31 Aug 2022

Blog numbers? - NOT amateur radio

Since I went on my blog early this morning, the number of readers has remained very low and unchanged. It looks like there is an error or the blog is suddenly very unpopular!

UPDATE 2155z:  Definitely wrong. Numbers have hardly changed all day. 

Where did summer go? - NOT amateur radio

It seems hard to believe, but today is the last day in August. According to the UK Met Office (weather) autumn starts tomorrow! We have had a dry, hot summer. When the autumn chills come, they will be a shock.

8m experiment (Wednesday)

 As I intend to concentrate on 4m RX today, activity on 8m is unlikely.


As it is my intention to concentrate on 4m FT8 RX later, I intend to go on 10m WSPR TX with my 500mW beacon. This does not need the PC. 

As long as the 10m antenna is available, I can use this beacon, leaving the PC free.

UPDATE 1012z:  Although my beacon has been on for almost 2 hours, no spots.

UPDATE 1401z:  Just a single spot by OE3XOE (1233km) all day.

4m FT8 and activity

Andrew G6ALB is remaking his 4m personal beacon at the weekend so that I can retest the RX in my transverter. The transverter has not been used for years.

I was hoping for suggestions about where to put my RX for the best chances on FT8 RX. Some say 70.100 whereas others suggest 70.154 MHz USB dial. At the moment I have no 4m antenna so cannot TX.

As the chances of Es are much diminished I guess most propagation will be inter-G. I have no idea what activity levels on 4m are like. If like other VHF bands, I guess my best chance will be the next UKAC activity session in 3 weeks' time.

So, where is the best place to watch for 4m FT8 activity in the UK please?

UPDATE 1018z: I have divided my time between the 2 frequencies I know about, but nothing yet spotted on 4m FT8 RX. I am still waiting for FT8 frequency information. Help!!

UPDATE 1107z: I have been told most 4m FT8 in the whole of Europe including the UK is on 70.154 MHz USB dial, so that is where I shall monitor. Still no spots.

UPDATE 1342z: It works!! G3SHK (200km) and G0DJA (151km) spotted on 4m FT8 RX using the low 8m wire dipole.

Latania (?) - NOT amateur radio

When it comes to plants I am definitely not an expert! We saw this on our walk a few days ago in somebody's garden. Not sure if it is a palm or fern. It is quite big. 

Has the decline already started?

Some time ago, I expressed my concerns about the future of our hobby as the average age of radio amateurs increased. 

My concern was that as we age, it is likely that fewer new radios will be bought. In 20 years' time several of us will be in care homes! If we still have amateur radio access, it will probably be with internet radios.

Already, I think one European amateur radio dealer has gone. My prediction is others will follow across the planet. 

The danger is magazines will see less advertising revenue, so some will shrink or go out of business. 

Some manufacturers will view our hobby as a "lost cause" and may decide to leave the market. There will be a scramble to cut costs. I really cannot see all our traditional Japanese manufacturers continuing in our market without radical changes to their business models. Those that will still be around are those that see the future and adapt accordingly.

Now, some places are bucking the trend and the number of new radio amateurs is increasing. In my view, this is the exception. What we have to recognise is that what attracted us is very unlikely to attract many newcomers today.

Be in little doubt, our hobby is about to encounter very hard times in my view.

Sunspots - Wednesday August 31st 2022

 Solar flux is 126 and the SSN 50. A=13 and K=3.

30 Aug 2022

2m QRP FT8 (Tuesday)


As 10m was so dire, I QSYed to 2m QRP FT8 using the FT817ND and big-wheel omni antenna. 

Almost immediately this resulted in a QSO with G3TKF (221km) as well as 9 spots of me including one by G7RAU (461km) in Cornwall (see map).

3 stations spotted on 2m FT8 RX this morning.

UPDATE 1133z: 7 stations spotted on RX and 11 stations have spotted me on 2m QRP  FT8.

UPDATE 1332z:  9 stations have been spotted on RX here today with the furthermost DO7JVK (419km) in Germany. On QRP TX, I have been spotted by 13 unique stations today. Imagine if I had a beam!

Humming bird hawk moth - NOT amateur radio

Apparently these are quite common in southern and eastern England, but I do not recall seeing one at this house before. We have been here for 9 years now. They hover like humming birds.

See https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/humming-bird-hawk-moth .

St Barts - NOT amateur radio

 Our grandson is mad on bellringing. He has rung bells now in well over 40 different churches. St Barts survived the Great Fire of London in 1666. He rang here recently.

8m experiment (Tuesday)

Unless things improve dramatically on 10m, it is very unlikely I shall be on 8m FT8 QRP today. There is little point if my chances are so slim.

365project - NOT amateur radio

For about 9 years both my wife and I have done 365project. We use ours mainly as a visual diary. 

The idea is to add a photo every day. It is interesting to see our grandchildren grow a day at a time over all this time.

Yesterday my wife met up with an old school friend she has known for 61 years. She introduced her to 365 some years ago and loves it.

Corfu? - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken some years ago. I think it was in Greece, possibly Corfu, although I am not sure where. I do not recognise the islands.

10m FT8 QRP (Tuesday)

Today I expect to be on 10m FT8 QRP right from the start. It cannot be worse than yesterday!

UPDATE 0820z: Gear turned on at 0545z. 2 stations have spotted me (a local G and an MM). Nothing spotted on RX.

UPDATE 0954z:   3 European stations spotted on RX. Not exactly great!

Remote islands - NOT amateur radio

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by small, remote islands. At one time I could have told you almost anything about Lundy in the Bristol Channel. I have been interested in Fair Isle, St Kilda, North Rona, Pitcairn and many others. At one time I had a burning desire to visit Tristan da Cuhna. I never went and doubt I ever will now.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_da_Cunha .

4m transverter

Some years ago I needed a way of getting on 4m. This transverter was the result. I have no idea where it is now! Possibly it is in a shack drawer or in the loft. I really ought to try and find it and give it another go, perhaps with a wire dipole. Several have been made since it appeared in GQRP SPRAT. It is also in my G3XBM Project Scrapbook and on my website.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/homebrew/4m-transverter

According to the webpage I listened for a local station's personal QRP 4m beacon. I cannot recall using the transverter. Maybe it was with something else.

UPDATE 1345z: I have found the transverter! It was in the shack at the back of a drawer.  Assuming it still works, I must try it out. First I have to erect an antenna for 4m.

UPDATE 1409z:  In preparation for trying the band again, I started looking for information. At one time, the place to go was the 4m website, but I get the impression this is no longer well maintained. Instead I turned to the RSGB's 4m page.

UPDATE 1428z:   I have connected the transverter to the FT817ND and the 10m antenna. At the moment I am on 70.100 MHz USB dial FT8 RX. I hope the crystal is still on frequency. I must check this. Noise goes up when the antenna is connected - a hopeful sign. Nothing copied.

UPDATE 1504z: I am puzzled what is the best frequency to try for 4m FT8 RX. Some say 70.100 MHz whereas some say 70.154 MHz. Which has the best chance of spotting anyone please? The 42 MHz crystal is oscillating and on 42.000 MHz . Currently I am monitoring 70.154 MHz USB dial.

Sunspots - Tuesday August 30th 2022

 Solar flux is 131 and the SSN 87.  A=14 and K=2.

29 Aug 2022

10m FT8 QRP

 At about 1350z, I QSYed to 10m FT8 from 10m WSPR. It seems very quiet with no spots on 10m FT8 RX or TX.

UPDATE 1447z: Just a single spot by local G0LRD (26km) of me on QRP TX with PA2WDR (280km) on RX. I am quite surprised.got

UPDATE 1607z:  ZD7BG (7606km) spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1732z:   Unless things dramatically improve, today has been terrible on 10m here.

UPDATE 1936z: It got no better. Apart from the ZD7, just 2 Gs spotted. Basically dreadful!  Now QRT.

Free Scrapbook PDF reminder

This is just a reminder that my G3XBM Project Scrapbook is available as a free download. 

You can just look at it online or, if you want to, download it and print off. You could always just print off what you want. I want no money for this. I just want people to realise our hobby does not have to be expensive at all, and experimentation is fun.

Girton, Cambridge - NOT amateur radio

One of the nicest churches we have visited with our grandson bellringing is Girton, just to the north of Cambridge. I would go as far as to say the churchyard was lovely and very peaceful and perhaps one of the best.

10m WSPR QRP TX (Monday)

At 0928z, my 500mW 10m WSPR TX beacon was turned on. No spots yet today. As Es spots are now far less frequent, I expect my best chances will be later with F2 propagation. 

I am tempted to try 10m FT8. If I do this it means I have to go QRT on 8m as I shall need the PC, that I do not need with WSPR.

8m experiment (Monday)

As our visitors have gone out, I have turned on my QRP 8m FT8 on 40.680 MHz USB dial at about 0927z. No spots.  

I am getting the distinct feeling that there are fewer 8m FT8 monitors now the Es season is largely over.

UPDATE 1450z: No spots all day RX or TX on 8m FT8.

Bell ringing obsession? - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows our grandson outside Girton Church just before he rang the bells. 

Oscar 100 geosynchronous satellite

Every few weeks I take a peek at the narrow-band transponder of this satellite. No real change. The last peek was mid-afternoon on a Sunday afternoon in Europe at 1316z. 

If the IC-905 ever makes it to market, I wonder if this will make any impact on activity?

See https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/ .

Sunspots - Monday August 29th 2022

Solar flux is 131 and the SSN 79.  A=15 and K=3.

UPDATE 1642z:   Apparently the very high solar flux readings were in error.

28 Aug 2022

Cambridgeshire churchyard - NOT amateur radio


This was in Girton churchyard earlier. Girton is on the northern edge of Cambridge. Years ago, it would have been a separate village.

Our grandson was ringing bells here this morning. We were in the churchyard.


As we have visitors until late tomorrow, I am being "sociable", so I have gone completely QRT with everything turned off. This means I am unlikely to be on 10m WSPR or 8m FT8 until late tomorrow.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Sunday)

My 500mW WSPR TX beacon was turned on about 0948z. No spots of me yet.

UPDATE 1035z:  Spotted by an OH and SM station many times. I have noticed several times that more northerly stations spot me, or are spotted, more often later in the Es season. I wonder if this really is the same mechanism?

UPDATE 1308z: 5 unique stations have spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR today.

8m experiment (Sunday)

 As we are out taking our grandson to film some bells until about 1000z, I shall not be on until we get back. As the main Es season has ended, I shall hope to catch a brief Es opening or some F2 when I go on 40.680 MHz USB dial QRP FT8 later.

UPDATE 0948z:  Gear now on QRP FT8 8m TX.

VLF E-field probe?

This photo was taken some years ago. I think it shows my VLF E-field probe.  It is just possible it was the VLF loop pre-amp as they looked very similar.

Iceland - NOT amateur radio

We visited Iceland some years ago and were surprised. We had expected a barren land, but most was green and beautiful. There were lupins everywhere. 

10m propagation

 We are now moving out of the main Es season into F2 being the main propagation mode. Using WSPR I mainly copy European stations whereas with FT8 I often copy South Americans. This is with the same RX, antenna and WSJT-X software! 

My only conclusion is that far more people are now using FT8 than WSPR or that much shorter openings are caught with a 15 second burst of FT8 than a much longer WSPR burst. 


This is the new radio announced by ICOM. I have serious doubts about it ever making it to market. 

It is meant to cover 2m-3cm with a control head based on the IC-705 and an RF unit that could be mounted next to the antenna. 

It looks expensive and I just can't see it selling in huge volumes. Also, I cannot imagine it being low cost.

If it ever gets to market I can see this being a flop. Nice idea, but unlikely to make them rich. 

Yaesu FTDX-10

After a huge amount of thought I have decided not to buy this radio. 

Apart from 4m, it is unlikely to offer me much more than I already have. I am sure the IC-705 offers nearly as much.  The 100W is wasted on me!  What I might have bought was a 10W version or a real FT817 replacement.

There is little doubt that this is an excellent transceiver especially with the special bank holiday deals from MLS.

So, I'll pass. Maybe I'll regret this. 

Sunspots - Monday August 28th 2022

Solar flux is 128 and the SSN 84. A=14 and K=2 .

27 Aug 2022

Harvest home - NOT amateur radio


Seen on our walk earlier. Rural England. 

Blackberry picking - NOT amateur radio

After lunch, we hope to go on a local walk with our grandson and collect some wild blackberries for breakfast and a crumble. They are early this year. I hope there are still some left! 

UPDATE 1545z: Came back with plenty. 


The 10m WSPR 500mW beacon has been on since 0735z. It is now 0846z. So far only spots from local G6TUS (17km).

UPDATE 1734z:  6 unique stations have spotted me today on 10m WSPR QRP.

Shetland sunrise - NOT amateur radio

This photo appeared on 365project earlier and was posted by a friend on the Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland. The days are long in summer, but short in winter.

Yaesu FTDX-10

As readers will know, I have been strongly considering one of these. 

At the moment MLS is offering a very good deal, but I am still undecided. I am probably not buying one, although it is very highly rated in the Sherwood RX tests. With the £100 MLS gift voucher and Yaesu £85 cashback, now is probably the very best time.

It has a very good receiver, 4m and an auto-ATU, but not 2m or 70cm. At 100W on HF it has about 20 times the power I would ever use!

8m experiment (Saturday)

Yesterday, my 40.680 MHz QRP USB dial FT8 was spotted by 2 Iberian stations with 1 "QSO". The gear was turned on this morning at 0737z.

UPDATE 0959z:  No spots.


Sunspots - Saturday August 27th 2022

 Solar flux is 119 and the SSN 88.  A=5 and K=1.

26 Aug 2022

Wedding bells - NOT amateur radio

Our elder grandson loves to ring bells. He has now rung in 40 towers and, as I write, is ringing locally for a wedding. 

Deleted by mistake?

If you have recently written to me and have not got a reply, it was probably my mistake. 

I just emptied my bin and, too late, noticed something that I think should not have been there. Write again please. I try to respond promptly. Please accept my apologies. Writing again is probably the best thing to do if you got no response.

WISPY 10m WSPR receiver

It is amazing to believe that this design of mine is 10 years old!  These days, many have gone on to FT8 instead, but there is a good following on 10m WSPR as well. This used very low cost 14.060 MHz crystals that were pulled, making this a very low cost design. It worked well.

Rye, Sussex - NOT amateur radio


This is Rye in Sussex. It is a beautiful place. 


My 500mW WSPR TX gear was turned on at 0939z. At 0949z, no spots.

UPDATE 1240z:  Several spots from just Sweden. Limited Es opening?

UPDATE 1325z:  Now spotted in Spain.

UPDATE 1335z:  Now spotted in Norway.

UPDATE 1720z:  Copied by 5 unique stations today.

8m experiment (Friday)

My QRP 8m FT8 gear on 40.680 MHz USB dial was turned on at 0939z. No spots yet. 

UPDATE 1325z:  No spots today on 8m.

UPDATE 1729z:  HC02 (1808km) in Portugal has spotted my 8m FT8 QRP TX today.

The dealer shootout

Hopefully I will be very wrong, but I predict that at least one amateur radio dealer will be gone by the end of next year. 

There could be more than one. Over time magazines will see revenue dip, which in turn could lead to smaller editions or even some magazines closing. 

In my view, some dealers will survive, but others may not. Hard times are ahead.

As I said before, I hope I will be very wrong, but the signs are not good. I wrote to one dealer almost a week ago and I did not have the courtesy of a reply. They certainly won't be getting any business from me. Will they be one of the first to go? I shall not name and shame them.

It is not just dealers. Some manufacturers are also considering whether amateur radio offers them profits in the future. Some may decide it is better to get out soon. 

Sunspots - Friday August 26th 2022

Solar flux is 118 and the SSN 94.  A=5 and K=1.

25 Aug 2022

Love lies bleeding - NOT amateur radio

This is an odd name for a garden flower. Some time ago, my wife was given some small plants by a friend. She had no idea how they would turn out. Now they are mature she knows why they have this odd name! 

Creosoting the garden bench - NOT amateur radio

OK, I know it is no longer creosote (I used to love the smell) as it is banned, I think. This week, a son and granddaughter sanded and re-coated the garden seat as it was covered in bird droppings. 

It has since been moved so should be better in future.

Yaesu FTDX-10

At the moment MLS is offering some good deals on this with a £100 gift voucher to use on future purchases. This offer runs until Monday. The gift voucher can be used at any time. Yaesu also has a £85 cash back offer. 

The rig has received rave reviews, but does not have 2m or 70cm, but does have 4m and an auto ATU. Although seriously tempted, at the moment I am inclined against it. My fear (hopefully unfounded) is that Yaesu is leaving the market. To me, the MLS move is to retain custom.

In these hard times, all dealers will struggle. Amateur radio usually depends on disposable income. There is less.


The following rallies should be on over this weekend. In some countries in the UK, Monday is a public holiday. As always, check with organisers before going any distance.

Sunday August 28th Milton Keynes ARC rally. Contact rally@mkars.org.uk.

Sunday  August 28th Torbay Annual Communications Fair. Contact rally@tars.org.uk.

Monday August 29th HARS Annual Rally (Huntingdon).  Contact events@hunts-hams.co.uk .

10m WSPR QRP TX (Thursday)

As the storm risk seems to have passed, I am again on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. At 0956z, no spots of me.

UPDATE 1115z: No spots. Even with fewer stations now using WSPR (compared with FT8), I would have expected some spots by now. This suggests the main Es season is now over. Es will still occur, but far less often.

UPDATE 1500z:  Quite a few spots today from HB9TMC (905km). It looks like this was an Es opening, but in a very narrow area.

8m experiment (Thursday)

The 8m QRP FT8 TX was turned on on 40.680 MHz USB dial at 0938z. No spots yet. at 0950z.

UPDATE 1102z:  EI9KP (649km) has again spotted me on 8m FT8 .

No operation until at least the afternoon

As we have thunderstorms at the moment and these could last until well after lunch, everything will remain disconnected until all risks have gone. So, no operation until later. 

UPDATE 0945z:   Although it is still raining here (good), the thunder and lightning seem to have passed. If the lightning map confirms this, I may go on later this morning. It appears to confirm the storms have gone.

Serious rain at last - NOT amateur radio

In this part of the UK we have had almost no rain since March. Today we have rain, thunder and lightning.  Let's hope the grass turns green!! 

Sunspots - Thursday August 25th 2022

Solar flux is 108 and the SSN 46. A=3 and K=1.

24 Aug 2022

ICOM announces SHF transceiver at Tokyo Hamfest

This is the IC-905. I am extremely sceptical.  I cannot see them selling that many or making a profit. Maybe it is a lost leader, really they are aiming to make a profit on something similar in the commercial market. 

It seems unlikely to be available much before late 2023 and at what price? The price has to be very keen or they risk a total flop.

If I was ICOM, I really would not bother. Mind you, I am not ICOM!

Nice concept, but in this tough world will it make them any money?

10m QRP WSPR TX (Wednesday)

My 500mW W5OLF beacon was turned on at 0859z. No spots yet at 1017z.

UPDATE 1103z: Just spotted by HC02 (1808km) in southern Portugal.

8m experiment (Wednesday)

Later, I hope to be on 8m TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 QRP again. Still getting DX spots even with my low ERP in the last few days. 

UPDATE 1152z:  Gear turned on at 0859z. No spots. I have the feeling there will be none today, although I am ever hopeful!

UPDATE 1520z:  EI9KP (649km) has spotted me on 8m QRP FT8.

472 kHz transverter under construction

This was 10 years ago!! I was building my 472 kHz transverter. 

Silent keys (SK)

This is the term used in amateur radio circles for people who have, sadly, died. It must date from the very early days when most people used Morse and Morse keys. The phrase may be over 100 years old.

In the last year or so, two of the people locally that I chatted with every week have become SK. The one thing they had in common was their zest for life. 

Both enjoyed finding new things right up until they died. Both are missed, but their vitality lives on. 

RIP Ted G4NUA and Ian G3KKD. Ted was keen on PCs and WSPR, and Ian was experimenting with DATV. Ian liked all things ATV. Even to the end he was building 5.6 GHz ATV kit.

Yaesu up to date?

As I was considering purchasing the Yaesu FTDX-10, I thought I would look at the Yaesu Japan site for more data. I was invited to do a download. Imagine my horror when I was looking at a 2011 (yes 2011) catalogue!! Does not exactly fill you with confidence. Perhaps this explains why we have seen no decent FT817 replacement.  

Hello, hello - anyone there??

At this rate I expect a spark TX and coherer RX soon - latest Yaesu technology. My fear is that if I buy an FTDX-10, will Yaesu still be around in 5 years time? I really hope so, but I have my doubts, seriously.

5m recording by G5UM

Many years ago Jack Hum G5UM gave a talk to the Cambridge radio club (CDARC). In the talk he mentioned he had made a recording in the late 1940s of the last hours on 5m in the UK. I am not sure if this was a disk, wire recorder or tape, probably a disk.

I am wondering if copies of this historic recording still exist? At the time I think G5UM lived in London.

Many will remember Jack as the columnist of the "Four Metres and Down" column in RadCom.

Sunspots - Wednesday August 24th 2022

 Solar flux is 101 and the SSN 52. A=4 and K=1.

23 Aug 2022

10m QRP WSPR TX (Tuesday)

Unsurprisingly, many have now moved over to 10m FT8. 

This is not as good as WSPR on weak signals but WSPR takes about 8 times longer to send a message, although it only needs about 6 Hz bandwidth whereas FT8 needs about 50 Hz. I enjoy both modes. 

My little stand-alone 500mW W5OLF beacon does not need a PC at all.

What has surprised me this summer is how many are still using WSPR. Even with my 500mW QRP WSPR on 10m, I usually get several unique stations spotting me. FT8 allows very basic QSOs.

UPDATE 1405z:  Already today my 10m QRP WSPR has been spotted by 4 unique stations.

2m activity contest (August) results published

Every month I enter this UKAC activity contest. I can only run 10W to my big-wheel omni and because of my poor voice I manage an hour. Results were published today and, surprise, surprise, I am in the top half of the low power section. My points go to the Cambridge club CDARC. In the 70cm UKAC I gave up.

1947 - NOT amateur radio

With the UK having recorded record high temperatures lately, it is hard to think of harsh winters in the past. One was 1947 before I was born. The photo shows my uncle clearing snow drifts in Salcombe Devon where snow is rare. 

8m experiment (Tuesday)

Shortly, I hope to be on 8m QRP TX on 40.680 MHz USB dial FT8 again. 

In the last few days I have been spotted by 4 stations across Europe with the best DX 1808km. Es may be quieter, but there are still good times!! 

UPDATE| 1259z:  EA3ERE (1153km) has spotted my 8m QRP FT8 again.

UPDATE 1340z:  Off cooling. Back on about 1415z, I hope.

Hidden disability - NOT amateur radio

This was written in 2016, but little has changed for me.

EI7GL - more

It would appear that EI7GL was spotting on 10m WSPR RX yesterday. Assuming this was indeed John and not a pirate, I am puzzled. I have no further information.

UPDATE 1915z: Just had an email from John. All is well, but he was too busy to blog over the summer, but hopes to resume in September. Basically good news. 

Scooters - NOT amateur radio

When we were young, scooters were popular, probably as most young people could not afford to buy and run a car. 

These were on display last weekend at our Classic Car Day at our local museum. 

The windmill is on the left and our house in the background on the right.

We need rain, as the photo shows!


I am seriously thinking about one of these radios. Over the years I have had many Yaesu rigs and this has some rave reviews. It includes an ATU and 4m, but does not include 2m or 70cm. At 100W, it is far more power than I would ever want. Most times it would be used at 5W!

Ideally, please may I have a decent FT817 replacement with 4m? No doubt the minute I was to buy an FTDX-10 they would announce a decent FT817 replacement at half the price of the FTDX-10. Perhaps I should wait....

Sunspots - Tuesday August 23rd 2022

Solar flux is 103 and the SSN 44.  A=7 and K=1.

22 Aug 2022

Dahlias - NOT amateur radio

The dahlia garden at nearby Anglesey Abbey is open at last. Our neighbour has had dahlias out for weeks. The ones in the photo were some we saw this morning at Anglesey Abbey. 

Nearly 100 years ago - NOT amateur radio

This photo is nearly 100 years old. My uncle is in the front row in the middle. I think he was the foreman. It shows the Salcombe Council gang (Devon) in the 1930s I think. Love the moustache front left!

UPDATE 1251z:  Someone thinks this could be shortly after WW2.  My uncle certainly looks young though!! He was born in 1908ish, so the 1930s seems more likely to me. Mind you, the late 1940s would make him early 40s, so if he was the foreman, this would make sense.

Morris 1000 - NOT amateur radio

My very first car in 1971 was a Morris 1000. 

A friend has had this one for about 40 years and he has lovingly restored his (see photo). 

It was at the classic car day at our local museum next door yesterday. 


John has (had?) one of the best blogs, that I found really helpful, but it has not been updated since May. I wrote to John over the weekend, but got no response. 

Does anyone have any news please? 

If he, or others who know, is able to read this, a response would be helpful.

10m WSPR QRP (Monday)

My 500mW WSPR beacon was turned on at 0736z. 

UPDATE 0800z:  No spots.

UPDATE 1235z: Spots by 2 unique stations so far with the furthermost EA8BFK (2880km).

Where I come from - NOT amateur radio


This is Burgh Island in South Devon, not far from where I came from. In the distance is looking towards Cornwall in the west. The sun is setting.

8m experiment (Monday)

Later, I hope to be on 8m QRP FT8 TX using the FT817ND on 40.680 MHz USB dial and the low wire dipole (shown in the photo).

The wire dipole is only about 3m over the ground, possibly less.

UPDATE 0800z:  Gear turned on at 0736z. No spots.

UPDATE 1233z:  EI9KP (649km) has spotted me this morning.

Sunspots - Monday August 22nd 2022

Solar flux is 97 and the SSN 56. A=14 and K=3.

21 Aug 2022

That spider yesterday - NOT amateur radio

The spider in the bath yesterday would appear to be a giant house spider that can grow to about 4 inches across (over 10cm) and move very fast.

As mentioned yesterday, spiders have never bothered me. I just put them out the window.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_house_spider .

Classic Car Day - NOT amateur radio

Today is the classic car day at our local museum next door. I have never seen so many! 

Vehicles ranged from car and scooters to army vehicles. Lots of people too. 

10m WSPR QRP (Sunday)

It is now 1010z and I have been on 10m WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon for about an hour. So far only spotted by one station in Sweden. 

UPDATE 1150z: 14 unique stations have spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR this morning.

UPDATE 1601z:  25 stations have spotted me today so far on 10m QRP WSPR.  Most look like Es.

8m experiment (Sunday)

 As the main Es season is winding down, it would appear there are fewer people now monitoring 8m FT8 on 40.680 MHz USB dial. Shortly, I hope to be on again.

UPDATE 1145z: 2 spots of me on 8m FT8 from the Iberian peninsula. I think this again proves that openings occur far more often than people think. More activity please!!

Sunspots - Sunday August 21st 2022

Solar flux is 102 and the SSN 56.  A=14 and K=2.

20 Aug 2022

ENORMOUS spider - NOT amateur radio

This evening we had the biggest spider I have ever seen in the bath. It must have been over 7cm long. It is now outside. We seem to be seeing spiders earlier this year. Some people hate spiders, but they don't bother me. I just put them outside.

Any idea what sort it was? 

New houses - NOT amateur radio

Like many places in the UK, we have new houses going up on spare land. This estate has appeared in the last year.

Guava? - NOT amateur radio

We saw this tree and fruit yesterday. I have never seen it before. Dr Google says it is a guava. It is about lemon sized and looks like a bumpy apple or pear. 

It obviously grew well in our (warming) climate, so maybe we'll see more in the future.

Sunspots - Saturday August 20th 2022

Solar flux is 104 and the SSN 74.   A=20 and K=3.

10m QRP FT8

For a change this morning I am on 10m FT8 QRP with the FT817ND. It is now 0921z and I have been on for about 30 minutes. So far, 5 stations have spotted me and I have spotted 13 stations. No QSOs yet.

UPDATE 1034z: 1 QSO.  80 stations spotted on RX and 7 stations have spotted me today on 10m QRP FT8.

UPDATE 1904z:  416 stations spotted in 4 continents spotted on 10m FT8 RX.

19 Aug 2022

70cm QRP FT8

At about 1830z, I hope to try 70cm FT8 QRP on 432.174 MHz USB dial. It is very unlikely anyone will copy me or I shall copy anyone else. Still, it is worth a try.

UPDATE 1840z:  70cm FT8 QRP turned on. Apart from the first 2 transmissions with the 2m big-wheel, I am using the V2000 vertical omni. No spots. Am I surprised? No!

UPDATE 1935z:  No spots.

2m QRP FT8

My 2m FT8 system is just the FT817ND with my big-wheel omni antenna. Despite this, I have already been spotted on Anglesey by GW8IZR (337km). 

I think FT8 allows even QRP stations to access some sort of troposcatter on 2m. 

As mentioned earlier today, this is probably true on 70cm or 23cm although activity is far lower. It is a pity some beacons on these higher VHF and UHF bands don't have FT8 as part of their transmission cycles.

Mrs Mop? - NOT amateur radio


This is me brushing the kitchen floor earlier this week.

10m WSPR QRP TX (Friday)

It would seem most people are now using FT8 in preference to WSPR on 10m. Despite this, my 500mW QRP WSPR beacon was spotted by 15 stations yesterday. 

It is now 1021z and, as yet, no 10m WSPR spots have been received. I am on 10m QRP WSPR as the antenna is available and no PC is needed on WSPR.

8m experiment (Friday)

My QRP 8m FT8 on 40.680 MHz USB dial has already been spotted by 2 stations in Iberia. It is only 1015z. Still just using the FT817ND and a low wire dipole.

Where I came from in South Devon - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows where I came from in South Devon. This is the Kingsbridge Estuary. 

QRP 2m FT8

FT8 amazes me. 

DX spots seem possible with QRP and omni antennas at any time with this mode on 2m. If activity was higher, this would probably be true on 70cm and 23cm. My suspicion is this is troposcatter made possible by the ability of FT8 to work with incredibly weak signals. 

In my view, FT8 is a game changer. 

Sunspots - Friday August 19th 2022

 Solar flux is 117 and the SSN 83. A=26 and K=3.

18 Aug 2022

FB memory - NOT amateur radio

This is now several years old. I have no idea where it originated. 

Quite true!!