Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My first free licence

I thought I should record that I got my first free renewal of the G4VXE licence this week!

It's funny - I've had a terrible TV picture for the last two days..

That's what my friend Mick said to me this morning. He lives over 100 miles from us, so it's not a case of long range TVI!

Mick lives near the Essex coast and what's been affecting TV reception has been the huge tropospheric opening occuring at VHF and UHF over the last few days. What's a problem for TV viewers is a good thing for radio amateurs interested in VHF and UHF.

I've had just a few moments to enjoy the opening, but the results have been good.

Driving home from work on Monday evening, I worked Helmut, DO5PZ who was working through the GB3WH 145MHz repeater near Swindon from his QTH in western Germany. When I got home, I made some nice contacts in a few minutes. A quick CQ on 2m CW resulted in a couple of nice French QSOs - F3VS in JN38 was as loud as a local! On 70cms, I was pleased to work F8DLS and DC8PA for my first German station on 432MHz from Longworth.

By Tuesday evening the opening seemed to have moved a bit. Though the French 2m beacon F5XAM was still a huge signal, the Swiss beacon, HB9HB had faded down. A quick venture onto 2m CW gave a nice QSO with DK4U up in JO42 - a decent distance.

Great fun!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

144MHz CW

It's been a good week for 2m CW. On Monday morning, I was late into work because of seeing Russell off on his outward bound trip. Just before popping up to the school to see him off, I had a quick look at 2m and found the GB3VHF beacon a huge signal and the F5XAM beacon much louder than usual.

Don, G3JHM called CQ on CW on 144.300 and a couple of stations called him. To my surprise, he didn't seem to hear F2GL, so I dropped a call in and moved F2GL up 5Khz. We had a quick QSO and I was pleased to find that he was in JN17 - quite a decent distance from here.

On Friday evening, conditions seemed up. I worked a portable on Exmoor through GB3WH as I was driving home. Later in the evening, I called CQ on 144.050 and though there wasn't any real DX I was pleased to work G4WUH/M in Cheltenham, which is a dreadful path from here!

This weekend there's the 144MHz CW contest. Conditions don't seem brilliant but they're certainly above average. I've worked DL0KM and DL1KAW in JO31 already and TM1Y down in JN36 (which I was really pleased with). Hopefully there will be more to work over the next few hours as I get a moment to listen.

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