31 Mar 2022

10m FT8 RX

So far today, I have received loads of stations on 10m FT8 RX despite most of the antenna being on the ground awaiting the erection of the 8m dipole. 

I notice these were not being uploaded to PSKreporter for some reason, so I shall restart WSJT-X in case this is at fault.

UPDATE 1521z:  I did a resync to internet time and restarted WSJT-X: still no spots on PSKreporter.

UPDATE 1530z:  All now seems well, with 10 stations recently uploaded. This will remain a puzzle. All uploads relate to stations spotted in the last 20 minutes.

UPDATE 2022z:  208 stations spotted with much of the 10m antenna on the ground!! No spots reported for some reason until mid-afternoon. QRT soon.

UPDATE 2105z:  QRT. 

Queen platinum jubilee - NOT amateur radio

The UK queen has been on the throne since 1952. We hope to hold a small party to celebrate this in June. We held a first meeting about this earlier today. 

OFCOM statement about UK 8m permits

This statement by OFCOM about UK 8m operation has appeared in many places and the RSGB has made a statement. I have re-read the OFCOM statement many times as I have my licence.

Now, I am no legal expert and what follows is my interpretation, but....

I think the RSGB is wrong.

My reading and re-reading of the OFCOM statement and my amateur radio licence leads me to these conclusions:

1. OFCOM does not want to release any 8m spectrum for radio amateurs. Personally I think this is stupid when they could have released just 5 kHz, digital modes only, at 5W, no contests, by NoV, on a strictly non interference basis. Surely self training is what our hobby is all about?

2. As long as those operating on 8m hold an amateur radio licence and callsign and are receiving crossband reports from other radio amateurs using the frequencies only allowed in their licence schedule, I cannot see this is illegal. Yes, those working crossband to 8m non radio amateurs licenced under T and I conditions would be illegal.

3. Inter-working other stations duly authorised to operate on 8m is legal in the UK. Working those in other administrations is a matter for those administrations.

These are my personal views, not legally binding views. You need to seek your own legal position.

See http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2022/march/rsgb-statement-concerning-40mhz-in-the-uk.htm#.YkV-BIrMLrc

UPDATE 1512z:   I think OFCOM really wanted a "light touch" on this. As the RSGB sought clarification, they had to answer. The RSGB interprets this differently to me.

Sunspots - Thursday March 31st 2022

 Solar flux is 151 and the SSN 73. A=8 and K=5.

30 Mar 2022

Hairdresser - NOT amateur radio

I cannot remember when I last went to the barbers. My son usually does a trim when he calls, which is about every 6 weeks. 

My wife has her hair cut about every 5-6 weeks. The person she goes to is very kind and seems to know all the gossip - isn't that one of the reasons women get their hair done?

BTW, both people had given their permission for the photo to be taken.

The English pub - NOT amateur radio

The English pub is often the heart of the community. This photo appeared on 365project.org recently. Apparently, the men were more than happy to be photographed. 

It looks like they are having a good chat (along with the dog!) over their pints.

8m antenna erection

In the next 48 hours, I hope to erect a wire dipole for 8m. Years ago this would have been trivial, but I am not good on ladders since my stroke in 2013

Putting this up requires a minimum of 2 ladder climbs. Luckily, both are not very high, so I hope to manage these.

I am really looking forward to experimenting on 8m TX.

My floored loft has not been visited by me in 8 years!! There is quite a bit of amateur gear in one of the boxes.

UPDATE 1352z:  Small steps! As I get very tired these days I am doing this is small steps with rest in between. So far I have (1) cut the 8m dipole to length, (2) drilled the hole from the outside into the shack for the coax, (3) lowered the 10m antenna so I can attach the 8m dipole to it and (4) shortened the length of the nylon insulator that holds the 10m antenna in place. Now I need a rest!

10m FT8 QRP (Wednesday)

All being well, I hope to be on 10m FT8 RX after breakfast. Yesterday was a good day on 10m. 

UPDATE 0825z:  My 10m FT8 was turned on 0811z.  Initially I was on QRP TX with 2.5W for a few minutes (just one spot from Israel, but no QSOs). So far, 20 stations spotted at 0829z. AH7C in Hawaii was spotted. I guess this is via the long path. This is the first time I have seen Hawaii on 10m for many years.

UPDATE 1000z:  81 stations spotted so far today.

UPDATE 1218z:   223 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1315z:  309 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX. 6 stations have spotted my very brief QRP TX periods.

UPDATE 1425z:  As part of my 8m dipole erection, most of my 10m antenna is on the ground. Despite this, I am still getting plenty of DX spots - 37 in the last 15 minutes!

Yaesu FT7

One of the best rigs I have ever owned was the Yaesu FT7.  I owned this from 1979 and it was a 10W rig really aimed at mobile use. 

The receiver was exceptionally quiet. It had no memories, no synthesiser and did not cover the WARC bands and 6m as none of these existed back then. 

It was not small. In fact, it was considerably larger than the FT817/8 that covers more modes and bands.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/commercial-rigs/yaesu-ft7

Sunspots - Wednesday March 30th 2022

Solar flux is 149 and the SSN 124.  A=8 and K=1.

29 Mar 2022

8m UK permits

It looks like at least 4 UK stations will be on 8m TX this summer. OFCOM has issued permits (or is about to) to the first bunch of applicants. Others may follow. 

In the coming Es season, it is highly likely that some, or all, will be spotted in Europe. Especially with FT8, there is a good chance of stations being copied by other modes too.

I hope others across Europe apply for special access as well. 8m, being between 10m and 6m, is at a very interesting part of the radio spectrum for experiments. It is mid-way between HF and VHF.

The ZS6WAB 8m beacon has been copied in Europe (including in the UK) on several occasions.

All being well, my first 8m transmission will be April 2nd.

Miss Piggy? - NOT amateur radio


This painting was in a Cambridge shop window this morning. I think it is of Miss Piggy from the Muppets.

Alexa - NOT amateur radio

We have 2 Amazon Dot devices. We love these and are very impressed that they seem to be good at voice recognition, even managing to understand my poor voice. 

Some get very worried about it spying and harvesting all sorts of private data. The answer is simple: turn it off when not in use!

We like the idea of news, weather and any kind of music on tap and the timers, which are really useful when cooking.

I bought mine really cheaply when they were on offer.  My wife thought I was mad, but she uses Alexa far more than me!

10m FT8 QRP (Tuesday)

It is now 0823z and I have been on 10m FT8 RX for about 10 minutes. So far, 21 stations have been spotted.

UPDATE 0834z:  25 stations spotted with the furthermost YC3ERZ (12282km).

UPDATE 1148z:  148 stations spotted with the furthermost VK6BAS (14442km).

UPDATE 1444z: 255 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today.  My QRP (2.5W) TX about 30 minutes ago resulted in spots around Europe, but no QSOs.

Stations spotted at 1637z

UPDATE 1637z:
365 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX.
UPDATE 2002z:  625 stations spotted. The band is still open.

Near Salcombe - NOT amateur radio

As I have said before, I spent my childhood years near here. This is South Pool Creek. I am not sure what year this was. 

Sunspots - Tuesday March 29th 2022

Solar flux is 156 and the SSN 125.  A=10 and K=2.  These are good numbers. 

28 Mar 2022

South Hams in Devon - NOT amateur radio

My brother lives in the South Hams in Devon and plays golf at Thurlestone. This was the view from the 1st tee earlier today. I used to play here a long time ago!!  A very long time ago I remember having a birdie on the 1st hole. That must have been in the 1960s.

South Americans?

Recently I have been on 17m and 15m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop antenna. Whilst plenty of stations have been spotted across the world, it is noticeable that I'm seeing very few from South America.

Now, I am no expert on propagation and this may just be when I am on. I am pretty sure it is not antenna directivity as I get plenty on 10m FT8. 

RadCom articles - lost?

Last October, I submitted 3 articles to RadCom. One was published, but the other 2 seem to have disappeared down a black hole. Today, I chased them. 

It is fine to not publish them, but it is also good to know why. As I recall, they were short fill-in articles, but it was so long ago I cannot recall what was in them!

With Giles Read dying suddenly they must be in a pickle in the short-term.

UPDATE 1500z:  The articles have been found. 

Wisdom and old age? - NOT amateur radio

It seems 5 minutes since I was a young teenager! 

Old age has descended on me suddenly. These days I feel older and frailer, as much as I do not seek this.  Some say you get wiser as you get older, but I seem as stupid as ever! 

My advice to those far younger is "you will be old yourself one day".  Milk life whilst you can.

I think one of the things I have to do is accept the "me" I am now and not the "me" I used to be. As we age, it is natural that some of the things we could do we can do no longer. There is still so much I can do. As long as I am able, I intend to enjoy doing the things I can do. 😄

Enjoying the sun - NOT amateur radio

Last Friday, we had a day out in Norwich by train. The sun was shining and it was a glorious spring day. It was good to see people out enjoying it. 

This week promises to be colder and duller. 😞

15m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop (Monday)

At  0855z, I turned on my 15m FT8 RX. No spots yet. I think conditions are disturbed.

UPDATE 1000z:   No spots on 15m FT8 RX on PSKreporter. As I lost the internet connection for a while I may have not uploaded some of the recent spots (there are a few).

UPDATE 1224z:   I have restarted WSJT-X as I am seeing plenty of spots locally, but none were appearing on PSKreporter. Since restarting, plenty of spots appearing!

UPDATE 1402z:   81 stations spotted so far on 15m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1710z:   169 stations spotted.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Monday)

At 0752z, I turned on my W5OLF 10m WSPR beacon which runs 500mW as the 10m antenna was not being used. No spots yet today.

UPDATE 0957z: Just G spots from locals G2XV (18km) and G4KPX (14km).

UPDATE 1540z:  Still no DX today on 10m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 2100z:  In the end EA8BFK (2880km) copied me. QRT soon.

Norwich last week - NOT amateur radio

This collage shows Norwich last week. This week is far duller. 

17m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop

In the last day 321 stations have been spotted on 17m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop antenna. I am amazed. 

Sunspots - Monday March 28th 2022

Solar flux is 130 and the SSN 97. A=18 and K=4.

27 Mar 2022

17m FT8 RX with the tiny indoor loop

It is now 1520z. I have just QSYed to 17m FT8 RX from 2m. The antenna is the tiny loop on the shack windowsill. So far (after a few minutes) 22 stations spotted. This antenna really is remarkable. I guess it must be a few dBs down on a "big" antenna.

UPDATE 1628z:  93 stations spotted on 17m FT8 RX this afternoon. Furthermost is YB1HR (11790km).

UPDATE 1735z:   154 stations spotted on 17m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1810z:  179 stations spotted on 17m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1920z:  225 stations spotted.

Getting ready for 8m TX

As I now have the coax for my 40MHz dipole, things are on target.   Assuming I build and erect the antenna this week, I should start on April 2nd as per my permit.  

My aim is to run mostly FT8 near 40.675MHz (audio will be perhaps 1kHz higher) with some CW for some local crossband reports. I intend to use my amateur callsign.

Geosynchronous Oscar 100

Since I last looked, there is not much change. This was European mid afternoon on a weekend, when activity is highest. Still plenty of space.

See https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/ .

St George's Norwich - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows St George's Church in Tombland, Norwich that we passed on Friday.  

It is not far from the cathedral. Sadly it was locked. 

2m FT8 RX in the last day

77 stations spotted on FT8 RX in the last day with just the omni big-wheel antenna. 

Did someone say 2m is dead?  Try FT8. I suspect more people are choosing to use FT8, so the rest of the band appears quiet.

The furthermost is F8BON (684km).

10m WSPR QRP TX (Sunday)

 When I am using 2m FT8, the 10m antenna is available. I keep forgetting that I can still go on 10m WSPR TX using my 500mW W5OLF WSPR beacon. This morning, I shall go on 10m WSPR TX. I must remember this when I get active on 8m.

UPDATE 0830z: WSPR TX turned on at 0825z. Just G4KPX (14km) spotting me. 

UPDATE 1500z: 3 unique stations spotting me.

Sunspots - Sunday March 27th 2022

 Solar flux is 119 and the SSN 48.  A=7 and K=2.

26 Mar 2022

Summer migrant birds - NOT amateur radio

It is fair to call me a fair weather bird watcher. I are very unlikely to look for birds in the rain! 

There have now been a couple of reports of swallows (to some they are known as barn swallows) in South Devon. The earliest I have seen them in East Anglia is April 7th. Last year there were very few.

Already returning chiffchaffs can be heard and sand martins seen in Devon.

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

Dipole calculator

In the next few days, I have to make a dipole for the 8m band on which I have special permission to TX for 12 months. At my QTH, the most suitable antenna is a simple wire dipole. You may be interested in this calculator.

See https://www.wireantennas.co.uk/dipole-calculator

Burwell ( Lincolnshire) - NOT amateur radio

We live in Burwell, Cambridgeshire. There is a much smaller Burwell in Lincolnshire shown in the photo. 

UK 8m permits

As I understand it, 3 people in the UK have already got 8m TX permits. Others could follow. 

The coming Es season could be interesting. Certainly at least 2 will be on FT8 and a single USB dial setting will be needed, so just monitoring this should help with reports and QSOs. 

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/8m-band .

Spring in the garden - NOT amateur radio

The last few days have been warm and sunny, so we have done some jobs in the garden and had some meals in the sunshine. 

Later next week it is expected to be much colder! 

Norwich tapas - NOT amateur radio

Tapas, as far as I know, is a Spanish invention. Instead of a large meal, you are served several small dishes of your choosing, all of which you can share. We had a lovely tapas lunch in Norwich yesterday and the price was extremely reasonable. I was just about to pay a tip when I was told the bill included the tip!

See https://www.dontxoko.com/ .

Medieval manuscript - NOT amateur radio

Yesterday, we went to Norwich on the train. It is about an hour on the train. This medieval book was on display in St Peter Mancroft church in the centre of the city.  Amazing to think this was done by monks by hand many hundreds of years ago.

2m FT8 QRP (Saturday)

It is now 0930z. After a brief TX period with 2.5W to the big wheel (4 Gs spotted me), I am now RX only, but nobody spotted yet.

UPDATE  0948z:  6 stations spotted on RX with the furthermost DJ0PY (453km).

UPDATE 1505z:  46 stations in 6 countries spotted so far on 2m FT8 RX today.

UPDATE 2212z:  62 stations spotted on RX today as the map shows. 

Sunspots - Saturday March 26th 2022

Solar flux is 112 and the SSN 50.  A=10 and K=1. 

25 Mar 2022

2m FT8 QRP (Friday)

This evening I have  been on 2m FT8 with 2.5W to the big-wheel omni. 15 stations have spotted me on TX and I have spotted 8 stations on RX.

Norwich Market - NOT amateur radio

On this sunny spring day we went to Norwich on the train. The photo shows the market with people enjoying the sun. 

6m FT8 QRP (Friday)

It is now 0840z. For about an hour I have been on 6m FT8 initially with 2.5W to the vertical omni V2000 with just one G spotting me. Since then I am RX only.  Just 2 G stations spotted.

10m WSPR QRP TX (Friday)

When I am on 6m FT8 QRP I keep forgetting the 10m antenna is free and I can go on 10m WSPR TX with the stand alone W5OLF WSPR beacon. Today I remembered! 

After about an hour just spots by G4KPX (14km) and no DX.

Old friends - NOT amateur radio

On Wednesday we went to Anglesey Abbey with old friends we have known since 1968.

Sunspots - Friday March 25th 2022

Solar flux is 112 and the SSN 44.  A=9 and K=3.

24 Mar 2022

Carpe Diem - NOT amateur radio

This means "make the most of the moment".

As we get older, this has more meaning. Basically, it urges us all to make the most of the "now" as we do not know what the future holds for us all.

Enjoy every moment however simple it is.

OFCOM and repeaters for mobile phones

 OFCOM is carrying out a consultation on the use of in-house boosters for mobile phones. See the OFCOM website for details.

Rally on?

According to my information, Sunday March 27th is the Callington ARS rally in Cornwall. Back in the 1960s I went to this rally. It was about 30 miles from where I lived in South Devon.

As always. contact the organisers before travelling any distance is case things have changed.

 Contact Roger 2E0RPH on 07854 088882 for details.

Near us - NOT amateur radio


This is the village of Lode, about 4 miles from us. At the moment, the magnolia and daffodils look a picture.

That time of year - NOT amateur radio

It is lovely to be in the garden again in spring, but the grass does grow!

In these troubled times it is great to take pleasure in ordinary things. We have a nice home and food. Some do not. 

6m FT8 QRP (Thursday)

At about 0940z my 6m FT8 system was turned on.  After a few minutes on TX with 2.5W and the vertical omni V2000 (2 G spots, but no QSOs) I am again RX only.

UPDATE  1015z:  Just 3 G stations spotted.

UPDATE 1410z:  11 Gs spotted. No DX.

UPDATE 1952z:  14 Gs spotted today. QRT later.

Sunspots - Thursday March 24th 2022

Solar flux is 106 and the SSN 27. A=7 and K=2.

23 Mar 2022

Anglesey Abbey with old friends - NOT amateur radio

We first met these friends at university in 1968. We met at nearby Anglesey Abbey and they came here for lunch later. 

There were loads of daffodils out and carpets of a blue flower I had not seen before. These had star like petals but they were not aconites. At least, if they were they were a very strange variety.

8m TX permit has arrived!!

 All being well, I should start sending 8m FT8 from April 2nd on 40.676kHz (or close to it). I am also allowed to send CW.  Some crossband QSOs are expected!

WSJT-X and 8m

OFCOM has told me my permit to TX on 8m is coming. My intention is to send FT8 most of the time, with the occasional CW and WSPR.

I know my widebanded FT817ND produces power at 8m and is clean. I also know PSKreporter supports 8m. Then, last night, I had a sudden panic. Did WSJT-X support 8m?  

This morning I checked - it does! I am sure with a hack it would have been possible, but in its standard form it does already. 

I hope to do some local CW crossband tests as well initially. My permit should start in early April and last for a year. 

Dad's seat - NOT amateur radio

One of my FaceBook memories for today was from 10 years ago with me on one of the seats in Devon in 2012. It was erected in memory of my dad who died in 1987. After he retired, he ran a job creation team for the National Trust.  The odd thing is if he walked in the door now, it would seem natural!

6m FT8 QRP (Wednesday)

 At just before 0900z I decided to go on 6m FT8. With my 2.5W and the V2000 vertical omni I was called by G3XDV (45km).  A nice surprise QSO resulted. In all, 4 Gs spotted my QRP CQ.

At the moment, I am RX only.

UPDATE 1026z:  6 Gs spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1716z:  20 stations in 5 countries spotted today. 

Sunspots - Wednesday March 23rd 2022

 Solar flux is 106 and the SSN 81.  A=8 and K=2.

22 Mar 2022

Mousa sunrise - NOT amateur radio

This photo was on 365project a few weeks ago. It shows the sunrise over Mousa in the Shetland Is.

8m QSO between Croatia and South Africa

The EI7GL blog has details of a first 8m QSO between Croatia and South Africa.

See https://ei7gl.blogspot.com .

Geeks - NOT amateur radio

It is good we are all different. 

My thing is radio, but the man in the photo obviously likes model railways. 

This was at the "Burwell at Large" exhibition earlier in the week, where local societies put on stalls.

6m FT8 QRP (Tuesday)

For a change, I am on 6m FT8 QRP. I turned things on (2.5W to the vertical omni V2000) just before 0900z. 2 Gs spotted me on TX, but nothing yet on RX. At the moment, I am RX only.

UPDATE 1025z:   10 G stations spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1120z:    16 stations spotted (mostly Gs) with the furthermost SM5EPO (1344km).

UPDATE 1317z:    23 stations spotted, all G apart from 2 in continental Europe.

UPDATE 1350z:    Still 23 stations spotted on RX. A brief TX period just now at 2.5W was spotted by G0OPQ (50km), but no QSOs. RX only again now.

UPDATE 2108z: 
 29 stations spotted today on 6m FT8 RX (see logbook). QRT soon.

UPDATE 2137z:   One late QSO with G3YDY (98km). Now QRT.

Sunspots - Tuesday March 22nd 2022

Solar flux is 98 and the SSN 30. A=4 and K=3. 

21 Mar 2022

Sad news

There is a report on Southgate News that Giles Read, who was the technical editor of RadCom, has died suddenly of cancer.

See http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2022/march/giles-read-g1mfg-sk.htm#.YjjIRorP3rc .

Two Beofengs for £22.99

Although I have not looked around, I see you can buy 2 Beofeng 5W UHF hand portables on eBay for £22.99.  On the way somebody makes a profit. I know quality control is a bit hit and miss but these prices are stupid.  They come with batteries, chargers, carrying straps and belt clips. How do they do it and make profits?

Flying Scotsman - NOT amateur radio

A few days ago my son was lucky enough to see the Flying Scotsman steam train going through on an excursion. I think it was going to Margate. 

G3XBM grabber

Some browsers will not allow page embedding for security reasons. 

If you can see embedded pages you may be amused to look at my grabber, that is mostly on 10m FT8 RX.  If embedding does not work on your browser, there is an alternative link. 

As you can tell, 10m is pretty good now and has been in recent days.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/10m-ft8-grabber .

Ukraine - NOT amateur radio

By any standards, what is happening in Ukraine is barbaric. 

Putin will be despised for years to come, whatever "victory" he achieves by brutal force. He will be hated by people who he calls his own. All to recreate a failed autocratic system.  Any threat to Russia is of his own making. Ask yourselves: have recent actions made Russia safer?

In the fog of war, both sides put out propaganda to suite their own ends. However, it is hard to argue with the sheer numbers of refugees fleeing the country and those displaced in their own lands.

I desperately hope a fair and just settlement can be arrived at soon.

Garden frog - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken in 2016. It shows a garden frog that appeared.  I have not seen one since.

10m FT8 QRP (Monday)

At 0900z, my 10m FT8 RX was turned on. I may try 2.5W TX later. So far today (at 0905z) 21 stations have already been spotted including several in Australia. This is getting too easy! Just turn on 10m FT8 RX and there is the DX.

UPDATE 1010z:   138 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX. It is interesting how this band has changed in the last 12 months: no longer generally quiet. It is wide open most days now.

UPDATE 1250z:  363 stations spotted.

UPDATE 1312z: A brief TX period with 2.5W resulted in no QSOs, but I was spotted by several stations including HI8RD (7054km) in the Caribbean. 392 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today.

UPDATE 2030z:   1017 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 RX. Now QRT.

Starehole Bay - NOT amateur radio

This photo shows Starehole Bay near Salcombe in Devon where I lived for part of my childhood. The photo was taken in 2012. 

Wymondham Station - NOT amateur radio

We visited Wymondham by train a few days ago. The station is an old country one much as it must have been a long time ago. 

70cm UKAC results

On the second Tuesday of the month the RSGB organises an activity contest on 70cm.  Even though I can only run 10W to a 2m omni, I usually go on. This time, I only stayed on for a short while, because of my poor voice, making just 1 valid QSO. One other one was rejected as "not in the log".   Better luck next month?

See https://www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/vhfresults.pl?Contest=432MHz%20UKAC&year=2022 .

Sunspots - Monday March 21st 2022

Solar flux is 95 and the SSN 39.  A=9 and K=0.

20 Mar 2022

Daffodils - NOT amateur radio

At this time of year the path to our local church is lined with daffodils. 

In a few weeks they will be over. 

In the two horse chestnut trees in the churchyard, the crows are busy repairing or building nests.  They have been there for as long as I can remember. Life goes on. These 2 trees were planted in the 1800s to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Burwell at Large - NOT amateur radio

This is an exhibition in which local societies and groups put on a stall to attract new people. It is also a chance to chat with people not seen in a while. 

10m FT8 RX

 At about 0918z, I turned on 10m FT8 RX.  So far (at 0922z), no reports on PSKreporter, but stations all over the world spotted.

UPDATE 1056z:  136 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX this morning.

UPDATE 1735z:   877 stations spotted.

UPDATE 2003z:  1031 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today. 10m is now regularly open worldwide.

UPDATE 2042z: 1056 stations spotted. As there are still South Americans coming in, I shall stay on for a little while.

UPDATE 2140z:  1058 stations spotted. QRT soon.

Wymondham Abbey - NOT amateur radio

Wymondham in Norfolk has a fine abbey. It was far bigger before King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1500s.

The approach to King's - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken 3 years ago. It shows the approach to King's College in Cambridge. 


160m FT8 RX overnight

Overnight I was on 160m FT8 RX with the untuned 10m antenna. 232 stations spotted on RX including a few in the USA. 

TETRA decoder

In my days of work, I ran the hardware teams designing TETRA hand portables. I actually knew quite little about TETRA as most was implemented in software. What I knew I have forgotten!

These days, you can get freely available software that can decode modes like P25, DMR and TETRA.

TETRA was very popular with security systems as it was hard to intercept. Not any longer.

See https://www.rtl-sdr.com/tag/tetra/ .

Sunspots - Sunday March 20th 2022

Solar flux is 94 and the SSN 29. A=5 and K=3. 

19 Mar 2022

160m FT8 RX (Saturday)

Even though 10m is still wide open, I have QSYed to 160m FT8 RX with the untuned 10m antenna. So far this evening 30 stations have been spotted. 

UPDATE 2136z:   133 stations spotted. I think I shall remain on overnight.

OFCOM updates

Every month OFCOM updates the data it holds. See the OFCOM website for more details.

Pye PF8 - NOT amateur radio

Back in the 1970s, I was on the design team for this revolutionary product. In its day, it was "ahead of the curve". 

It had an internal antenna, 1.2V rechargeable batteries and a multilayer PCB. From bitter experience we found that the things that got broken were things like antennas, rotary controls etc. So we avoided these in this design. In its day, it was iconic. Some went on 70cm. These days, they are very hard to find.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/vhfuhf-commercial-rigs/pye-pf8 . There is a PDF copy of the handbook linked on the site. Any issues, contact me and I shall send it to you.

The DC-DC converter it used was a nightmare.

More Wymondham, Norfolk - NOT amateur radio

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Wymondham on the train. The photo is a collage of some of the things and places we saw. 

Wymondham is a delightful place. 

It is a few miles from Norwich.