31 Jul 2022

10m QRP WSPR TX (Sunday)

A promising start with several spots of my QRP 500mW beacon from Iberia within the first 25 minutes. Judging by the initial drift, they were spotting me right from the start as the crystal was settling. I usually get drift (4 Hz) when the PA is first turned on.

UPDATE 1042z:  4 stations have spotted me this morning on 10m QRP WSPR.

UPDATE 1345z:   25 unique stations have spotted my 10m QRP WSPR today.

UPDATE 1925z: 
36 spots of me today on 10m QRP 10m WSPR (see table).

UPDATE 2040z:   46 spots of me today.

8m experiment (Sunday)

Today was a promising start with a spot of my 8m QRP FT8 by SR4DON (1352km) in Poland. Obviously some Es today.  It is only 0930z.

UPDATE 1033z:  2 stations have spotted my 8m QRP FT8 this morning.

UPDATED 1348z:  3 stations have spotted my 8m QRP FT8 today. The latest was S50B (1220km) in Slovenia.

Evening in Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

Last evening, our grandson was ringing the bells in Great St Mary's in Cambridge. This is the university church (see the left of the collage). We shopped and ate out with his sister, our granddaughter. 

Our grandson has now rung in 31 towers.

10m FT8 yesterday

Yesterday I was on 10m FT8. Today I expect to be on 8m QRP FT8 TX and 10m QRP WSPR. 

Cambridge balloon sellers - NOT amateur radio

These two balloon sellers were in Cambridge last evening. 

Sunspots - Sunday July 31st 2022

 Solar flux is 91 and the SSN 27. A=7 and K=2.

30 Jul 2022

South Devon

The photo shows where I come from in South Devon. 

Our family farmed some land here in the 1400s and my ancestors lived in the village in the distance in the mid-1500s (definitely), and quite possibly centuries before. 

10m QRP FT8

It is now 0850z. I have been on 10m FT8 QRP for about 10 minutes. So far, 1 spot of me from Scotland , 1 from England and 1 from Austria and no spots on RX. It feels like the Es season is drawing to a close. Yes, there will still be good days, but more days without Es. Of course Es can occur at any time of the year. This is where FT8 can be very useful, with even short openings noticed. This would be much harder on CW or SSB.

Endings - NOT amateur radio


Last evening we watched the very last episode ever of the Australian soap "Neighbours". My wife has been watching it almost from the day it started. It is almost like losing an old friend. I am not very good at endings. It is only a soap, I know.

Sunspots - Saturday July 30th 2022

 Solar flux is 93 and the SSN 40. A=4 and K=2.

29 Jul 2022

UK oil prices - NOT amateur radio

Recently, UK oil wholesale prices seem to be around $105 a barrel. At the pumps prices have fallen a little bit, but not very much. I think the days of low cost petrol and diesel are over. Gas prices seem to be still going up in recent days.

Costume exhibition - NOT amateur radio

I stayed outside, but my wife went in to the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral to see the costumes on display. This is not my scene!

They have a display of all sorts of costumes from films and TV. If this excites you, I am sure this would be of interest. Free with cathedral entry. As locals, we get free cathedral entry.

Grandson - NOT amateur radio

This was my grandson sharing something with me yesterday. 


 As the 10m antenna is available, I am on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW. No spots after about 10 minutes. It would appear that even though many have moved over to FT8, WSPR is still quite well used.

UPDATE 1642z:  No spots. Poor day.

8m experiment (Friday)

In a few moments, I shall be going on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8. Judging by 10m FT8, I am not too hopeful.

UPDATE 1331z:  Switched on 8m FT8 QRP at 1329z.  No spots. Currently off so everything can coll.

UPDATE 1643z: On again since 1408z. No spots.  Poor Es day here.

10m FT8

At 0813z, my QRP 10m FT8 was turned on. The impression is that Es is patchy. It is now 0820z and, so far,  2 spots on TX and none on RX.

UPDATE 1315z:  59 stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today.

East Anglian skies - NOT amateur radio

We get some great skies in East Anglia, but it is flatter than many parts of the UK. We still have hills, but they tend not to be as high as in some parts. This photo was meant to be of a windmill and 2 churches in Swaffham Prior across a cornfield, but they were hardly noticeable dots, so I concentrated on the sky instead!

Sunspots - Friday July 29th 2022

 Solar flux is 93 and the SSN 50. A=7 and K=1.

28 Jul 2022

Rally Sunday

 The following rally is due to take place on Sunday. Check with organisers before going any distance.

Sunday July 31st - Wiltshire radio and Car Boot Sale, Kington Langley, SN15 5NJ. Contact rally@chippenhamradio.club .

10m FT8 QRP (Thursday)

Now, I am on 10m FT8. In addition to the hundreds of stations spotted on RX, my QRP TX has been spotted by 26 stations. Most of these look like Es propagation. Some QSOs have taken place.

UPDATE 1600z:  Most stations on RX are European with nothing (yet) from South America. All my QSOs have been European.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Thursday)

A brief session with my 500mW WSPR beacon resulted in Es spots of me from across Europe. It is now 1352z and I have QSYed to 10m FT8. 

8m experiment (Thursday)

 Before lunch, I was on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8. No spots given or received.

10m FT8

My plan for today is to go on 10m FT8 QRP shortly and 10m WSPR TX later and 8m QRP FT8 TX later. 

Ely Cathedral - NOT amateur radio

Like Chartres in France, Ely can be seen from miles away. The octagon tower was erected centuries ago to replace the one that collapsed. 

Tiredness and exhaustion - NOT amateur radio

What is the difference? When you are tired a good sleep usually makes things better. With exhaustion you still feel totally drained even after a good sleep. 

VHF Communications Magazine

Back in the 1970s, I think I subscribed to this A5 sized quarterly magazine. It was the English language version of the German magazine UKT Berichte.

It was very good, containing lots of circuit ideas for those keen on VHF, UHF and microwaves. It inspired several of my designs at the time including a 2m-70cm transverter using a varicap diode as a tripler and mixer. It was very simple, but got me active on 70cm. In those days people were mainly crystal controlled and "tuning low to high" for replies. In those days G8s in the UK (no morse test licencees) were not allowed on 2m, so activity was quite good on 70cm.

Although I think it is now longer published, back issues may be obtained.

See http://www.vhfcomm.co.

Sunspots - Thursday July 28th 2022

 Solar flux is 98 and the SSN 53.  A=9 and K=2.

27 Jul 2022

Cambridge Net

Every Wednesday at 8pm local time (1900z) there is a net on 145.55 MHz FM. Although mainly for members of the Cambridge Radio Club (CDARC), it is open to all in the area. Although pencilled in for an hour, people often leave by 8.30pm (1930z). 

Most participants are in the south and east Cambridgeshire areas. Everyone is welcomed. There is a club SDR to help reception.

International Lighthouses and Lightships Weekend (ILLW)

This usually takes place in late August with the aim to activate these entities, often in rare squares.

See https://illw.net .

10m QRP FT8

Just after lunch, I QSYed to 10m FT8 as 10m WSPR was bad.

UPDATE 1229z: 10 European stations have spotted my QRP 10m FT8.

10m WSPR QRP TX (500mW)

This morning, just a single spot by EA1FAQ (1249km) on 10m WSPR with the W5OLF beacon. Not very good today.

UPDATE 2000z:  32 stations have spotted me this evening.

Jaws? - NOT amateur radio

When I saw this on the mill leat at Anglesey Abbey earlier I immediately thought of the film "Jaws" as I was reminded of a shark.

Actually it was an old piece of wood! 

Chuckle time - NOT amateur radio

This appeared on Facebook earlier. I have no idea where it originated. It made me laugh. 

We went some years ago from San Francisco to New Zealand and went economy plus for extra room. Until about a minute before we left, the seat next to us was empty. Then a huge NZ rugby player sat in it!! 

8m experiment (Wednesday)

We are going out shortly, but my plan is to go on 8m QRP FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial later and 10m QRP WSPR TX. 

UPDATE 1101z: Just a single spot of my 8m QRP by HC02 (1808km) in Portugal. I was surprised even to get this as 10m was so poor. So far, I have been spotted in 14 countries on 8m FT8 QRP TX. Nobody spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1244z:  Now QSYed to 10m FT8.

UPDATE 2006z:  4 stations have spotted me today. Good Es on 8m FT8.

Orchid - NOT amateur radio

This photo was on 365project about a month ago. It shows an orchid. I think it was taken in Shetland. 

Sunspots - Wednesday July 27th 2022

Solar flux is 99 and the SSN 78. A=8 and K=3. 

26 Jul 2022

QDX for the higher HF bands?

The QDX is a tiny,digital, 5W, transceiver for the HF bands. For some time, Hans Summers has been catching up on the kit backlog, no doubt made worse by the semiconductor shortage. As he has almost caught up, he hopes to turn his attention to doing a higher band version. I have no availability dates. As a keen WSJT-X user, this could be very useful. Hans makes good stuff. He will be around when many have given up.

See https://www.qrp-labs.com/ .

Spot the snake? - NOT amateur radio

I didn't at first. One of our sons is with his inlaws in Australia. Here they are holding a python, as you do. I assume it is harmless!! 

Rally news

The Radio Operators of Cornwall (ROC) are having a rally and camping weekend July 28th - Aug 1st. Check first before travelling at info@roc.org.uk. It is being held overlooking Mount's Bay. 

Batson - NOT amateur radio

This small hamlet is near Salcombe in Devon. 

It seems amazing that it was a month ago that I visited my brother and walked here.

8m experiment (Tuesday)

At the moment I am on 10m QRP FT8 transceive, but will probably QSY to 8m later this morning if the Es sticks around.

UPDATE 1247z: Now on 8m FT8 TX. 

UPDATE 1458z:  EI9KP (649km) has spotted my 8m QRP FT8 TX.

10m FT8 QRP transceive

This morning at 0752z I went straight to 10m FT8 transceive. So far,  7 stations spotted on RX and 3 stations have already spotted my QRP FT8 TX. There is definitely Es around today. It feels quite different from early yesterday.

472 kHz transverter

It seems amazing that I made this transverter 10 years ago! This was me testing it just before boxing. 

Sunspots - Tuesday July 26th 2022

 Solar flux is 102 and the SSN 100. A=6 and K=4.

25 Jul 2022

Ted Williams G4NUA

In years gone by, I used to speak with Ted on 2m every Monday. Last week, I sent him an email, but he has not replied. Has anyone any news please?

Myanmar executions - NOT amateur radio

This saddens me.  The BBC reports that some opposition people in Myanmar (was Burma) have been executed. Now, I do not know the facts admittedly,  but this seems brutal in the 21st century.

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-62287815 .

10m FT8 QRP

 As results on 10m WSPR and 8m FT8 were so dire, I have changed to 10m FT8 to see if that is any better. Looking at the WSJT-X screen, I can see no stations, which does not bode well!

UPDATE 1355z:  Just a spot of me by G0FWX (160km) so far. Nobody spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1730z:    All the RX spots seem to be local or F2, with a general absence of Es. On TX, I think most (all?) my spots are within the UK.

Thatched cottages - NOT amateur radio

Especially in nearby Norfolk and Suffolk, there are some very attractive villages. This is an example. This is about 15 minutes drive away. 

Bad Es day?

Unless things suddenly change for the better, today looks like being a very bad day for Es on both 10m and 8m. 

On 10m I have received just 2 spots of me (from the same station!) and on 8m FT8 I have been spotted by no-one and spotted no-one. 

Es can be like this: here one minute and gone the next. It is quite possible it will be very good tomorrow, or remain poor for days. Also a very small movement can make a lot of difference. Move just 20km and it could be completely different. Hence the name "sporadic-E".

Things might change, although I am not holding my breath!


This is just to encourage you to experiment

Ideally, you can build something, but experimentation does not have to mean building. As I have found out (the hard way!) there is still a lot we can do in our great hobby just by observing. 

Propagation is a great way to observe, whether it is on any band. Another is to try a new mode, maybe ATV or FT8. Perhaps try QRP or satellites.

What is so great about our hobby is that it can be enjoyed in so many ways. Some enjoy chasing DX whereas others just enjoy a good ragchew. I can only speak for myself by saying that my greatest fun was when I found out something new and challenging.

One thing I have learnt time and time again is there are no experts! Those who claim to be experts are often proved wrong, peddling myths they heard 40 years ago. Observe!!  Over the years I have found out several things myself. One of the joys is finding out yourself and not accepting conventional wisdom.

Two things stand out for me. One is I am convinced there is some sort of chordal hop E layer propagation. I have not (yet) seen this accepted. The other is how effective earth-electrode "antennas" in the ground can be. Over the last few years, these are being increasingly used by amateurs at MF, LF, VLF and ULF.

What myth are you going to disprove?


 Assuming that I go on 8m FT8 TX later, my 10m antenna will be free, so I shall go on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. 

UPDATE 1000z:   Beacon turned on at 0833z. No spots yet. Looks like no Es here, well yet, or it is to where nobody is monitoring!

UPDATE 1221z:  Still just 2 spots of me by EA1FAQ (1249km). Not a good day so far.

8m experiment (Monday)

 With just one station spotting me yesterday and nobody on RX, it is getting harder now the main Es season is coming to an end. Later I hope to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 again. 

UPDATE 1220z:  Turned on QRP TX at 0833z. Nobody spotting me. 

Kingfisher - NOT amateur radio

It is now rare to see a kingfisher in the UK. When seen, they are usually a flash of iridescent colour skimming low across the water. Occasionally they perch on a low branch thinking about their next catch. They are totally unmistakable. This photo was posted on Facebook earlier. Brilliant. 

Sunspots - Monday July 25th 2022

Solar flux is 107 and the SSN 80. A=9 and K=1.

24 Jul 2022

Married 51 years today

We got married in a church (now a roundabout!) in 1971 in Yorkshire. 

This photo was taken today by Richard G3TFX at our local museum. Many thanks Richard. 

30 years old - NOT amateur radio

Our local museum is 30 years old and they celebrated the occasion today.

Consciousness - NOT amateur radio

As human beings we all experience consciousness. To us, this means experiences and memories. We have no comprehension of how other sentient creatures think. What does a pigeon or an ant think? Do they think? What is consciousness?

Linear time? - NOT amateur radio

We experience time as linear, running from the past into the future. 

We assume our brains store our memories. All this could be an illusion, with our experience just of now being fresh every time. We could have no knowledge of anything other than our experience right now. 

So, it is possible that we could unknowingly wake up as a Polynesian in 2000BC!! To us, this could be normal and totally real. We could also be a resident of the planet Zog in a distant galaxy millions of years in the future.

All I am saying is we could experience things very differently and must keep an open mind.

Extra Link

My free PDF book entitled "G3XBM Project Scrapbook" has been added in the Links sidebar of the blog. Feel free to download and enjoy.


10m WSPR QRP TX (Sunday)

As the 10m antenna is available I hope to be on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW after breakfast.

UPDATE 0900z:  QRP WSPR TX turned on. One spot of me from Switzerland.

UPDATE 1224z: 4 unique stations have spotted me today. 

8m experiment (Sunday)

After breakfast I hope to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 QRP.  We are still in the Es season, so I hope someone spots me. 

UPDATE 0900z: FT8 turned on.

UPDATE 1037z:  EA3ERE (1153km) has spotted me again.

UPDATE 1217z: QRT whilst rig cools and we are out. Hope to be on 8m FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial this evening.

UPDATE 1442z: On 8m FT8 TX again. 

UK otters - NOT amateur radio


This photo was on Facebook earlier. 

Sunspots - Sunday July 24th 2022

Solar flux is 107 and the SSN 96. A=9 and K=3.

23 Jul 2022


As I am on 8m, I am on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. It is now 1509z and spotted by 13 unique stations so far today. 

UPDATE 2045z:  27 unique stations have spotted me today. Now QRT.

8m experiment (Saturday)

After being in Cambridge most of the morning, I am again on 8m QRP FT8 on 40.680 MHz USB dial. No spots yet.

UPDATE 2147z:  Just a spot by EA3ERE (1153km). 


Archetypal Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

It is good to see people enjoying Cambridge again. It felt like old times. 

My free PDF Project Scrapbook

The first edition is now ready. Click the link to gain access and download.

If I make any corrections or additions, I hope to use the same link so you are always pointed to the latest version. 


Sunspots - Saturday July 23rd 2022

Solar flux is 114 and the SSN 107. A=11 and K=3.

22 Jul 2022

OFCOM updates

 OFCOM has updated the information it holds on us. See the OFCOM website for details.


Since 0726z, I have been on 10m WSPR TX with my tiny 500mW W5OLF beacon. It is now 0840z and, so far, 6 unique stations have spotted me. This looks like Es in the main.

8m experiment (Friday)

Much to my surprise I was spotted by 3 unique stations yesterday on 8m FT8. Shortly, I hope to be on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8 again.

Full FT8 reports and locations (I cannot call this a QSO because of OFCOM - what utterly crass stupidity!!) were exchanged with one station in central Europe.

UPDATE 0937z:  Spotted by HC02 (1808km) in southern Portugal.

Es (sporadic E)

July usually marks the end of the main Es season in the northern hemisphere, although Es can occur at any time. Usually the peak months are May, June and July. Some remarkable distances have been spanned on 6m, although I still believe many of these long paths are some sort of chordal E propagation, not involving multiple hops. These very long openings are too frequent for multiple hop Es to be probable. Yes, this may occur on occasions, but I am convinced there is some other mechanism. 

One thing I have learnt is experts are frequently wrong! Often they parrot myths that are just not true that they heard years ago. 

Garden rose - NOT amateur radio


This rose was seen recently. 

ISM band access licence free?

The ISM bands were agreed internationally so that things like microwave ovens could use spectrum without the need for a licence. 

In different administrations the rules vary, but they may allow access at very low power for serious experimenters and without the need for a licence. It is possible that WSPR or FT8 could legally be sent in the ISM bands without a licence. Callsigns are arbitrary. 

Please check what the rules are in your country. It may be a way of many gaining legal access to bands like 8m for serious experimenters. 

Chuckle time - NOT amateur radio

This cartoon appeared on Facebook a few days ago. It made me chuckle. 

Sunspots - Friday July 22nd 2022

 Solar flux is 122 and the SSN 124. A=22 and K=3.

21 Jul 2022


The following rally should be on this Sunday. Always check before travelling far.

Sunday July 24th  - Finningley ARS Rally near Doncaster. www.g0ghk.com .

10m QRP WSPR TX (Thursday)

There seems to be plenty of 10m Es this morning with my 500mW beacon being widely copied in Europe.

UPDATE 1004z:  24 unique stations have already spotted my QRP 10m WSPR.

8m experiment (Thursday)

As the storm risk seems to have passed for now, I am again on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8 TX. So far, spotted by HC02 (1808km) in Portugal. Es seems to be good today.

On the 8m IO group, there has been some discussion about legally transmitting in the ISM band without a special permit. This may be legal at low power in some places. If this is the case, many more people could legally use FT8 and WSPR on the 8m band. You may have to create a special callsign for things like PSKreporter or WSPRnet.  It is definitely worth checking if you can operate a "telemetry" beacon legally on 8m.

UPDATE 1223z:  3 stations have spotted me today so far on 8m FT8 TX. 

Sunspots - Thursday July 21st 2022

Solar flux is 133 and the SSN 129. A=7 and K=2.

20 Jul 2022

My free PDF book - nearly ready

Today I added a few photos, the page numbers and page footers. It is 94 pages long. When I have indexed all the pages and proof read it for silly mistakes, it should be ready. This should be in the next few days.

It is as much about my legacy as anything else, so I cannot, and do not, want to charge anything. When I was fitter, experimenting and building gave me a lot of fun. All I want is you to have as much fun. My legacy would be if this collection gave you some inspiration.

As I find mistakes or add things I expect to keep the same link address, but it will always go to the latest version.

8m experiment (Wednesday)

Because of the thunderstorm risk, I have decided against any transmissions or reception on 8m FT8 today. Everything is still disconnected. 

The storms are still over northern France at the moment, but I am taking no chances, especially as I am likely to be out after lunch.

My usual pattern during the Es season has been to go on 8m FT8 and 10m WSPR TX.

OFCOM and broadcasts intended to be short range or temporary

OFCOM is proposing to change the frequencies for broadcasts intended to be short range or temporary use such as radios at shows or in hospital. The hope is more frequencies can be made available.

See the OFCOM website for details. 

Oscar 100 - what a waste!!

Every few weeks I give an update about activity on the geosynchronous satellite Oscar 100. OK, my last peek was in a weekday mid-morning in Europe. There was nobody on!  Nobody!! OK I may have been unlucky, but this follows a pattern.

Oscar 100 is seriously underused. Judging by this experience I cannot seeing people rushing to launch another!

See  https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/ .

Thunderstorms - NOT amateur radio

Last night we had a brief thunderstorm. More could happen later today. All my appliances and antennas remain disconnected. 

See https://www.lightningmaps.org/ .

Sunspots - Wednesday July 20th 2022

Solar flux is 144 and the SSN 114.  A=26 and K=2.

19 Jul 2022

10m QRP FT8


Since before breakfast I have been on 10m FT8. Lots of spots already on TX and RX. 

Sunspots - Tuesday July 19th 2022

Solar flux is 152 and the SSN 125. A=8 and K=3.

18 Jul 2022

Russia and Google - NOT amateur radio

The BBC reports that Russia has fined Google for spreading "fake news" about the "special operation" in Ukraine. Outside Russia it is called war, although by tight control of the media, most Russians are unaware.

I am puzzled why Russia is carrying out such aggression against people who (were) so close. It is clear that most in Ukraine hate Russia now and Mr Putin has even more countries now wanting to join NATO. Such aggression has no place in the 21st century.


See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62214564 .

10m FT8 QRP - like a different band?

For the last few minutes. I have been on 10m FT8 QRP with the FT817. It is like a different band. Already, I have been spotted by 19 stations. On RX several South Americans spotted.

UPDATE 1945z: Spotted by 24 stations so far on 10m FT8 QRP.  All these were in Europe apart from 1 in Israel. No spots from South America.  Although there is a "hard core" of 10m WSPR monitors, one gets the feeling most are now using FT8.

Early morning walk - NOT amateur radio

Today is expected to be very hot today with UK weather records being broken, so we did an early walk.  It is currently late morning and it is already 31C. Our lawns are dry and brown.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Monday)

So far, just one station in Denmark spotting my 500mW QRP  WSPR beacon. There are good days and bad days of Es. Up to now, today has been a bad day.

UPDATE 1243z: 5 unique stations have spotted me today with the furthermost EA8BFK (2880km).

8m experiment (Monday)

I get the feeling that the 8m experiment is losing interest. There are still some monitors, but the Es season is coming to an end. There are still openings, but these seem less frequent. I have been on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8, but sadly no spots on TX or RX.

UPDATE 1514z: Still no spots today. I am beginning to think I can learn little more until a lot more stations are active.

Sunspots - Monday July 18th 2022

Solar flux is 166 and the SSN 166. A=6 and K=1.

17 Jul 2022

Anglesey Abbey bridge - NOT amateur radio

This bridge is over the mill leat at nearby Anglesey Abbey, UK. Every year, they remove the duckweed that forms on the leat during the summer.

Es bad day?

 It is still quite early, but I get the impression that Es will be infrequent today on 10m and 8m. Of course, things can rapidly change! 

UK political cartoon - NOT amateur radio

I think this first appeared in inews.co.uk. It made me chuckle. The candidates for the Conservative party leadership election and the UK Prime Minister job do not exactly fill me with excitement. We lack leaders of substance at the moment. 

90MHz or 90 MHz??

After nearly 40 years as a professional RF engineer you would think that I should know!! 

Should there be a space after the number before the kHz, MHz or GHz or not? Can either be used? I should try to use the correct format.

One thing is clear. Most engineers don't care! 

Sub 10 kHz amateur radio

This photo was a Facebook memory from 2011 and shows my earth-mode signal at 6km away. 


The 500mW W5OLF WSPR beacon was turned on at 0601z. 

UPDATE 1500z:  There seems less Es today. Is that why I am seeing FR1GZ (9724km)?

8m experiment (Sunday)

The FT8 QRP gear was turned on at 0601z on 40.680 MHz USB dial. 

UPDATE 1501z:  No spots all day on 8m FT8 here.  On again at 1530z.

UPDATE 1710z:  No 8m spots here all day. QRT soon. 

Sunspots - Sunday July 17th 2022

Solar flux is 176 and the SSN 153.  A=6 and K=1.

16 Jul 2022

Raspberry Pi with wifi

One of the areas missing from my experiments is computers. When it come to Raspberry Pi devices I know nothing. 

Apparently a Raspberry Pi Pico is soon to be available for $6 that includes 802.11 wireless support. 

It won't be long before some enterprising amateur does a complete 2.4 GHz transceiver on a Pi board! 

Early blackberries - NOT amateur radio

The blackberries next-door seem to be ripening far earlier this year. 

Our grandchildren love picking them. 

10m WSPR QRP (Saturday)

As the PC, rig and antenna are free, I am on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. So far today, just spotted in northern Spain. It is now 1000z. 

UPDATE 2040z:
  9 unique stations have spotted my 10m QRP WSPR beacon today. Activity on FT8 is greater, but I am pleasantly surprised by the WSPR activity. On WSPR, most spots of me are by Es in Europe.

8m experiment (Saturday)

 Yet again I am on QRP 8m FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial. So far, spotted by EA3ERE (1153km). Nothing on RX.

UPDATE 1830z :  2 spots of my 8m QRP FT8 TX today (see map). Now QRT. 

A bit older - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken in 1968. We have aged a bit and someone had hair!! 

Rally this Sunday

The following rally is due tomorrow Sunday July 17th. Check with organisers before any significant travel.

McMichael Amateur Radio Rally


Sunspots - Saturday July 16th 2022

Solar flux is 171 and the SSN 141.  A=5 and K=2.

15 Jul 2022

UK fuel prices - NOT amateur radio

Since the start of the Ukraine war ("special operation"? Who is he kidding?) wholesale oil prices have dropped back about 20% to close to $100 a barrel. Whilst exchange rates have got worse, the price at the pumps has hardly changed. It is still hovering close to £2.00 a litre for diesel.

It would be good if UK fuel prices dropped a bit too, as fast as they go up. I know oil company profits vary widely, but big profits right now seem immoral.

10m QRP FT8 TX

As 8m wasn't looking very promising here this afternoon, I have QSYed to 10m FT8. My QRP TX signal has been widely copied in Europe and on RX I am copying the stations shown on the map.  

Restored Constable - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows a Constable painting at Anglesey Abbey. It has been cleaned so that details hitherto hidden are visible. It hangs in the very cosy library there. 

8m experiment (Monday)

Today I returned to 8m FT8 QRP TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial. This resulted in my first report from Denmark. 

UPDATE 1543z:  Now QSYed to 10m FT8.

When I could build and experiment

The photo was taken in 2012 at the back of the garage in our old house and shows me breadboarding my 472 kHz transverter. I cannot do this these days. 

Sunspots - Friday July 15th 2022

 Solar flux is 169 and the SSN 133. A=4 and K=2.

14 Jul 2022

Burgh Island - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows the view looking towards Burgh Island in Devon. 

10m simple sideband transceiver.

Before my stroke got in the way, I had every intention of making a simple transceiver for 10m sideband. 

Originally, I was thinking of a DSB rig, but these days a better bet might be a phasing SSB.  A synthesiser chip and low cost micro-controller might allow full band coverage and other bands with minor changes.

In my mind, this was to have been a small, single PCB design, much like a small Heathkit Lunchbox. It would make a neat and low cost club project. 

Sadly, although I had some ideas, much of the design remains to be done. In the next few years 10m will be very good. Antennas for 10m are small and fit in most gardens. Even CB verticals and wire dipoles work well.

If you are in a position to finish this, I would be very pleased.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/10m-simple-sideband .

Cornish poppies - NOT amateur radio

This photo was posted on Facebook a few days ago. It deserves sharing.  It show a poppy field in Cornwall with the sea behind. 

Some people in Cornwall are fiercely independent wanting it to be a separate country called Kernow. The Cornish language is being revived.

10m QRP FT8 (Thursday)

As 8m has been quiet for a few days here, I am today on 10m QRP FT8 with the FT817ND. So far, my best is a spot by 4Z5TK (3515km).

UPDATE 1015z:  30 stations have spotted my 10m QRP FT8 today and I have spotted all over on FT8 RX (see photo).

UPDATE 1425z: 447 stations spotted on RX and I have been spotted by 61 unique stations.