Wednesday, June 24, 2009

145MHz Tropo today

Driving to the station this morning, I heard the Humberside repeater, GB3HS louder than I've ever heard it before - up to S4 as I drove into Didcot - over quite a fair distance, 160 miles or so. I recorded a bit of audio which I'll try and attach to this a bit later.

A weekend of Sporadic E

For no apparent reason, despite it seeming to have been a good Sporadic E season, I'd managed to miss it all this year, until last weekend when I made some contacts that I was pleased with.

I had a couple of really good contacts on 29MHz FM from the mobile; DL8MDH near Munich on the Saturday and PD1DTH on Sunday. Signals were really strong with both stations. Derk, PD1DTH, located in the centre of the Netherlands was using 25 watts to a dipole and was a massive signal - just like a local.

Six metres was busy, very busy, for most of the weekend with a contest. Actually, it was so busy that I only had a handful of contacts. I did hear the San Marino club station, T70A at one point.

Most interestingly for me was 70MHz, where I use the FT847 (rather deaf!) and a vertical. On Saturday evening, noticing that 50MHz was really buzzing, I tuned to 70MHz. I found the beacon CS5BFM on 70.166 which I'd not heard before. Tuning up the band I found a loud English voice and wondered which one of my locals it was. It turned out to be Keith, CT1JAD who I was delighted to work for my first 4 metre contact with Portugal. I heard Keith again several times on Sunday as well. With the band obviously open on Sunday lunchtime, but no stations audible with me, I tried a CW CQ just LF of 70.200 and was delighted when 9A6R came back.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5MHz operation from the Scilly Islands

The Cray Valley Radio Society are travelling to the Isles of Scilly this year for the IOTA contest in July. I've just heard from one of the operators that he will hope to be active on 5MHz during the trip. As we get nearer the time and I get more information, I'll publish it here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Remembering Maurice Pay, VK4MP

I was talking to one of my Twitter friends who lives in Australia, Rosemary yesterday. She'd obviously looked at my bio and noticed that I was interested in Amateur Radio. She mentioned that her grandfather, Maurice Pay had been a radio amateur and had held the callsign VK4MP.

She asked if I'd be interested in seeing a picture of him in his shack. Of course, I said yes and with Rosemary's permission, here's a wonderful picture of the Rev Maurice Pay, VK4MP in his shack, probably around the 1940s.

I wonder if anyone here remembers working Maurice on the air?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

HAM-MAG: E-magazine for radio amateurs

I was just browsing through the Southgate Amateur Radio Society's RSS feed and I came across a reference to HAM-MAG. This styles itself as the First E-magazine for ham radio operators. It says 'A magazine without paper is a tree saved'

You can download some samples from and if you like what you see (which you will, I'm sure) you can subscribe and it will be sent to your inbox every month.

The editor is Vincent, F5SLD who says that new articles are needed for future issues.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mapping and Amateur Radio slides...

Here's a link to the presentation I did this evening at the Harwell Club on Mapping and Amateur Radio

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mapping and Amateur Radio talk at Harwell on Tuesday evening

I was asked recently if I'd do a talk at the Harwell Radio Club. I said I'd be delighted to and we settled on a topic of 'Mapping and Amateur Radio'.

What I'm planning to talk about (and I've just finished working on the slides!) is how we can use some of the excellent free mapping software that's available for amateur radio purposes. I hope there will be something of interest for everyone and if I do my job right, hopefully some attendees will go home wanting to try it out for themselves.

The talk will be held this Tuesday, 9th June at Rutherford Appleton Lab's Social Club at 8pm. If you're in the area, it would be great to see you there!

G4VXE likes this...

Last weekend, I was working away up at the allotment, planting beans and doing all those sorts of things. As I was up there on my own, I took the Icom E-92 and had it scanning around. I was pleased to find a good QSO going at the Swindon 70cms repeater, GB3TD. For a couple of hours, the repeater was kept busy with some interesting discussions.

Though I was busy, I was quite tempted to call in, but muddy hands and handhelds don't mix really! Really wanted to have a facility a bit like the Facebook 'Tim likes this', to show that I was listening and enjoying the QSO. Maybe there's something we can build into a D-STAR system to show that though we're not taking part in a QSO, we're there, listening and enjoying it.

Ted Collins, G4UPS - Silent Key

I was sorry to hear this morning, that Ted Collins, G4UPS had passed away on Wednesday morning. I'd known Ted since the mid 1980s, when we were first allowed on 50MHz. Ted was probably one of the first stations that I worked on the band and we kept in touch off and on, ever since.

On 50MHz, particularly in the 'early years', if there was an opening, Ted was there. In the days of the 'Squarebashers Expedition Group' and our trips to Gibraltar, Malta and Madeira, we had numerous QSOs with Ted.

Prior to the release of the 50MHz band in the UK, Ted had operated from Ascension Island when he was out there 'on business'. He'd made lots of contacts from there as ZD8TC and it was always interesting to talk to him about his experiences there.

In later years I tended to work Ted more often on LF but we always enjoyed a quick natter and a catch up.

Sorry to lose you, old friend.


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