6 May 2021

10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R and tiny loop

At 0930z, I turned on the homebrew 10FT8R receiver and the tiny indoor loop. Just M0NKR (27km) spotted so far.

UPDATE 1208z: 7 stations spotted so far today.

Sunspots - Thursday May 6th 2021

 Solar flux is 70 and the SSN 0. A=2 and K=1.

5 May 2021

Yellowhammer - NOT amateur radio

This migrant bird was seen on our walk earlier. 

No swallows, swifts or house martins seen. 

Unsuccessful field test on 137kHz TX CW

As it was a nice sunny morning we decided on a walk about about 1.5km from home. I put my 137kHz CW beacon on at home into the earth-electrode antenna and took my E-field probe and FT817ND with me. I put the EFP on the car roof. I listened without success for my signal. Not a squeek. I was expecting this to work.

This was my first field test on LF since 2013. 

10m FT8 RX again

Once again, I am monitoring 10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R and the tiny indoor loop antenna. No spots yet at 0759z.

UPDATE 1119z: Just one LA spotted so far today. An EA7 did not get uploaded to PSKreporter for some reason.

UPDATE 1230z:  Just 3 spots so far today. 

Stagecoach - NOT amateur radio

Not too long ago a stagecoach ran from Kingsbridge to Dartmouth in Devon as the photo shows. 

2m activity contest last night

I didn't realise that I needed the same connector for my big-wheel and the 10FT8R RX, so I only stayed on 2m for about 30 minutes last evening. 3 stations worked with the best DX being G4CLA (105km) with 10W and the big-wheel omni antenna. 

10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R yesterday

147 stations in all with the tiny indoor loop antenna yesterday with the best DX Sao Paulo in Brazil. 

Sunspots - Wednesday May 5th 2021

 Solar flux is 70 and the SSN 0. A=4 and K=1.

4 May 2021

Where are they? - NOT amateur radio

In the springtime swallows, house martins and swifts return from Africa. 

I saw one swallow in early April and none since.  I have not seen a single house martin or swift. 

At one time these were common, but not any more. This may in part be the wind direction, but I suspect global warming: their food supplies on their long journey north may have reduced as deserts grow.

To me, seeing screaming swifts overhead is an English spring and summer. Perhaps for not much longer?

Fresh green - NOT amateur radio

I like the fresh green of spring. 

The photo shows the 2 horse chestnut trees planted in our churchyard in memory of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

FT8 on the IC-705

I have the USB drivers and audio CODECs set up now on the rig, but have not got FT8 working yet. 

Years ago this would have been a trivial task, but with my "brain fog" this is like doing it blindfold: tasks that would have been easy in 2012 are now really hard, taxing and exhausting.  I also thought a USB-C was the same as a micro-USB!! It isn't! Luckily I had one around. 

I think for FT8 on the IC-705 I shall need a lead with isolation as the PC introduces noise I think.

More on the 10FT8R RX

This afternoon, using the very slightly revised circuit (thanks for the circuit simulation Jay) I have been receiving yet more Es signals on the 10FT8R receiver with the tiny indoor loop. 22 stations just copied in southern Europe.

UPDATE 1604z:  67 stations spotted this afternoon.

UPDATE 1835z: 135 stations spotted today. 

Stations spotted today
UPDATE 2020z:
145 stations spotted today on the 10FT8R and tiny indoor loop.

Revised 10FT8R circuit - rev c

Attached is a revised circuit. Just 1 part has changed value (470n on the input to the first audio stage). For clarification, the caps feeding the PC mic input are 100n. Just for clarity I have made it clear this is my design G3XBM  R.Lapthorn following the comment below by John Desmond EI7GL.

A proper CAD schematic will follow shortly.

Homebase10 dual band

One of my Facebook memories today was this photo of my dual band 10m /6m version of my Homebase10 antenna. It was erected at my old QTH some years ago. This was taken in 2012. This antenna is on my website. Sadly I cannot make this now. 

10m FT8 RX (Tuesday)

At 0640z I turned on my 10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R and tiny indoor loop antenna. No spots yet. 

Sunspots - Tuesday May 4th 2021

 Solar flux is 72 and the SSN 0. A=5 and K=1.

3 May 2021

New website ready soon (this week?)

As mentioned yesterday, I am working on a new Googles Sites website. All being well, it will "go live" later this week. You will still point to www.g3xbm.co.uk and it will automatically take you to the new pages when they are ready. Most pages have been done, but some remain to be done. 

The main difference is pages will be accessed via drop-down menus at the top of the home page rather than the index on the left. It allows some new features including embedding, so my 10m FT8 grabber will be there too. I may be able to use this feature for other things as well.

All being well, there will be some new pages too.

10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R

It is now 0948z. I have been on RX for about 25 minutes using the 10m 10FT8R receiver with the tiny indoor loop antenna.  So far, just OM0ALE (1431km) spotted.

UPDATE 1014z:  Now more stations being received by Es.

UPDATE 1129z:  10 stations received today so far using the 10FT8R RX and the tiny indoor loop antenna.

UPDATE 1547z:  20 stations spotted so far today. The 10FT8R seems to work well, even with the tiny indoor loop.

UPDATE 2128z: 47 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R and the tiny indoor loop.

Albania - NOT amateur radio

When we think of Albania we often think of the dark communist days and as a sort of "dour" place devoid of fun. These days, Albania is trying to throw off these shackles. It is trying to market itself as a holiday destination.

Some years ago we went to coastal Albania on a day trip from Corfu. We had a total surprise. We went by coach down the coast to one of their very ancient sites. After lunch we went to a place with the purest, clearest, water I have ever seen.

The main town where our boat landed was filled with empty beaches, awaiting visitors. Prices were far lower than on Corfu. They accepted Euros.

Other parts may still be backward. All I can say is do not let your old views get in the way. Albania is trying to change. We were very pleasantly surprised.

Updated solar data

If you are like me you will be keen to see the latest solar data. My favourite site (solan) for solar data has been updated. Numbers have been increased yet again. Hopeful signs. I have no idea what the latest peak will look like. 

See https://www.solen.info/solar/ .

UPDATE 0834z:  At the moment this solar cycle looks very similar to the last one.

Tree roots - NOT amateur radio

Our village, Burwell,  owns an 11 acre meadow that has Roman remains and the remains of a castle built in the reign of King Stephen about 1000 years ago. 

Children paddle in the stream below these tree roots. 

Years ago, when still privately owned, a farmer kept cows in the meadow in summer.  We used to hear them early in the morning.

Sunspots - Monday May 3rd 2021

 Solar flux is 72 and the SSN 0. A=10 and K=2.

2 May 2021


As mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on a new website. Things are progressing well so the new pages could be up soon. All the old stuff should be there plus some new stuff.

For creating "all new" sites Google Sites is very user friendly. It is a pity that just migrating classic sites is appallingly bad.

Springtime - NOT amateur radio

In my view this is the very best time of year. The green of new leaves look more intense. This is especially true of the horse chestnuts in our churchyard.

Our Close - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows our close earlier today. It shows the windmill next to our house which is just visible on the left. In the foreground are buttercups.

10m FT8 receive (Sunday)

This morning I turned on my 10FT8R 10m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop.

UPDATE 1258z:  So far just  G3YMW (19km) spotted. I can't wait to get my "proper" antenna up.

UPDATE 2007z:  Now 93 stations spotted with furthermost PU4JLV (9202km). If you saw this antenna you would laugh.

UPDATE 2122z: 105 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 with the 10FT8R 4 transistor RX. and the tiny indoor loop. Imagine what another 6dB could do!

Main website changing

As mentioned yesterday, my website has to move to the new Google sites by September. A simple migration did not work! It insisted on being 2018.

Instead, I have decided to create an all new site, hopefully with all the old stuff retained and possibly new stuff added too. I am sticking with Google sites. As soon as the new site is ready, I shall swap over.

As the date is some way off, this gives me time. It was time for a refresh anyway!  😁

10m FT8 RX yesterday

Yesterday I was again on 10m FT8 RX with the 10FT8R and the tiny indoor loop. Some Es evident to Italy and the Balearic Isles.

Someone in the USA has suggested a small improvement to the audio stages of the 10FT8R following CAD analysis. I shall try this later.

Sunspots - Sunday May 2nd 2021

 Solar flux is 72 and the SSN 11. A=5 and K=3.

1 May 2021

External 10m dipole

A week early, the coax for the feed to my 10m dipole has arrived. 

Assuming my son can help next week, I have all I need to get this up externally. It should be several dBs better than the indoor loop I am using presently.

Converting my main G3XBM website

In September old classic Google Sites have to convert to the New Sites or they close. So, I attempted to convert my old site, but this attempt failed. This may be finger trouble and I shall try again.  Why is it that things get worse? When I tried to convert it insisted in showing me my website from 2018 - why?!!

"If it ain't broke don't fix it". 

Oh yes!! Like Picasa going and so much else. Why is it that so many things get worse over time and not better?

If all else fails I may revert to my Virgin Media webspace under www.g3xbm.co.uk .

Also, some time ago, Google tried to get all bloggers to use their new editing tool for blogs. This was fine on my PC, but it was sooooo SLOW on a phone it was unusable. They have since fixed it.

The "attempt" at site conversion was dreadful!!

UPDATE 1525z: It appears I am not alone having issues. I may just create a totally new site in New Google Sites as I have several months.

10m FT8 Grabber

 It looks like I can do this on Google New Sites with embedding. For now, I have a temporary page.

See https://sites.google.com/view/grab10a/home .

Sunspots - Saturday May 1st 2021

 Solar flux is 73 and the SSN 35. A=6 and K=1.

30 Apr 2021

Buttercups - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows the buttercups near our post office yesterday. A few weeks there were lots of daffodils.

First cuckoo heard - NOT amateur radio

At one time we heard cuckoos every spring. These days they appear far rarer. 

On our visit to Anglesey Abbey after lunch we heard one. 

They often lay a single egg in a reed warbler's nest. I suspect the one we heard was beside the water. It was very clear.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/cuckoo/ .

10m FT8 grabber

Before long, I would like to add a grabber on my website to show the stations I am spotting on 10m FT8. The page is already there, but I don''t yet know how to do this! 😁

As a PC novice this has to be really, really simple.  Steve G1KQH is also after the answer.

If you know a very easy way to do this, please let me know! 

What I really want is to be able to show the PSKreporter map screen that I can see.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/10grab .

At the moment, the grabs are being manually uploaded.

Where I come from - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows where I come from in South Devon. This is the Kingsbridge Estuary with Salcombe in the distance. 

Early start on 10m FT8 RX

At 0555z I turned on my 10m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop antenna. The 10FT8R RX is again being used. No spots yet. 

UPDATE 0906z:  3 spots so far today with the best OZ (Denmark).

UPDATE 1520z:  42 stations spotted so far today with the 10FT8R 10m FT8 RX on the tiny indoor loop. See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/10grab .

Sunspots - Friday April 30th 2021

Solar flux is 77 and the SSN 37. A=6 and K =1.

29 Apr 2021

Dangerous SPAM - NOT amateur radio

Recently in my SPAM folder I received this. The important thing is these scammers have a way of detecting passwords. So have unique passwords and ones that are hard to crack and change them often. Should you receive anything beware!! 

"I am aware $$$$$$ (password hidden but visible in the original SPAM to me is one of your pass. Lets get directly to the point. Not a single person has compensated me to check about you. You may not know me and you are most likely thinking why you are getting this email?

Well, i actually placed a malware on the adult videos (pornography) web-site and there's more, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what i mean). When you were watching video clips, your web browser started out working as a Remote control Desktop with a key logger which provided me accessibility to your screen and also webcam. after that, my software collected every one of your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, as well as e-mail. after that i created a video. 1st part displays the video you were viewing (you have a fine taste rofl), and second part shows the recording of your web cam, and it is u.

You get two different options. Why dont we take a look at the options in details:

1st alternative is to ignore this e-mail. in such a case, i will send out your very own video clip to all your contacts and then consider concerning the humiliation you will see. and definitely if you are in a romantic relationship, just how it will certainly affect?

Second option would be to compensate me $2743. Lets refer to it as a donation. Then, i most certainly will straightaway erase your video. You could keep daily life like this never happened and you would never hear back again from me.

You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don't know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google search engine).

Bitcoin address to send to: 16G7Lwom3tnKJ9nMpwcQzDJd4rrYvcrs2s

[case sensitive copy and paste it]

in case you are curious about going to the authorities, well, this email cannot be traced back to me. I have taken care of my actions. i am not trying to charge a fee very much, i would like to be compensated. in order to make the payment if i do not get the bitcoin, i will definately send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Having said that, if i receive the payment, i will destroy the video immediately. If you want evidence, reply Yup! & i will send out your video recording to your 11 friends. it is a nonnegotiable offer, therefore don't waste my personal time & yours by responding to this email message."