Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Peanut and Rooster are back (with N0TU)

My wife, Julie, who knows a thing or two, reckons that the N0TU articles and videos portray a much better image of amateur radio than much of what makes the radio press. I think she's right.

Adventure Radio combines amateur radio, the outdoors and a certain simplicity (I have more to say on simplicity and radio, soon - look out for another blog!).

Steve N0TU crafts this well, to provide a compelling, enthusiastic and charming approach to amateur radio. Take a look at the latest Peanut and Rooster adventure here.

144MHz Tropo QSO from South Africa to Reunion Island

I'm just catching up with what's been happening over the last week. This is the first story that caught my eye, with details of a 2m tropo QSO between South Africa and Reunion Island.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meteor Scatter - on ten metres FM!

I hoped to be able to include a story on the Perseids Meteor Shower on the blog, as the shower peaks on 12/13th August. It hadn't occurred to me that I'd be writing about 10 metres FM!

Talking to Paul, 2E0BHA and Geoff, G4EUA this morning, they explained that there had been some nice Sporadic E activity on 10 FM yesterday and they'd made some contacts. Both of them also noted some closer stations being audible briefly before fading out. I'm certain that this will have been meteor scatter.

Meteor scatter is very viable on ten metres. Reflections tend to be longer than on 50 or 144MHz. However, because antenna gain is harder to achieve, you'll find that the average reflection is 'weaker'. Paul and Geoff were hearing the signals with their mobile whip antennas.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Winsystem - streamed ham activity from the west coast of the US

I'm grateful to Jeff, KE9V for letting me know about the Winsystem repeater network, based mostly on the West Coast of the USA. I mentioned that I'd been listening to EI7DAR through the Internet Radio and wondered if any other repeaters were available as a WMA or MP3 feed.

Jeff kindly let me know that the Winsystem also provided streamed audio. I set it up on the MusicPal last night and it works well. I was listening to a station in San Diego working and I think this is right, a station in Baghdad. I'm assuming that one of the IRLP links was in use and the station in Baghdad was connecting that way.

Either way, it's well worth taking a look at http://www.winsystem.org/ and having a listen to the activity.

Monday, August 04, 2008

GB3WO back on the air

A few weeks I mentioned that one of my local repeaters was available on Echolink and I should be pleased to speak to any readers of this blog that were active on that mode. Promptly, the repeater developed a fault and was unusable for a week or two!

Driving home this evening, I noticed that GB3WO was working well once again and that the Echolink gateway is working fine.

So, if you are around about 1730z and see GB3WO available on Echolink, try connecting and give me a call! Hopefully I'll be listening, driving home - I'd love to hear from you!

Internet Radio and Amateur Radio

Last weekend, a colleague at work, Graham, showed me his 'internet radio' receiver. This box of tricks connects to your WiFi network and is an easy to use way of listening to the various 'Internet Radio' streams. I was impressed, as we quickly were able to listen to a couple of stations in Toronto, as well as more distantly, a station in Wallis Island (FW).

Of course, there's no radio involved at all, but for those interested in the content of the stations, rather than the propagation on short wave - this is a super bit of kit!

I was suitably intrigued to buy my own receiver, a Freecom MusicPal which I'm very pleased with. I've been listening to stations from Brazil and Australia in super stereo quality on the HiFi. It's not quite as good as the DAB radio, but at significantly lower bit rates, it's not to be sneezed at.

Yesterday, though, I was interested to see that I could tune in EI7DAR! Sure enough, it is a webstream from the EI7DAR repeater in Dundalk, Eire.

I like this approach and making webstreams of repeaters available in this way is a great bit of publicity for the hobby - giving non radio-amateurs the opportunity to stumble over amateur radio in the same way that people did in the old AM days!

Are there any other WMA/MP3 webstreams of VHF repeaters available? Let me know if you know of any.


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