30 Jun 2022

Batson Creek - NOT amateur radio

This is Batson Creek in Devon. I passed this on my 6 mile walk today. Although giddy I was well pleased I managed it.  Sadly the tide was out! 

Echolink password

 As I was awake early and in bed awaiting others, I thought I should try Echolink again after a break of well over a year. I am using the app on my phone. It asked for my password that I have forgotten and I cannot see how to reset it. Looks like I shall have to give it a miss. 

Seen on Facebook - NOT amateur radio

 Some will understand. 

Devon walk later - NOT amateur radio

After breakfast, I hope to walk to Salcombe along the back lanes. It should take about 1-2 hours. 

Sunspots - Thursday June 30th 2022

Solar flux is 92 and the SSN 48. A=6 and K=1.

29 Jun 2022

Kingsbridge Devon - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows the view looking from the embankment towards the town. Tide out!! 

Devon rain - NOT amateur radio

There is a phrase "come to sunny Devon where it rains 6 days out of 7". Lovely in the sunshine! It was just raining. Sunny earlier. 


 ZP4KPX (S. America) has been spotted in Portugal and the UK on 8m weakly on WSPR. If he gets an official permit someone will contact him for a first 8m 2-way, either from Europe or the USA. No idea about his gear. 

Sunspots - Wednesday June 29th 2022

 Solar flux is 96 and the SSN 71. A=8 and K=2.

28 Jun 2022

8m DX QSOs

Both EI2IP and G9PUV have managed USA 8m FT8 QSOs. This was after a lot of hard work and patience. 

En Route - NOT amateur radio

For the first time since 2019 I am off to Devon by coach to see my brother. I usually go by train, but industrial action is making this hard at the moment. The photo shows the coach. I prefer the train, but have little choice. 

Using a loop in the garden in 2013

This was me testing a loop antenna in the garden in 2013. 

Sunspots - Tuesday June 28th 2022 and

 Solar flux is 98 and the SSN 32. A=12 and K=1.

27 Jun 2022

10m QRP WSPR TX (Monday)

Most of the morning, I have been on 10m WSPR TX with my 500mW beacon. After a promising start, just spots by 3 unique stations so far.

UPDATE 1808z:   22 spots of my 500mW 10m WSPR today.

8m experiment (Monday)

After 2 sessions on QRP FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial, I have been spotted just by EA3ERE (1153km) so far.

UPDATE 1811z: Spotted on 8m QRP FT8 by 3 stations, probably by Es (Poland, Slovenia and Spain).

Oldest human in a photo? - NOT amateur radio

This appeared as a Facebook memory earlier. If true, it is remarkable. 

Oscar 100 commercial gear

Apart from the DX-patrol offering diplayed at Friedrichshafen, I am unaware of any complete turnkey solutions to operating on Oscar 100. 

In particular not one of the Japanese manufacturers has offered anything. To me, this speaks volumes, literally. They cannot see volumes and hence profits. 

If DX-patrol can do it for €650 surely the Japanese will have considered it. There is no home market or market in the USA, so they are not interested. 

In my view the Japanese amateur manufacturers will be looking hard at the amateur radio market and asking if the effort is worth it in the coming years. 

Sunspots - Monday June 27th 2022

Solar flux is 102 and the SSN 33. A=22 and K=1.

26 Jun 2022

Oscar 100 box

 This was seen at Friedrichshafen. I have no details about price or availability, but I cannot imagine it being low cost. 

Swaffham Prior - NOT amateur radio

This is the next village to us on the way to Cambridge.

It is unusual having two churches in the same churchyard. I think originally 2 parishes met here. 

Our grandson had hoped to ring the bells here, but they changed the day. 

10m Es

Since 0734z, my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon has been on. Already HB9TMC (905km) and IU1DZZ (973km) have spotted me. A promising start.

UPDATE 2041z: 47 unique station spots of my 500mW WSPR today.

8m experiment (Sunday)

After breakfast I hope to be on 8m QRP TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 QRP. It cannot be worse than yesterday when there were no spots at all! There are too few people monitoring on 8m, so it can be very hard going. 

UPDATE 0751z:  8m gear turned on at 0734z. I get the impression that those active on the band have proved what is possible by Es and are now turning their attention to 6m and 4m instead until the autumn. I shall try a bit longer.

UPDATE 0807z: Spots of my QRP by EA3ERE (1133km) and HC02 (1808km). Promising.

UPDATE 2016z: 6 spots of my QRP 8m FT8 today. With spots from 12 different countries, I am pretty pleased so far this Es season, although disappointed not to be copied further than the Canary Isles. I wonder if I might manage the USA on F2 later in the year?

Colourful garden - NOT amateur radio

This garden is opposite Ely Cathedral and usually is a riot of colour. 

Sunspots - Sunday June 26th 2022

Solar flux is 108 and the SSN 31.  A=16 and K=5.

25 Jun 2022

ICOM IC-7300 transceiver

It is now several years since this SDR product was first launched.  It is very popular. It covers all of HF as well as 6m, and 4m in Europe. It has an auto ATU that will match 10:1 mismatches at the 50W setting. I have never owned one, but people speak highly of it.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/commercial-rigs/icom-ic-7300 .

RF engineer shortage - NOT amateur radio

What the situation is like in other countries I do not know, but in the UK it is acute. There are far fewer RF designers than there once were. When I started in RF design, most were radio amateurs with a total fascination for RF. 

In my professional life, I saw many CVs from aspiring RF engineers. Most were hopeless! Graduates that knew really very very little. At 73 years I have been offered 2 jobs this year already! They must be very desperate!

Personally, I feel that many have lost the "magic" of RF. This is where amateur radio "self training" could help. We need more good, intrinsically motivated RF designers in the UK. We must do everything in our power to encourage RF design in the future.

Trim time - NOT amateur radio

When we moved here in 2013 this border was pretty bare. Now it is in need of a trim! 

Ely Tudor Chimneys - NOT amateur radio

These were seen in nearby Ely earlier in the week. 

8m experiment (Saturday)

Although I have been on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 TX for about 40 minutes, no spots given or received so far. It is now 0918z.

UPDATE 1853z:  No spots at all today on 40.680 FT8. You get the impression that 8m, with far fewer monitors than 10m and 6m, is on the wane. Yes, there will be good days, but now we are beginning to see more days with no Es propagation. It seems amazing that next week is July!

10m QRP WSPR TX (Saturday)

Yet again, I am on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW. It is now 0920z and I have received reports from 4 unique stations already. I think these are by Es.

UPDATE 1930z:   13 spots of my 500mW today so far. Average, but not great.

OFCOM and 8m

 OFCOM is consulting ahead of WRC23. See the OFCOM website for details.

As you probably know, I am APPALLED by the very negative attitude by OFCOM and the RSGB to self training (what the amateur licence is meant to be about!!). Their position is utterly stupid by making us pay £50 annually to experiment at 8m.

My proposal is:
  • 5 kHz wide only 40.680-40.685 MHz amateur band at 8m
  • narrow digital only (e.g. WSPR, FT8, CW, but no speech)
  • by NoV
  • strictly for real experiments , not "more of the same"
If you feel inclined, write to OFCOM and copy the RSGB. The current situation WRT 8m is so so stupid!!

I am conscious that RF engineers are in very short supply so why are we not encouraging self training?

Sunspots - Saturday June 25th 2022

Solar flux is 115 and the SSN 60.  A=8 and K=3.

24 Jun 2022

Rose Pride - NOT amateur radio

One of the houses in our village has a splendid garden filled with roses in which they take great pride. 

Es selectivity

So far today, I have had just spots from Austria on 10m WSPR and nothing at all on 8m FT8. 

Es can be very selective. Sometimes a station a few kilometres away spots a lot, whereas at your QTH there is nothing. Also, the openings can be widespread or in just one direction.

Although I may be factually wrong, my impression is openings to more northerly directions are more common later in the Es season. Southern stations are there, but the feeeling I get is that more northern stations are more frequent.

My free PDF book

Although I hope to have every page complete before I go to see my brother next week, I shall still need to check things and order the pages, so it will not be available until some time in July. I am making no deadlines as I always seem to miss them! 

One thing is sure: there will be a link on my blog and website and I shall send the link to the main radio mags. Whether they decide to print it is another matter!

It should contain all my projects and a bit more that may be of interest. As it is a brain-dump as much for me as others, I cannot charge anything for it. What would really please me is if others experimented for the first time and some of my unfinished projects were finished.

Over the years, I have had lots of fun and I hope you do too.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Friday)

I have been on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW for about an hour. Multiple spots by OE3XOE (1233km), but nobody else as yet.

UPDATE 1606z:   19 spots of my 500mW QRP today.

8m experiment (Friday)

 Once again I am on 8m FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial. No spots yet. 

Barnacle geese and young - NOT amateur radio

These look similar to Canada geese, but are smaller. In the UK we do not see young ones. This was Helsinki in 2018. 

Sunspots - June 24th 2022

 Solar flux is 121 and the SSN 69. A=10 and K=3.

23 Jun 2022

Salcombe in the mist - NOT amateur radio


Salcombe, Devon is where I grew up as a child. The photo shows the harbour in the mist.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Thursday)

Already at 0836z, today is far more promising than yesterday. 3 stations already spotting my 500mW QRP WSPR beacon. 

UPDATE 1118z: Spotted by 6 unique stations today widely across Europe. Far better than yesterday.

UPDATE 2015z:
30 spots of me today on 10m WSPR QRP. So much better than yesterday.

Sunspots - Thursday June 23rd 2022

 Solar flux is 129 and the SSN 80. A=11 and K=3.

8m experiment (Thursday)

My QRP TX has been on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 TX since just after 0800z. Already spotted by HC02 in southern Portugal. 

UPDATE 1121z: 3 spots of my QRP FT8 so far today. Currently QRT as rig cools. Hope to be back on FT8 TX at 1130z.

22 Jun 2022

Poor Es day?

Certainly here, today was a very poor Es day, with no spots of me at all on 10m WSPR or 8m FT8. 

As the season progresses, I guess we will get more poor Es days.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better, although with sporadic-E (Es) things are "sporadic". 

I have seen 6m Es QRP SSB as late as September. The main season is May, June and July.


Although I have had my 500mW beacon on most of the afternoon, nobody has yet spotted me. It almost feels as those long days of Es are coming to a close. Es will still be around, but we have to expect days when it will be absent.

In my experience, I have worked 6m SSB QRP DX as late as September.

Oscar 100 activity

Every few weeks, I give an update on activity on the narrowband transponder of this geosynchronous satellite. The last time I checked was early evening in Europe on Wednesday. Activity is still low. 

As an example, 3B8GL was calling CQ on SSB with a decent signal for ages with no takers!

See https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/ .


 This is the biggest amateur gathering in Europe and runs from June 24-26th.

See www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de

8m experiment (Wednesday)

Later, I hope to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 (first). It is now 1243z. 

UPDATE 1439z: Now on 8m FT8 TX. Intensely frustrated that in the UK we have to pay for access to 8m, when OFCOM could have allocated 40.680-40.685 MHs (just 5 kHz), by NoV, to the amateur service, narrow digital only, no speech, to encourage self training and research. Frankly I find the OFCOM and RSGB position totally and unbelievably bizarre! No, totally STUPID!!!

Ely Cathedral - NOT amateur radio


A view across the meadow. 

Tallinn - NOT amateur radio

This photo shows the capital of Estonia 4 years ago. 

Accessing DMR via your PC for free ?

There are great opportunities with DMR. However, like many, I have no wish to get a DMR portable or external to the PC unit to act as a bridge. 

What I am wondering is is it possible to access DMR via the PC alone using some kind of gateway? If you know of a way, please let me know. 

Sunspots - Wednesday June 22nd 2022

Solar flux is 139 and the SSN 104. A=8 and K=2.

21 Jun 2022

OFCOM consultation

OFCOM is consulting on extentions  to the Ku band spectrum available to satellites. See the OFCOM website for details.


My QRP (500mW) beacon was turned on at 0808z. No spots yet of me. Yesterday, I only had spots from the Canary Isles on 10m. These could have been F2.

UPDATE 0824z:  One spot from Denmark.

UPDATE 1326z:  11 stations have spotted my QRP WSPR today. These look like Es.

UPDATE 1905z: 38 unique stations spotting my 10m WSPR today. Not bad.

8m experiment (Tuesday)

 My QRP TX was turned on at 0807z on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8.

UPDATE 0815z: No spots.

UPDATE 1257z:  3 stations have spotted me so far on 8m FT8.

UPDATE 1920z:  6 unique stations have spotted my 8m FT8 TX today. I have now been spotted in 11 countries. Not bad for a few watts and low wire dipole. I just wish the UK had a very small 8m amateur allocation by NoV, digital only. Stupid, short-sighted, OFCOM and stupid, short sighted  RSGB. We need self training and research....and real RF engineers!! 

UPDATE 1932z:  This will probably not happen with my low ERP, but I still hope for an FT8 spot by a station in the USA. I live in hope!!

East Anglian skies - NOT amateur radio

East Anglia is famous for not having hills. Well, there are some! 

However, we have some great skies as the photo shows. 

Super DX at VHF, UHF and microwaves?

On my website there is a page about super DX on VHF and UHF. Most, or every, summer there are 6m openings from Western Europe to the Far East. These are thought to be linked to noctilucent clouds in the mesosphere. It is possible these openings may occur at far higher frequencies. I am surprised nobody seems to be trying as there could be new records galore. 

I am not sure how FT8 works with noctilucent clouds, although I have certainly copied Japanese stations on 6m FT8 by this mechanism with a very poor setup. 

Sunspots - Tuesday June 21st 2022

Solar flux is 137 and the SSN 112. A=10 and K=2.

20 Jun 2022

Back lawn in June - NOT amateur radio

The rear lawn is still green, but starting to turn brown. It usually recovers in the autumn with dew and rain. 

8m experiment (Monday)

Just EI9KP (649km) spotting me today. Certainly here, I am seeing no evidence of Es propagation from mainland Europe. The same is true of 10m. As I am spotted by EI9KP on 8m FT8 frequently, I am wondering if this really is Es?

Loose ends - NOT amateur radio

At the moment, I seem to be busy with loose ends. 

Last week, we had my wife's 19th sibling reunion. Rather than take it in turns at our homes we went back to stay in an hotel in Barnsley, where they all grew up. It was a very successful get-together, but my wife said it was her last time in Barnsley. She also says she will never go to Devon again. I am compiling my legacy book of projects.

It looks like we are preparing for the worst!   Any one of us could be dead tomorrow. On the other hand, we could live for many years. We just don't know.

The moral seems to be to live, and enjoy, every day as your last.


 At about 1330z, I turned on my 500mW WSPR beacon. So far, no spots of me.

Thatcher's tag - NOT amateur radio

Thatchers often have trademarks which they leave on thatched roofs to show they did the work. 

Often these are pheasants, but this unusual one of a cat made of thatch was seen recently. 

The case for a small UK 8m amateur band

It is true to say that I am fuming by the attitude of OFCOM and the RSGB to a tiny 8m allocation. Let me explain. 

OFCOM seems dead against an amateur allocation and the RSGB appears to just accept this. Our hobby is meant to be about self-training. In my personal experience of RF development, without any doubt the best RF engineers were those who were intrinsically motivated  and "turned on" by RF. I have read countless CVs of electronics graduates who, frankly, were totally useless. I knew more at 16 than they did!! I learnt more from my RAE course than they did with a degree!

If we are really interested in future RF designers, we should be doing all we can to promote "self training".

These are my proposals:

  • 40.680 - 40.685 MHz (5 kHz only). This is in the ISM band and widely used internationally
  • Narrow digital only (e.g. WSPR, FT8, CW and no speech)
  • By NoV only
  • Strictly non-interference
  • Power limited if need be.
Personally, I would happily lose 5 kHz from any band in trade. Such a narrow allocation with no speech is very unlikely to attract "more of the same" and foster the true purpose of our hobby.

OFCOM and RSGB, wake up!!

Sunspots - Monday June 20th 2022

 Solar flux is 144 and the SSN 120. A=12 and K=2.

19 Jun 2022


My 10m 500mW WSPR beacon was turned on at 0810z. Yesterday I got 7 unique station spots all in Europe by what I assume is Es. No spots yet today.

UPDATE 1656z:  32 unique stations have spotted me. This looks like a mixture of Es and F2.

8m experiment (Sunday)

My 8m QRP gear was turned on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 (first) TX at 0810z.

UPDATE 1153z:  Spotted by 2 stations with 1 FT8 "QSO" with a station in Slovenia. As this is a simple exchange of reports and QTH, I am treating this as completely within the terms and spirit of my 8m licence. I want to know how my QRP signal in received in Slovenia. This is a perfect way.

UPDATE 1839z: Spotted 6 stations in 6  EU countries.

UPDATE 2138z:
7 stations have now spotted my QRP on 8m FT8.

Alstroemeria - NOT amateur radio


These are coming out in our garden. 

Sunspots - Sunday June 19th 2022

 Solar flux is 144 and the SSN 145. A=13 and K=2.

18 Jun 2022

That book

 This week I was in Yorkshire for my wife's sibling reunion, so progress on the book was limited. My new deadline is June 27th when I hope to go to Devon to see my brother for the first time since 2019. My wife is still at home. 

So, the deadline is now June 27th before I leave. This time I am going by coach as the train may be unreliable. The book is coming on, but there was more work than I expected. In a way it is my legacy. I hope you have as much fun as I had. 

Sheffield Station - NOT amateur radio

This week we went by train to Barnsley for our annual sibling reunion changing at Sheffield. We have met on 19 occasions. 

Rybakov HF verticals

These are end-fed antennas for HF usually. Commercial versions are available. 

Some years ago I bought one from SRC in Wales. Although I believe this is no longer available, they all have one thing in common: the end of the antenna is a high impedance, so a transformer is needed to get the SWR into the range of auto ATUs found on modern rigs. Usually this is an UNUN built into the antenna.

In getting things together for my free PDF book, I realised this was absent from my website! This is now corrected. As mine had been unused in the back of the garage, I swapped mine for an active RX antenna that works well. The swap was with Jason M0NYW. 

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/antennas/x80_1 .

8m experiment (Saturday)

As usual, I am on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8.  Already spotted very strongly by EA3ERE (1153km) in northern Spain.

My usual pattern is to be on for about one hour. let the rig thoroughly cool and then come on again afterwards. It would seem Es allows modest QRP stations, like mine, to enjoy the fun.

It is now about 0931z.

UPDATE 1230:  Still just EA3ERE spotting me and nobody spotted here. Now QRT as the rig cools.

Sporadic-E (Es)

We are currently at the peak of the Es season in the northern hemisphere. Yesterday 14 stations spotted me on 10m WSPR TX. All these look like they were by Es. My reports on 8m FT8 also look like Es. By the end of the summer the Es season will be over.

The Es season usually lasts from April to August. The peak months are May, June and July. However Es can occur at any time. There is usually a much smaller peak just after Christmas. 

Sunspots - Saturday June 18th 2022

 Solar flux is 149 and the SSN 152. A=13 and K=3. 

17 Jun 2022

Normality - NOT amateur radio

Every June a local village holds a Gilbert and Sullivan performance in a barn. With Covid-19, this was not possible, so this was the first production since 2019. It was great to return to normal. They did "The Mikado".

Young birds - NOT amateur radio

This is the season for nests and young birds. Yet again, we have some house sparrows nesting in our roof (they were there last year too) and we have dunnocks, robins, blackbirds, pigeons, collared doves and goldfinches nesting in our hedges or very nearby. There are probably others as well. This young thrush (I think) was being fed on our back lawn.

8m experiment (Friday)

 Later this morning, I expect to be on 8m QRP FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial (first).

UPDATE 1016z : No spots given or received. 

10m WSPR QRP TX (Friday)

Yesterday I was spotted by 22 stations on 10m WSPR despite only going on after 1600z.

Today I expect to be on again with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon.

UPDATE 1013z :  4 unique stations spotting me today so far.


The following rallies are due to take place this weekend. As always, please check with the organisers before travelling any distance.

Saturday June 18th - Bangor and District ARS. Contact Andrew 07980846272. 

Sunday June 19th - East Suffolk Wireless Revival. Kevin 0771 0046846. 

Sunspots - Friday June 17th 2022

Solar flux is 147 and the SSN 159. A=12 and K=3. 

16 Jun 2022

FY5KE 10m WSPR reports

 Some time ago I queried if my WSPR reports by FY5KE in South America were just by a European pirate. Yesterday I had an email and these reports look like they were genuine. I get these reports quite often. 

8m experiment (Thursday)

 All being well, I should be home again later this afternoon. I intend to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 then.

UPDATE 2111z:  Spots of my QRP 8m TX by 2 stations and I have spotted 2 stations here. 1 station in Slovenia "worked". Oops sorry exchanged FT8 reports and locations, sorry OFCOM!! Silly me thinking UK stations engaged in self training and research could be worked. My hand slapped!! 😉😉

Catch them young

This was 2010 when I had "help" in the back of the garage from my grandson. Sadly I didn't manage to get him interested in electronics: his main passion is ringing church bells. See his YouTube videos under Ringer Luke. 

Sunspots - Thursday June 16th 2022

 Solar flux is 140 and the SSN 149. A=20 and K=2.

15 Jun 2022

Barnsley - NOT amateur radio

We're having our 19th sibling reunion in which my wife gets together with her 2 brothers. In the past, we have taken it in turns to meet in each others homes. This year we are staying in an hotel in Barnsley which used to be their home. 

Finningley optical transceiver

This was built in June 2013, but because of my stroke it was not used. With 100mm lenses, it has a range of at least 65km. This was my only SMA project.

Memory costs - NOT amateur radio

It is amazing how far memory has come. Not many years ago we were amazed by CF cards with 1GB of memory. These days you can get 512GB on a micro SD card. I think you can even get 1TB micro SD. In 10 years time I wonder what will be the norm?

Sunspots - Wednesday June 15th 2022

Solar flux is 146 and the SSN 121.  A=8 and K=4.

14 Jun 2022

Window display - NOT amateur radio

This was seen in a shop window in Barnsley, Yorkshire earlier. I suspect this is a display from LAST year's Halloween display!! 

Elderflower - NOT amateur radio


This is abundant at the moment. People use it to make homemade wine. 

Guess who forgot?

Last Sunday was the annual PW QRP contest that I totally forgot!! The 2m and 70cm UKAC contests I set alarms for, but this one was overlooked. Doh!! 

8m experiment (Tuesday)

Yesterday my QRP TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 was spotted by 4 stations. I am unlikely to be active for the next few days. 

10m WSPR (Tuesday)

 Yesterday was fairly quiet here on 10m WSPR TX with just 14 stations spotting my 500mW QRP.  Most of these were via Es. 

Sunspots - Tuesday June 14th 2022

Solar flux is 146 and the SSN 96. A=8 and K=2.

13 Jun 2022

Propagation mode?

Both yesterday and the day before, I had over 70 reports of my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon. Today I have had just a few reports and these could be by F2. Es can be very localised with strong signals somewhere and nothing a few kilometres away.

On 8m I am frequently spotted by EI9KP (649km). This happens so often that I suspect some other form of propagation other than F2 or Es is involved such as random meteors or aircraft scatter. 

The period of FT8 makes me think random meteors or aircraft unlikely. It is far too far to EI9KP for tropo. 

Am I missing something? 


OFCOM has updated the data it holds and has proposed a new licencing regime for commercial drones. See the OFCOM website for details.

Beans - NOT amateur radio

A vegetable expert I most definitely am not

However, I surprised myself last year with good crops of tomatoes, crab apples and runner beans. The secret seems to be to ensure the soil has plenty of goodness in it. This year, I have put beans in the same spot as last year (having added lots of goodness to the soil first) as well a 4 bean plants in a pot. I shall grow some lettuce and tomatoes shortly.

If I get as many as last year, I shall be pleased.

8m FT8 TX (Monday)

Yesterday I got my first report from a station in Scotland bringing my country count to 10. 

This proves that even a very simple station can give useful results, although those with much higher ERP are achieving some remarkable results.

Later today I expect to be on 8m TX again. 

UPDATE 0816z: On 40.680 MHz USB dial (first) FT8 now.

Shetland - NOT amateur radio

This photo was on 365project recently. It shows a sunny day in the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Normally, it is windy and cold this far north!  At one time, these northern islands belonged to Norway.

10m WSPR QRP TX (Monday)

 Yesterday 76 stations spotted my 500mW QRP 10m WSPR. I think these were Es. Later today, I expect to be on again.

UPDATE 0822z:  On 10m QRP WSPR TX now. Already 2 spots of my QRP from EA8BFK (2880km) in the Canary Is. This could be F2 propagation.

UPDATE 0828z: I am wondering if the very first spots from EA8BFK were with the PA off, so at sub 1mW level? When the PA is first turned on there is usually about 20 minutes of drift. I have just turned the PA off to see if I get spots!

UPDATE 1116z:  Having got no spots from the Canary Is since the PA was turned off, I think it unlikely EA8BFK was spotting me on extremely low power. Since turning the PA on again, I am again getting lots of spots.

Sunspots - Monday June 13th 2022

Solar flux is 121 and the SSN 63. A=9 and K=3.

12 Jun 2022

10m WSPR QRP TX (Sunday)

Yesterday was one of my best days ever on 10m WSPR TX with over 70 stations spotting my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon.

At the moment, I am on 10m WSPR TX using 500mW to the tiny W5OLF beacon.  No spots yet today.

UPDATE 1943z:  74 stations spotting my 500mW WSPR today with the furthermost FR1GZ (9724km).  Most were by Es. This is even more than yesterday.

Where our grandson rang this morning - NOT amateur radio

This is Cherry Hinton church where our grandson rang the bells this morning. 

8m experiment (Sunday)

 It is now 1032z I have been on 8m FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial for about 30 minutes. 

UPDATE 1712z: 4 stations have spotted my QRP today with the furthermost EA8BFK (2881km) in the Canary Is. Also, G4APB (88km) spotted on RX, I think for the first time on 8m FT8; at -22dB S/N he was marginal here. I have lost count of all the stations now spotted on 8m FT8, but they are in 5 countries. We could do with a few more countries active on TX.

Sunspots - Sunday June 12th 2022

 Solar flux is 112 and the SSN 41. A=8 and K=2.

11 Jun 2022

2m halfwave antennas

Most people opt for 5/8th wave antennas when they want better ranges on their 2m handhelds. Some years ago now I made a half-wave antenna for 2m. It was widely used on my many 2m rigs. It was first used in the 1970s, so must be about 50 years old! 

The idea was simple: the end is a high impedance so I just added a tuned circuit tapped at the 50  ohm point to match to the rig. It got me across the English Channel with a 10mW AM handheld (160km), so it must work! The antenna was actually on the Fredbox.

Clearly this would work on 70cm if scaled.

One photo shows the matching arrangement and the other the full whip.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Saturday)

At the moment (1040z) I am on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. 14 stations have spotted me by Es already! Another good Es day.

Out of the kitchen window - NOT amateur radio

We get a good view at breakfast. This is what we see.  

The view from the lounge is similar.

8m experiment (Saturday)

Later today I expect to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 again. 

Yesterday, 5 stations spotted me as the map shows. 

UPDATE 1036z:  8m FT8 TX turned on about 1030z. 2 stations in southern Europe have already spotted me by Es.

UPDATE 1316z:  7 stations have spotted my 8m FT8 today.

UPDATE 2010z: Best day yet with 12 stations spotting me today. 

Sunspots - Saturday June 11th 2022

Solar flux is 111 and the SSN 33. A=5 and K=2.

10 Jun 2022

8m experiment (Friday)

On and off this afternoon, I have been on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 QRP TX. It is now 1605z, and I have been spotted by 2 stations  and I have had 1 "QSO" with a station  in Croatia although I cannot tell you this! Actually it was an FT8 exchange of location and signal reports. 

Maybe to keep OFCOM happy I should have told him about runner beans and sweet peas - oh silly me, I don't have a commercial rig and antenna for 80m. 

Isn't OFCOM's position and that of the RSGB on 8m absolutely crazy?!!

UPDATE 1807z:   5 stations have spotted me on 8m FT8 TX today. 2 stations have been spotted here.

IC202 - remember these?

Back in the late 1970s (I think) these became very common on 2m SSB. They were the successor to the Liner-2 and far cleaner. I had one for several years and it served me well. Even today, they are still in use driving microwave transverters.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/vhfuhf-commercial-rigs/icom-ic-202

I hope the links on the link still work as they were created some time ago.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Friday)

Later today, I expect to be on 10m WSPR TX with my 500mW W5OLF beacon. 

Yesterday was very good with lots of Es propagation.