Contact me Direct: radioguy (dot)uk(at)gmail(dot)Com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Watson PBX mkII update





Cornish antenna
After messing about with this for days, I cant get it to work at all, its a dead short.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wire In the Blood

Wire..

Its not that hard to get, but these days it is expensive, I bought two 100 mtr reels of single core cable,with the idea of using it for radials/antenna wire,and its gone,vanished, taken by the copper fairies.

So I went down to my  Local Electrical   
trade counter.


100 Mtrs about £28.00, this one had better not go missing :(

Marconi's Radio Shack Details





Here are some details of my trip to Cornwall.

Ill be active on air ssb,  from ( GMT ) 26 February to 2nd March 2012 ,1900 onwards , there may be some other outings portable.

For GB2LD
Tentative frequencies :7,175 and up and 14,310 and up, if a pile up develops ill be working split, if possible.

Location for evenings will be Lizard Cornwall UK.

G6KQS/A and /P may be also be used

Hope to work you ,QRP Ops ( under 10w) will get priority.

Qsl Cards will be sent to stations worked ,via the qsl bureau

If you wish to qsl direct,unfortunately two IRCs and an addressed envelope will be required.

all the best


G6KQS

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Learning Morse code



Its funny how attitude changes as time goes by, I thought Id never learn The code, but now it seems appealing. Click here, to listen to the sound files from the above





Maybe I can make it fun learning too







These videos are Making Morse Code fun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How old is this callsign?

Im How old ?


 Ive been operating since 1981 on and off,
 and Id like to think that I can speak fairly well.
But, its amazing how many times people don't hear my callsign correctly.

Golf Six Kilo Quebec Sierra
That's the way Im supposed to say it


George Six King Queen Spain
Sometimes i try this as well

Its the last letter they dont get.


Apart from the fact that G6xx calls were last issued in 1939, that makes it just possible at the
 age of 73, I suppose that they still might be active.

Dont we all think that its more likely that there will be three letters after the G6
Maybe its the way I say it, it probably is, but some days it makes me frustrated.

We dont have vanity callsigns in the uk, or I would have changed it years ago.

Any ideas on how to make this easier to copy



Golden Sixer Kelvin Quinsy Sibilance :) 
Microphone back to you

G6KQS

Monday, February 13, 2012

Marconi's radio shack



Its been horrible weather the last few weeks,the UK has been -15c to 0c in some places.However things may well improve, very soon.

I have made some arrangements in the week starting 26th Of February, to spend time operating from the Land Ends/Lizard Area Cornwall here in the UK.

Im sure most know the History of radio, and You will no doubt be pleased to hear that I will not be using his Spark Generator. But will be using the actual shack location.

The exact times and dates of transmissions are yet to be decided.

I will be using my own call G6KQS/A and The call GB2LD.

Im also hoping to get portable in the area, subject to available locations and weather.

Ill post a few more details next week

All the best

John G6KQS

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winter Sets in for a while

Its snowy here at the moment and Im rather disappointed, There really is nothing like , driving to a nice view point and setting up some radio gear, while my Wife, goes walking.

There are some nice hills around this area and I cant wait to go and look at them, I dont know if it will be possible to set up at any of them, but Im going to try as soon as it gets a fraction warmer

Surrey Hills
Lots of places to explore, see the weather bar on the side of this blog for what the weather is doing,Hopefully the sunspots will improve at the same time the weather does.

Sunspots here

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mydel 30SW III

Mydel 30SW III
Switched Mode Power supply.

Unless you have been hiding under a table for 20 years ( Have you really ? ), nearly all amateur radio transceivers are powered by DC @12V~.
I used to have a linear Dc Supply, that weighed about 8Kg, but that went to Ebay years ago.
This little PSU is quite amazing, it weighs about the same as a big bar of chocolate ( A Very big one )

I can hold it in one hand no problem.

Using this I can see that , the voltage drops a bit 0.1-0.3 of a volt on current drain and the fan in the back is running all the time, however its very quiet. I bought this from proviation shop @ under £85.00. including Delivery

It was delivered by ML&S who have it on sale for just under £87.00 plus delivery.

This power supply also is sold under the name of Radiocom PS-30SWIII sold by Lam communications

It has a handy Voltage control and a switch to change between the set 13.8v  up to 15v and a noise control Knob, so far, I cant hear any interference on any band, This looks and feels like a bargain.

73s John G6KQS

Watson PBX 100 MKII

I recently did some research into a portable antenna. Now throwing up a wire into some trees, seems like it may be a good idea, however, thinking back to the places, I have driven and the general surroundings.

I don't remember any/many trees and the ones that I have seen are on national trust property, so I cant think they will be happy for me to throw wires up in them.
So I have purchased:

A Watson PBX-100-MKII.
It has arrived.

The Instructions that came with it are less then helpful ,so, I spent an hour or so,messing about with it at home, when the temperature goes up a bit , Ill take it out and try it.

I think that in order to be comfortable when Im out Portable, we have to have a temperature of 7c/45f
or more.

The next few days are forecast to be 1c or less the next date we can expect 7c will be Monday, so, I'm planning to go out then.

Update: 7th February

I spent some more time assembling this antenna indoors as the temperature has not gone above 3c for some days.

Tools needed include: 13mm Spanner to tighten up the screw in parts, a spot of oil, to lubricate the threads,A cross head screwdriver, a wire stripper and more wire.

The tripod that came with this is fiddly to assemble, once I had worked out that, you have to slide things around quite a bit to get the different parts to fit  and the base of the tripod need to be manipulated so it fits to the bottom of the mast.

Its made out of soft aluminium, so I cant see this lasting very long being taken out portable, there are score marks on the metal after a short time of adjusting it.

I found a scrappy bit of paper in it which says it was supplied by Sandpiper Antennas, however they have it for sale on their website For £150 plus postage, I bought it from WSPLC For £139.95 plus postage.

Time will tell how well this will work as I dont have space to roll out radials at home, neither do I have an earth to use, that wont flood my block with RF,.

The spikes that stick out of the mast, I thought might be radials, but they are the other coils that come with the antenna, a total of five one is for use as the the resonator on different bands, you swap around .
In any case these spikes apear to be electrically connected to the main mast, its going to be interesting to find out how this performs

In a way I wish Id stuck with my original idea of a fibreglass fishing rod and some wire :)

Watch this post for more updates, if it goes more than another week before I use it in anger, Ill make a new post

QSL Cards

The last time I had any QSL cards was years ago.
I have ordered some new ones from FDqsl.
This is what they are going to look like.




Cant wait to get my hands on them, I already had a some requests to send some out .

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nevada Radio Portsmouth

Nevada Radio In Portsmouth

A Couple of weeks ago, I drove down to get  a look at An FT-857D.
What great People! This makes a huge change, I ended up buying, the radio a tuner, a couple of Mobile whips and they did me a deal.

So nice to meet friendly sellers.
As you will see from the last few posts , Im having a lot of fun with it, why not try them, they may have just what you are looking for

YT-100 Tuner


YT-100 Auto Tuner By LDG:

Ive tried this out a few times now and this is my experience of it so far:

Pressing the Tune button for one second and releasing it, does nothing, pressing and holding until the light goes out, makes it tune.

I tried out my 20 Mtr whip on 40 meters and the tuning made the swr, very low, but of course no one could hear me , using resonant whips, the tuner had nearly no work to do, however it took the same amount of time to tune on a resonant whip as it did on non, resonant, I also tried it out on a dummy load and had the same result.

The Radio Im using ,FT-857D, didn't show any movement on the swr setting on 25-50w however it moved a tiny amount on 100w, Ive only had two outings with it so time will tell if there is a problem with it or not.

The Cat Cable, isn't very good ( its very short too) and tends to fall out from time to time.
Of course it should be obvious  that placing the Tuner on top of the transceiver, covers the speaker grill, and putting the Radio on top, would be a bit unsafe.

Its a bit bonkers, that this is made in Taiwan, shipped to the USA, shipped here to the UK and then bought in a shop in the UK.. think of the air miles :)

73s John G6KQS

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Planning for Communication Outages

Now I don't want to come across an a harbinger of Armageddon, But: 
Is it the end of the world?
 Every so often,communications, do go down, remember the London Bombings,
the times your phone or Internet has gone down or there has been a lot of snow, floods, or other cause of no communications

So Who do you turn to, what do you do?
Frustrating if you cant talk to anyone about it.

Local Radio amateurs self train to communicate in poor conditions.

How long this would last, is hard to say,if power went down for an extended period, then, generators, would have to be used.

Lets hope, it isn't the end this year.

If it does all go off, then it not likely to be a big bag of nothingness, but a slow breakdown of services

So in a way, Im ready, I reckon that I could have my radio going for 3 or four days and If I could borrow a generator, then much longer.


In theory, If I could get to a hill top, I can probably, reach help of some kind.

Be Kind to People with Ariels at the end of the pier, or on top of hils. One day them may help to save you.


73's G6KQS John

Monday, January 30, 2012

RSGB Handbook

Cover


RSGB Handbook
First you must know, this is a massive book, a real door stop of a book.
Why they have not broken this into two or three volumes is beyond me.

Its written in a rather old fashioned way, to my mind and the pictures in it seem rather low resolution, of course , I haven't read every word, but I have copied the CD contents to a folder on my hard drive and created a short cut.
Short-cut.

The Interface of the cd



Well it looks to me like something from 1974 :)
and the pages of info are all in PDF
So makes it rather difficult to read on the PC.


Maybe over the months, to come Ill find it more useful, but right now ,it seems Clunky.

available from the RSGB Web Shop



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Expedition to Hastings

27/1/2012


Made a trip to Hastings and found a car park right by the beach, I read that Transmitting by the sea can lead to good contacts.

Brr, its cold, set - up with my little FT-857D, YT-100 and am-pro 20 whip on a mag mount on the roof, set the power out to 25wats, do a quick tune on the middle of the band and tune around

12.10pm 27/1/2012

I found a very strong station  14.255 mhz claiming to be Transmitting from Moscow, give them a call, amazingly they hear me and answer.

Seems that the call-sign RK3DXW might be unlicensed, at the time I have the contact, Im not aware of it, so think myself to be lucky to talk to them.

Serge sounds very young, its it a club station ? waiting for my call seeker plus cd to arrive so I can look them up.

(update Turns out they have a website, though they are not in call seeker)

12.35 GMT Yl2CF :Latvia, nice contact if a bit noisy

II3CV ( Italy) Heard, called , didnt reply

HZ1BO:Saudi Arabia, called, didnt  reply


DD4BS Germany , Black forest, nice strong contact.


a few more, but band seems to clamp right down,

Tune to 40 mtrs, with a different whip

Incredibly noisy , Have a contact with Alberto, never get his full call-sign

Speak to mark EI7IS in southern Ireland


Lots of strong German stations popup, they cant hear us, but we can hear them, qso, difficult with all the noise, but we make it

The band is very busy and noisey, cant find a clear spot


G6OHM Andy in Cambridge uk, gets swamped by Germans
15.30pm, pack up go home.


73s G6KQS

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First HF Contact

Yay :) My first contact on HF today,working about 20w from Box Hill in Surrey, after 40 mins of calling CQ on 20 mtrs around 14.285/14.286, with no answer, I took down my 20mtr whip and put up a 40mtr antenna, I called for around 20 mins there7.106/7.062, no reply, I tuned a round and found a qso just finishing on 7.190. I called there and has my first ever QSO with G0USP, in York, thanks for the chat Sydney. 

Not Big DX but a milestone for me.

Eton G3



I Bought one of these from Martin Lynch In Chertsey    by visiting their shop 

First, I should say something about this firm and my experience of them.

I have only used them twice on the basis that they are the most local to me, this time, I feel they have lost my custom, This radio was bought direct from the shop and had a price label on it of £99.00, however I was charged £105.00 for it and no effort was made to sell it to me at the correct price, I have since found it at other shops for £89.99 including delivery.

So it cost me £20.00 more from them then it would from anywhere else, I have used them once before, and didn't have a good experience.

I bought a radio from them via their website a couple of years ago and a few days after they had taken the money I called them to ask what was happening to it,they told me they had sent me a letter.
The letter dully arrived and informed me that if I wanted to have the radio that I had paid for then I would have to send them two utility bills to confirm my identity.




I asked to cancel the purchase and they decided to send it to me, so my personal advice is to buy from another seller.

The radio itself seems ok, its not a brilliant radio and its not terrible either.

It has a kind of rubberised feel to it, so its not slippery and easy to grip, but takes while to get used to the feel of. So far the reception is not brilliant but might be better, if I had an external antenna,I cant honestly recommend this radio but, its OK for general listening and monitoring

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aurora reported


Aurora reported

More on space weather here

Trying out a new Radio

FT-857D
I've had this about a week so far and together with a couple of mobile whips and an LDG antenna tuner,  tried it out a couple of times on 20 Mtrs and 40Mtrs, also on 2Mtrs, so far, only one contact on 2mtrs, hopefully, in the next few days Ill be able to talk to some people not in the uk, which will be exciting
YT-100 Tuner

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Cuble Dongle Pro review

Getting back in radio, is a tough prospect, so much has changed since I got my licence, (1981) so I have obtained a few books and a new radio or two.


I recently bought the Funcube dongle and to be honest, its hard to set up and hard to use, I cant tell if it even works, all I get is background noise, if people post messages on its yahoo groups, you get messages like, "you need filters", so its not really anything useful out of the box, and there are lots of things to do once you get one.

  • Download the latest firmware ( If you can tell what that is)
  • Download the interface ( Which one ?)
  • Download some other software (so you can see what looks like a rolling road, scrolling down the screen.

This is supposed to be an educational project, so far the main thing I have learnt is that, I'm so far behind in this kind of tech, that I cant receive anything, that does not sound like white noise.
You may find it fun and useful, , I found this to be frustrating and a waste of money

 Fact is I didn't understand it, and the documentation , does not seem to take beginners into account.
The Yahoo groups seems to be full of user who claim its easy to use and it must be me.

One or two tried to help, but after a couple of weeks of messing about with it, Id had enough.
They did on the positive side accept a return and gave me a full refund , so I only lost £7.00 in postage.

For some it may be a great toy, for others a massive disappointment

Fun cube dongle