28 Feb 2023

10m QRP WSPR (Tuesday)

My QRP 10m WSPR 500mW WSPR beacon was turned on at 1154z.

UPDATE 1211z: Copied by FR1GZ (9724km) on Reunion, so it works.

UPDATE 2130z:  A really poor day with spots by just 3 stations

8m QRP FT8 (Tuesday)

After several days absence, I am again on 8m QRP FT8. Conditions on 10m looked promising, so it was worth a go. My 8m FT8 gear on 40.680 MHz was turned on at 1141z. As the USA has not been spotted on 10m FT8, I am not too hopeful of getting "across the pond" on 8m today.

Just remembered! I can go on 10m QRP WSPR TX at the same time with my 500mW beacon.

UPDATE 1407z:   No spots yet on 8m FT8. Interestingly, I had to change my PC. The power on 8m seems to be holding up better over time. This suggests the audio level into the FT817ND was dropping, not the FT817ND losing power as it got warmer.

UPDATE 1454z:  No 8m spots. Nothing seen from the USA on 10m WSPR TX, so I suspect my 8m FT8 QRP stands very little chance now until the Es season starts again.

UPDATE 2120z:  Windows PC has packed up under warranty. So, needs to be fixed or replaced.

Pye Telecom PF8

In the end, we did not sell that many of these at Pye Telecom. It took a lot of time to get to market and, really, it was not worth the effort. It has some innovative ideas for its time: it used a multi-layer PCB (a first at that time), a DC-DC converter (what a nightmare!), an internal antenna, looked before its time like a cellphone, no external parts to break,etc..

It featured on TV in "The Professionals".  

Some were converted to 70cms. They are rare these days and I do not have one! Your best bet is eBay. There is a PDF manual on my website.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/vhfuhf-commercial-rigs/pye-pf8 .

Solar conditions

The sunspot count remains respectably high with counts of over 100 most days. My favourite site for solar data is still showing the next solar peak as Nov 2023, which seems quite early. Figures are usually revised in the early days of the new month.

See https://www.solen.info/solar/ .

Super VHF DX

In July for many years, stations in Europe have been able to work stations on 6m (VHF) in Japan. A look at the map will show this is a very long way. 

The most credible explanation is this is caused by ionisation in the mesosphere linked to the formation of noctilucent clouds that form at this time. From research, this path could work at even higher frequencies, possibly microwaves! What is needed is for keen people at each end to try. 

This is definitely a case when research by radio amateurs could advance radio science. There is much to be gained from this research. I think noctilucent clouds are becoming more common as a result of climate change, but don't quote me on this. Certainly Far East stations have been spotted here on just a vertical omni on 6m FT8 for several years in July.

Now is the time to arrange some skeds on 2m, 70cm or 23cm. Records could tumble.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/super-dx .

10m QRP FT8 (Tuesday)

After just a few minutes (it is now 0938z) 5 stations have spotted me and I have spotted quite a few stations in Eastern Europe using the QDX. This looks like single hop F2 propagation. To be honest, conditions are better than I was expecting.

UPDATE 1106z: 40 stations have spotted me and I have spotted 118 stations here. Conditions are definitely better than I expected, so 8m FT8 (or WSPR) is worth a try later.

Plans for Tuesday

At first, I shall try 10m FT8 using the QDX transceiver. If successful, I may try 8m FT8 later. I am toying with trying 8m WSPR at 1W around 40.680 MHz. 

Pye Telecom/Philips - NOT amateur radio

Most of my working life was in design in the Pye Telecom days. Although Philips bought Pye in the late 1960s, it was very "hands off" for years. Eventually we badged some products Philips such as this PF85 shown here. It was a good product with some truly great engineers. After the late 1980s I think most products were badged Philips. The PF85 and the PFX shared many modules.

Sunspots - Tuesday February 28th 2023

Solar flux is 161 and the SSN 192. A=94 and K=4. 

27 Feb 2023

Tree stump - NOT amateur radio

Yesterday, we went for a delightful walk at the nearby village of Dalham in West Suffolk. On the way we passed through an avenue of trees up the hill to the church. We passed this old tree stump.  I bet this old tree had seen some history.

FT8 in the quiet solar years

At the moment, 10m FT8 seems to be able to deliver worldwide DX daily. In about 5 years' time we will be at the depths of the solar cycle and 10m may appear dead again. This is when WSPR and FT8 could prove extremely useful.

Both the WSPR and FT8 "watering holes" are quite small, but well monitored. I hope many will stick with these modes on 10m as there is a great deal for us to learn. Especially on N-S paths it would not surprise me at all to find paths open, even with very low solar activity.

Often low 10m activity is not because of conditions, but people going ever lower in frequency for an easier life. Just listen to CB nearby.

New 8m T&I licence obtained

Even though I wish the RSGB and OFCOM would see sense and grant real experimenters an NoV for 8m, I have shelled out (yet again) to continue research at 8m until April 2nd 2024.  In my view their position on this seems totally stupid in the extreme!!!   As before, I asked for digital only at QRP.

I really hope as many as possible come on the ISM band without a licence whilst ensuring they are fully compliant with any national requirements. As I said yesterday, it is my view that anyone in the UK can run 10mW ERP WSPR beacons in the 40.66-40.70 ISM band without a licence and with whatever callsign you like!!

Strictly  speaking, you do not need to give your location, even with the T&I licence either! Personally I think this is bizarre.

Callsigns are not a requirement of ISM use, although I think there is nothing whatsoever to stop you using your amateur radio callsign as an identifier. This is not the Amateur Radio Service. You could, of course, make up your own callsign like "your initials"123!  If using WSPR, it is advisable to make sure the format of the callsign will be reported to WSPRnet.

10m QRP FT8 with the QDX

This morning started with a slight panic. I went on 10m FT8 with the QDX and thought the SWR looked high. It was as if the QDX was still on 20m. Then it clicked - I was on PWR not SWR. All was well and the SWR very low!!

My gear was switched on at about 0850z. It is now 0900z and, so far, 25 stations spotted on RX and 4 stations have spotted my QRP FT8 TX.

UPDATE 0921z:  11 spots of my QRP from Eastern Europe. I assume this is F2 propagation.

UPDATE 1036z:   20 stations have spotted me with the furthermost 7Z1IS (4948km). On RX, 99 stations have been spotted here.

UPDATE 1400z:  31 stations have spotted me on 10m FT8 and I have spotted 301 stations.

UPDATE 1424z:  45 stations have spotted me with the furthermost ZS3SH (9149km). On RX, 372 stations spotted on 10m FT8. Still using the tiny QDX.

UPDATE 1542z: Today I have been spotted by 87 stations and I have spotted 487 stations. In just a day, I have been spotted on 5 continents with the QRP QDX on 10m FT8 as well as had many QSOs on 10m FT8.

UPDATE 1918z: 119 stations have spotted my QRP 10m FT8 today and I have spotted 565 stations. Not a single station has been spotted from North America.

UPDATE 2025z: 
120 stations have spotted my QRP 10m FT8 today (see map) using the QDX.

Early tests on 481 THz


This was 2012. It was an eye opener for me. 

Sunspots - Monday February 27th 2023

 Solar flux is 159 and the 120. A=26 and K=6.

Breakfast 2022


This was breakfast a year ago. 

26 Feb 2023

15m FT8 RX (Sunday)

As 10m seems to have stopped, I have QSYed to 15m FT8 RX.  So far, 135 stations have been spotted with most in North and South America. Still using the QDX transceiver. A very brief TX slot was spotted in the Canary Is..

UPDATE 2051z:  Now 15m FT8 seems to have stopped? 138 stations spotted.

8m beaconing without a licence?

 Some months ago, I had an email from OFCOM. The contents are shown here. It convinced me (although I am no legal expert) that beaconing in the 8m ISM band is perfectly legal without a licence as long as certain conditions are met. In the UK, this means 10mW ERP. Half this power at 8m has already spanned 5000km from Australia to the Cook Is on WSPR. With summer Es I am certain that such WSPR beacons in the UK would be copied in Europe. Microwatt 10m WSPR beacons have been copied in Europe from the UK.

This is what OFCOM said in an email:

"The use of licence-exempt apparatus is authorised under exemption regulations, with set emission powers and other criteria.  This is in order for it to be available to all users with minimal risk of disruption or interference.


The limits, including maximum power levels and whether airborne use is permitted, are set out in the UK Interface requirement IR2030.  If apparatus being used for testing meets the relevant technical criteria and complies with IR 2030, then a licence will not be necessary.   Please note that some frequency bands which may be licence-exempt in other countries, such as the USA, may not be so in the UK and only the frequency bands listed are eligible for the exemption of qualifying apparatus.


In some circumstances we may be able to authorise the test or development of non-compliant radio apparatus under an Innovation and Trial (I&T) licence.  However, this generally will be under conditions that are sufficiently remote, shielded or otherwise unlikely to affect other users.  I&T is not intended for the operational use of radio apparatus, such as for the monitoring / control / telemetry of other apparatus, where a licensed or exempt authorisation is already generally available.  Even if it were the radio apparatus itself that is under test or development (in excess of normally permitted limits) we should emphasise that, as describhe OFCOMed above, it will not be possible to grant an operational permission for its future deployment and use."

My interpretation is 10mW ERP is legal for beacons in the 8m UK ISM band without a licence as long as these conditions are met. This is not the Amateur Radio Service.  

Probably we are OK to experiment in other ISM bands as long as the OFCOM criteria are met. I did not ask this.

This loophole may be available at different power levels in other countries. If so, many more people could legally get on 8m in future.

The important bit is:

 "If apparatus being used for testing meets the relevant technical criteria and complies with IR 2030, then a licence will not be necessary."

10m FT8 (Sunday) with the QDX

Now my QDX transceiver has arrived, I am concentrating on 10m FT8 today. The antenna looks quite a good match to 17m and even on 20m it is not bad. I think the QDX puts out about 4W on 10m.

UPDATE 0943z:   55 spots on 10m FT8 RX and a couple of spots on TX (Ukraine and Canary Is).

UPDATE 1500z:  481 stations spotted today on 10m FT8 using the QDX transceiver. As I was out, I have not been on 10m FT8 TX for several hours.

10m QRP FT8 spots of me to 1600z using the QDX

UPDATE 1621z: 
519 stations spotted and my QRP 10m FT8 TX has been spotted by 31 stations with 2 QSOs, although these were stations calling me. If I called others I am pretty sure more QSOs are definitly possible.  I guess it must be the time of year, but no North Americans spotted yet. The map clearly shows F2 skip. Still nothing yet from the USA.

UPDATE 1900z:  45 stations have spotted my 10m QRP FT8 and I have spotted 589 stations.

South Devon - NOT amateur radio

In my childhood and teenage years I lived in South Devon. The photo is near where I come from. We have a continuous record of our family history back to the mid 1500s in this part of Devon. 


When I first came on VHF, most activity was on AM. These days what phone activity exists is SSB or FM with AM quite rare. 

In some ways, this is a pity. AM gear used to be able to be picked up very cheaply and homemade AM gear can be very simple. I have to confess that I am rarely on AM these days, preferring FT8 as my voice is poor. I come on 2m and 70cm SSB for activity contests and once a week on a 2m FM net.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/vhf-am .

Dalham - NOT amateur radio

This village, not far from us, is filled with thatched cottages. One was on the blog recently. It is a good place for a walk. The church is some way from the village...next door to the manor house!

UPDATE 1537z: We went for a walk at Dalham earlier. Delightful.

Sunspots - Sunday February 26th 2023

 Solar flux is 152 and the SSN 129.  A=10 and K=2.

25 Feb 2023

QDX on 10m

It has arrived and is tiny!! 

Stations that spotted my QDX
this afternoon on FT8
It has been tried out on 10m WSPR and FT8 and seems to work fine. I have already been spotted in the USA on FT8 and heaps of stations in the USA on WSPR.  Impressive!!

UPDATE 1850z:  18 stations have spotted me on 10m FT8 TX and 250 stations spotted me on 10m FT8 RX with the QDX.

Stations spotted on 20m FT8 RX
  this evening on the QDX

UPDATE 2208z: 
101 stations spotted on 20m FT8 RX with the QDX on FT8.  QRT now.

Primroses - NOT amateur radio

Over winter, we plant primroses, which usually are out all winter adding a splash of colour. This winter, they were slow to appear, but have now all flowered.  

Luckily, Muntjac don't like these!

10FT8R 10m FT8 RX

We are a few weeks away from the main Es season in the northern hemisphere. F2 propagation on 10m is very good again.

Often there is a need to monitor 10m FT8 without using the "big rig". You might like to consider my 10FT8R 10m FT8 RX. This is simple, works very well and is low cost. Mine never got beyond the breadboard stage (as you can see)!

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/10ft8r-rx .

Plans for Saturday

 Later, I hope to go on 10m FT8.

Muntjac - NOT amateur radio

Several times recently I have been in the back garden and disturbed a Mutjac deer. These are dog sized deer that were imported in the 1800s. They eat lots of flowers! This one was testing some fat for the birds!

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

Sunspots - Saturday February 25th 2023

 Solar flux is 164 and the SSN 130. A=6 and K=2.

24 Feb 2023

8m QRP FT8 (Friday)

 It is now 0920z and I have been on for about an hour. So far, no spots.

UPDATE 0955z:  No spots. I shall turn things on 8m off TX shortly, but on later in case there is any transatlantic F2.

UPDATE 1251z: Spotted by MCP44 (47km).

10m WSPR QRP (Friday)

My 500mW WSPR TX beacon was turned on at 0805z. So far today, no spots. 

UPDATE 0921z:  17 spots of my QRP so far from the Canary Is.

UPDATE 1300z:  8 unique stations have spotted me today, mostly from the USA.

Plans for today (Friday)

At the moment my plan is to go on 10m WSPR TX and 8m QRP FT8. Depending on  my QDX coming, I may try this. 

UPDATE 1211z:  My built QDX is supposed to have arrived at Castle Donnington in the night. It is meant to be delivered here by 1800z.

Bellringing - NOT amateur radio

Bellringing is an art that has been around in the UK for many centuries. At the moment they are trying to encourage new ringers so every church tower in England can be rung on the day of the Coronation in May. Our grandson has been ringing for several years and has a YouTube channel. Here he is ringing at Foxton recently.

Sunspots - Friday February 24th 2023

Solar flux is 148 and the SSN 108. A=22 and K=1.

23 Feb 2023

Rather them than me! - NOT amateur radio

 This video of a hiking "path" in Switzerland is sure to raise your blood pressure.

See https://twitter.com/OTerrifying/status/1627562598463082496 .

10m QRP WSPR (Thursday)

 Almost forgot! When on 8m FT8, I can go on 10m QRP WSPR TX with the 500mW beacon as the antenna is available. So for about 10 minutes (it is now 1327z) 6 stations have already spotted me.

UPDATE 1644z:
Quite a few spots of my 500mW WSPR from the USA.

8m QRP FT8 (Thursday)

At about 1318z, I QSYed to 8m QRP FT8.  So far, just one spot by FG8OG (6670km). It seems transatlantic reception even of my QRP is almost daily.

UPDATE 1534z: 2 spots of my QRP (again) from the Caribbean. It feels like this is most days. I may try WSPR another day. At 1W on the FT817ND I wonder how this will be?


This rally has been notified to me. Always worth checking the details are correct before travelling a long way!

Sunday Feb 26th  - West Manchester Radio Club Red, Leigh, WN7 2PJ. 

I have also received news that the Callington (CARS) Rally in Cornwall in March has been cancelled.

10m QRP FT8 (Thursday)

For a change, I am on 10m FT8 with 1W from the FT817ND. After about 20 minutes, 8 spots of my 1W and 42 spots of others.

Stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX today

UPDATE 1025z:
1 QSO, 11 unique stations have spotted me and I have spotted 88 stations.

UPDATE 1106z:  2 QSOs and 108 stations have been spotted on 10m FT8 RX today. At a guess, I would guess the FT8 10m activity is at least 4 times higher than on WSPR.

Unique stations spotting me on 10m FT8 TX at 1300z

UPDATE 1315z: 
3 QSOs and 22 stations have spotted my 1W FT8.  On RX, 214 stations have spotted me.

Sunspots - Thursday February 23rd 2022

 Solar flux is 152 and the SSN 100.  A=6 and K=3.

South Devon - NOT amateur radio

The photo shows the view looking from Slapton towards Start Point. 

QDX transceiver

There was a good review of this in a recent QST. Mine is still showing as "being collected". QDX is a QRP, multi-band HF digital transceiver available as a kit or ready built from QRP Labs. It looks like these come from the west of Turkey.

See https://www.qrp-labs.com/images/qdx/QST_QDX_Review.pdf


Since moving to this QTH nearly 10 years ago (doesn't time fly?) I have a dedicated shack. 

SSB and FM operation require me to be in the shack, whereas FT8 and WSPR may be monitored on a different PC in the lounge. 

I usually sync to internet time early morning (just using Windows 10) and I can pop in the shack (which I do often) in seconds.  Although I sometimes re-sync later in the day, I am not convinced this is really needed.

Although I have a separate bench for building, my poor fine motor skills mean it is rarely used these days, sadly.

The photo shows me looking at birds in the garden as the shack probably has the best view.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/other-amateur-radio/shack .

Oscar 100 narrowband

My most recent peek at this geosynchronous satellite last night was worse than last time! Activity was pathetic. My most recent look was at 2220z on a Wednesday evening. There were just 2 stations only active. 

My only recommendation is just don't bother. By now, I was expecting it to be busy, whereas it is seriously under-used. As mentioned before, people (well a few) enjoy the challenge of getting active, then lose interest. 

My own view is this is just too hard for the "appliance operators" of today. If one of the big manufacturers offered a rig (they won't as Japan and the USA are outside the footprint of the satellite), things would be different as "black box" operators could chat with much of the world without big beams and linears and with a small, fixed antenna. Don't tell them they can do this for free on the Internet!😀

What will happen? Things will carry on as now and activity might pick up as solar activity wanes. What is needed is a low cost add-on to enable appliance operators to get on the satellite using their main rig.

People happily shell out huge amounts for linears, beams and towers. None of these would be needed.

See https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/ .

22 Feb 2023

Crouching down - NOT amateur radio


One of the issues with getting old is crouching down. If you get down, it is hard to get up! However, we have an answer - grandsons! At their age they have no problems with hips or knees, so we ask them to take a photo. Problem solved.

Old pals - NOT amateur radio

We have known these friends since university days in the 1960s. My wife and I are in yellow.

This was at nearby Anglesey Abbey with a complete stranger kindly taking the photo.

Simple regen RX

Quite often I get asked how simple can you make a receiver that gives useful results. 

Of course the simplest of all is a crystal set that does not even need a battery. 

The simplest circuit that really works well is probably the one shown. I even adapted this into a 1 FET 80m transceiver. The RX works well on AM, SSB and CW.  By changing the tuned circuit, it will work on different bands. As a transceiver my main issue was netting the RX onto the TX frequency.

There are plenty of similar circuits on the Internet.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/80m-or-40m-regen-rx .

10m QRP WSPR TX (Wednesday)

Testing with the 500mW beacon started at about 0940z. It is now 1000z and, so far, 2 unique stations spotting me. No surprises.

UPDATE 1019z: 4 unique stations spotting me.

UPDATE 1420z: 13 unique stations have spotted my QRP today.

UPDATE 1621z:
19 unique stations have spotted me today. Certainly the station in the Canary Is could have copied me on microwatts at times if his noise floor was low enough. Pretty sure than 10mW ERP 8m WSPR (legal, I think, in the UK without a licence in the ISM band for beacons) could reach surprising distances at times.

8m QRP FT8 ( Wednesday)

 Testing began at about 0940z. No spots yet today.

UPDATE 1414z: It seems "crossing the pond" is almost daily at the moment on 8m FT8, even though the ERP is about 1W when the rig get hot!! Just spotted by FG8OJ (6670km). 

UPDATE 2142z:   On 8m FT8 RX today my system spotted G9PUV and EI2IP.  I am surprised that I do not copy many more. At some point, I need to check the 8m sensitivity. This would involve a trip to a nearby amateur with a calibrated signal generator. It would not surprise me if it was several dB deaf on 8m. Even so, I have still copied S.Africans and Caribbean stations several times.

SPRAT back issues

All the back issues of SPRAT are available on a flash drive. It is cheaper for GQRP club members. It is very low cost and well worth it. There are years of projects on it. Look for "SPRAT on a stick". 

Many times I have said that if all magazines had to go, SPRAT would be my last. This is incredible value. 

See  https://www.gqrp.com .

Sunspots - Wednesday February 22nd 2023

 Solar flux is 161 and the SSN 106.   A=16 and K=2.

21 Feb 2023

Tulips - NOT amateur radio

These are colourful flowers in the spring. Sometimes they are floppy and an aspirin in the water makes them stand up again. I have no idea why! My wife likes flowers in the house.

QDX coming

This morning, I had an email from QRP Labs and the carrier saying that my QDX is on its way. It is due this week. It covers 20-10m at 5W FT8.

See https://qrp-labs.com/qdx.html .

UK winter 1947 - NOT amateur radio

The winter of 1947 was very harsh. This is a photo of my cousins outside their house. Some years later we lived a few houses down. In Salcombe, snow is rare.

8m QRP FT8 (Tuesday)

Been on 8m FT8 early (since just before breakfast). So far, no spots today.

UPDATE 0955z:   Still no spots. OFCOM has confirmed that my new T&I 8m licence has all I asked for.

UPDATE 1639z: 
7 stations have spotted my QRP 8m FT8 today with 4 being in the Caribbean. It seems that if the F2 MUF is high enough, I get spotted across the Atlantic even with QRP.   At one time to be spotted "across the pond" was magic on 8m, whereas now it seems quite commonplace.

10m 500mW WSPR TX (Tuesday)

My 500mW 10m WSPR beacon was turned on before breakfast. It is now 0912z and all the usual reports including many from the Canary Isles, which I assume is F2 propagation.

UPDATE  1658z:  So far today, my 500mW WSPR has been spotted by 19 unique stations with the furthermost WA2N (6488km).

UPDATE 1837z:   22 unique stations have spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR today.

Sunspots - Tuesday February 21st 2023

Solar flux is 160 and the SSN 135. A=8 and K=3. 

20 Feb 2023

Woke - NOT amateur radio

Today I heard that Puffin books is sanitising Roald Dahl books so that they do not cause offence. Now, he was far from an angel, but kids love his books and do not need wrapping in cotton wool. 

In my view, the world is going stark staring mad!! 

Should we pull down the pyramids because they were built by slaves? Should many UK country houses be pulled down because money was made by slaves workers in the West Indies? Many street names in big cities were named after slave merchants.

I am all for a fair world, but where does this end? 

Anglesey Abbey - NOT amateur radio

This path at nearby Anglesey Abbey is lined with snowdrops. On the trees, buds are appearing. It can turn much colder, but there are signs of spring all around.

New T&I 8m TX permit approved

Just heard from OFCOM that they have approved my T&I 8m permit for when mine runs out in April. I have asked for a provisional copy to check over. Assuming this is OK, it means I have broadly the same as currently until April 2024.

10m 500mW WSPR TX (Monday)

It is now 0950z and I have been on since 0900z. Spots of me by a local and from the Canary Isles.

UPDATE 0959z:   4 unique stations spotting me now. Most are probably via F2.

8m QRP FT8 (Monday)

It is now 0945z and I have been on for about 45 minutes. So far, the only spot of me is by 4X1BG (3532km). Nobody has been spotted on 8m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1754z:   My own QRP 8m FT8 was spotted in Israel and Kazakhstan  I have spotted 5 stations including 1 in the USA and 1 in Canada.

Sunspots - Monday February 20th 2023

Solar flux is 169 and the SSN 112. A=7 and K=0.

19 Feb 2023

Remember this?

If I remember correctly, this was a prize at our Liverpool University Amateur Radio Society (G3OUL) dinner one year. I think it was 1969.  It is possible the prize was the successor which was the Micromatic.

When I first came to Cambridge, Sinclair has small premises at 20 Newmarket Road.  

Sir Clive once asked me for advice on antennas!

Talking of G3OUL made me quite nostalgic, so I did some Googling!

Useful archive online

A recent posting on an IO group reminded me of this most useful archive on radio history.

Chocolate boxes? - NOT amateur radio

These cottages are in the delightful village of Dalham, not too far from us. 

Today, I guess these well kept thatched cottages are owned by the wealthy who can afford them. In the 1800s, they were probably worker's hovels.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Sunday)

Been on for about 30 minutes (it is now 0945z) and, so far with the 500mW 10m WSPR beacon, 3 unique stations have spotted me. No surprises!

UPDATE 1156z:   7 spots of me so far today. USA also spotting me again.

UPDATE 1615z: 29 unique stations have spotted my 10m 500mW WSPR today with the furthermost being FR1GZ (9724km).

8m QRP FT8 (Sunday)

Only been on for a short while, but been spotted by 4X1BG (3552km) and I have spotted G4APG (88km).

UPDATE 1008z:  A reminder that I believe anyone in the UK may legally put 10mW ERP beacons on without a licence on the 8m ISM bands as long as the technical requirements and IR 2030 are met. As encouragement, an Australian 8m WSPR beacon at 5mW was copied over 5000km away! See https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/2023/01/successful-low-power-tests-on-40-mhz.html . It would be good to see many WSPR beacons on 8m this Es season. 

UPDATE 1150z:  ZS6OB (9099km) spotted on 8m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1238z: 4X1BG (3552km) has again spotted me and I have spotted this station too on RX. The map shows the stations spotted here this morning on 8m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1454z:  Spotted by 2 stations in the Caribbean on 8m QRP FT8. Amazing! When the rig gets hot, the power drops to 1W ish.

UPDATE 1512z:  Several stations were copied on 8m FT8 RX today, that were not reported to PSKreporter.  I am unsure if PSKreporter does not report in a QSO or it was a problem with my internet. G9PUV, G8BCG and another Eire station seen today. Probably F2 backscatter.

UPDATE 1525z:  5 stations have spotted my QRP 8m  FT8 today, including 3 in the Caribbean. I think FG8OG (6670km) in Guadeloupe may be a new country for me on 8m?

UPDATE 1543z:  It must be an issue with uploading to PSKreporter (delay?) or at my end as VA2CY clearly spotted calling CQ. He is on my screen several times , but not showing on PSKreporter.

UPDATE 1557z: WW1L (4976km) has spotted me on 8m FT8 this afternoon. Even with a very low ERP, I am still being copied "across the pond" many times.

UPDATE 1621z:  Now RX only on 8m FT8.

Kingsbridge NOT amateur radio

Not sure when the photo was taken, but it looks over a hundred years ago. This is where I was brought up as a teenager. I ate at the Shambles in the photo just last year. It used to be a coffee bar in my youth. 

Sunspots - Sunday February 19th 2023

 Solar flux is 167 and the SSN 109. A=6 and K=0.

18 Feb 2023

First steps

Looking back, I noticed this photo that shows my first setup on 600m. Later we got an allocation at 630m.

10m Tenner Transceiver

This was created before the last sunspot peak. Although many have migrated to FT8, nothing beats working DX on a simple transceiver that you have made yourself. 

Although you made not build this, I hope it gives you some ideas.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/10m-tenner-qrp-cw  .

8m QRP FT8 (Saturday)

Been on 8m FT8 (TX first) for about 90 minutes. So far, 2 spots from Eastern Europe with the furthermost RA4FER (2992km). This is almost certainly F2 propagation.

UPDATE 1016z:  Not sure if there are now more people monitoring 8m FT8 or it is just that conditions are better so more people can copy my QRP. Until yesterday, there were very few reports of me from the east.

UPDATE 1218z:   When out shopping, I left the 8m FT8 on RX. 3 stations spotted as the map shows. Rig currently turned completely off.

UPDATE 1335z:  5 stations have spotted me today on 8m FT8. I am surprised by the results at this time of year. Most reports seem to be by F2. Rig turned on again.

UPDATE 1405z:  7 spots of my 8m QRP FT8 today including HI8SDR-2 (7062km), which is a new country and "across the pond" again. Now RX only again.

UPDATE 1845z:  My first copy of a station in North America on 8m FT8:  VA2CY (4965km). Now QRT.

10m 500mW WSPR TX (Saturday)

It is now 1005z.  9 stations have so far spotted me. The majority look like F2 propagation.

UPDATE 1220z:  13 stations have spotted my 10m QRP WSPR beacon today. USA starting to spot me.

UPDATE 1342z:  26 spots of my 500mW QRP 10m WSPR. so far today.

UPDATE 1609z: 
 34 spots of me so far today on 10m QRP WSPR.

UPDATE 1636z:   37 spots so far today on 10m QRP WSPR.

Plans for Saturday

After breakfast I hope to be on 8m QRP FT8 TX on 40.680 MHz as well as 10m QRP WSPR TX with 500mW from the W5OLF beacon. There might be some F2 backscatter on 8m. 

Our church in Burwell - NOT amateur radio

This is a view of our village church in silhouette. It is mostly 15th century although some parts of the tower are Saxon.