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

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


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.

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


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

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