At the moment I am on 137kHz WSPR with the Wellgood active loop. It will stay on overnight. It would be a miracle if I copy anything! As usual, lots of stations on RX, but very few on TX.
UPDATE 2044z: Still no spots, although I am not surprised.
For a very long time I have been puzzled by scale. One the one hand the universe seems immensely vast. On the other hand at the atomic scale things are immensely small. We experience things at our scale.
What I wonder is this: does something link these two? Is the universe actually within us? Our brains cannot begin to comprehend, but our thinking about both the macro and micro scales has radically changed in 200 years.
In another 200 years people may look back at us in amazement.
Every few weeks I give an update on activity levels on the narrowband transponder on this satelllite by looking at the web SDR at Goonhilly Downs in Cornwall, UK. Activity levels were low when I looked at 1100z today. Activity levels can change very quickly, but remains well below capacity. There is plenty of space.
I see it also supports beacon modes like WSPR. It is tiny.
They are also working on a tiny digital transceiver. I hope they make a 10m version. These days I mainly use FT8 and WSPR.
UPDATE 1647z: Just received a reply to my query. Hans is planning a version for the higher HF bands, but wants to catch up on the current version first! Parts supply is very difficult recently.
Since about 1840z, I QSYed from 15m to 160m FT8 using the Wellgood active loop on the shack window. It is now 1852z and so far 25 stations have been spotted with the furthermost ES5MG (1786km).
UPDATE 1915z: So far this evening 46 stations spotted with the furthermost EA7HY (1829km).
UPDATE 2008z: 68 stations spotted so far with the best DX UT1FT (2204km).
UPDATE 2217z: 130 stations spotted.
In the past, I got lots of information from Clint KA7EOI's Optical Pages, that have many links. One of the most sensitive receivers by K3KCP was linked to from Clint's optical pages.
My 15m FT8 RX with the active Wellgood RX loop on the window was turned on at 1006z. So far today (at 1217z) 248 stations spotted on RX with the furthermost YD1FRU (11796km).
One of the joys of retirement is learning for fun. One of my blanks is early medieval history, so I am doing a University of the Third Age course on Medieval History.
We are now well through the autumn term, so I thought it would be a good thing to make a note of the main things that I have recently been made aware of. Not all relate to Medieval History.
As 10m was poor here, I QSYed 30m FT8 RX, which I had not yet tried on the Wellgood active loop. I QSYed at about 1527z. So far, 18 stations spotted (all EU) at 1520z.
UPDATE 1803z: 77 stations spotted.
UPDATE 1952z: 92 stations spotted.
Last night the Cambridge Radio Club (CDARC) has another very successful Zoom talk. This time it was about sunspots and given by Martin G3ZAY who has written the HF column in RadCom for some years. Being on Zoom we were joined by a member in Canada. I am a great fan of Zoom lectures, which are far better than I ever expected.
So far today, 276 stations spotted on RX with the furthermost VK4ZC (16530km) in Australia.
Even as high as 15m (21MHz), the Wellgood loop on the shack window works really well and I have made no attempt whatsoever to optimise it. It is just stuck on with Blutak! I shall have to try it on 10m!
UPDATE 1225z: 359 stations spotted on 15m FT8 RX.
As you can see, I have used this quite a bit in the last week. It was designed by George Smart M1GEO after he accidentally cooked his Wellbrook active loop!
Overall, it works very well, but I wonder if it is less good with weak signals on the higher HF bands. Mostly, EU stations are copied, but where the RX noise figure dominates, maybe it is less effective?
It is now 0913z. I am monitoring 20m FT8 RX will the Wellgood active loop antenna. So far, 33 stations have been spotted.
UPDATE 0927z: 62 stations spotted.
UPDATE 1616z: 620 stations spotted on 20m FT8 RX with the Wellgood loop.
If you know who sells the "real deal", please let me know.
At around £63 this looks excellent value, especially as it can also be used as a signal generator.
Last evening and overnight I was on 80m FT8 RX with the Wellgood active loop on the shack window indoors. 796 stations spotted, but nothing from the Americas.
At the moment I am on 15m FT8 RX with the Wellgood active loop on the shack window. So far, 96 stations spotted with the furthermost PY7ZC (7540km). It is now 1035z and I have been on since about 0900z.
UPDATE 1232z: 232 stations spotted with the furthermost LW2EDM (11776km).UPDATE 1518z: 468 stations spotted. Furthermost is LU8XW (13474km).
As 15m seems to have got quiet here, I QSYed to 80m FT8 at 1745z. The antenna is still the Wellgood active loop. Already after 75 minutes 175 stations spotted. Furthermost is RW0AR (5585km).
UPDATE 1955z: 249 unique stations spotted so far on 80m FT8 RX.
UPDATE 2030z: 327 stations spotted.
It seems that many things get worse over time, not better.
At one time Google supported Picasa (a photo editing tool) that was excellent and allowed you to send photos to friends very easily. This has gone. Coats have fewer pockets. Underpants are thinner, no doubt made in sweat shops to a fixed price. Bags from the National Trust have fewer pockets. The latest is something from Google Adsense saying they no longer support certain sorts of adverts.
I am sure some things are better, but ,"if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Boris Johnson is the UK Prime Minister.
He has had a difficult time since being in office, but this week he made a bumbling speech to business leaders and lost his way with his notes. As an ad lib he mentioned he had been to Peppa Pig World.
I give him a few months before he is replaced. His ruling party, the Conservative Party, is likely to lose support if he stays in charge. This is my view. Others may think he is wonderful. Sorry, but I don't.
For about an hour I have been on 15m FT8 RX with my Wellgood active loop on the shack window. So far, 80 stations spotted with the furthermost VR2XMT (9530km) in Hong Kong.
UPDATE 1410z: So far today, 348 stations spotted from most continents.
This came yesterday from my brother. As one of those old folk, I can relate to it.
You know …… time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.
It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.
I know that I lived them all.
I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.
However, here it is …… the last quarter of my life and it catches me by surprise.
How did I get here so fast?
Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first quarter and that the fourth quarter was so far off that I could not visualise it or imagine fully what it would be like.
Yet, here it is …… my friends are retired and getting grey - they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me but I see the great change. They’re not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant …… but like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! and taking a nap is not a treat anymore, it's mandatory! because if I don't of my own free will, I fall asleep where I sit!
And so …… now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did! But at least I know that, though I’m on the last quarter and I'm not sure how long it will last, that when it's over on this earth... it's over.
A new adventure will begin!
Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done …… things I should have done but truely there are many things I'm happy to have done.
It's all in a lifetime.
So, if you're not on the last quarter yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly!
Don't put things off too long! Life goes by so quickly.
So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you're on the last quarter or not!
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of life.... so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember - and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!
‘Life’ is a gift to you.
Have a great day!
Remember, it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
You may think;
Going out is good - but coming home is better!
You forget names - but it's okay because some people forgot they even knew you!
You realize you're never going to be really good at anything like golf - but you like the outdoors!
The things you used to care to do, you aren't as interested in anymore - but you really don't care that you aren't as interested.
You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV on than in bed – you call it ‘pre-sleep’!
You miss the days when everything worked with just an ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch!
You tend to use more 4 letter words – ‘what’ and ‘when’
You have lots of clothes in your wardrobe, more than half of which you will never wear – but just in case!
Old is good -
• Old is comfortable
• Old is safe
• Old songs
• Old movies
• …… and best of all,
• Friends of old!
So, stay well, ‘Old friend!’
Have a fantastic day!
Have an awesome quarter – whichever one you’re in!
It's not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
105 years ago the small town where I lived as a child experienced a tragedy. Most of the lifeboat crew were drowned. One of my aunts witnessed it. It must have left a deep scar on the community.
As 10m FT8 RX was disappointing, I QSYed down to 15m, which was filled with North Americans on FT8 RX.
As an experiment, I swapped the coax to my big-wheel for the Wellgood active loop. If anything, the Wellgood loop is better, so I have left it connected.
Already 51 stations spotted, most on the tiny indoor Wellgood active loop antenna.
Kevin Sinfield has successfully completed his amazing run of 101 miles in 24 hours, raising over £1M for motor neurone disease (MND) research. This is a truly horrible condition and his teammate at Leeds Rhinos rugby team was diagnosed with this a few years ago.
As someone who finds just walking a few miles really hard, I am totally impressed. Well done.
My Wellgood loop is tiny and no attempt has yet been made to optimise the size, position or orientation of the loop, which is just attached to the shack window with Blutak.
On 1840kHz (160m) FT8 it works well and is every bit as good.
After a very brief period on QRP TX (2.5W), I am now RX only. The gear was turned on about 0830z. It is now 0836z and, so far, no spots given or received. It is a bit early.
UPDATE 1428z: 123 stations spotted on RX. A brief period just now with me on QRP TX resulted in no spots!
As an experiment I am on 472kHz WSPR RX using the Wellgood Loop. It will be interesting to see how this compares with the coax up to the big-wheel.
As my 10m antenna is free, I am on 10m WSPR with my 500mW W5OLF beacon. At 1316z, 3 stations spotted with the furthermost EA8BFK (2880km).
UPDATE 1842z: Still just those 3 stations spotting me. QRT soon.
At about 1000z, I turned on my 6m FT8 running to 2.5W to the V2000 vertical antenna. I was very briefly on TX getting a couple of G spots. On RX 5 spots (mostly Gs) with the furthermost LB2WD (868km).
UPDATE 1840z: 6 spots of stations all day. Apart from the station in Norway, all were Gs. QRT soon.
Many of us enjoy the challenge of getting the most from the least. Some define this as the fewest number of parts or the lowest cost.
What do you reckon is/was the best QRP radio design ever? Tell us all what you think and why, and leave some links if possible.
Most designs are compromises. Ideally, I am looking for a rig that really holds its own on TX and RX. As an example, the Pixie and Micro80 had dreadful receivers. I am wondering if anyone has come up with a rig with a decent receiver?
When I go on 10m WSPR, I am frequently spotted by FY5KE. There was a QRZ.com message earlier in the year to say there had been no FT8 activity so far and if you worked FY5KE on FT8, this would have been a pirate. There was nothing said about WSPR.
The reports I get are usually good, which makes me a bit suspicious.
Is this WSPR monitor genuine?
After lunch, I may switch to 6m FT8. There is far less activity on 6m at this time of year and most spots are likely to be UK stations probably by tropo or aircraft. I can only use the V2000 vertical on 6m.
If I go on 6m FT8, I shall go on 10m WSPR TX (500mW) as the 10m antenna will be free.
UPDATE 1440z: Turned on after lunch. Just 3 Gs spotted on RX and spots of me on TX by 1 G. No Es obvious.
UPDATE 1652z: 5 Gs spotted on 6m FT8 RX this afternoon.
Whilst I fully appreciate that some cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, I think everyone else has a duty to themselves and to others to get vaccinated. It is only by vaccination that this pandemic will be ended.
As I understand it, in Singapore, those not vaccinated must pay for their own Covid-19 treatment.This seems draconian, but may make those wavering think again and make Singapore safer for all.
This is a global pandemic and we all have to do our bit. Side effects from the jabs are very very rare and getting Covid-19 can be so much worse. The jab itself is quick and painless and over in seconds. To be honest, I did not feel a thing!
My gear was turned on at 0752z. So far 24 stations spotted with the furthermost HS2KYA (9693km).
UPDATE 1006z : 122 stations spotted on RX with 4 in Australia.
UPDATE 1144z : 288 stations spotted on RX. 10m is becoming too easy again. With FT8 it is even easier. I seem to remember it became too easy in the last solar cycle. I must look for a new challenge that I can manage.
Already 7 stations in the USA have received experimental permits to operate at 8m. Come the next main Es season we could see even more approved and on the air.
I do hope they all operate FT8 and within a single RX window for them all. This will make monitoring so much easier.
In the last Es season the first USA station approved was copied in the UK. With 7 operational, things (and chances) can only get better. All that would be needed is a wire dipole and WSJT-X tuned so all the USA stations come in on FT8. Just leave the RX on and see what pops up. Of course, FT8 with a shared allocation would be good for all beacons, not just at 8m. This way, all beacons within the particular FT8 "window" could be monitored 24/7.
It is just possible that the F2 MUF limit could peak briefly such that distant stations on 8m could be copied. All this is new and exciting. We just do not know.
All the USA stations have been given permits in the ISM band. In the future, this could be a most interesting amateur allocation. Never mind transatlantic: they are going to have great fun in the next main Es season. There is a small Es peak around New Year. I wonder if there will be some Es within the USA at the turn of the year?
See https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/ . On John's blog there are more details about these USA stations.
UPDATE 0650z: I gather the first experimental licence has been issued in Canada to a VE7.
Using the coax up to my 2m big-wheel antenna via a ferrite rod ATU and the mains earth, I am monitoring 472kHz WSPR this evening. So far, 5 unique stations already spotted with the furthermost DB8BG (498km).
UPDATE 2137z: 9 unique stations spotted this evening on 472Hz WSPR.
My system was turned on at 0901z. So far (at 0952z) 69 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX. The furthermost is 4F3BZ (10632km) in the Philippines. 10m is definitely coming to life again.
As 10m FT8 seems to have closed for me, I have QSYed to 472kHz WSPR RX with the coax up to the 2m big-wheel and the mains earth. So far (after about 10 minutes) 3 stations have been spotted with the furthermost DF1VB (506km).
UPDATE 2159z: So far this evening, 13 unique stations spotted with the furthermost IN3EAR (1069km) .
Today, I am on 10m FT8 RX. My gear was turned on at 0844z. Very quiet so far.
UPDATE 0908z: Just 2 spots so far 1 G and 1 PA. Probably tropo or aircraft.
UPDATE 2137z: Just 62 spots all day. Nothing at all from the Americas. I was suspicious and wondered whether my PC had reset or the internet was off. I don't think this was the case. It could have been at their end.
This afternoon, I am on 10m QRP FT8. It is now 1250z and I have spotted 37 stations across the planet and my 2.5W has been spotted by 1 stat...