30 Jun 2024

With my brother in Devon - NOT amateur radio


This was me with my brother in Devon earlier.

Move to the right? - NOT amateur radio

 Looking at mainland Europe, it seems there is a move to the right politically. Many right wing politicians reflect a view that is shared by many. 

In the UK 🇬🇧 we seem to be moving to the left having had a right of centre party in power for 14 years.

What is this?


This was seen at Friedrichshafen and puzzled many.

500uW 10m WSPR tests

 As you may recall I ran some 500uW WSPR tests this Es season, but was expecting better results. When Es is good signals  can be strong so I was expecting plenty of spots.At 10mW I had few issues whereas at 500uW just a few spots. Maybe at this power I was below the local noise floor? Also, there may be fewer monitors on 10m WSPR these days as FT8 is a QSO mode.

Overall a worthwhile experiment even if the results were unexpected.

Village fete - NOT amateur radio

 Yesterday the weather was perfect for my brother’s village fete. The photo shows the driveway up to the place where the fete was held.

Sunspots - Sunday June 30th

 Solar flux is 186 and the SSN 205. A=14 and K=2.

29 Jun 2024

Rest from amateur radio

As I am with my brother in Devon for a few days, I cannot operate. How nice!!

Seen recently -NOT amateur radio

 This was seen recently. As we have elections soon in the UK, France and USA it seems appropriate. Our government is there to serve US and not them.

School view - NOT amateur radio


This was the view from my junior school in Salcombe. At the time we just took it for granted not knowing it was one of the best views in England.


This is the biggest amateur radio gathering in Europe and it is on this weekend. Many from across Europe attend and make it a sort of pilgrimage.

Sunspots - Saturday June 29th

 Solar flux is 181 and the SSN 162. A=59 and K=2.

28 Jun 2024

Bedroom view - NOT amateur radio


This is the view from the bedroom window at my brother’s cottage in Devon.

Sunspots- Friday June 28th

 Solar flux is 183 and the SSN 146 . A=9 and K=4.

27 Jun 2024

Devon golf - NOT amateur radio

My brother plays golf ⛳️ in South Devon several times a week. The views are amazing.

Sunspots - Thursday June 27th

 Solar flux is 181 and the SSN 135.  A=9 and K=2.

26 Jun 2024

8m TX permit

 Just got this from OFCOM......

Hi @Roger Lapthorn,

I’m afraid we can’t make any changes to the application.

We simply go of the dates provided in the application – You can of course apply again in the new year if you need more time for your project.

...and of course pay another £50!! Need I say more? Brain? Think? I am left feeling they really are stupid or brain dead.

Just to do experimentation? In the past they would just have issued an NoV to my amateur licence for free!! Meanwhile 2 MHz of VHF spectrum is available for radio amateurs by NoV. I am asking for just a few kilohertz at low power. I cannot contain my anger!

QMX+ cures

In the time I am away, I have ordered another USB-C to USB data lead as Ken's cure (suggested in a comment yesterday) did not work. 

To rule out the possibility of a lead problem, I shall replace the lead. This will have to wait until next week before I can try this.

Devon tomorrow - NOT amateur radio

All being well, I hope to travel to South Devon tomorrow by train to see my brother. My wife is staying here. I am coming back on Monday. 

This will mean fewer posts on this blog and means I cannot be on the radio.

Demise of amateur radio?

More than ever, I am convinced that amateur radio will die out.  It can't be long before many PTTs tire of amateur radio as it ties up people and generates no revenue.  

I can see the day coming when CB and amateur radio merge and callsigns are allocated (if at all) by national societies. It would not surprise me if all non-licenced things are merged at the same time e.g. ISM.   The golden rule is no harmful interference must be caused and any interference accepted.

Personally, I am not bothered as long as I can continue experimenting.

Fewer and fewer "amateur" radio operators know how their rigs work and even fewer actually experiment i.e. they are much like CB operators.

12 years ago

This was me operating in the garden of our old home using 2.5W CW into a small loop antenna. As I recall it worked remarkably well.

Sunspots - Wednesday June 26th

 Solar flux is 194 and the SSN 129. A=9 and K=1.

25 Jun 2024

8m permanent amateur allocations

The number of countries with permanent amateur access to the 8m band is growing. Last week, the Cayman Is (ZF) joined the list. 

This reminds me of the early days on 6m in Region 1. Slow steps....

Faroe Islands - NOT amateur radio

These are located between Scotland and Iceland. I can imagine it can be cold and windy much of the time. 

This was a photo posted on 365project by someone who lives there. I imagine it is nice there when the sun shines.

8m TX permit - is OFCOM totally stupid?

On June 17th I was told my 8m TX licence was ready and would be emailed to me if I paid £50. Of course I was interested (I would have preferred to pay nothing and just be issued with a NoV to my amateur licence), but I could not be sent the licence until the invoice was settled. The date of the licence (when it eventually came) was from June 1st - well in the past!! I have asked for the dates to be changed to when I can actually do some research. 

Perhaps engage brain next time or send me a copy of the licence marked "not valid until invoice paid" or similar? No, that would involve thinking.  

It would appear they are only interested in taking money!


Recently, I bought a QMX+,  ready built in a case, from QRP labs. It arrived as promised and worked well. When I hit some issues I did a factory reset. With some help from Hans Summers it now covers the right bands and the CAT works. When I first got it, it recognised the audio codec in the QMX+. Not any more!!

I think I have now tried every combination but my Windows 10 PC refuses to recognise it. Apparently this is a known issue with Windows but not on Linux or Mac OS. Until it is fixed I cannot use the rig. 

I have applied to join the QRPLabs IO group and, once approved, I will enquire if others had the issue and if they know what to do. As the software is the same as that on the QMX (I think) others may have had the same issue.


It is a nice rig, but this is far harder than it should be. I was expecting it just to recognise the codecs in the QMX+ and just work.

If you know what to do, please tell me.

Far East from Europe by E layer on 6m

Regularly, at this time of year, there are openings from Europe to the Far East on 6m.  This happens year after year about now. 

It appears to be linked to the formation of noctilucent clouds in the mesosphere. These are forming more frequently now because of global warming.  With weak signal modes like FT8, these are being spotted more often.

I have copied Far East stations on 6m several times now, although my 2.5W has never been enough!

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

European Es (Tuesday)

In the spring and summer Es certainly helps short skip on many bands including the lower VHF bands such as 8m, 6m and 4m. It occasionally reaches far higher, although these openings are far less frequent.  

Occasionally, far further may be covered on 6m by Es, although personally I think this is far more likely to be some sort of chordal hop E layer propagation. Some of these paths seem too long to be multi-hop Es. Some may be by multi-hop Es, but I somehow doubt this is the main propagation mechanism.

See https://www.tvcomm.co.uk/g7izu/radio-propagation-maps/europe-sporadic-e/ .


My priority today is to get my QRP Labs QMX+ fully working again. 

Last week I attempted a factory reset, but it only covered 80-10m afterwards! 

Having discussed this with Hans Summers of QRP labs, I got a very helpful answer in which he pointed out that for QMX+ the band limits can be set to cover 160-6m by rotating a knob. I did not know this. I do now! 

Also, with Windows only (not Linux or Mac) the order in which things are turned on can affect the QMX+ audio being recognised (see later post today).

Sunspots - Tuesday June 25th

 Solar flux is 199 and the SSN 141.  A=5 and K=1.

24 Jun 2024

Back on 8m QRP FT8, after a fashion

Later this week I am off to see my brother in Devon, but my XYL will still be here. 

I was hoping to erect my 8m dipole so I would have a few days operating before Thursday. I failed, so I am using my Par end fed that has a high SWR on 8m. 

When I get back I hope to be on properly. For now I shall probably be on RX most of the time.

My 8m TX permit  runs to June 2025.

UPDATE 0830z: Already spotted in Spain by EA3ERE (1153km) which is a great start!

UPDATE 0939z:  QSO with EA3ERE. No more QSOs, but I have been spotted in 2 countries and I have spotted 3 countries here on 8m FT8 RX.

UPDATE 1200z:  Now that Spain is on 8m, I am surprised how many stations have been spotted. 13 at last count.

46 stations spotted
on 8m FT8 today
UPDATE 1347z:  18 stations spotted on 8m FT8 RX. I have been spotted by 3 stations in 3 countries, one QSO. My conclusion so far is that with Spain now on 8m TX it has made a lot of difference for the better.

UPDATE 1455z: 23 stations spotted today on 8m FT8.

UPDATE 2040z:  46 stations have been spotted on 8m FT8.  Mostly Spanish.

6m QRP FT8 (Monday)

Early Es spots of my 2.5W FT8 to the V2000 vertical omni antenna this morning on 6m.

10m QRP WSPR (Monday)

 Early Es spots of my 500mW WSPR this morning with spots from Eastern Europe.

Early Es

It looks like Es has started early today with spots on both 10m and 6m QRP. 

Calculators galore

If you are like me, you turn to the internet if you want to calculate anything. Most sorts of calculators are there just waiting for your input. Years ago, we had to find the answer in a textbook. Nowadays it is just there at our fingertips!

See https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics as an example. There are many around.

IC-705 start-up screen

Amateur Radio Weekly has a piece by G7UFO showing how to use your QSL card as the IC-705 start-up screen. 

Basically you have to save the file at the right size as a BMP file on an SD card.

Sunspots - Monday June 24th

 Solar flux is 196 and the SSN 176. A=10 and K=1.

23 Jun 2024

Photo books - NOT amateur radio

Every season, my wife does a photo book showing what we have done. It is interesting to look back on these. She gets half the fun creating them.

We will soon need a bigger shelf!

Lunch in the garden - NOT amateur radio

This year has been miserable so far with it being both dull and wet. Today was the first day we were able to eat lunch in the garden. 

Probably we will soon be moaning it is too hot. Well, we are English! Moaning about the weather is in our blood.

Live every moment - NOT amateur radio

Yesterday we visited an old university friend who lives in Australia. He was flying to the UK to join us in a reunion of old university friends in Liverpool and to go on a cruise. In the last 30 minutes of the flight ending he had a stroke and is now in Charing Cross hospital in London where he has been for 3 weeks so far. He has a way to go yet to return to fitness. We also heard of a friend who is only 51 years old who had a sudden heart attack.

The moral is to live every moment as if it was your last as you have no idea what is around the corner.

6m QRP FT8 (Sunday)

This morning has got off to a very good start with 85 stations spotting my 2.5W FT8 to the V2000 vertical omni antenna in the last 6 hours.

UPDATE 1515z:  237 stations have spotted me in the last 12 hours on QRP 6m FT8 from all over Europe.

European Es (Sunday)

It looks very promising with lots of Es to central Europe.

See https://www.tvcomm.co.uk/g7izu/radio-propagation-maps/europe-sporadic-e/ .

10m QRP WSPR (Sunday)

My 500mW 10m WSPR beacon was re-synced to internet time at 0855z. 

UPDATE 0920z: In the last hour alone 27 stations have spotted my QRP 10m WSPR beacon.

UPDATE 1346z: 33 spots of me today. 

Sunspots- Sunday June 25th

 Solar flux is 196 and the SSN 139. A=4 and K=1.

22 Jun 2024

FT8 versus WSPR

My impression is that I get better results on 6m FT8 than I do on 10m WSPR.  

Yes, on 6m FT8 I use 2.5W whereas recent tests on 10m WSPR have been at 500mW. 

Now, FT8, is supposed to be less sensitive at picking up weak signals than WSPR but WSPR needs almost 120 seconds whereas FT8 needs just 15 seconds. I suspect FT8 catches more, shorter, openings. Also, I suspect there are more FT8 users.

Someone else trying my designs

 It is always good to see others trying their hand at my designs. DX Explorer has a video of him breadboarding my 2 transistor 80m transceiver. My designs are always a starting point. Pretty sure you will be able to improve them!

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/hf-mf-and-lf/homebrew/80m-xbm80-2 .

St Ives - NOT amateur radio

 This was St Ives (near Cambridge) earlier this week .

6m QRP FT8 (Saturday)

My 2.5W to the V2000 vertical omni antenna has been on since about 1940z. 

UPDATE 2035z:  28 stations have spotted me.

UPDATE 2146z:   125 spots of my QRP FT8 today, after a very late start.

10m QRP WSPR (Saturday)

My 10mW 500mW WSPR has been on since we got back from London earlier. So far, 7 stations have spotted me.

UPDATE 2037z:   24 spots of me, mostly Es.

UPDATE 2212z: 39 spots of my QRP 10m WSPR so far, after a late start.

European Es (Saturday)

 Whilst I was in London seeing an Australian friend who had a stroke in the last 30 minutes of a flight (he is in hospital) I gather European Es has been very good ... and I missed it!

See https://www.tvcomm.co.uk/g7izu/radio-propagation-maps/europe-sporadic-e/ .

Sunspots - Saturday June 22nd

 Solar flux is 197 and the SSN 133. A= 5 and K=1.

21 Jun 2024

10m QRP WSPR (Friday)

My 500mW WSPR beacon is on again and there is plenty of Es about.  50 stations have spotted my QRP beacon in the last day with the furthermost Brazil.

UPDATE 1142z:  58 spots of my 500mW 10m WSPR this morning.

UPDATE 2140z:  776 spots of my 500mW 10m WSPR in the last day.

6m QRP FT8 (Friday)

Stations that spotted
my 2.5W 6m FT8 today
My QRP 6m FT8 is on again. In the last day, I have been spotted by 512 stations on 6m, with several in Newfoundland, Canada. I suspect the latter were Es.

UPDATE 1135z:   449 spots of my QRP 6m FT8 this morning. Mostly Es.

UPDATE 2125z:  557 spots of me today.

Early Es

 Today seems to be a good Es day with lots of stations across Europe spotting my QRP on 10m and 6m already at 0631z.

Triffids - NOT amateur radio


Our hollyhocks look great right now but the leaves go rusty very quickly. They also self seed everywhere. 

I am sure they can walk!! You can see why we jokingly call them triffids. 😉😉  

Sunspots - Friday June 21st

 Solar flux is 203 and the SSN 138. A=7 and K=1.

20 Jun 2024

St Ives - NOT amateur radio

Many people are unaware that there is also a St Ives in Cambridgeshire as well as in Cornwall. The St Ives in Cambridgeshire is just a short ride away from Cambridge on the guided busway, which uses the route of the old St Ives railway branch line. We went there today by bus. St Ives is a lovely place.

6m QRP FT8 transatlantic (Thursday)

Several spots of my 2.5W 6m FT8 to the vertical omni antenna from stations in eastern Canada. This is the first time this season that I have been spotted in the USA or Canada on QRP VHF.

Anglesey Abbey video - NOT amateur radio

This National Trust house and gardens is about 10 minutes away by car. We went for a walk in the grounds  yesterday. There is something to see at all times of the year.

10m QRP WSPR TX (Thursday)

My 500mW beacon was on overnight, but just spots by local G4KPX (14km). Early Es this morning.

UPDATE 2118z:
38 unique stations have spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon today. See table.

630m QRP WSPR overnight

Just 2 stations spotted my 10mW ERP  overnight. These were 2 old faithfuls. I may try occasionally, but suspect my signal is buried in noise much of the summer.

Sunspots - Thursday June 20th

Solar  flux is 196 and the SSN 181. A =8 and K=2.

19 Jun 2024

630m QRP WSPR (Wednesday)

 My 10mW ERP WSPR has been on since about 1915z.  No spots of me yet.

10m QRP WSPR (Wednesday)

 My 500mW beacon is on this evening and I am being spotted right across Europe by Es.

8m TX permit (UK)

Recently, I carried out a 10mW ERP test on 6m (not 8m) to see how WSPR and FT8 would perform under ISM rules.The test was extremely successful. If it worked on 6m it would mean that anyone could legally beacon on 8m under ISM rules. In the UK this means with 10mW ERP. This is not amateur radio. 

As there is still some of the Es season remaining and we have F2 to look forward to, I applied for a new 8m permit, which will allow me to run up to 5W on 8m. It has been approved and I should get an invoice shortly. All being well, I should return to 8m in early July.

It still seems totally wrong that in the UK we have to pay to do propagation research! In the past OFCOM would have just issued an NoV. It would seem these days many are only interested in money!

Lincoln Video - NOT amateur radio

We went to Lincoln a few weeks ago. This is a video summarising this.


The photo shows where I live. Ours is the bungalow immediately to the left of the copper tree to the right of the windmill. 

Sunspots - Wednesday June 19th

 Solar flux is 193 and the SSN 150. A=10 and K=3.

18 Jun 2024

QMX+ video?

Really, I should make a video of my experiences of using the QRP Labs QMX+ transceiver. My voice is poor, which is why I have been reluctant. 

Really it represents great value and will be even better when the firmware allows SSB, expected later. I use SSB occasionally, but use FT8 far more nowadays.

UPDATE 1855z: Video created. No speaking.

Puzzled - NOT amateur radio

Recently, I bought 2 small hanging bird tables in the hope of attracting smaller birds at the expense of larger ones. 

Sadly, the jackdaws have worked out a technique, but not the pigeons who have spent a long time trying! Let's hope they remain puzzled!

10m QRP FT8 overnight

Much to my surprise my QRP Labs QMX+ on 10m FT8 was spotted several times in Scandinavia overnight. I don't usually use FT8 at night, but when Es is good it can occur at any time.

UPDATE 1027z: 355 stations have spotted my QRP FT8 from the QMX+ in the last 24 hours. See map.

Window 10 issue resolved (I think!) - NOT amateur radio

Thank you for all the help, which I think has resolved my issue. 

I now have "sleep" when connected to a PSU set to "never" in settings, so it should never go to sleep unless I ask it to do so.

Watching the Euros - NOT amateur radio


My son made a lamb casserole for a (belated) Father's Day and then watched the Euros (football) on TV.

Sunspots - Tuesday June 18th

 Solar flux is 180 and the SSN 171. A-=11 and K=2.

17 Jun 2024

Issue with Windows 10? - NOT amateur radio

Since doing the latest Windows update, I get the impression that the PC closes down after a certain time. A new sign-in is needed. If correct, does anyone know how to stop this please?  

As you may know, I put the rig beaconing on WSPR or FT8 and monitor on a different PC in the lounge, popping into the shack if anything needs adjusting. To get into the shack takes a few seconds only. 

Is there a default setting that can be turned off?

10m FT8 (Monday)

In the last 30 minutes 33 stations have spotted my QRP from the QMX+ on 10m FT8 QRP TX.

UPDATE 2130z:   303 spots of my QRP 10m FT8 today in 5 continents. See map. Lots of stations were also spotted here on RX. The QMX+ works well on 10m FT8. 

QMX+ more testing

This morning I was puzzled why I was getting no output on 20m FT8 with the QMX+. Disabling the SWR protection solved the mystery as the SWR exceeded 3:1 and this was preventing TX.  I turned the protection back on as 20m is a band I rarely use.

On 6m FT8, I had 4 spots of my QRP from the QMX+.  I am still getting insufficient audio on 6m FT8 RX. This still requires further investigation.

NFD 1950s style


This photo was on social media recently.

Flowers in our garden - NOT amateur radio


These are in our garden right now.

Sunspots - Monday June 17th

 Solar flux is 167 and the SSN 152. A=13 and K=2.

16 Jun 2024

QMX+ on 6m FT8 (Sunday)

As an experiment I quickly tried the QMX+ on 6m FT8. Power was about 3W and several UK spots were obtained with the V2000 vertical omni. For some reason the RX level on 6m appears too low. Further investigation is needed.

So far, I have tried it on 15m, 10m and 6m.  I wonder if it would work on 8m?  Maybe I should try it on 160m FT8 with the earth-electrode "antenna" in the ground assuming the match is good.

QMX+ on 15m (Sunday)

Just for fun, I tried the QMX+  on 15m. It was not for long. Several Es spots of me.  Looking at the bars on the TX monitor I would reckon about 3W power.

Birds - NOT amateur radio

Recently I erected 2 small bird tables with the aim of attracting more smaller birds and fewer large ones. This seems to have failed as the jackdaws have found a way! Robins seem to be very attracted to the dried mealworms. 

It’s too soon to tell if swift numbers are down here, but we have not sat out in the garden much this year.

More QMX+ testing on 10m FT8 (Sunday)

After lunch I want to try my QMX+ on 10m FT8 TX. I was quite surprised that I cannot turn the power down. If you can, I have not found how!  Perhaps it’ll come in a later firmware. 

One good idea would be to automatically reduce power when beaconing WSPR to avoid stress on the PA when the PA can be on continuously for almost 2 minutes.

UPDATE 1540z: Success!  My first transmission with the QMX+ (10m FT8)  resulted in 18 spots across Europe. This was using CAT control. I have a lot more to learn, but this is a good start.

UPDATE 1651z:  3 QSOs in quick succession! All called me on FT8. In all, spotted by 49 stations.

UPDATE 1754z:  The map shows the stations spotted on 10m FT8 RX using the QMX+. 

Hedge trimming finished - NOT amateur radio

 The whole hedge has now been trimmed. I feel more tired than before!!

Father’s Day - NOT amateur radio

Gifts and card from my younger son.

2m SSB with a Liner-2


Pretty sure these first became available in the 1970s. They were based on a 10m rig and they revolutionised 2m. 

I got one second hand and was amazed how far I could work on a very basic antenna. Prior to getting my Liner-2, I had only used QRP AM and FM rigs. Most nights I found I could contact stations hundreds of kilometres away.

Later many used the ICOM IC-202 with a 30W amplifier and Tonna 9 el antenna.

These days the bands at VHF are far quieter as people have other ways of chatting (the internet) and working DX (FT8).

See https://sites.google.com/view/g3xbm4/home/vhfuhfmicrowaves/vhfuhf-commercial-rigs/belcom-liner-2

Sunspots - Sunday June 16th

 Solar flux is 171 and the SSN 134.  A=18 and K=3.

15 Jun 2024

QMX+ first steps

So far I have not tried TX. 

At the moment I am familiarising myself with the menu system. So far, so good. It would appear that the diodes in the supply line drop the voltage to the rig to a safe 9V.

Tomorrow, I hope to try 10m or 6m FT8 or WSPR TX.


Amateur Radio Weekly brought to our attention the Rigpix database. If you have not noticed it, it is a very useful site for information about rigs including photos and specs..

See https://www.rigpix.com/ .

Changing coastline of Britain - NOT amateur radio

This map was on social media recently. It shows how the British coastline probably looked over the last few thousand years. In a human lifetime things change too slowly to notice.

Laurel hedge - NOT amateur radio

When we moved here almost 11 years ago we planted a laurel hedge. It looks fine, but needs a regular trim. In between the showers, I am trying to cut it. 

Bite sized chunks seems to be the best approach. I have done about half the top and some of the sides. Now coffee is called for.

6m 2.5W FT8 (Saturday)

My 2.5W 6m FT8 to the V2000 vertical omni antenna is turned on. So far this morning,  30 stations have spotted me.  

UPDATE 1256z: Now spotted by 64 stations. Most look like Es propagation. See map.

UPDATE 1721z: 136 stations have spotted my 6m FT8 QRP today. Most look like Es.

10mW 10m WSPR (Saturday)

Once again I am trying 10m WSPR at 10mW. So far, 2 spots by EA8BFK (2880km). This looks like F2 rather than Es.

UPDATE 0935z:   No further spots of my 10mW 10m WSPR TX.

UPDATE 1302z:  5 spots by 3 different stations of my 10mW 10m WSPR today. 

UPDATE 1608z: 
9 spots of me by 5 stations so far today.

630m QRP WSPR overnight

Considering we are in mid June I was quite surprised to see my 10mW ERP 630m WSPR was spotted by 5 stations with the furthermost GM3YXM (425km).

Sunspots - Saturday June 15th

 Solar flux is 171 and the SSN 117. A=18 and K=2.

14 Jun 2024

National Health Service (NHS) - NOT amateur radio

In the UK, the NHS, providing free health care at the point of delivery, was created in 1948. It revolutionised health care. In recent years, the NHS has struggled. Waiting lists are long and people are living far longer. In many other countries the health service is better.

In my view the UK NHS is a great idea, but it needs a root and branch review looking at health services across the world to find what works best for everyone. We need to aim that the UK NHS should be the very best in the world.

In the past, I have personally experienced the NHS at its best and worst. In my view, throwing more and more money at it is NOT the answer.

Both health and social security need serious attention.



My assembled and cased QMX+ from QRP Labs has arrived. Hopefully, I shall test it over the weekend.

10m 10mW WSPR (Friday)


In the last 12 hours I am amazed how many stations have spotted me, despite the very low power. My beacon is pre-programmed to report 0.5W, even though with the external attenuator it is actually far less. If the band is open with Es, 10mW  seems quite enough, whereas 500uW is much harder.

UPDATE 2109z: Just 2 stations have spotted my 10mW today. Whatever Es was about seemed very localised.

Arse and elbow? - NOT amateur radio

In the last few weeks we have received 3 letters through the post from Anglian Water saying how much we owe them or are in credit. 

The good news is that all show us in credit. The bad news is they are all different!  I am pretty sure all are generated by a computer, without human involvement.

What will the next bill be? I expect it will say we owe them hundreds!

6m QRP FT8 (Friday)

Since arriving home late yesterday afternoon, my 2.5W 6m FT8 to the vertical omni antenna has been spotted by 462 stations. The map shows the stations that had spotted me at 1100z. 

UPDATE 1131z: Now 478 stations have spotted me. I am amazed. 

Sunspots - Friday June 14th

Solar flux is 170 and the SSN 124.  A=4 and K=2. 

13 Jun 2024

481THz beacon

 Another Google photo from many years ago. This was an optical beacon used for over the horizon tests.

What was this?

 Flicking through Google photos I came across this picture from 2012. I have no idea what this is! It has a DBM, so maybe a prototype WISPY receiver perhaps. If patient I could trace the circuit.

Where I was born - NOT amateur radio

After WW2 this was a nursing home. I was born here in 1948. We lived in a very simple council house, but I enjoy telling people I was born in grand house on a big estate!

Sunspots - Thursday June 13th

 Solar flux is 165 and the SSN 145. A=5 and K=1.

12 Jun 2024

Sibling reunion - NOT amateur radio

We are in Lincoln for our 21st sibling reunion. This is a photo of us all outside Lincoln Cathedral before having an excellent lunch in the pie shop.

Still there

Some of you may recall Birketts in Lincoln selling all sorts of radio related stuff with adverts in radio magazines. 

I think the original owner John Birkett died a few years ago and his son ran the business. I was glad to see this still in Lincoln.

Sunspots - Wednesday June 12th

 Solar flux is 165 and the SSN 95. A=12 and K=0.

11 Jun 2024

Lincoln - NOT amateur radio


The view from the Travelodge hotel window. We are here for a couple of nights for my wife’s sibling reunion .

2200m beacon

 This was made about 12 years ago . It was later cased and blown up by mistake!! It has been on before but shows things don’t have to be complex.