31 Mar 2023

630m WSPR RX (Friday)

 At 1920z, my 630m WSPR RX was turned on.

23cm SSB sked with G4BAO

This was very successful. John gave me an RS58 report which was very satisfying for 2W indoors to a 2 el yagi indoors. John suggested an FT8 test at some point in the future, which I shall do. Aiming the small beam in all sorts of directions made little difference on John's signal.

Home deliveries - NOT amateur radio

Since the pandemic, many people have turned to home deliveries. We have used these services for many years. You cannot beat looking at goods in shops, but for some things the convenience of home deliveries is great. The downside is shops find it hard to compete and close. It is a very difficult decision. 

Peoples' shopping habits are changing. In my view, the shops that will still be here are those that adjust to this new model, perhaps acting as showcases for goods ordered online. 

Activity levels

Today was an interesting experiment. I tried 6m and 4m FT8. The difference could not be more stark. On 6m I got plenty of spots, whereas on 4m none at all. Many modern transceivers in Europe include 4m, yet activity on this great band seems very poor. 

I guess people are more interested in working new DX than chatting, not that you can chat on FT8!  There is no doubt amateur radio is changing. In many ways this is for the worse. 

Putting a RX on 6m FT8 is more likely to have something "new" than 4m FT8 outside of the Es season. Even so, I am surprised how bad 4m seems to be. I was expecting some activity!

Unless things change, amateur radio will be gone before 2040. At the very least, it will be radically different.

UPDATE 1336z: What will the future of amateur radio look like? The short answer is I do not know! I can see national agencies like the FCC and OFCOM tiring of amateur radio. Instead I can see the allocation of callsigns being delegated to the ARRL and the RSGB. I can see this spreading across the world. I can see a time when the amateur bands that remain become a free for all, without licences, as long as no interference is caused. I can see a merging of licence free bands and amateur radio.

Wicken Fen lunch yesterday - NOT amateur radio


This was our lunch at the cafe at Wicken Fen on our walk yesterday.

4m FT8 (Friday)

 At 1140z, I turned on my 4m FT8 with my compromise antenna of the 2m big-wheel and coax tuned via the auto ATU in the FT-710 So far, no spots of me.

UPDATE 1235z:  I decided to go back to 6m FT8 as I was getting no spots on 4m. Clearly few come on 4m outside the Es season.

6m FT8 (Friday)

At the moment I am on 6m FT8 with the FT-710. Several UK spots of me on TX, but no RX spots.

UPDATE 1056z: F4EGZ (668km) has spotted me.

UPDATE  1242z:  Back on 6m FT8. 16 stations have spotted me.

UPDATE 1300z: Spotted by 17 stations on 6m FT8 so far today.

Stations spotting me
today on 6m FT8 TX
UPDATE 1856z:
56 stations in 10 countries have spotted me today on 6m FT8. It is not even the Es season yet! Very few spots (4) on 6m FT8 RX.

Brave New World?

 As an experiment just now, I asked Chat GPT4 to generate me an essay about amateur radio. GPT4 is a form of artificial intelligence.

The essay looked remarkably accurate and was just as if a human being had written it. I stopped after about 30 lines. I also asked it to create a couple of poems about places I knew. These were amazing.

You can see both the good and bad here: the good is getting AI to do what humans find boring and hard. The bad is where does this stop?

Although I do not want to sound like a Luddite, I can see dangers ahead.

Wicken Fen walk - NOT amateur radio


Yesterday we walked to Wicken Fen. It tried to rain (briefly) on the way back.

19 set

Back in the 1960s these were quite common WW2 surplus radios often used on 80m AM. These days they are more difficult to get. At one time these were made by Pye Telecom. 

Sunspots - Friday March 31st 2023

Solar flux is 140 and the SSN 99.  A=17 and K=4.

30 Mar 2023

Red-legged partridges - NOT amateur radio

Only a few days ago I was saying how we had seen none of these for a while. This evening, one appeared in our front drive and then perched on the bird table in the back!  

I heard it first. It is probably after a mate!

10m QRP FT8 (Thursday)

 So far, 38 stations have spotted me and I have copied a lot more!  2 QSOs so far.

Stations spotting me
 today on 10m FT8 QRP

UPDATE 2110z:
  156 stations have spotted my QRP 10m FT8 today. 3 QSOs. It seems the world is there with QRP on 10m FT8. It is too easy! Currently not trying for QSOs. More like FT8 beaconing.  

Death - NOT amateur radio

We have just heard of the death of the husband of my wife's old work colleague. They live in Australia. Although expected, it must be such a shock when it actually happens. 

I guess it is also a wake-up call to our own mortality. I am reminded of this poem.

See https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44400/spring-and-fall .

23cm SSB sked

Assuming G4BAO confirms, my intention is to have a 23cm sked on 1296.2 MHz SSB at 1430z today. As yet, he has not confirmed!!

UPDATE 1650z: We are trying at 1430z on Friday March 31st on 1296.2 MHz SSB. 3.30pm BST.

Lesser Chirpy

Originally, this was called the XBM10-2. It is probably one of the simplest transceivers you can make. It really works! These days there is less CW activity as people move to modes like FT8, but it is fun to make contacts with ultra simple homemade gear.

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

Plans for this afternoon (Thursday)

 Assuming the thunder storms keep away, my plan is to go on 10m FT8 later. 

Wicken Fen walk - NOT amateur radio

This morning we walked to Wicken Fen a distance of about 3.75 miles. 

What was this? - NOT amateur radio

This odd building, now very derelict, is on sale in a nearby village (Lode) for £250000. It looks like it was once a shop, but its odd design suggests it was once something else. Sadly, I do not know its history. In decent condition it would probably sell for over £1M. Nice restoration project for someone!

Rally on Sunday

This is a reminder of this rally this coming Sunday. As I always say, please be sure it is on before travelling far.

Sunday April 2nd - Hack Green Surplus Sale and Militaria, Nantwich, Cheshire , CW5 8AL. Contact coldwar@hackgreen.co.uk.

Walk with grandchildren - NOT amateur radio

This was last weekend on a walk with 2 of our grandchildren. We were playing a game of "Pooh Sticks" when a stick is dropped on one side of the bridge and one waits on the other side of bridge for it to emerge.

Sunspots - Thursday March 30th 2023

Solar flux is 148 and the SSN 135. A=6 and K=2. 

29 Mar 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - NOT amateur radio

This worries me. 

Just now I tried Google's version called Bard again. It tries to make sense of the data it knows about and writes about this. Some answers were remarkably good, whereas some were useless and factually incorrect.

Now, used properly I can see lot of uses. However, many will (wrongly) take everything it says as factually correct when it is not. I can see a future when many people accept everything produced by AI as factually correct. "Brave New World", as Aldous Huxley Huxley said?

Cambridge artwork


This painting was in a shop window in Cambridge on Monday.

G4BAO away?

Several times I have tried to contact John to arrange a quick sked on 23m SSB. It seems odd to me that he has not replied even when I sent to an address he had used quite recently and another that I had. 

At first I wondered if my address had gone into SPAM by mistake. I have come to the conclusion he is away.... or I am no longer in his good books,HI!

6m FT8 (Wednesday)

Stations spotting my 6m FT8 until 1602z

At the moment (1510z) I am on 6m FT8 with the FT-710. So far, spotted across the UK with the furthermost MI0BOT (478km). Was this aircraft reflection?

King's College flowers - NOT amateur radio

At the moment the spring flowers on the lane towards King's College in Cambridge from Queens Road look a picture. This photo was taken on Monday. 

FT-710 on 8m TX?

Luckily, I have one of the few legal permits in the UK to TX on 8m. For the last year, I have used my FT817ND on 8m FT8. So far, with just low power and a low wire dipole, I have been copied on 4 continents and in 21 countries (it may be more now). 

I am curious to know if the FT-710 can be simply modified to TX on 8m just with button presses. Although I have no plans to use my FT-710 on 8m, I am just wondering. I am sure there will be wideband mods by changing diodes internally, but I do not want to do this.

4m FT8 (Wednesday)

Once again on 4m FT8. So far, no spots. 

UPDATE 1508z: After a whole day with absolutely no 4m FT8 spots (and apparently no monitors either!) I have QSYed to 6m FT8 and was immediately spotted across England. Probably I shall give 4m a miss until Es kicks in. It is unlikely I shall bother with a halo for 4m as my "ad hoc" arrangement seems to work perfectly. This will certainly get me Es contacts into Europe on 4m FT8.

Sunspots - Wednesday March 29th 2023

 Solar flux is 159 and the SSN 114. A=5 and K=0.

28 Mar 2023

4m FT8 (Tuesday)

At about 1810z, my 4m FT8 was turned on. My compromise antenna is again the 2m big-wheel and coax tuned via the auto-ATU in the FT-710.  After about 50 minutes, no spots.

UPDATE 2000z:  No spots.

South Devon - NOT amateur radio

As mentioned many times, I originally came from the South Hams in South Devon. I lived here until we came to Cambridge in the early 1970s. I get back there most years. My brother still lives there and I stay with him usually and travel down by train.

Cambridge spring - NOT amateur radio

This is the view of the university church, Great St Mary's yesterday. Cambridge is a fine city, especially in spring sunshine. This is the view from behind King's College Chapel

Operating on 10m

At the moment, 10m is again in great shape. Most days DX from across the world may be copied.  Come May, June, July and August we see the peak Es season in the northern hemisphere which will allow DX up to about 1500km almost daily and some times further. F2 is currently very good. 10m is usually best for DX in the sunlight hours.

There even some single band multi mode 10m rigs available. These are based on CB radios, but can be very good as 10m radios.

There is little doubt that 10m (28MHz) is my favourite band of all. In the past I have used these with CB verticals very successfully on 10m.

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


 A reminder than OFCOM usually updates the data it holds on licences weekly. It has also published several documents this week.   See the OFCOM website for details.

8m QRP FT8 (Tuesday)

At 0955z my 8m FT8 was turned on.  I am not really expecting any spots. Currently, no spots!

UPDATE 1455z:  No spots.

Italian food - NOT amateur radio

My son and grandson are away on different school trips to southern Italy. This is an example of the food.  

Amateur radio black humour


Seen earlier today.

Sunspots - Tuesday March 28th 2023

Solar flux is 158 and the SSN 128. A=3 and K=0.

27 Mar 2023

630m transverter

This was designed some years ago, but has appeared in QST and the RSGB book "LF Today". 

I wanted a simple way of getting on this MF band and this was the result. Several have since been successfully built. 

It produces about 10W into 50 ohms, but the ERP will be considerably lower depending on the antenna used. In my case, my "antenna" was just an earth-electrode "antenna" in the ground with the electrodes about 12m apart with the wire back to the shack along the fence not very high. I tried the wire on the ground and it made little difference. My theory is this forms a loop in the ground. The actual loop diameter will get larger as frequency is reduced. Such an antenna has been used for far field amateur TX tests (successfully) at well below 10 kHz.

Most nights my measured 10mW ERP was spotted in Norway on WSPR. It used the FT817ND in split mode TXing on 80m but receiving directly on 630m.

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/630m-472khz-transverter .

630m WSPR RX (Monday)

At the moment I am on 630m WSPR RX. So far, just PA3GSH (396km) spotted. 

Cambridge Backs today - NOT amateur radio

This was the view towards King's College chapel this morning. Spring is on its way with several trees bursting out.

Spain on 8m?

Recently, a station in the Caribbean has reported a sudden increase in contacts on 8m with Spain.  He wonders if the authorities there have granted access to 8m to radio amateurs. 

It would be good if more countries were granted legal access, if only for a limited time. This next year or so, around the solar maximum, a great deal of useful research could be done.

Does anyone know the legal situation in Spain please?

8m QRP FT8 (Monday)

 After being off for about 10 days playing with other things, I am back on 40.680 MHz QRP FT8 again at 1430z. No spots. It will get much easier for QRP stations when the Es season gets going.

Today has been disappointing on 8m. It looks like conditions have to be very good for my QRP FT8 to get through.  I would probably do better on 8m WSPR, but I think there are fewer monitors? I expect many are also fighting high local noise levels that make decoding weak signals hard.

UPDATE 1550z:  No spots. Are there many monitoring 8m WSPR?

UPDATE 1610z:  Trying 8m QRP WSPR near 40.680 MHz in the WSPR window. TXing 30 %.

UPDATE 1651z:   No WSPR spots so back on QRP FT8.

UPDATE 1743z:  No spots, so QRT on 8m soon. I think QRP 8m stations are unlikely to get too far now until the Es season.

On guard - NOT amateur radio

This heron was opposite King's College in Cambridge earlier. Punts were going by within a few metres. 

Sunspots - Monday March 27th 2023

Solar flux is 159 and the SSN 125. A=8 and K=0.

26 Mar 2023

481 THz tests

I have resurrected my optical gear. It had stood largely unused for 10 years.

As yet, I have not got Spectran working with the optical RX so I can only do optical tests with continuous carrier or CW and not QRSS. Tests so far are a reflected (off a wall) signal on CW. Good copy over a reflected path of just 100m. At least the optical gear works again!

UPDATE 2020z:  Expections were well exceeded. I set up my 481 THz beacon firing out of our lounge double-glazed window at a wall of a house at the very far end of our close. I walked with my RX to the other end. So the path distance was about 0.25km with one reflection. Signals were S9+ even by ear. The gear really works well. I must get Spectran working and try some NLOS tests. with G4HJW. I suspect we will have greater success with cloudbounce. My main issues are exhaustion and giddiness.

2m QRP FT8 (Sunday)

For a change, I am on 2m QRP FT8. No QSOs yet, but copying G3MLO.

Watching my signal on G0LRD's grabber. This is a very useful resource if you are in the Cambridge area. A part screenshot of this is shown here.

Already 12 spots of my QRP with the furthermost F6EGD (472km) in Brittany. Not bad with the FT817ND and omni big-wheel.

UPDATE 1554z:   One thing to watch with WSJT-X V2.6 is a new feature. You can chose just to send CQs, reply to the first that calls you, or reply to the most distant. Inadvertently you can operate as just a beacon and wonder why you had no contacts!

UPDATE 1710z:   19 stations in 5 countries spotted so far with the furthermost MM0ABM (502km) and 14 spots of my 2.5W and omni.

UPDATE 1810z:
15 stations have spotted me today.

Lode village - NOT amateur radio

Yesterday, we did a walk with 2 of our grandchildren at Lode, which is a village near us. The photo shows them outside a thatched cottage. As you can tell, they were not keen on the photo!

630m WSPR RX (Sunday)

At 1046z I QSYed to 630m WSPR RX. I am not sure how many people are on during the day, so this is an experiment.

UPDATE 1120z: PA3GSH (396km) spotted. It would appear his signal is right on the edge of being copied.

UPDATE 1138z: G0VQH is getting signals far stronger than I am on 630m WSPR. I am not sure what Jennie is using, but it certainly works better than my system currently!

UPDATE 2130z: Went back on 630m WSPR RX for the evening. 3 stations spotted. QRT soon.

10m FT8 RX (Sunday)

At the moment, I am on 10m FT8 RX. At 1014z (must always remember that in the UK we are now British Summer Time!) 388 stations spotted as the map shows. It is too easy! 

UPDATE 1038z:  501 stations spotted.

I might QSY to 630m WSPR RX soon.

Sunday plans

Getting the optical gear working 

As today looks dull and wet, these are my plans :

  • Email G4BAO to set up a sked on 23cm SSB.  Email written and sent.
  • Try to get the optical gear working. All gear assembled. Spectran installed. 
  • Go on 10m FT8 daytime. RX on morning. Off late morning.
  • Go on 630m WSPR RX this evening. Went on late morning. 
Doing anything these days is so much harder. After getting my 481 THz gear together I feel exhausted. I cannot remember how I interfaced from the optical RX to the PC. I must find out. It was 10 years ago!!

I may try a local CW test after dark this evening bouncing off a wall about 200m away - small steps.

The other Burwell - NOT amateur radio

We live in Burwell in Cambridgeshire. There is another Burwell in Lincolnshire that is much smaller. It is shown in the photo 

Sunspots - Sunday March 26th 2023

Solar flux is 160 and the SSN 105.  A=15 and K=2. 

25 Mar 2023

Magnolia - NOT amateur radio


Magnolias in bloom are a sure sign of spring. We saw this in the nearby village of Lode. There were at least three.

630m WSPR RX (Saturday)

Rather earlier than normal, I have turned on 630m WSPR RX. So far spotted PA3GSH (396km), so my system is working. 

Again my "antenna" is the coax to my 2m big-wheel omni antenna tuned with a ferrite rod on the bench.

UPDATE 1930z: 2 stations spotted so far this evening with the furthermost DB8BG (498km).

UPDATE 2220z: 
QRT soon. 6 stations spotted this evening. Furthermost was SM6BGP (981km).


About a week ago, I outlined the projects that I hoped to tackle in the next 4 weeks. So far, I am making progress. 

  • My FT-710 now works with FT8 .
  • I have had a QSO on 4m FT8, albeit with my 2m big-wheel and coax via the auto-ATU in the FT-710.

Next week, I hope to re set up my optical gear and do some local tests and arrange a 23cm SSB sked with G4BAO


10m QRP FT8 (Saturday)

At the moment, I am on 10m FT8. So far, 3 stations have spotted me after about 5 minutes and 5 stations have been spotted on RX.

UPDATE 1152z:  6 stations have spotted me today so far with the furthermost RA9CIN (3701km). On 10m FT8 RX 78 stations as the map shows.

UPDATE 1225z:  12 stations have spotted me, 1 QSO and 123 stations have been spotted on 10m FT8 RX.

Spots of my QRP 10m FT8 today

UPDATE 1725z:
354 stations spotted on RX and 18 spots of me today on 10m FT8 QRP TX.

Lincoln 2013 - NOT amateur radio

In 2013, we visited Lincoln. It was very cold! The photo shows Lincoln Cathedral proudly on the hill. 

Sunspots - Saturday March 25th 2023

 Solar flux is 158 and the SSN 108. A=66 and K=2.

24 Mar 2023

630m WSPR RX (Friday)

At 1850z my 630m WSPR RX was turned on. No spots yet.

UPDATE 2206z:   Still no spots.

UPDATE 2208z:   I am puzzled. G6AVK is usually copied, but I have had no spots all evening. As far as I can tell, everything is correct. It is not just uploading to WSPRnet as there are no local spots either!

UPDATE 2240z : Restarted WSJT-X and immediately got spots from the Netherlands and Germany. Not sure what was going on. Now QRT. 

Another banking crisis? - NOT amateur radio

Although the banking sector is supposed to be far more resilient these days, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Bank stocks still look spooked by recent events with SVB and Credit Swisse. I hope this is short lived.

10m FT8 (Friday)

Am now on 10m FT8. Only D2UY (Angola) coming through, suggesting there is plenty of disturbance. I am not sure if there is a delay on PSKreporter at the moment.

UPDATE 1456z: Just 2 G spots of me so far. These are probably normal tropo. Furthermost is G4FAL (180km) near Sheffield. I remember that this sort of range was always possible with QRP 10m SSB and a dipole. It is probably even more likely with FT8. Pretty sure far more inter-G QSOs would be possible on 10m FT8.

UPDATE 1900z:   Now QRT, but in the end I was spotted by 8 stations and I spotted 12.

CDARC Zoom talks

As I am unable to drive at night, I have really enjoyed the Cambridge  Radio Club lectures via Zoom. They are trying to arrange "hybrid" meetings with personal contact in Cambridge and Zoom lectures for those that cannot get in. In my view, the Zoom lectures have been excellent.

My personal view is that all lectures should be on Zoom only, with a social gathering somewhere else once a month. This would mean no room hire, reduced annual fees, people could watch or talk from anywhere on the planet and people could watch the Zoom talks with others in their homes if they do not have Zoom. I would expect most people have Zoom.

Imagine if CDARC became a worldwide radio club!

The image is from the CDARC website. I wanted to link to this image, but could not see how to do this. Instead, I took a screenshot. If copyright infringement is an issue, it will be removed.

See https://www.cdarc.org.uk/ .

Grass cutting - NOT amateur radio

For the second time this year, I cut the grass, just beating the rain. February was very dry, but March made up for it!! 

4m FT8 (Friday)

 As HF looks to be disturbed, I am again on 4m FT8 with my makeshift antenna. At 1043z, no spots.

UPDATE 1245z:  No spots of me, but G4HGI (244km) spotted on 4m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1416z: GW8ASA (301km) has again spotted me at similar levels to yesterday.

UPDATE 1421z: Nothing outside of the UK so far on 4m FT8. Rather surprised there are not many more stations on 4m FT8. I expect this will change in the Es season.


One of the pleasures of UK winter is the usual absence of thunder and lightning. In the UK they can occur, but they are far more common in the summer. 

Although I know the chances of a direct strike are low, they do occur. I know of 2 friends who had this. One of the more common things is a power surge as storms approach.

What I tend to do is keep a watchful eye on approaching storms. If there is any danger, I disconnect everything: antennas, mains plugs etc.. I have no idea if this is the correct strategy. My view is it is better to be safe than sorry.

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


It looks like the coming days (especially today) could see quite disturbed solar conditions due to a coronal mass ejection (CME) on the sun. I am not clever enough to know how this will effect HF and low VHF.

See https://www.solen.info/solar/ .

Red Kites (birds) - NOT amateur radio

Until these birds were re-introduced in England some years ago, you would only see them normally in Wales. Now they are a quite common sight especially near motorways where they seek out road kill.

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

Sunspots - Friday March 24th 2023

Solar flux is 151 and the SSN 73. A=60 and K=7. Disturbed!! 

23 Mar 2023

Low cost RF modules

A few moments ago I took a peek at RF modules on eBay. This is just one that will cover many bands. Someone much fitter than me could probably design some useful kit around these.

Signs of spring?

In the UK, clocks go forward an hour on Sunday morning to British Summer Time (BST). Already there are promises of better days to come. Weeping willow trees often have hints of green before most others. This one in Ely a few days ago thinks it is spring!

I like the spring as it is the season of new hope after a long, dark winter. The blossom does not last long, but it beautiful for a while. I prefer the spring to the summer.

Under water - NOT amateur radio


These were photographed by a friend earlier this week in Letchworth.

Unused spectrum - NOT amateur radio

OFCOM is consulting on the future use of the 1900-1920 MHz spectrum. See the OFCOM website for details. Apparently these frequencies are allocated, but not used. 

4m FT8

 At the moment I am again on 70.154 MHz FT8 with my big-wheel 2m omni and coax tuned via the auto-ATU in the FT-710.  At 1029z, no spots. I have yet to be spotted on 4m, although my "antenna" does not help!

UPDATE 1226z: Well, my 4m "antenna" is working with 3 stations spotted and one spotting me - G4HGI (244km). 

UPDATE  1241z: I would imagine that most propagation is one of the following: flat-band propagation, tropo enhancement, MS or scatter. As Bas says in the comments, the Es season is probably some months away still.

UPDATE 1515z: 
G3SHK (200km) has been spotted, and has spotted me, on 4m FT8 (see map).  M0RJV (91km) has spotted me.  Still to have my first FT8 QSO on 4m. The impression I am left with is this band is very under-used apart from (maybe?) during the Es season.

UPDATE 1630z:   My first ever 4m FT8 QSO has happened. GW8ASA (301km) was worked this afternoon using the 8m dipole and the internal auto ATU.

Stations spotting me
today on 4m FT8 TX

UPDATE 1907z:
   No further stations spotted.

UPDATE 2115z:   QRT.

Devon cliffs - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken in 2012 and shows me in Bolberry Down in Devon.

Sunspots - Thursday March 23rd 2023

Solar flux is 159 and the SSN 81. A=17 and K=1.

22 Mar 2023

630m WSPR RX

At 2005z, I went on to 630m WSPR RX using the 2m big-wheel and coax via a ferrite rod ATU. So far this evening, a couple of German stations spotted.

UPDATE 2119z:  G6AVK (78km) also spotted. 

UPDATE 2218z: Now QRT. 


Ely Cathedral - NOT amateur radio

This photo was taken yesterday at Ely Cathedral. There has been Christian worship on this site for 1350 years. 

Electric cars - NOT amateur radio

In a few years, as mentioned recently, I am expecting a "tipping point" when most use electric cars rather than cars fuelled by fossil fuels. My prediction is this will happen about 2028. 

For this to happen, range has to be considerably improved and prices have to fall dramatically. Electric cars today appeal mainly to early adopters, those who feel strongly against fossil fuels and those who only make very short journeys like shopping trips and who can charge at home.  I think the breakthrough will come with solid state batteries.

Usually on my trips to Cambridge I see about 2 electric cars. Today I saw 10!! There must be a lot of early adopters!

10m FT8 QRP (Wednesday)

As I am back from Cambridge, I am on 10m QRP FT8 with 5W.  After about 10 minutes,  13 stations have spotted me and I have spotted 99.

UPDATE 1540z:  28 stations have spotted my QRP 10m FT8 and I have spotted 257.

Stations that have spotted my
5W 10m FT8 today at 1800z
UPDATE 1945z:   572 stations have been spotted and 80 stations have spotted my 5W 10m FT8 TX.

AI search engines - NOT amateur radio

There has been a lot recently about artificial intelligence and search engines. First there was ChatGPT followed by GPT-4 and now BARD which is Google's experimental version.

I can see great danger with these as people believe what these bots create as truth, when it may be full of errors. I tried BARD out and most was correct, but some things were totally wrong!! 

Sunspots - Wednesday March 22nd 2023

 Solar flux is 152 and the SSN 70. A=8 and K=3  

21 Mar 2023

Thatched cottage - NOT amateur radio


The photo was taken in 2013. It shows a thatched cottage in a village not far from here.

630m WSPR RX (Tuesday)

At about 1745z, I changed to 630m WSPR RX. It is now 1756z and, so far,  no spots.

UPDATE 2057z:   2 stations spotted so far this evening.

UPDATE 2240z: Now QRT. 

4m UKAC - missed it!!

Last Thursday evening was the 4m (70 MHz) activity contest for March. I missed it! 

My antenna is just my 2m big-wheel and coax matched via the auto-ATU in the FT-710. I have no idea how it performs with regard to gain, polarisation, or directivity. This I was hoping to find out! Maybe in April? My next chance looks like April 20th.

Birthday lunch - NOT amateur radio

Yesterday we went to lunch with old university friends we have known since the 1960s. Seeing them, it is as if we had seen them just the day before. 

10m WSPR QRP TX and RX

 At present, I am on QRP 10m WSPR using the FT-710. After the first transmission 4 spots.

UPDATE 1625z:  My own 5W WSPR TX has been spotted by 19 unique stations and I have spotted 135 unique stations. Furthermost so far is a spot by WP3SM (6851km) in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday plans

My current plan is to go on 10m WSPR with the FT-710 to see if I can preset the optimum settings for WSPR. I may try 630m WSPR RX after dark. 

Red-legged partridges - NOT amateur radio

We used see these handsome birds regularly in our garden but I have not seen any recently. 

630m WSPR RX yesterday

For the first time I tried my FT-710 on 630m WSPR RX using the coax to my 2m big-wheel via a ferrite rod ATU. Everything seems to work fine with stations in the Netherlands Germany and Norway spotted before I had to turn the rig off. 

Sunspots - Tuesday March 21st 2023

Solar flux is 156 and the SSN 75. A=13 and K=1. 

20 Mar 2023

Plans for the day (Monday)

As we are out some of today, I shall probably go on 472 kHz WSPR RX this evening. It is getting later in the season, so I have no idea how it will go. I shall probably have to use the coax to my 2m big-wheel antenna with some loading.

Muntjac deer - NOT amateur radio

For the 5th time recently in our garden, a Muntjac deer scampered away. These are dog sized deer that look nice, but nibble away at some plants. In recent years, these introduced deer have become far more common here.

See https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/mammals/muntjac-deer .