6m WSPR and I'll return to 630m WSPR at teatime without the preamp, but with TX enabled for 20% of the time (5mW ERP).

10m WSPR this morning

Local G4KPX (14km) and RZ6AOJ (2780km) have both spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR signal already. This early activity gives me some hope that 10m WSPR will be good later too.

UPDATE 1402z:   Sadly, no further 10m WSPR spots this morning and afternoon, so far.  G8VDQ has been spotted several times on 6m WSPR but no-one else.

6m WSPR this morning

G8VDQ (93km) has again been spotted on 6m WSPR, although many of his bursts did not decode as the Doppler was too great. The multi-path nature of these signals again seems to confirm aircraft reflections. It seems decodes occur with little or no Doppler, so either the direct tropo path or aircraft flying in the right directions at the right spots.

One USA spot on 10m WSPR yesterday

Looking back at my logs I see that WY1R (5504km) spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR yesterday at 1412z. This was the only USA spot on the band. I this was F2 although  there is a possibility it was multi-hop Es. F2 is more probable. Conditions must have been very marginal with just a fleeting opportunity of my little beacon being briefly copied.

19 Dec 2015

Very good 472kHz WSPR conditions

EA5DOM (1525km) was coming in at -16dB S/N just now without the preamp! If I am going to copy anyone at greater range then tonight will be a good chance. I keep hoping to copy some USA 472kHz stations, but no luck so far. I may go and add the preamp overnight.

UPDATE 2352z: I have just switched to 472kHz WSPR RX only with the preamp. As tonight is my best chance this season so far, I am giving the RX the best chance too!

UPDATE Dec 20th  0014: Sod's Law says tonight WSPRnet will fall over. I need to check the overnight local logs carefully. t breakfast time tomorrow.

Reminder: Christmas Eve (Dec 24th) SAQ VLF test

See http://alexander.n.se/?lang=en .

The next SAQ transmission (17.2kHz CW) from Sweden will be on Christmas Eve, December 24th at 8:00 UTC (9:00 CET). It will also be broadcast live on their webpage (see link above).

Albert Einstein visited the New Jersey HF alternator TX. This is not SAQ of course!
 This image is located at http://gereports.cdnist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/10165119/121442-Steinmetz-and-Einstein-uncropped1.jpg

QRP Club

From Oleg...

Dear Club 72 members and friends,

See the weekly QRP Rendez-Vous report and "soapbox" here -
Visitors  of  the week: UR7VT, UA1ADF, UR5EFD, RN4NAA, UA1CEX, OM6TC, OH6NPV,  RU3NJC,  RA1M/mm,  UA4NU, 9A6DR, G3UD, RA3AL, SM7RYR, DM4RW, G4HOM, LZ2NV, 9A1AA, HB9DAX, DL7MA, RA6YA, ON6KZ, PD0HRS

Schedule of the weekly "rendezvous";
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 9 UTC on 14060 kHz +/- QRL, QRM, VXO (alternative 10116 kHz if Contests QRM)
Welcome all QRP operators!

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"
=== In QRP We Trust! ===

472kHz WSPR

DL-SWL (701km) spotted my 5mW ERP 472kHz WSPR signal at 1628z today, which is very early. He must have a good RX system.   

PA3ABK/2 (306km) has been spotted here throughout the day on 472kHz WSPR.

Winter Es on 10m WSPR

So far today, WSPRnet has been OK. Not sure why. Lots of short-skip spots on 10m WSPR that I presume are a result wintertime Es (EA, DL, I). I may well try JT65 and JT9-1 later.

UPDATE 1608z:  It is getting late so JT65 and JT9-1 will have to wait until Sunday.  I shall go QRT on 10m WSPR soon.  I have been on 630m (472kHz) WSPR all day and will remain on for the evening and night.

Sunspots and 10m - Sat Dec 19th 2015

Solar flux is a respectable 116. Sunspot number is 49 (K=1) but 10m propagation is expected to be "poor" today. Yesterday 10m was again disappointing. In all, 21 unique statio (ns have reported my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon in the last 2 weeks, including several in  the USA. I thought it was fewer than this. The majority of the USA spots were earlier in the month. Best DX spot was by FR1GZ (9724km). No Australian spotters in the last 2 weeks on 10m.

UPDATE 1005z:  All quiet on 10m and 6m WSPR so far.

UPDATE 1009z:  This often happens! Just after my last entry I was spotted on 10m WSPR by DF4UE (758km) by wintertime Es I assume. Far too short for F2.

18 Dec 2015

JT65 and JT9-1 tomorrow?

From Sunday we have grandchildren here for over a week, so amateur radio will take a back seat. I may set WSPR running some of the time, but that will be all.

Tomorrow, as WSPRnet seems so "hit and miss" at the moment, I may well try JT65 and JT9-1 to see how I get on. I've used these modes in the past, but not for some while. My fellow blogger PA4BAS Bas in the Netherlands tells me that beaconing is possible in these modes, although the watchdog timer only allows 6 transmissions before the TX has to be reset. I may well try 20m initially to make sure all works first. After that, I may give 10m a go although it has been quiet on 10m WSPR of late.

See http://pe4bas.blogspot.nl/2015/12/beaconing-with-jt-modes.html .

More WSPRnet issues?

Yet again, WSPRnet seems to be struggling. If this continues I think I shall be forced away from WSPR, which would be a great shame in my current state of health.

The choices are to move to PSK31, JT65, JT9-1 and OPERA on MF. I can use SSB and CW, but I find these modes hard at present.  Unlike WSPR (which is mainly a beacon mode) these digital modes are really 2-way modes, so I'd have to be in the shack rather than the lounge. Maybe this is no bad thing as I need to make more 2-way QSOs. Maybe my challenge for 2016 should be to see how many countries I can work with QRP using these digital modes?

WSPRnet is a core benefit of WSPR as it allows everyone to see who is spotting you and who you are spotting. Feedback is almost instant, which is great for those interested in propagation or experimenting with antennas or rigs.

Big-Wheel review

The first article that I have written since my stroke has been published. This was a 1 page article about my Big-Wheel 2m antenna in the Jan 2016 edition of RadCom. David G0LRD kindly did the erection for me. I was really grateful to him. He just came over and did it.  A true hero in the real spirit of amateur radio. A million thanks David.

The short article was a start. I hope I can do a few more in 2016.

Very early 10m WSPR spots and 6m WSPR

SP9LJE (1261km) has already spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon this morning. This is probably winter Es as it is rather close for F2 propagation.

On 6m WSPR, I am giving the usual spots to G8VDQ (93km). He is coming in yet again by tropo and aircraft reflection.  There were 3 spots of him earlier.  If there is winter Es then it would be good to get few Europeans in the log on 6m WSPR too.

Currently (and all day) I shall be on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR. WSPRnet again seems very slow.

UPDATE 1354z:  No further 10m WSPR spots  since those by SP9LJE earlier. I have spotted G8VDQ a few more times on 6m. I'd be interested to know what gear/antenna he uses on 6m. He uses quite a bit more power than me. For aircraft reflection I am not convinced that antenna polarisation matters too much whereas for tropo it does matter.

Grass cutting - NOT amateur radio

So it is Dec 18th 2015 and as I write this I can hear someone cutting their lawn! Yesterday somewhere in Scotland hit over 17 deg C. The grass is still growing here - quite incredibly mild for mid-December.

Sunspots and 10m - Fri Dec 18th 2015

Sunspot number today is 52 (K=1) and solar flux is a respectable 117. 10m propagation is expected to be "poor". Yesterday was a washout here on 10m with no spots at all, which rather surprised me.

17 Dec 2015

QSYed to 630m (472kHz) WSPR

A few minutes ago I went QRT on 6m and 10m WSPR. I am now active on 630m (472kHz) WSPR with 5mW ERP on TX from the earth-electrode "antenna" On RX (80%) I am not using the preamp. For the avoidance of doubt, I am also using the earth-electrode "antenna" on RX too.

UPDATE 2225z:  In the last 2 weeks my 5mW ERP from the earth-electrode "antenna" has been copied by 23 different stations. This evening it was copied by F1AFJ (607km) in JN06HT. I am sure my earth-electrode "antenna" is not the best antenna for the band by a long way, but it shows large areas of real estate and big antennas and ground systems are not necessary to achieve decent results on WSPR on the 472kHz band.


G8VDQ (93km) was again spotted on 6m WSPR. A few days ago M0ICR was copied on 6m WSPR despite only using 200mW from North London.  I am sure people don't use the band thinking it useless outside the Es season. As WSPR has again shown, paths are often possible when the band seems dead. Modes like JT65 and JT9-1 should allow 2-way QSOs. With just less than 1 minute TX time, Doppler should be less of an issue than with WSPR using these modes. On 6m I only use a V2000 vertical fed with lossy coax. With a small beam, more power, and an antenna with gain, just imagine what would be possible.

Recommendation - give 6m WSPR a try! You may be surprised.

UPDATE 1034z: It looks like WSPRnet is struggling again this morning.

UPDATE 1036z: G8VDQ (93km)  spotted 4 times so far this morning on 6m WSPR.

UPDATE 1640z:  No spots all day on 10m WSPR, but G8VDQ (93km) has been spotted 9 times so far today on 6m WSPR.

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs Dec 17th 2015

Sunspot numbers are falling and today SN is 49 (K=1) but solar flux is still good at 125. The 10m propagation forecast is still "fair". Yesterday was disappointing although 10m WSPR did open late morning to central Europe.

That 472kHz preamp

Well I was on 472kHz WSPR RX overnight with the preamp in circuit so at good sensitivity. Sadly, not a single new station received, although (maybe?) the S/N of those received was a little better. To be honest, with QSB it was hard to be sure.  So, in future I may use the preamp at times although I am pretty sure I have copied most of the active stations that my current system is going to copy.

UPDATE 1014z: Since before breakfast I went QRT on 630m (472kHz) WSPR. I am now active on 10m and 6m WSPR again until this evening.

16 Dec 2015

472kHz WSPR - RX only now with preamp

Since 2055z I am on 472kHz RX only with the preamp in circuit. I shall stay on overnight to see if any new stations are copied. Up to now the conclusion is the preamp improves the sensitivity and S/N of stations, but I have copied the same stations without the preamp. What I need are a few new (to me) stations right on the threshold of copy.

Interest rates - NOT amateur radio

It has started.  Gradually rates will rise across the world. People had better get ready for life when borrowing costs more. I can remember when interest rates hit 15% and mortgages were very expensive.  At the moment borrowing (and being in debt) is very cheap, but history tells us these days will not last.

See  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35117405

SLOWLY declining solar activity

The slide down from a solar maximum is (usually) slower than the climb from the minimum to the maximum. Very gradually, the sun is going "off the boil" and solar activity is slowly falling away. With each year for several years to come things will get progressively harder on the higher bands. Some are predicting the next maximum may be a "damp squib", so enjoy the conditions while they last. It is quite possible that 10m will never be as good again in the lifetimes of many of us. Certainly 10m is already not as good as a year ago. Although Es is good at any part of the cycle in late spring and summer, F2 DX is best around the peak of solar activity. In the past 6m has supported worldwide DX at times, but I think those days are sadly over.

See http://www.solen.info/solar/ .

Pruning - NOT amateur radio

At the moment, it is unseasonably mild for December here in the UK. Often at this time of the year it is very misty and cold but at the moment it is about 14 deg C and every chance of it getting even warmer. The grass is still growing.  I cut it 2 weeks ago and it could really do with cutting yet again. Normally I stop cutting at the end of October.

Today, in between bursts of total exhaustion (stroke after-effect), I pruned two bushes in the garden. Working outside it felt more like April than December. I also noticed quite a few bulbs pushing through. Unless we get a really cold January we will soon have daffodils in bloom in the garden. Another 2 weeks? The ornamental cherry in the lawn needs a trim. This will have to wait.

More WSPRnet issues

Like many, I monitor WSPRnet to see who I am spotting and who is spotting me.  In my case I often do this from the comfort of the lounge, whilst doing other things.  I notice that WSPRnet is very slow again today. In fact, the last few times I tried it failed to connect at all.

UPDATE 1525z:  WSPRnet seems to be working at the moment with a 472kHz spot of my 5mW ERP by M0LMH (223km) a short while ago. Sadly if WSPRnet is not reliable it rather ruins the "near instant feedback" of WSPR.

UPDATE 1652z:  If WSPRnet really is just done by volunteers for free I am amazed it is as good as it is. I for one just use it and milk it. Like many, as anonymous says below, I'd happily chip in some cash to help provide a reliable service. Not all can afford to do so, but I use WSPRnet each and every day just about. Without WSPRnet, WSPR would not be a quarter as good as it is.

10m winter Es?

With several 10m WSPR spots received from Italy and Germany, I am wondering if this is winter Es? It is the right time of year and the right time of day.  The main Es peak is May, June, July but there is often Es around Dec/Jan too. The peak is smaller, but it does happen. So far, no DX spots from further afield by F2 propagation.

Bargains - really?

Many of the larger dealers are offering special deals in the lead up to Christmas. But, are you really getting a bargain? For example, MLS have the FT1200 at less than £1000 after cash back. Maybe this radio is over-stocked as people prefer the IC7300 or the FT991?

Call me a cynic, but I think we are being offered discounts on radios that have not sold. As they say, "beware of Greeks bearing gifts". If something looks too good there is probably a catch. Of course, if you really want one of the discounted rigs then now is as good a time to buy as any.

See www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beware-of-greeks-bearing-gifts.html .

No surprises on 472kHz overnight

With the same stations logged on RX and the same stations copying me on TX, there were no surprises on 472kHz (630m) WSPR overnight. We need more active stations on 472kHz WSPR.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Dec 16th 2015

With a solar flux of 122, sunspot number of 64 (K=1) and 10m propagation expected to be "fair" today, 10m WSPR could be in reasonable shape today.

15 Dec 2015

QSYed to 472kHz WSPR

About an hour ago I QSYed to 472kHz WSPR and went QRT on 10m and 6m. Although both EA5DOM (1525km) and PA3ABK/2 (306km) have been spotted, these did not upload to WSPRnet as my shack PC lost its internet connection. I have rebooted the PC, it has done its updates and seems to have the wi-fi/internet back in service since about 1900z. Let's hope it stays working!

UPDATE 2110z:   All seems to be working on 472kHz WSPR with the internet connection to WSPRnet working from the shack PC. EA5DOM (1525km) is still the best DX on RX (no preamp) and DL-SWL (701km) the best DX on TX (5mW ERP) tonight.

6m WSPR spots of M0ICR (90km)

M0ICR (90km) has just been spotted on 6m WSPR. Good to see someone active! His drift was highish so maybe this was aircraft reflection or maybe it was just his rig stabilising? I think this is aircraft reflection as there is still what seems like Doppler on the signal after 3 spots.

I shall stay on 6m WSPR for an hour or so, then QSY for the evening and night to 630m (472kHz) WSPR and go QRT on 10m and 6m WSPR.

It is very unlikely there will be any 10m WSPR spots from the USA today, sadly.

UPDATE 1706z:   Looking at the trace of M0ICR's signal, it looks like rig drift. There are signs of aircraft reflection too occasionally, but I think it is the tropo signal that is being decoded.

WSPRnet issues?

Several people have mentioned that WSPRnet is suffering of late. Certainly the number of times connecting has been problematic seems to be increasing. Is this because the server is getting too busy? Maybe the server just cannot cope with all the WSPR activity any more? I'd be interested to hear your views.

Spotted in Brazil on 10m WSPR

KD0VWO (7412km) monitoring in Brazil has spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon this morning at 1154z.  At -20dB S/N this was not a bad report either.  This is a promising start on 10m.  Let us hope I get some USA spots later.

UPDATE 1212z:  Still no spots on 6m WSPR today.

UPDATE 1605z:  It looks like the single spot on 10m from Brazil was "it" today. Again, well at least so far, no spots on 10m WSPR from the USA yet again today.  G8VDQ (93km) was spotted on 6m WSPR this morning, although this does not seem to have been uploaded to WSPRnet.

M0EMM (192km) reports me on 472kHz WSPR

Right on the lowest threshold M0EMM (192km) spotted my 5mW ERP 472kHz WSPR signal before breakfast today. He is the 23rd station to report my 5mW ERP signal on 472kHz WSPR in the last 2 weeks. G0HWW (29km) spotted me overnight too.

UPDATE 1130z:  Still all quiet on 10m and 6m WSPR.  I have been QRT on 630m (472kHz) since breakfast time.

FTSE 100 - NOT amateur radio

At the start of the year, some commentators were predicting the FTSE 100 UK share index would end the year above 7000.  It briefly exceeded this, although currently it is below 6000. A late rally might see it end the year in the low 6000s. I think expecting it to end the year above 7000 is wishful thinking.

Sunspots and 10m - Tues Dec 15th 2015

Solar flux is good at 124, sunspot number is 84 (K=3) and the 10m propagation forecast is "fair". Although yesterday was disappointing on 10m, today could be reasonable on 10m WSPR. We will see!

UPDATE 1028z:  All very quiet on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR so far today.

New 472kHz reporter

 Yesterday I had several spots on 472kHz WSPR from M0JEK (68km). It is good to get spots from someone new. Overnight several spots of EA5DOM (1525km) on 472kHz WSPR. I have now gone QRT on MF and am active on 6m and 10m WSPR.

14 Dec 2015

VERY late swallow - NOT amateur radio

According to my report on Devon birds, I see a swallow was sighted in Slapton, Devon on Dec 11th 2015. This is very late. It was probably from a late brood and stayed because of the mild weather. There have been rare, late, swallows before living off insects around seaweed in Cornwall, but I not aware of any proven records of over-wintering swallows staying in the UK. With our winters getting less cold it will happen some day.

The image is located at https://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/swallow_tcm9-18469.jpg?width=530&crop=(44,262,948,770) . If linking to it is problematic please let me know and I will remove the link.  I hope the free RSPB publicity is appreciated!

I have seen swallows in Devon in early December at Bolt Head, near Salcombe. Most make the hazardous journey to South Africa each September and return in April to these shores. Some arrive earlier, but most arrive by mid April, with swifts a few weeks later.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/s/swallow/ .

MF and 10m WSPR today so far

All quiet on 10m WSPR, so far. I was expecting a few spots by now.

On 472kHz (630m) I am spotting G8VDQ (93km) and being spotted by M0LMH (223km) in daylight. Overnight the usual stations were being spotted and spotting me. Best DX on RX (no preamp) was EA5DOM (1525km) and on TX (5mW ERP) with earth-electrodes was DL-SWL (701km). I wish there were some new stations.

UPDATE 1308z:  Still nothing on 10m WSPR.  I am surprised.

Sunday on 10m WSPR

More signs of possible wintertime Es with spots of my little 10m 500mW WSPR beacon from Italy. No sign of spots from the USA though.

Christmas concert - NOT amateur radio

London Eye at night
Yesterday we went by coach to London for a Christmas concert in the Festival Hall, South Bank, London given by the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bach Choir  and Young Singers. It was excellent and felt very Christmassy.

When we returned to the coach, the London Eye was illuminated. You can just see Big Ben across the river.

Sunspots and 10m - Mon Dec 14th 2015

With a good solar flux level (122) and a sunspot number of 74 (K=2) there is a good chance of half decent propagation on 10m today. For the first time in a while 10m propagation is expected to be "fair".

13 Dec 2015

Just 10m WSPR today

I went QRT on 630m before breakfast. Today I am just active on 10m WSPR, giving 6m and 630m a rest today. All being well I shall return to MF tonight.

Sunspots and 10m - Sun Dec 13th 2015

Solar flux is 115 and sunspot number 89 (K=3). 10m propagation is again expected to be "poor". 10m WSPR? May be reasonable today, but yesterday was disappointing.

12 Dec 2015

Climate change - NOT amateur radio

So all the countries at the Paris climate summit have reached agreement. This is just the start, but it shows a willingness to work towards a world which does not have dangerous warming. As someone pointed out on BBC TV this morning, the cost of choosing a non-carbon path has significantly reduced, so it is less burdensome to choose clean energy.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35084374 .

UPDATE 2315z: A new challenge will be non-carbon fueled cars.  As someone who had a fair bit to do with rechargeable batteries, I do not see the electric car as the answer, unless there is staggering breakthrough in battery technology allowing 300+ mile ranges between charges. Somehow I doubt this will happen. Maybe the answer will come in fuel cells, or low cost anytime storage of renewable energy? We need efficient storage of wind, solar and tidal energy so the energy generated can be used later.  Maybe the answer is partly power in the roads, with the car picking up this inductively? This way the weight of cars could be dramatically reduced? The car would only need a smaller battery to use when in-road power is not available?

USA spots (at last) on 10m WSPR

K9AN (6505km) has spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon several times starting at 1530z.  From posts on Twitter (I get emails about these) it appears the ARRL 10m contest has sparked 10m activity and there was also 6m Es today.

UPDATE 1716z:  It looks like K9AN (6505km) was the only USA station to spot me today on 10m WSPR.  No 10m WSPR spots for well over an hour now.

QRP Club 72

This came today from Oleg RV3GM:

"Dear Club 72 members and friends,
Visitors  of  this  week  rendezvouses:  UA1CEX, UR7VT, DL7MA, UA4NU,
See comments and reports (soapbox) on the blog page -
Thanks everyones for comments!
See you all on next week QRP Rendez-Vous (72 Net) at
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 9 UTC on 14060 +/- (alternative 10116 kHz)
Comments and reports appreciated to "mr72" e-mail, please.

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"
=== In QRP We Trust! ==="


The IC7300 from ICOM may be available mid-January 2016 according to YO8IRF's blog. I guess this means they have CE approval. YO9IRF also quotes a price.

See http://yo9irf.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/icom-ic-7300-available-in-january.html?utm_source=amateur-radio-weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter.

No doubt dealers in most countries will be out to maximise their profits from early adopters who must have this radio. After these have sold, with early issues (?) expect the price to fall. The game is called "marketing". I call it ripping us all off.  Dealers, I for one will wait and wait and not join your silly games. Offer us the rig at a fair price. You need to make a fair margin, of course, but do not rip us off. Not everyone is a mug.

Winter 10m Es? Daytime on 472kHz.

With lots of closer Europeans spotting me on 10m, I suspect we are seeing wintertime Es on 10m WSPR today. Spots are coming in widely in the 459-1300km range. As yet, no great DX on the band.

UPDATE 1242z:   PA3ABK/2 is being spotted at 1216z on 472kHz WSPR.

UPDATE 1520z:  It looks like today will be another day without 10m DX WSPR  me on 47spots here. I guess if the band did open, my 500mW was not enough.  I really did expect to get spotted in the USA today. It could still happen I guess? There have been no 10m WSPR spots since lunchtime. A disappointing day on 10m WSPR.

UPDATE 1525z:  M0LMH (223km) spotted me on 472kHz WSPR at 1058z.  PA3ABK/2 has been spotted many times throughout the day on 472kHz WSPR. I guess he can be spotted at any time?

10m WSPR - a promising start?

LZ1UBO (2037km) has just spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon by what I assume is F2. This is a promising start on the band. At the moment I am on 10m and 630m WSPR. I may QSY from 630m to 6m later.

UPDATE 1522z:  In the end I stuck with 630m and 10m WSPR.

Sunspots and 10m - Sat Dec 12th 2015

With a solar flux 114 and a sunspot number of 77 (K=3) we could see some reasonable propagation on 10m today despite the 10m propagation forecast remaining "poor".

Doh! 472kHz WSPR overnight

I was wondering why I got not a single WSPR spot on TX overnight on 472kHz. EA5DOM (1525km) was spotted 50 times. Then I twigged! TX mute was somehow enabled so I was not transmitting at all! Even now PA3ABK/2 (306km) is still being spotted in broad daylight.

11 Dec 2015

FT991 review

The Yaesu FT991 is reviewed in the latest edition of Practical Wireless. Apparently this rig is proving very popular in the UK. I think this is the first review of this rig in the UK.

Lunch - NOT amateur radio

This lunchtime we enjoyed lunch at a local gastro pub with old friends who live quite close to us. They came back to us for tea/coffee afterwards. The food was good as always.

Back to 472kHz WSPR

At about 1800z I went QRT on 10m and 6m WSPR and have returned to 630m (472kHz) WSPR for the evening and night. DK7FC (669km) has been spotted here already many times, although Stefan has one of the best signals on 472kHz WSPR and he is regularly spotted across the Atlantic.

UPDATE 2115z:  No-one has yet spotted me on 472kHz WSPR, but EA5DOM (1525km) is now coming in on MF together with more German and French stations.

UPDATE 2124z:   LA3EQ (769km) has now been spotted a couple of times.

10m and 6m WSPR. No MF last night.

Overnight I stayed on 10m and 6m WSPR and, for a change, I did not go on 630m (472kHz) WSPR. No spots on 10m overnight but G8VDQ (93km) was spotted a few times on 6m. There is definitely a path between us on 6m which is impacted by aircraft Doppler. Not all reception decodes.

At around 1000z I did a reset of my 10m WSPR beacon so if there are any 10m openings this morning I should catch them. At the moment all is quiet on that band.

UPDATE 1005z: I shall be on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR all day.

UPDATE 1210z:  RZ6AOJ (2780km) has spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon twice so far.

UPDATE 1622z:    RZ6AOJ seems to be the only station spotting me on 10m WSPR. G8VDQ has been spotted on 6m WSPR a few times.  No 10m WSPR spots again.

Sunspots and 10m - Fri Dec 11th 2015

Solar flux is 108 today and the sunspot number 88 (K=3). 10m propagation is yet again forecast to be "poor".  I somehow think 10m WSPR will be better today than of late?

10 Dec 2015

Another day with no 10m WSPR spots from the USA

We are nearing winter and sunspot activity is sliding. Today was yet another day without 10m WSPR spots from the USA. Conditions are on the change sadly.

Stroke voice - NOT amateur radio

Today I had to go to Addenbrooke's Hospital for an outpatient appointment at the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic. This meant having a camera down my nose into my throat. Sadly, the diagnosis was that my poor voice is "neurological" and there is nothing that can be done to make it better. I am seeing the "main man" later just in case, but it sounds like I am stuck with my poor voice unless it gets better over time. This is a blow, although at one time I was told I would never eat ever again. For the last year I've been able to eat just about anything. Moral? Never, ever give up. It maymean I am stuck with digital modes for a long time!

"Our Nectar programme is changing" - NOT amateur radio

Yet another email from one of the many computers at British Gas. Another example when headless chickens make benefits worse than before. British Gas are not alone. Now we will be able to earn fewer Nectar points.  I'd change energy suppliers, but from what I can tell one is as bad as another.

Amateur VLF transmissions

Although my health has rather put a stop to VLF earth-mode tests here, I see that radiated tests are still happening. Uwe, DJ8WX has been doing radiated VLF tests at 8.27kHz recently.

Brazil on 10m WSPR

KD0VWO (7412km) monitoring in Brazil was the only person to spot my 10m 500mW WSPR beacon this morning.

472kHz WSPR overnight

It was good to see EA5DOM (1525km) in the 472kHz logs on RX several times. At some points he was strong at -11dB S/N.  In all, he was spotted 38 times last night. Again this was just using the earth-electrodes and the FT817 without a preamp. He  have a very effective MF system as he gets out well.

I went QRT on 630m (472kHz) WSPR at breakfast and am now active in 6m and 10m WSPR

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs Dec 10th 2015

Solar flux is 108 today and the sunspot number is 77 (K=4). Predictions for 10m propagation remain "poor". 10m cannot be worse than yesterday!  With quite disturbed conditions, I have doubts about 10m WSPR spots from the USA today.

UPDATE 1000z:  All quiet so far on 10m and 6m WSPR.

9 Dec 2015

2m and 70cm UKACs

It must be my age!  My XYL said last Tuesday "have you got a contest tonight?" I said, "no" thinking it was the end of November. Somehow I also read my email reminder of the 70cm UKAC too late last night.  So, I managed to miss both the 2m and 70cm December legs of the monthly RSGB activity contests, thinking it was the end of November still!

Incidentally, my article on the big-wheel antenna for 2m is in the January RadCom. If I had remembered, this is the antenna I would have used! It works well and is a horizontal omni with gain. Mine was very kindly erected by David G0LRD, to whom I am much indebted.

Steve's blog (G1KQH)

A reminder to check out Steve's blog from time to time:

More from the Blog:
73 Steve 

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Dec 9th 2015

Solar flux is 105 and sunspot number 58. K index is 1 so quite undisturbed today. I think 10m WSPR should open to the USA this afternoon. If not, there is little hope for the rest of the winter and spring! The forecast for 10m propagation remains "poor" though.

UPDATE 1104z:  No spots at all on 10m WSPR as yet. By now, I'd have expected a few Russians on 10m WSPR at least.

Return to 6m and 10m WSPR. QRT on MF

Just before breakfast I returned to 10m and 6m WSPR. G8VDQ (93km) has been spotted several times on 6m WSPR.

8 Dec 2015

Back to MF

I have closed down on 10m and 6m WSPR and returned to 630m (472kHz) for the evening and night. G8VDQ (93km) was spotted 3 times on 6m WSPR probably by a mixture of tropo and aircraft reflection. On 10m WSPR only the single spot of me was by DK6UG this morning. Where are the USA WSPR reports?

UPDATE 2148z:  On 472kHz WSPR just the same stations copied on RX with best DX, so far,  DH5RAE (995km). No-one has copied me yet this evening.

UPDATE 2238z:   PA0O/1 (440km) has copied me this evening on 472kHz WSPR as has G4AYT in Kent.

Stroke exhaustion - NOT amateur radio

It is perhaps surprising that well over 2 years since my stroke, I still get very exhausted so easily. We have had good old friends staying for a couple of nights and after helping to prepare lunch, I was totally exhausted. After 10-15 minutes I am OK again, but anything physical or mental gets me very tired after a short time. I guess I have to accept this is how it is going to be, although people tell me I am getting slowly better. They can see progress, although I cannot generally see it.


Although UK dealers are happy to take a deposit, I am not aware of a "final" (initial!) price or of any shipments. Maybe the design is still be optimised? I would hope that 5MHz is covered as standard as there will be a worldwide allocation (in most countries) from 2017 and some European nations have contiguous allocations of up to 150kHz I believe. Maybe they are looking at the FT991 to see if there are any bands/features that can/should be added?

Personally, I hope they release the 10W version in Europe as well as Japan. This would be a fine successor to the IC703. I'd buy one of these. Buy the 100W version? Probably not.

It is a pity 472kHz TX is not included in any Japanese (any?)  transceivers. I guess this design would stretch the PA and ATU designs too far.

Sunspots and 10m - Tues Dec 8th 2015

Solar flux is 101. Sunspot number is 50 (K=2) but 10m propagation is yet again expected to be "poor". How 10m will be today is anyone's guess!

UPDATE 1054z:  All quiet, so far, on 10m and 6m WSPR here.

UPDATE 1122z:  Again DK6UG (633km) has spotted me on 10m WSPR.

QRT on 630m and active again on 10m and 6m WSPR

After an evening and night on 630m (472kHz) WSPR, I have QSYed back to 6m WSPR and 10m WSPR. Overnight PA0O/1 (440km) spotted me several times on 472kHz WSPR. He is a new station this season.

7 Dec 2015

Back to 472kHz WSPR

FR1GZ (9724km) was spotting me this afternoon on 10m WSPR but yet again there were no spots of my 500mW WSPR beacon from the USA. It looks like the declining solar activity is already having an impact. To be honest, I was not expecting to notice this until late next year. DK6UG (633km) also spotted me on 10m WSPR - winter Es?

As it is dark here, I have returned to 472kHz WSPR wth 5mW ERP, although I am on RX 80% of the time. Lots of Europeans being copied on MF with best DX on RX again 995km.

G8VDQ (93km) was copied several times on 6m WSPR by aircraft reflection/tropo earlier.

Quiet - NOT amateur radio

The house is very quiet. My XYL is out in Cambridge at her weekly U3AC course and I am just quietly relaxing. It is good to do nothing much and just relax. I think it does me good.


About 10 minutes ago I went QRT on MF. I am now on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR instead. It takes a little while for things to settle, but all is very quiet as yet. Certainly no choice DX yet, although I'd be surprised. I shall return to 472kHz (630m) WSPR tonight when it gets dark.

UPDATE 1100z:  G8VDQ (93km) has just been spotted on 6m WSPR.


The next WRC, to be held in 2019, could see some threats to some of our microwave bands. I have to confess very little interest in microwaves. I preferred lightwaves as I was able make all my own kit and test gear. Although 10GHz operation is possible without that much test gear, having some decent 10GHz test equipment must help.

At present, the after effects of my stroke have meant very little building, or field work, has been possible. I sincerely hope that things will get better next year.

See http://www.iaru-r1.org/images/VHF/newsletters/Newsletter_68.pdf

472kHz WSPR update

I stayed on 472kHz WSPR overnight but only spotted the same stations again. At breakfast G4AYT (114km) in JO01mi was spotting me from 0732z lots, although he was spotting me through the night at times.

Overnight I received spots from 5 unique stations with the best DX being (again) a report from DL-SWL (701km). I was also spotted by G3XKR (347km) in north Devon. My ERP is still around 5mW from the earth-electrode "antenna", so all credit to these stations for finding me down in the noise! Here, on RX, my best spot was (again) DH5RAE at 995km.

Sunspots and 10m - Mon Dec 7th 2015

Solar flux is 103 today. Sunspot number is 38 (K=3).  10m propagation is expected to remain "poor" today. I do not expect great things on 10m today.

6 Dec 2015

First 10m WSPR spots from the USA

With improved conditions, I was not surprised to see my little 500mW 10m WSPR beacon has been spotted in the USA this afternoon. KZ3X (5737km) was the first at 1508z. I expect there will be some more.

UPDATE 1545z:  We must be on the downward slope of the sunspot cycle now as 1508z was late for a first 10m WSPR spot from the USA. Still, we must be grateful.  This time next year, we'd be grateful if 10m opened E-W at all! Some of us can remember winter afternoons when 6m was wide open to the USA! I recall hearing lots of USA stations on 6m with just a fixed wire dipole. Never again in my lifetime, although I expect to hear the USA on 6m some summers via Es.

UPDATE 1600z:  PA3ABK/2 (306km) has been spotted a few times already on 472kHz WSPR late this afternoon.

UPDATE 1712z:  No further 10m WSPR spots from the USA. KZ3X may have been it for the day.

Storm Desmond - NOT amateur radio

As I write this, storm Desmond is dropping record quantities of rain over northern England and Scotland.  I can imagine little worse than having your home or business flooded out, especially at this time of the year.  My heart bleeds for those affected, who may be without homes for months and, even when they get back, there is the ongoing threat of it all happening again.  There is also the worry over insurance. No,  flooding is going to become a major issue in the years ahead.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35019021 .

Sunspots and 10m - Sun Dec 6th 2015

Solar flux is 110 today and sunspot number is 75 (K=2).  Although the forecast for 10m propagation remains "poor",  it would not surprise me if 10m WSPR was quite decent today.

UPDATE 1356z:  FR1GZ (9724km) spotted me once on 10m WSPR this morning.

UPDATE 1715z:  Did I read the wrong day? Solar flux is currently 100, sunspot number is 41 and K=5. Conditions are consistent with this.  MF is lively with lots of stations being copied.

5 Dec 2015

SAQ VLF CW transmission

The next Grimeton SAQ transmission will be on Christmas Eve, December 24th 2015 at 8:00 UTC (9:00 CET). It will also be broadcast LIVE on their webpage.

See http://alexander.n.se/.
See http://alexander.n.se/the-radio-station-saq-grimeton/lyssna-pa-saq/?lang=en for ideas for suitable ways of receiving this 17.2kHz CW transmission.

QRP Club

From Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,
All reports and comments of Saturday's QRP Rendez-Vous here -
Round table visitors today -
Thanks for activity and comments! See "rendezvous" schedule here -
72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"
=== In QRP We Trust! ===

Winter - NOT amateur radio

The Met Office official "winter" is December, January and February.  To me, this makes a lot of sense. In just over 2 weeks time the evenings will start to get lighter again, although the mornings get darker still for a few more weeks. Once January has passed the nights are quite a bit lighter. By mid-February there are usually clear signs that spring is on its way. Mind you, snow is not unusual in January and February and the summer bird migrants don't usually arrive until April mainly.

10m WSPR today

10m is a band of surprises! I see that OH3NE (1737km) has spotted my 500mW WSPR several times today already. I assume this is single hop F2. I was expecting no spots today!

UPDATE 1558z:  So far today OH3NE has been the only 10m WSPR spot all day. I have the feeling the day will end up this way too.

472kHz WSPR - some more surprises

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been active on 472kHz WSPR most evenings, most nights and a few days. To my surprise I see that 21 unique stations spotted me and I spotted 21 unique stations in the same period. My best DX on TX (5mW ERP) was last night when LA3EQ (769km) spotted me for the first time this autumn. I am still using the earth-electrode "antenna". Not copied in the last 2 weeks was EA5DOM who is a good signal when he comes on 472kHz WSPR.

Giving 6m a miss today. I'm active on 630m (472kHz) WSPR and 10m WSPR all day.

472kHz WSPR stations that copied me in last 2 weeks
472kHz WSPR stations copied here in last 2 weeks

Sunspots and 10m - Sat Dec 5th 2015

Solar flux is 97. Sunspot number is 25 (K=4) and 10m propagation is again just expected to be "poor".  I am not expecting 10m to be much good today, but in the past I have been surprised. I was on 10m overnight, but no spots.

MLS Hog Roast today

A reminder that one of the largest UK amateur radio retailers has an event today until 4pm. MLS is holding its Hog Roast. If you are in the area, you may want to go along.

See http://www.hamradio.co.uk/  .

4 Dec 2015

472kHz WSPR - same stations

It is sad that no new stations are being spotted on 472kHz WSPR.  Almost without exception, I am spotting the very same stations I have spotted night after night. We urgently need a few new stations on the band.  For several nights I have been among a very small number of UK stations transmitting. There are a few more on RX only, but this an interesting band and the low take-up puzzles me. It is not as if high power or large antennas are needed for WSPR.  Please, consider 472kHz.

UPDATE 1952z:  G3KEV (232km) has spotted me for the first time this evening. I know he has big antennas and a quiet noise environment. With my signal being very weak, this was necessary for him to copy me at all. I am grateful. As yet, I have still to copy him.

UPDATE  2220z:  Tonight DG3LV (707km) has become the most distant station to spot me on 472kHz WSPR this autumn.


Not long ago I decided to go QRT on 6m WSPR (no spots) and fire up 630m (472kHz) WSPR instead. So far, their are zero spots on 10m WSPR, which rather surprised me. I am still on 10m WSPR too and will remain active on 10m WSPR until after dark. After dark, I shall be exclusively on 472kHz until Sat breakfast time.

UPDATE 1500z:  I see that LA3EQ (769km) has been spotted in broad daylight this afternoon on 472kHz WSPR. This is without the RX preamp. He is a few dB above the noise threshold with me. No doubt with the preamp in he would be quite a decent signal.

UPDATE 1614z:   Much to my surprise K9AN (6505km) spotted me on 10m WSPR at 1536z and 1538z this afternoon. After the poor start on 10m this was not expected.

UPDATE 1734z:  M0LMH (223km) has spotted my 5mW ERP on 472kHz several times in daylight this afternoon.

Another UK rally this weekend

I have been notified of this one:-

Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. CP, TI S22 (V44), OT 10.15 /10.30, £2 (U14 free). TS, B&B, C, LB, DF, FAM. John, G4LRG, 01388 606 396

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

Sunspots and 10m - Friday December 4th 2015

Solar flux is 95 today but the sunspot number has recovered to 47 (K=2). 10m propagation is again expected to be "poor" today.  However, it would not surprise me if 10m WSPR results in some USA spots later.

UPDATE 1100z:  All very quiet so far today on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR with not a single spot as yet.

3 Dec 2015

Dutch get full 100kHz wide 5MHz band

At least one country in Region 1 is to be allowed access to a full 100kHz wide band at 5MHz. I hope all Region 1 countries follow suit. This is for full licence holders and permits 100W.

See https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.agentschaptelecom.nl%2Factueel%2Fnieuws%2F2015%2F5-mhz-band-binnenkort-ook-voor-radiozendamateurs-met-een-f-registratie&edit-text=

FT991 issues?

It looks like Yaesu have had some quality control issues with some FT991 transceivers, although I am unsure what percentage of units sold are effected. It does not look good though. It is always wise to wait a while so these initial issues are ironed out. In Yaesu's defence, I have had an FT817 (original version with the old PA) for about 15 years and it still works as well as ever. I love it.

See http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/new-yaesu-ft-991-beware.502666/&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=QRZ&utm_term=forum,+site,+RSS&utm_content=HAMRADIO&utm_source=twitterfeed

DX spots on 10m WSPR

FR1GZ (9724km) has spotted me 3 times so far on 10m WSPR this afternoon. No other spots, as yet. In my experience, N-S paths hold upon better on 10m than E-W paths when solar activity is lower.

It will be interesting to see how 10m Es is this Dec/Jan as there is usually a small Es peak. This is far lower than the May, June, July peak.

UPDATE 1528z:  In the end FR1GZ spotted me 4 times this afternoon on 10m WSPR.  At the moment, I have doubts there will be any further DX spots today. It gets dark here soon and the USA seems unlikely again today.

UPDATE 1920z:  FR1GZ was the only spot on 10m WSPR all day. Again, no USA spots.

UPDATE 1924z:  Now QRT on 10m and 6m and QSYed to 630m (472kHz) WSPR.

UK rally this weekend

I have been notified of this rally:

Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. OT 9am, traders 7.30am. £2.50, B&B, C, DIS, CP, SIG, DF, TS, LB. Jason, 01942 735 828.

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

Windows 10

Since updating my shack PC to Windows 10 my PC has decided it has no wi-fi devices! Luckily I have just managed to repair it so have just gone onto 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR and resynced to internet time. This is much later than I had intended. Originally I had a weak but reliable wi-fi connection in the shack.

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs Dec 3rd 2015

Solar flux is 94 today and the sunspot number is just 26 today. K=1 and 10m propagation is again expected to remain "poor". I am again not expecting much on 10m WSPR.

It is some days now since my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon was spotted in the USA. Deteriorating conditions are having more of an effect this side of Christmas than I was expecting. I was expecting USA spots most days until late spring. Maybe I was wrong.

2 Dec 2015

Official "old fart" - NOT amateur radio

I am officially a boring old fart!

Coming back from my U3AC course on the buses today I could not help overhearing the word "like" interjected many, many times in every sentence by most youngsters! Also, most under 30 years old seem to be in love with their smart phones. In days gone by we'd actually talk, but these days this would be too much to ask.

10m quiet

Only a single spot on 10m WSPR from DK6UG (633km) at 1430z.

This evening my 5mW ERP 472kHz WSPR was copied by DL-SWL (701km).

UPDATE 2220z:  I was wondering why WSPRnet was not reporting the many stations I am copying on 472kHz RX. For some reason, my shack PC has no internet connection. I shall have to fix this tomorrow.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed Dec 2nd 2015

Sunspot number has fallen to 27 and solar flux remains below 100 at 94. K=3 and 10m is forecast to remain "poor".  I am not expecting wonders on 10m and 6m today!  I stayed on MF until about 1030z. Now I am active on 10m and 6m WSPR but all is quiet here so far today.

472kHz analysed

Over the last 2 weeks, I received 19 unique spots on 472kHz WSPR using my 5mW ERP from the earth-electrode "antenna". On RX I spotted a total of 23 unique stations. Most were without a preamp and on the deaf FT817.  On RX I have still to carefully analyse the Excel data supplied by Bert, but the impression is that the RX preamp helps the copy of very weak signals but has not (so far) enabled me to copy and decode more stations. This is the breakdown.

My 5mW ERP was copied as follows:

3 Germany - DL-SWL and DL-SWL/1 - best DX at 701km
1 France
3 Netherlands
11 England
1 Wales

On RX I copied the following unique stations (most copied many times):

1 Spain - best DX is EA5DOM at 1525km
8 Germany
1 Norway
5 France
1 Begium
2 Netherlands
5 England

1 Dec 2015

K for Kernow (Cornwall)

Cornish amateurs are being allowed to use K (e.g. GK0***) all next year. There are some special awards for working stations in Cornwall.

See  http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2015/11/27/k-regional-identifier-for-cornwall/ .

More from OFCOM

See http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/?utm_source=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1st-tues-dec15

Blah, blah, blah, blah........

Quango, quango, quango, quango.

When will their dribble stop? Is any value added?

All very quiet on 10m and 6m WSPR so far

It was a very quiet morning on both 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR with no spots at all. This is a bit surprising as I was expecting some DX spots on 10m WSPR today. We will have to see what happens this afternoon. On 6m I was surprised to see not a single spot. There was a strong carrier on 6m WSPR but I think his timing was off as there was no Doppler yet he did not decode.

UPDATE 1356z:  Still no spots at all today on 10m WSPR or 6m WSPR.

Syria - NOT amateur radio

It looks likely there will be a free vote in the UK House of Commons this week on whether or not to join the coalition forces bombing targets in Syria.

As much as I hate the despicable acts being carried out, I very much doubt more bombs are the answer. All the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have the opposite effect on the number of terrorists in the world to that intended: there are now far more.

I am against the bombing Syria and believe a long term, fair, peace deal would achieve far more good.

Small steps? - NOT amateur radio

My wife tends to do the major housework on Tuesdays and I usually try to clean some windows. This morning I managed far more than before. I also managed a 200ml glass (actually a cup) of orange in 16 sips. To me, both are progress. To "normal" people these may seem trivial but if you have had a brain bleed, like me, they represent small steps on the road to recovery.

MH-17 QSL cards

According to the Southgate News there was a batch of QSL cards damaged beyond repair when flight MH-17 was shot down last year. Those recovered are at in Schipol and would cost around £15k to dry and clean.

QSYed from 630m to 10m and 6m WSPR

All evening and night I was on 472kHz WSPR.  M0LMH (223km) was still spotting me on 472kHz as late as 0934z this morning, despite my very low ERP, in broad daylight. I have now QSYed to 10m and 6m WSPR and will return to 630m (472kHz) WSPR this evening.

Sunspots and 10m - Tues Dec 1st 2015

Solar flux is 97 and the sunspot number is a little higher at 51. K index is better at 1. Forecast for 10m propagation remains "poor".

QRP meet on-air

From Oleg:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,

Tuesday at 9 UTC QRP Rendez-Vous round table on 14060 +/- 5 kc
Welcome all QRP stations to greet each other and enjoy small power.
Reports and comments are appreciated to "mr72" e-mail, please.
Later I'll put all comments collection (soapbox) on the blog page -

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"
=== In QRP We Trust! ===