Monday, September 21, 2009

Adventure Radio at its best - with Steve WG0AT, Peanut and Rooster

If you've been around this blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a great fan of Steve, WG0AT and his two goats; Peanut and Rooster. Between them, they put together some great videos which combine straightforward, simple amateur radio with the outdoors and, well, goats. If you've not seen one of their videos, try this one - it's superb!

Trying out the GB7GL Gloucestershire D-STAR repeater

I was over in Cheltenham and Gloucester yesterday afternoon, so I took the opportunity to put the little Icom E-90 handheld in the car with a view to trying out the new Gloucestershire D-STAR repeater, located in the Forest of Dean. I used Julie's car, so didn't have an external aerial fitted up, just the handheld and the 'internal' aerial.

I didn't hear anything from the repeater as I was driving into Cheltenham, but on parking up at my parents' home in the north-western part of the town, I was quickly able to blip up the repeater from within in the car - so it will clearly have decent coverage around the town for anyone with a halfway decent antenna - and it should be great up on the Cotswold escarpment.

A bit later, heading home, up the A417/419 out of Gloucester towards Crickley Hill, I had a quick contact with Brin, G8VPR located on Cannock Chase. GB7GL is, as noted here before, connected to the Midlands D-STAR reflector, which gives a good wide coverage.

So, if you're a D-STAR user and you're around the Cotswolds, give GB7GL a go!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GB3ZY update

Chatting to Des, G0RBD on 2m a couple of days ago, he mentioned that some work had been done to make GB3ZY more sensitive. Indeed it does seem to have been, and driving back into the village the other day, I seemed to be able to open the repeater where I'd not been able to before.

I'll be trying it out!

Going to the RSGB's Convention ?

If you are, then Paul, M0TZO has made the calendars available in electronic format. What a brilliant idea, Paul! I'd never thought of making an event programme available as an electronic calendar file that you can load on your phone. Superb!

Find Paul's calendars on line at his blog

And get well soon, Paul.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Listening to HB9EME on 2m: More from the 2m VHF Contest

Just after I recorded the video from the 2m contest this morning, I came across HB9EME lower down the band. He wasn't a great signal here - let's remember I only have a small 5 element yagi up at around 10m - but he was easy copy.

I shot a little more video as I listened to him, which perhaps explains a little more about why I like VHF DXing - hope you find it interesting too.


IARU Region 1 VHF Contest

I spent a few moments on the bottom end of 144MHz this morning as it was the IARU Region 1 VHF contest. Conditions weren't bad at all. Earlier on, I heard OK1AR from the Czech Republic. HB9EME was coming through too - both fairly weak here, so I didn't get involved in trying to work them, but it was exciting to hear them.

I popped the video camera on to have a tune around - F4CQY/P from JN28, F4ARU/P from JN09 are easily audible - and made a QSO with G0FBB/P.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

GB7GL - D-STAR for Gloucestershire

A new 70cms D-STAR repeater, GB7GL has opened at Edge Hill in the Forest of Dean (IO81SU). The repeater output is on 439.712 and the input on 430.7125.

This should provide great coverage in the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. I'll be intrigued to see if any RF creeps over the hill into Oxfordshire, but I'll certainly keep an eye on the frequency when I'm in and around the Gloucestershire area.

The plan is for the repeater to be hooked up to the MIDSTAR reflector, comprising of a number of D-STAR repeaters in the Midlands area, though you can connect it to other reflectors, should you wish.

You can read more at the GB7GL website

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A little more on GB3ZY

I've made a few cautious comments here about the receive system at the 50MHZ repeater, GB3ZY. I say cautious, because having been around radio a while, you never quite know whether it's you, or the far end that's not working quite as you expected.

Roger, G4HZA was down in the Bristol area over the weekend and spoke to some locals on GB3ZY. It seems that there is a slight de-sense problem on the repeater which is causing it to appear a little 'deaf'.

It sounds like the group are well aware of the problem and hoping to do something about it.

That would be superb - as the coverage of the repeater is excellent and it would be exciting to use it at some longer ranges.

D-STAR takes a step in a more open direction

When I talk to some people about D-STAR, a concern that often gets raised is that the only manufacturer producing D-STAR kit is ICOM. Though the D-STAR standard is not proprietary to Icom, certainly it could appear that no other manufacturers support it actively.

I was pleased to read that David, G4ULF and the Ashdown Forest Repeater Group have built the first non Icom D-STAR repeater in prototype operation in the UK. The repeater uses one of the GMSK Node Adapters developed by Satoshi Yasuda, 7M3TJZ.

The GB7MH repeater is connected to the G2 network and is being rigorously tested to assure integrity of the network.



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