At 1945z my 2m FT8 system was turned on. So far, 8 stations have been spotted.
UPDATE 2148z: 14 stations spotted.
UPDATE 2235z: QRT.
It is now 3 weeks and a day since I asked OFCOM for an update on my NoV application submitted in October. Still no news!
I am only really after 50Hz of spectrum during the 2022 Es season at low power.
In the last few years OFCOM has released 2000000Hz of precious VHF spectrum for DATV experiments.
After a very brief period on TX at 2.5W (spotted by 2E0VDS), I am RX only. So far, 75 stations spotted including several in Australia.
At the moment I am on 10m WSPR TX using 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. So far, 4 unique stations have spotted me.
Both these modes are part of the WSJT-X suite from Joe Taylor.
WSPR needs about 6Hz of spectrum (not much) and 2 minutes for the most common form of WSPR. WSPR is really a beaconing mode.
FT8 is a communications mode and needs about 50Hz with 15 second TX slots. WSPR works with signals much weaker than FT8. FT8 works with signals much weaker than SSB or CW.
Both offer the minimum exchange of data and neither are "chatting" modes. As they work with very weak signals and need so little bandwidth they have been transformative in amateur radio. They are not instead of speech modes, but as well as.
There are other modes also available in the free WSJT-X suite.
Personally, I enjoy both modes, especially as my voice is poor since my 2013 stroke.
In my view, wars solve little. One wonders how many wars in history would not have happened had women been in charge.
During WW2, my dad was a Pathfinder. These were the bravest of airmen, the elite. He survived the war, but rarely wanted to speak about those times. He was lucky to have survived as many did not. One of my greatest regrets was not talking with him before he died in 1987 about those dark days .
He must have been so brave as were people who have fought in wars from the dawn of history.
One of the "takeaway" things from my university course on quantum mechanics (that seems a very long time away now!) was that things could also be described as waves. These waves exist in all space and all time, but are much more probable here and now. To all intents and purposes they are "things" here and now.
The intriguing thought is that in some sense we have always existed everywhere.
Now my understanding may well be flawed, but it goes to show that what we experience as reality may not be how things are. Reality for us is based on our experiences of life. It pays to be humble: we only know a very little. Be open minded.
Google "quantum entanglement".
One thing I am sure about: one hundred years from now we will look back at these times with amazement: did they really believe that and did they really drive around in vehicles that needed fossil fuels?
Since just before lunch, I have been on 10m WSPR QRP TX with the W5OLF beacon. So far, 3 unique stations spotted.
Whenever I go on 10m WSPR QRP TX, I seem to get spotted by much the same stations. Local G4KPX always gets me if he is about as do a couple of stations in the Canary Is. Occasionally I get spotted in S.America. Rarely, others spot me.
In the last solar peak I was copied across the planet. However, more people seem to have swapped to FT8 for weak signal communications. There is more 10m WSPR than I was expecting though. If the 10m antenna is available, I go on 10m WSPR TX.
A week ago I got an email from OFCOM saying someone was chasing my 8m NoV application submitted last October. 3 weeks after chasing them I have had no progress update - zzzzzz.
If I was offering them £2M for a mobile phone licence I would have probably heard by return in October.
How can you be impressed by such shabby customer service? In my working life I was told customers are our most important asset. Such service from OFCOM would (rightly) get someone the sack.
The famous Ely cathedral is very close to this spot.
As far as I know the Lincoln Shortwave Club rally is on this Sunday January 30th, but I suggest you check before travelling any distance.
The Canvey Rally in February has been cancelled I understand.
As always in these uncertain times, it is always worth checking if rallies are cancelled or postponed.
UPDATE 2315z: The Lincoln rally has been cancelled (see Keith's comment below).
In the last day, I have been amazed at the results with non-resonant antennas on FT8 RX. May be I shouldn't be.
On 160m FT8 RX one often has to add attenuation and, as long as the S/N is fine, it will still get results.
On 15m FT8 RX, I guess my 10m antenna is a few dBs down, but as long as the S/N is sufficient I will still get decodes.
We returned home about 1440z. I am now on 10m FT8, initially on 2.5W TX, now RX only. On TX I was spotted by G0FWX (160km) and a couple of stations have been spotted on RX. These could be Es, tropo or aircraft.
UPDATE 2210z: 8 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX with the furthermost LU1DVH (11217km).
We have received your submission and a member of the Licensing team will be processing it in due course. "
I have received this non-response so many times from OFCOM in the last 2 weeks that I could probably wallpaper a room with these.
All I am asking is for a progress report. Is that really rocket science? The NoV application was submitted in October!
UPDATE 2022z: Well I have at last had a response from a human being! Not a progress update, but at least I know someone is actually there!
At about 1435z, I turned my 70cm FT8 gear on. After a few minutes calling CQ with 2.5W to the 2m big-wheel, I am now RX only. 5 stations have spotted my QRP (to my amazement!) with the furthermost PA2M (311km). Nobody spotted on RX.
|Stations spotting my 2.5W |
to the 2m big-wheel antenna
on 70cm FT8 TX today
The ISM band at 8m is 40.66 - 40.7MHz with an ERP limit of 10mW. Now, I am no expert and you need to convince yourself of the legal position, but I think anyone can operate at these frequencies as long as they accept interference and cause no interference.
These ISM frequencies are international allocations not really intended for radio communications. As I understand it, you can operate at these frequencies without a licence with any mode as long as you meet the ERP limits.
As far as I know, you could send callsigns. 10mW ERP is enough to span Europe in a good Es opening especially with FT8.
As I said, I do not know all the legal conditions and advise you to check carefully first. I know of one UK amateur that intends to TX with 10mW ERP CW as a beacon in the ISM band.
My NoV? Nothing at all received from OFCOM after 2 weeks of chasing apart from those computer generated replies saying they have received my query which is being replied to. But WHEN??? At this rate I shall be dead before I hear!
According to the Hepburn Tropo Forecast, 70cm FT8 could be promising this evening.
Rather than use the V2000 vertical, I may try with the horizontal 2m big-wheel antenna instead. Although the vertical V2000 is quite effective with scatter, the big-wheel is probably better with tropo.
It was good to see my 8m article in the latest RadCom.
In the years ahead, I can see a small amateur allocation at 8m. At the moment a few dedicated experimenters are ploughing a furrow. In years ahead I can see more applying for special permits. This really is at the boundary between HF and VHF and some serious propagation research is possible.
NoV application with OFCOM? Despite chasing for almost 2 weeks I have no news!! What a shower!
If you want to see the stations being copied here try this link. If your browser stops embedded pages try the link given instead.
Or try https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html?preset&callsign=g3xbm&txrx=rx&band=27999999-31000000&timerange=86400&mapCenter=16.191222112538867,36.66666666666666,2.925736525647676 which should be the direct permalink.
Just occasionally, the grabber may be looking at something else, although mostly it will be on 10m FT8.
From 0945z, I have been on 10m FT8 . So far, 6 stations spotted.
UPDATE 1430z: 73 stations spotted so far with the furthermost ZS6AF (9156km).
UPDATE 1628z: 76 stations spotted today.
Compared with the last time I looked it seems busier, but it is still very quiet. At this time, in a European evening, I would expect activity to be highest.
A few moments ago I switched on the 8m FT8 QRP TX. This was about 1025z.