Shack at 02/05/14

Shack at 02/05/14

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


What a fun time i've had lately. Just about everything wants to be a pain in the but, computer wise.

Bought a 'bundle' to upgrade my reserve computer after the main one went toes up. Initially all went fine. Got three latest games running on it to try it out. These being 'Crisis', 'Wings Of Prey' and 'Black Shark'.

Loaded and tried to run an older game called Lock On, but this failed to run. Going back to the original three, i found these wouldn't now run either.

Tried re-installing games and taking computer back in time as it were, but no joy. Decided that i had introduced something nasty to my drive, so went for a complete re-install of Windows.

This obviously took some time as after the Windows install i then had to do the same for all the relevant drivers. 74 Windows updates (XP) were also included before i was finally up and running.

After all that the games in question still wont run. There is something missing, but i can't figure what it is. According to my diagnostics there should be no problem.

I have some older games running ok which include Sims 3, Microsoft Flight Sim 2004 amd FSX, Dragon Age, ANNO 1404, X3, Silent Hunter 4 and Railworks. Railworks runs on 'Steam' However a couple of other 'Steam' run games including Sniper ghost will not run. Weird!.

I've come to the conclusion that the problem lies with the games makers introducing more complex ways of combatting copying of their discs or playing them on a second computer.

All very well, but how about the poor innocent punter like me getting screwed by it. It sems some of this technology is not happy working with some optical drives. So how am i to know if it is or isn't 'till i've tried it and spent my money?. The latest idea, it seems, is that a game will have to be connected at all times to the internet at a given speed, which is above mine incidentally, to allow the game and the developer to ping each other automatically at times to confirn the install is in fact legal. That means, of course, if my connection went down so would the game. Brilliant!. Talk about paranoid. Looks like the beginning of the end for new pc gaming, for me anyway. Too much of a gamble with money getting tighter by the day.

Anyway, back to more important stuff than gaming. Had to download a new widget (KE5RS) for MMSTV so can resume sstv uploading. Guess what, i cant get that to work as it did before so went over to Ham DM780 with it's own ftp. I can't get that to send up either. I'm sure i've done everything right, including renaming the cells on the sstv page. The upload address and directory is right, but nothing's going up. The widget tries to contact the server, by the way, but freezes. All addreses are right, and the widget is pointed to the history files of mmsstv where there are jpg's ready to go.

I've tried sending with no firewall, and with the anti- virus off, as i did trying to fix the games problem. No joy there.

The weather details are failing to reach the page also, so all in all i'm reay to chuck the whole web site in the bin and start something new. All because i decided to upgrade my computer *sigh*.
Should have left it as it was i suppose, but i missed my flight and train sims. I can at least play them now, but have screwed up the radio side in the process. Life's a bitch, right?.

So if all my reader *chuckle* are wondering why the site seems to have died, it's because i'm too hacked off after the above to sort it. Think i'll paint the old radio shack instead, not much chance of brain damage there. 73

Thursday, 7 October 2010

21:16 All uploading has been put on hold due to finally deciding to take the plunge re upgrading my main computer. Had toyed with the idea of a dedicated games console due to not being able to keep up with the latest flight, rail, ship sims, graphic and memory wise. Unfortunately, no console game programmers seem to cater for serious simmers, so either a new pc or my existing one suped up was called for.

Obviously the cheaper option was to upgrade, so i duely purchase 'a bundle'. This comprised of a Gigabyte GA-M68M-S2 mother board/AMD 8850 Phenom triple core CPU/XFX Gamer GT240 graphics card/4 gigs of ram.

I've never tackled this sort of upgrade before, so did so in the certain knowledge there would be some sod's law to hold me up somewhere.

All went well swapping the mother board, but said sod's law came in the shape of the front panel switch plug not fitting the board socket. Bit of head scratching followed, whilst i wondered why the manufacturer didn't think of supplying a suitable plug. Anyway, using logic i checked the plug pins with a multimeter (none of them marked as to purpose) and discovered that if the plug was inserted at one end of the socket the right way round, the switch pins would marry up with the power- on pins of the socket. I wasn't worried about associated led lights etc, but it would seem the manufacturer may have anticipated the fitting of this switch socket as the led did activate anyway. Pitty there was nothing to indicate this arrangement would work in the instructions, assuming of course that it was meant to work and not just a coincidence. It would have saved a lot of hassle.

I had visions of of making my own switch, but this did the trick as the fans fired up ok. The hard drive, unfortunately didn't. More head scratching, then i noticed i had ommited to connect one 4 pin supply to the board. That connected, the drive fired up and the bios appeared on the screen. Thank goodness for that.

The rest, as they say, is history. Needless to say, i have since been loading up and playing all the games i either couldn't before, or at least had to go easy on the graphics etc. Now i can run all my sims with the wicks turned right up, Brilliant!. No doubt next years sims will need 8 gigs instead of 4. Oh well, i'm cool for the time being anyway.

I'll connect the weather centre at least back up tomorrow. I've cleared the desk of radio's to sort out the computer so sstv is out for the time being.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

20:24 local.

Why is it that whenever i get an idea for something to settle on, radio wise, some sod's law always insists on screwing thing up? *grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*.

Navtex!. Brilliant, i'm finally settling on that aspect of monitoring, along with sstv and broadcast of course. So i have three navtex programs running all successfully on the only computer suitable, and what happens. A tramline sprog appears after about an hour and very slowly progresses across the audio spectrum, which inevitably ends up sitting right across the navtex frequency.

Obviously i'm going to have to be selective here. That is to only fire the navtex up when most likely to recieve any dx, ie late evening. Never had this problem in the old days. Wireless set, pair of headphones and you were laughing. Come the age of the computer and it's one headache after another. Bloody things are a pain in the arse half the time. Too late now though. Now we've got 'em, they are too addictive to give up.

I did fire up navtex at 4:45 this morning, as i had set the alarm to make sure i put the rubbish out for the bin men anyway. Had a letter from the council. Says because of the need to save money, i have to have my rubbish out by 06:00. How stupid is that?. Either i get up at the crack of dawn or put it out the previous evening. Which means, due to being in a quiet country lane on the edge of the forest, the plastic bag (No bin supplied here) is a likely target of wild cats or foxes.

Anyway, as i say the naxtex was fired up in the hope of snagging some dx. This morning i checked the log and the only new addition was Caruna in Spain. Needless to say, not very impressive. Oh well, another day.

Time to dunk some oaties and see what's on the box i think. 73 for now

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

12:55 Local. The strange carrier i picked up early this morning is still with me. Here's a few screen shots. The double peak is Ostend. The single one starts with brief lower tone of about a second, then carries on for anything up to about 20 seconds with the tone shown. Usually about five seconds though. It's not Niton, as i was thinking, as it came up once during a Niton transmission. Wonder if anyone else is monitoring at this time and picking it up?.

Friday, 17 September 2010

18:47 Local. Well the prefix does check out and it's on the map, so i reckon i'll claim that one Hi!

18:03 Local.What am i playing with now?, you may ask. Well i'll tell you. Navtex, that's what. Heard of a program called Frisnit Navtex Decoder V2.1.5, so naturally i had to try it out right?.

Here's a screen shot of it in action

What i found interesting about this program, is not only does it save all the messages to file as indicated on the right of the shot. But it also uploads all messages recieved to an online data base and displays them on a map. This after registering the program and giving my station's name, location of course.

The result can be seen on the next screen shot. The pink icons are the actual navtex stations, but rather than showing which ones my reciever has detected, which i thought would be the case sort of similar to PSK Reporter for instance, the blue icons actually represent the area relevant to the message i have recieved/uploaded instead. Clicking on the icon reveals the actual message. Pretty cool!.

Only managed three different stations so far, and i suppose murphies law says that the conditions are not going to be similar to those of a couple of years ago when i pulled in just about all of area 1 and started on area 2 all in the space of about a month. Still, we'll give it a go.

According to the other computer i've picked up Swaziland on psk31. 3DC. I'll have to check the prefix before i buy that one.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

27:33 local. Well i think i'll have to give that up as a bad job. Just thought i would like to specialise in a particular digital mode re the web page that was a bit more out of the ordinary than psk31, for instance. I can't really see many people that visit being that interested in what psk i'm recieving. 10 metre jt65-hf would have more appeal to those stations seeking confirmation of their sigs getting out at least.

been tuned to 30 metres (10.138/9 for hours now, fruitlessly waiting for some jt65-hf to appear. Not a dicky bird!. I know the recieve/ant is ok as i'm getting stations on 14.076 no problem.

I've just switched back to 20 mtres and already UA3RAG has appeared on screen. I'm not sitting here watching grass grow so 30 metres is out for me. DU1GM has just answered the Russian by the way.

Oh well. lets have another go at ROS. I'll make my mind up in a minute. Shame the notebook/windows 7 doesn't like the SBS1, as i'd be tempted to put that on.

Friday, 10 September 2010

16:31 Local. Thought i'd cracked it then!. My jubilation was short lived however *sigh*.

I've been living with sprogs all the way up the spectrum when listening to the broadcast bands.
As an experiment, just now, i started unplugging whatever i could to see if there was any improvement. Turning monitors off didn't help, nor did removing lap top supplies.

Then i though of taking my IC-R20 handy around the house to see if it was interfered with in the same way. It was, even beyond the front gate and into the lane. Logically, that indicated the problem was not being transfered by hard wiring. Now what am i transmitting, i thought .

I'm not sending any rf out on purpose, so what can it be. I don't use any gadgets to transfer info, excepting the weather center. The interference was there before i got that up and running anyway. Then it hit me. The wifi router. Turn the thing off and see what happens. Immediately the sprogs disappeared. Brilliant, i've cracked it. Now all i have to do is hard wire the only lap top using rf to the router. Or so i thought.

I went into the router menus and found a way to disable the wireless option. Turned it off and saved the setting.... Bugger!, the spogs are still there. The router itself is the problem.

Now what?. I can't get rid of the router. So is it the price to pay for progress, i ask myself. Not like the old days, when radio was a joy to listen to before the advent of all these modern gadgets.

looks like the only way to do some really serious listening, is on a portable radio (avoiding mains born stuff from the neighbours) and when everything else in my own house is turned off (Router and computers in particular).

Thursday, 9 September 2010

22:11 Local. Well i've just recieved a Rumanian station on the notebook so i guess we are ok now. I did turn the output of the radio down a bit so as not to overload it, and it seems to have worked. Anyway, time to call it a day. Might try adding a spare monitor i have handy tomorrow. Another socket to find. All this was supposed to be a temporary setup, and already i'm using 11 plugs *sigh*. G'Night peeps!. 73
21:44 Local. Still toying with the psk reporter page. Everytime i think i like the way it is, some snag rears it's head. Righ at this minute i have jt65-hf running. Look at the default map position and my location is out of the picture. So is the station near Rome. Zooming out only cures it until the next auto refresh from Pskreporter itself. Getting the tool box that contains details like the mode i'm using means chopping off some of the lower map. All this because i'm using a notebook. Screen is not tall enough.

I would prefer ROS mode as one, it's more exclusive than psk31. However, for some unknown reason, even though i can hear the sigs coming from the radio quite strongly, the notebook/ROS prog is not decoding them all of a sudden. Murphies law at it again.

Let's have one more try before bed. I'll set it up and go put the kettle on for a Rosey

Monday, 6 September 2010

17:26 Local, The European weather chart from Meteorologica has not been updated on their page for the last 2 days, which means my own is out of date too. I have removed it from the front page. maybe i'll come up with a replacement in a minute.

As i couldn't get Linux installed on the notebook i though of putting sbs1 on it instead. That's what i have just been attempting. However, no luck there either. Seems to install ok but no data is coming from the box when requested in setting up. Back to the drawing board. Must be some use for the notebook.

The forecasters on tv have been on about severe weather since early this morning, so like a dipstick i went out in a leather jacket expecting it to pour down any minute. Of course i got to town and the sun came out. It's now 17:33 and just started to drizzle. What time zone do these guys live in?.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

09:12 Local. Is it my slow internet speed, or is there a problem with picture side of Blogger. All my pics seem to be missing. Strange!, i'll checkmake a 'thoughts/comments' page on my site. That's an idea!, i'll give that some thought over a 'Starbucks'.
08:41 Local. At last i've got in!. For some unknown reason i keep timing out trying to log into this blog. Sooner or later, surely the internet in general is going to hit saturation point and go into melt down with the increasing use by not only pc's but all these new web capable gadgets that are appearing.

Anyway, after running out of ideas on the weather page yesterday i turned to installing that disc i got with the Linux tutorial book on my new notebook. Unfortunately things didn't work out as they did a while back with the desktop.

I inserted the disc into my external usb drive and selected the option for assisted booting. After an age loading a program, and error appeared. Some file missing. Good start!. I then went into the notebook bios for the boot up priority set up. Selected the usb option and tried the disc again. Light flickered on the drive for a short time, then nothing. Windows started up. Nice one!. Tried booting from another Ubuntu disc, again supplied with a mag. Same again.

On the notebook bios, there is only the option to highlight and save the desired source. Unlike the desktop, where it is placed on top of a priority list. I guess the notebook was doing what it was supposed to do as i had used the only option regarding booting priority. Anyway, giving that up a bad job i tried intalling programs to window with the usb drive to satisfy myself it was working, this went without further problem.

Looks like Linux is going to have to wait until i have a spare machine.

Mybe it's time to get back to the main point to my site, ie shortwave listening. Been a bit sidetracked lately and haven't done much in that line, as the log shows.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

10:55 local I forgot to mention that i foun d a really interesting site that i could have got well into. Sort of weather version of Hamspots. However, after further reading it appears to be aimed at the American enthusiast only *sigh*. Shame that. Another site on a similar vein seems to be Weather Underground, which does cater for a the uk enthusiast, so i will look further into that in a minute.

This weather thing is addictive once you get into it, you know that?.
10:44 local. Hard at it on the computer again. Just been finding links for the weather page.

Just love tinkering with web pages. Yesterday i managed to get the code for falling leaves, and got it operating on the weather links page ok. However, i couldn't manage to get it going on the home weather page supplied by Cumulus. Shame that, as it looks really good against the trees in autumn.

Another thing i couldn't resist was Merlin appearing on my radio home page and having a quick chat before disappearing. I got it to work on the preview, but nothing happened when loaded up to the server. As i'm using Firefox, as opposed to Explorer, it occurred to me that might be the problem. I switched to Explorer on one machine and tried again. Up popped a box requesting me to allow active x. This i did and Merlin appeared. Oh well, i'll just leave it up to those with Explorer to decide whether allow it or not.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

08:07 local. Another day. Put the rubbish out, Fed the cat, myself and finally got the weather centre set up correctly. Thank goodness for forums. How did we cope before the advent of the internet?.

I remember the days when information could only be gleened from books-if you could find any-and by word of mouth. Talk about the stone age *chuckle*. Then again, are we being saturated with so much information that it has an adverse effect? Spoilt for choice?. When i first became interested in radio, there was only the wireless set. Simple choice. No decisions to make, except i either wanted to play with one or not. Now, there are so many 'black boxes' that are capable of so many modes/frequencies of reception, especially in the Ham field, that i now go round in circles trying to figure which one to buy. Or should say did, as i have now covered most avenues over the years, and the latest kit is largely beyond my financial reach anyway.

Has life become too fast and complicated?. I remember travelling up Malaya to stay over for a bit at my then girl friends place in the jungle. House on stilts, bamboo walls, no tv or traffic noise. Chickens running about all over the road outside. No one rushing about. So laid back and peacefull. Brilliant!. I really didn't want to came back from it all, but at the time the government basically owned me. Back to the rat race, i'm sorry to say. Oh well, back to present.

Couldn't hear that French station experimenting on 136 megs last evening. Too much noise down there, and my antenna is probably not up to it anyway.

Looks like a warm day again, time for a 'Starbucks', check out the mags in Smiths and try to avoid buying the latest toy in Maplin.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

22:07. That's it, had enough for today. Total shutdown, including myself. G'night all 73
17:04 local. Thought i'd take a break from the weather page and make a start on the BC log. Got it off the ground by backdating a few days, though when i'm going to add some more logs i don't know. Seems so much to do at the moment. Take this evening. Apparently there is something going down on 136 Kcs with ROS mode, and email reports (Automatically sent by ROS software) are requested by the station experimenting. Starts at 18:00 local, so i'll have a listen for that.

SSTV is a bit iffy again. Leave it running, see what turns up. It's the last day for the JASTA contest, so should get more varied pics from tomorrow.

XYL says 'Why don't i get a flat screen tv instead of watching that 22 inch bottle?'. Thing is though, after a squint at BBC news i turn the thing off for most of the day. The headlines are on my computer anyway, so why am i paying all this bread for a license, i ask myself. Mind you, i could have used a 60 inch flat job for the world cup, but how often does tht come round?. Yes alright clever, 4 years. I've got to be really desperate to watch the commercial channels, simply because i refuse to accept the blatant attempts at brainwashing and being shown 'THE BOURNE IDENTITY' AGAIN. On the rare occasion i switch from BBC i use the mute button constantly to lose the adverts, which are taking an increasing proportion of program overall.

The actual program is now beginning to interrupt the commercials, right?. Anyway, enough of this idle banter, 'm now going to check around the forums for new posts before i do some radio listening. KN
That's clever, the imprint says i took the picture after i got back home. Time travel even.

12:12 local, i'm back.

Here's the one i picked to use for the page, but hold on!. Have you spotted my deliberate mistake?. Yes your right, i forgot to turn off the date/time imprint. Blast!, that's not going to look good on the page, is it?. Oh well, it'll have to wait now. I can't be bothered to go out and do it all over again now. Lunch calls.
10:51 local. That seems to have sorted it. Noticed a very silly air pressure reading of 1034 mb this morning, missed that yesterday. Anyway, i have managed to recalibrate Cululus to agree with the readings from the weather station. checked for my area air pressure on the web for my area, so now reading 2022 mb.

Of course anyone reading the page at the moment will see 'Pressure falling very rapidly' on screen. That is because of the alteration i have made, and will settle down after a few exchanges of data have been made between the station and Cumulus (Software on the computer).

Maybe i can relax and go and get some nice forest photos now.

Monday, 30 August 2010

21:34 local. Closing everything down for the night, which includes the weather computer. Have to upload the accumulated data in the morning. Night all! 73
20:20 local. Another day pouring over a hot computer *sigh*. Not doing my minces much good i reckon. however, i seem to be making headway with the weather page. Still work to do, and i'm going into the forest in the morning to get some pics for it. Hopefully one will be suitable as a backing picture for the web page. Can't make the one i've got work with the font colours.

Haven't done any shortwave listening last couple of days, but will get back to it eventually. Going to make a log book page for broadcast, instead of putting reports on this blog. Tidy things up a bit i think.

SSTV quality is well down today, loads of weak images coming through. Oh well, that's live for you.
A cup of a Rosey is called for now i think, i'm spitting feathers.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

22:39 local. Had enough, still can't figure it. Try again tomorrow. Night all! 73.
22:18 local. This is doing my head in *sigh*. I've tried every logical way of modifying the Index page that auto uploads weather data, and still the page appears as the original. Apparently a file called 'Index T' gets uploaded afresh with each update. Logically, if i alter the html code of that file with an editor and save overwrite the original, there is no way the original can still appear on the web unaltered. Well that is if the page on the web is indeed over written each time, as indicated in the help files.
09:23 local. Incidentally, i've tried changing the ini file to reflect the right date for 'Records began' and uploading it, but the records page still refuses to show it. Life's a bitch, right? *chuckle*.

XYL has something lined up for me now , so that's it for now. 73
09:15 local. I have the weather page working ok, but the template supplied is a bit boring for my taste so i'm trying to figure out how to make my own and import the data from my wx station. It's not worth making a link from the home page, i don't think, as i am only going to take take the page off to modify it anyway.

If anyone actually reads all this stuff, i'll include the link here where the page is, and will be when modified, hosted.
09:12 Local. I wish i wnew why it does that?. Every now and again a picture will appear on the site oversized resulting in the whole page being screwed up. The only way out is to load up enough pics to fill the page and chase the duf one through, which i have just done . Hopefully i can now carry on with fresh uploads as normal....Again!.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

09:38 local. Seems to be some action on pskmail already this morning. Went dead just now, but realised the batteries had gone in the Roberts. Sorted a power supply, so now ok again.

Can't see any call signs in the messages above. Obviously someone with a yacht sending. Had the program 'pskmail' running aswell, but apart from a small burst of script nothing happened. I was kind of hoping that it would log actual messages, as opposed to the data flowing up the page and dissappearing for good on Fldigi and Multipsk. Something on the lines of ROS, which automatically logs calls at least. Anyway, something else to play with.

Gut Ubuntu user mag yesterday, basically for the disc included. I was thinking, and even made a start, on replacing windows on the notebook with Linux. I have used it before and found it very good. I didn't finish it, because i then thought of downloading Fldigi to it so as to use it portable with the Roberts with a view of recieving pskmail. After that i thought of the extension lead idea to the main computer, which i prefer using because of the large screen.

Might do it today, not having anything to loose as i have an restore disc supplied with the notebook(Novatech) to replace windows if i want.

Friday, 27 August 2010

That's it, one brief peace of inteligent text, but enough to show we're in busines.

20:56 local. Spent most of the afternoon making a web page for my weather centre. No problem getting Cumulus to talk to it, but tarting up the page is another story. Initially i transfered the original html to my editor and after changing the colours etc to my liking, i loaded it up. That worked ok, but as soon as Cumulus sent an update of data, the page reverted back to the original.

I had thought that the page would remain as i wanted, with only the data being altered by Cumulus. Obviously not the case, blast!. I decided to play with something else. maybe something will come to me if i don't concentrate too hard on it.

Over to pskMail. 10.147 is where it's at, however, a snag already. There's a computer sprog right on frequency. Same on the alternative of 14.090. Brilliant!, that's all i need.

Thinks!. Try a radio away from the computer gear. Grabs the Roberts R861 and tunes for 10.147 on the other side of the room (Log wire around the window frame). Nothing!, all clear of sprogs. Great, now what?. Simple, run an extension audio lead back to the computer. Just done that and immediately fldigi showed a brief burst of inteligent text using bpsk-250. Wer'e in business.

The cursor was on about 75 hz when i recieved something, but it keeps jumping back to 1500. Wonder if that is really the default pskmail position?. Anyway, it's gone quiet now, but will have another listen during tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

19:06 Well that was quite painless, unusual not to have some sod's law in configuring something new. Put the weather centre together and fixed it to a redundant bottom antenna section and held it up with a bracket bought today at BQ for the job.

Fired up the base unit and all came to life. All readings ok. Then installed the 'Easy Weather' software and fired that up. Voila!, in business. I have an extension lead from the computer in the bedroom to the base unit in the room closest to the outdoor sensors, which i had used for the SBS1 unit.

Next i turned off the 'Easy Weather' and fired up the 'Cumulus' software and configured for 'Fine offset'. Once again no problem. Couldn't believe everything had gone so smoothly, but there you go. Been messing about with various configs since, but saving the web page part for later. I know uploading a target page is straight forward, as i've already done a dummy run recently. The test will be auto uploading data at regular intervals. Can't see any reason for worries there though.

Might have to replace the digi sstv page to do it however.

Earlier, after perusing Radiouser that i bought today, i downloaded a couple of progs mentioned therein. One was PSKmail, and the other KG-ACARS. Neither of which i've had much luck with running. As to PSK mail, i couldn't find any action on 10.147 to try it out. And KG-ACARS was a bit iffy to set up. All the config setting seem to come up with a question mark against them and i couldn't decode anything, even after various trial and error settings to get the prog to listen to my radio. I did get the sound from the notebook so data was going in anyway. looks like it could be a very interesting program when it's running, but it's brand new and written by a Japanese gentleman just like KG-STV. No doubt clear instructions in English will soon appear. I'll keep looking.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

22:04 Reckon i'll hit the sack, eyes are closing. Couple of stations in the log worth a mention today.
HCJB Global Voice Australia@16:00 bst on 15.340 Mhz 'Talk about mosquitoes and glue ear'. EWTN Global Catholic Radio@21:57 bst on 15.610 Mhz 'Listeners questions/Family prayer'.

Couldn't resist the Spurs match on tv when i should have been monitoring Hi!. Night all 73.
18:37. Raining pesistantly.

Well that' it, i've finally made my mind up about what to concentrate on shortwave listening wise.
Broadcast it is. Why?. basically, in the main, it's because i can always find something to grab my interest whatever time of the day it is and whatever the condition are prevailing, which means not just hanging about on some frequency or other waiting fruitlessly for something to happen. The Ham Radio Deluxe log book facility fits in nicely too. Digital modes are ok, but they are more suited to interraction (Two way contact) rather than monitoring, to be really meaningfull i think.

Anyway, i seem to have found a decent community to join at last (Shortave-radio), so hope this is where i can settle down. With over 250 post already this month, it looks pretty lively so looks very promissing.

I see the sun spot level has risen to 11 from 0 of the last couple of days, so hopefully things are looking up SSTV wise. Got some mediocre stuff coming in at the moment, but might pick up in the next couple of hours before dying for for the night. Still the same stations calling JASTA. Can't see them reaching Japan in these conditions though. Got to hand it to SP8LEP though, he keeps hanging in there.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

21:24 local. Oh dear!, sstv didn't pick up this evening. Trouble with having a live cam, is that the whole page could end up with rubbish pics on it, as is the case today. Oh well, always tomorrow. Might as well call it a day and switch off now.

19:05 local Concidering the hf conditions are well quiet at the moment, Kinloss Rescue is fully readable on 5.680 usb. Radiocom 6.0 here is scanning all known channels for activity.
15:30 local.

Spent most of yesterday afternoon messing about with 'Shortwave Log'. In the end i scrubbed round it *sigh*. The hassle i had with downloading it?. Well i was warned that XP didn't like it, and they were right. I did eventually get it up and running after downloading the required files from Microsoft. These took an age because one file that i was asked for after half an hours downloading, that i didn't have, meant i had to start all over again once i had the relevant file, which also took and age to download. Another half hour to get back to the same place and then to continue for another age.

All the time my connection was getting slower and slower. Down to about 34 kbs in the end. What happened to this 8 gigs they advertise?. Never happens. Most i've had is about 140 kbs.

For some reason i was under the impression that Shortwave Log would also drive my PCR-1000. In reality it had the option to drive someone elses instead on line. Half the data base links wouldn't work and the maps didn't show bc sations as i though they would, so i gave the whole thing up as a bad job and deleted it all.

Still can't make my mind up what to concentrate on radio/web site wise. I've made a digital sstv page, but since making it i haven't heard a peep out of digital sstv on the radio. Probably that page will lay dormant until i change it. The only definite action seems to be JT65-HF, Ros and PSK31. I'll figure something out in th end i expect. There's always sbs1, but the trouble with that, is that it takes over the computer if i want to upload screen shots every minute.

Bought a book on Visual Basic yesterday. When i get my brain into 2nd, i'll mess about with that.

I have a weather station still in it's box. I have already experimented with a page design for uploading data and put it temporarily online. However i can't figure where to mount the kit outside at the moment, so i've taken the page off for the moment. Need another pole on the side of the bungalow for the kit.

Been spoilt with the Pro Whip. It outperforms the long wires and quater wave mobile whip i had on a metal roof. It seems a shame to just have it connected to the sstv rig only, as i want to use it for shortwave listening in general.

Looking at the pics at the moment on site, you'd think the ant was not up to to the job, but the i know the conditions are completely naf at the moment, propogation wise. Usually, the 'grey line' morning and evening sees some half decent pics coming in.

I've just tried to cheer up the PCR-1000 with a couple of 'slinkies' in series as a long wire. SSTV is still not matching the Pro Whip, but 'Broadcast' is really good , and Kinloss Rescue is perfectly readable. If i didn't have the Pro Whip, i wouldn't know any better and reckon i would be well satisfied, taking the conditions into acount.

Looks like the rain's here. Forecast is heavy rain tomorrow. Reckon it's come early.

Got a real interesting site on the note book at the moment
Makes you wonder why we fork out all that bread for our own kit when it's all there for free online, and better coverage too..... Time for a Rosey i reckon.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

22:09 local. That's it for another day. Been sat on 3.733 for a couple of hours, but apart from a brief message in the EasyPal waterfall it's dead as the 'Python's' Norwegian Blue parrot. I'm going to bed. 73 all
19:27 local. Nothing for me today regarding digital sstv, though i must admit i did see one brief attempt on EasyPal this afternoon which was too weak for me to decode. I would imagine most of the regulars are a bit cheesed off with the 'JASTA' guys decorating the scenery with analogue and keeping their heads down 'till it's all over. Goes on untill end of the month apparently. Mind you, analogue hasn't been brilliant today either. I know i'm using my secondary and less efficient whip for that, but i'm pretty sure the conditions are not as good as yesterday.
19:02 local. Well i got there in the end. managed to get a new page up and running for KG-STV to take the place of the weak signal mode cam.

Always a murphies law when you try these things, right? Arranged the page nicely, then when i tried to name image1.jpg on the table, an image kept appearing *sigh*. I then had to hunt through all the files o the computer to find where this image was coming from. I made a search and deleted what the find came up with but still it would appear. I finally found it within the images belonging to the 'Digital Shortwave' page. I deleted it from my end, as opposed to the page on the server and i was in business. Amazing how long these things take.

Don't know how much trade i'm going to get with this mode as i guess it's early days and guys will have to switch from EasyPal to try it out. I guess testerday i struck lucky, as either it was an arranged net or maybe just coincidence, but i did get some action anyway as the uploaded pics show.
12:26 local

These are images i picked up yesterday with a new digital sstv program that guys were experimenting with (KG-STV). I'm not sure whether there's going to be enough trade to warrent a digi sstv page on the site, so i'm putting any images on here whilst i think about it. I could make a new page and just upload pics as and when i happen across them which obviously would not be, as is the case with analologue, a live cam.

Problem with the live cam idea, is that the best computer/radio and antenna would be tied to one frequency, which would mean i couldn't tune around for other stuff at the same time of course.

09:03 G'Day!.

All up and running. Bit of an experiment today, like evaluating the digital sstv scene witha view to changing the ROS/JT65-HF modes cam to one of digital sstv instead. Not sure if this is going to work at the moment due to all the analogue guys decorating the rf scenery with their JASTA working.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

15:21 Found something else to play with today. New Digital SSTV mode called KG-STV. Here's a screen shot. Captured 4 pics ok, but like the one you see here, there are lots of pixels missing. I'ts like digital tv reception wise, as when the signal drops to a certain level it just dissapeares completely. At least with analogue you still get some sort of picture. Still, something else to play with.

Unfortunately the JASTA contestants were all over the frequency most of the time, so lucky to get anything i guess. I've just discovered that JASTA actually stands for Japan Amateur SSTV Association, and the contest is running from the 1st of this month to the 31st *sigh*. Going to be a long month.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

21:39 JT65-hf Brazil
21:14 local Well that wasn't very nice. The Spanish station calls out cq with Hellschreiber and another then calls cq with psk right on top of him. Loads of room as you can see, and the psk guy should have been further toward 070 anyway. 073/4 is normally used by Hellshreiber, MFSK 8/18 and Olivia. Get p to 076 and we're talking JT65, which i have been recieving on the other computer. Brazil is the furthest contact at the moment this evening. I'll include a screen shot after this post.

Got a bit fed up with the same old stations calling cq sstv Jasta, so i've been looking at other modes today. No point trying digital sstv as the contest guys, as per usual in whatever mode they happen to be using, are walking all over the adjacent frequencies, thus rendering them useless for the mode they were intended for.

Always the same with contests. Sod you jack, i'm alright. This Jasta seems to be going on for ever. Usually contests last the weekend only, but this has been going at least a week now.

Can't see the point really, as only the same few guys chucking out megawatts with antennas as big as my bungalow, are going to get high scores anyway.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

21:36 Where i have been for a change for the last few hours, well apart from watching 'School Of Rock' on tv yet again. Good film though. Anyway, plenty of Europians on frequency but didn't notice any UK operators. Not that there should any be using usb on this frequency Hi!

Radiocon 6 is ok for general listening and navtex, but the psk and sstv decoder options don't come close to Multipsk. Even wefax is not as good as the previous version, strange that. Loads of audio analysers and the filtering is good, but i guess i'll have to wait for a real sdr for the frequency spectrum. Downloaded a demo version of the Win Radio Excalibur, love it!. Now all i need is 650 quid. Price is £50 more than Perseus, but i still prefer it. All accademic at the moment, as i can't afford either of 'em. Dream on baby!.

Oh well it's gone 10 o'clock, think i'll call it a day with radio. 'Night all 73

Now that's not bad for psk31. Indonesia (YB9EA). Can't get much further than that. Maybe VK next?.

14:46 PSK sure is a popular mode

Saturday, 14 August 2010

17:07 Had the main computer on ROS mode all day, but i don't think real dx is
on the cards. Not a bad day with sstv trade. Lot of stations on top of each other at times which obviously ruined some pics. Kept moving between 14.277 and 14.236 Mhz to try to catch the best, which resulted in incomplete pictures occasionally. Oh well, can't win 'em all. Saving the best to a seperate file for uploading sometime to the log.
Hard to know when to pack in the auto uploading, as if left too late and the signals go down the past twelve pics recieved page looks a mess. Sometimes i look at other 'last twelve pics' sites and wonder if they really are as such, or whether they have just uploaded the decent ones as they are recieved. Look too good to be true, some of them.
JT65-hf has ben running on the note book all day, with Russia, Germany, Sweden and Hungary keeping the screen filled there.

Friday, 13 August 2010

22:30 local. That's a pretty good picture to finish the day with. 'Night all, 73.
21:22 local 20:45 listened to the news from Iran on 7.025, followed by EWTN (Global Catholic Network) at 20:57 on 15:610, very strong sig. News and the churches stance on homosexual marriages. Then Radio Tirana, Albania. at 21:10 on 13:640. R5 S9+ News and Music.
20:12 local There he is. Good old Brother Stair giving it large as usual on 6.155 Mhz. Looks like someone out of ZZ Top actually. Well ok, i'm exagerating the beard a bit. knocking on a bit now though. Reckon he must have started preaching about the time William The Conquerer made the Saxons very cross in England. Strooth!, he's just given about 13 different frequencies the overcomer ministry is using.

Now that made me laugh. Giving out the url he pronounced it 'Overcomer Ministry dot orgy'. Erm, i think he meant dot org. Bless 'im, he's going a bit scenic.

Let's see if we can find anything other than China Radio Int'l....After a nice cup of Rosey
19:59 local WA3TLT (States) calling cq there. Didn't show up on the 718 with either a short whip or a indoor long wire. I could well use another Pro Whip here for the 817, or maybe an active ant. Oh well, soldier on with what we've got for the time being.

By the way, that Win Radio Excalibur looks a bit tasty. I've been looking at it on you tube this afternoon. 5 numbers, that's all i need tomorrow *smile* (Saturday's lottery).
19:27 local Nice little haul of psk there. The yellow ones are ROS i picked up earlier by the way. Think i'll try something else now.
18:52 local 14.070's lively
18:44 local. Nice strong 'Hell' from Italy

Not a peep out of sstv this afternoon, but ROS is picking up. Shows the value of weak signal modes i guess.

As you see the qsb is bad at the moment, and 4 megs at 3 in the afternoon is not ideal anyway. Have another go this evening.

Well , with the current equipment available i decided the SBS had go back to the reserves bench.

I am now sticking with the ssstv and digital cams, with the main computer being used for general shortwave listening with the PCR-1000+8 metre pro Whip driven by Ham Radio Deluxe.

I've just had another go at installing RadioCom 5.2 and this time it worked. Think maybe i had some file missing since the last full windows re-intall, which has been rectified by automatic updates since. Anyway we're back in business and recieving Northwood fax again. For some unknown reason, the picture quality is better on this version than the later Version 6, which i also have. I'll include a screen shot in a minute. Deep qsb about at the moment, but picture quality is still pretty good concidering.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


That made a change, a bit of Hellscreiber. I decided to close the sbs1 and use HRD and the PCR-`1000 to have a look around. Only problem with the sbs1, is that it takes over the main computer completely *sigh*.
Anyway, i was looking for some JT65-HF on 14.076 when i heard the tell tale rasping sound of Hellshreiber. I just managed to Load up Multipsk to grab the screen shot above. The PC-1000 is quite happy on the long wire, so the Pro Whip will stay with the DX-394 which continues to upload SSTV.
As to the digital and SBS. Well i'll have to rethink those. If i want to trawl the shortwaves, then the SBS is going to have to go. That is untill i can devote a computer exlusively to it. Digitally speaking, i have the net book and radios available, but not the antennas. I can still upload digital stuff from the main computer/PCR-1000, depending on whether i am on frequency or tuning somewhere else. As i type this, for instance, i'm listening to China Drive on CRI. Maybe it's an idea to have a 'screen cam'. That is to say, whatever i have on screen at any given moment will be uploaded. Bit like a shack cam, i guess.
I have to remember that this is basically a make shift shack, whilst i sort out a new permanent one. Can't expect to cover everything on a bedroom table, can i?.
Hello!, the modem (Belkin) has gone again. Dont know why it does that, but every few hours i have to re-boot it. Maybe overworkerd/overheated. Have to bump start it again to upload this post before bed. Ok, it's on line again so i'll call it a day and hit the sack. 'Night all 73

21:25--SSTV off line--.
18:53--SBS and Digi cams off line---.
08:30-- All cams on line--G'Day!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

21:57 All cams off line--.

Been trying a bit of Broadcast listening today. Actually, out of the two recievers i used, i ended up prefering the FRG7 to the 7700. I'm not mad about the fine tuning only being available if the memory function is used on the 7700, though that's not so important with am of course. However, another odd thing with the 7700, was that the tuning stopped short of round numbers. That is to say, if 8 to 9 megs was selected. i could not tune past 8.850, if i remember correctly. I've put the thing away now.

I was trying to tune around 8.900 for aircraft and couldn't reach it, or drop down to it from the 9 megs selected. Weird!. I swapped for the FRG7, and although there is so digital readaout, i found the set just as sensitive as the 7700 and decided i liked it better. Oh well, at least the 7700 will look nice in the new shack, once i get round to building it.

Stiff wind got up this afternoon, which moved the 8 metre Pro Whip about a bit, but it seemed quite happy so i didn't lower it. I expect if i hear a gale or thunder storm is on the cards, i'll drop in down though.

Shutting the pc's down now, so finnish the evening with some interferance free bc listening.
Night all! 73
16:58---SBS cam back on line--.
16:36---SBS off line---.
13:13--All cams on line--.
12:31---SSTV cam on line---
11:51--Digi cam online--G'Day!.

Leaving sbs and sstv for a minute, as i want to play with other things with the computers. The sbs, in particular, is a pain as it takes over the main computer. There is no activity on 14:230 at the moment, but if things liven up i'll put the sstv cam back on line.

Monday, 9 August 2010

21:56---All cams off line---.

Just downloading open office (141 KB/sec at moment, not exactly warp speed, right?). Maybe i can use it to come up with a satisfactory way of including my digital logs on their own page. Probably have to upload word or pdf files i suppose, but i can't see anyone bothering to open them. Better if they were already open on a page, which i could just type in new additions as and when. Not sure if that's possible as i don't have any experience of spread sheets etc. I'll have a play anyway. The sstv log is not a brilliant idea, but all i can think of at the moment.

Still 10 minutes to download, going to read a mag for a bit and leave it to it.

Well chuffed with the Pro Whip. SSTV coming in nicely today. Managed to water proof it ok, and just in time as the forcast is rain overnight. According to the widget on my site, that's not the case. Oh well, i'm prepared anyaway.
11:59--All cams on line---
G'Day!. Just returned from B&Q, where i bought a metre of plastic drainage pipe. This to go over the base of the pro whip to waterproof the connections to the balun and generally make the thing look a bit tidy. Hides the elastic ties etc.

I'll do that while i'm waiting for the veg to cook. Only trouble with veg, is that it stinks the place out. Still, got to think of the old stomach i suppose. Too many ready meals are not good, right?.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

21:52 ---SBS cam off line--That's it, eyes are closing now. Calling it day. 73 Night all!.
20:46 Went to the Wimborne radio rally today, came back skint as usual. Tried to choose between a Pro Whip antenna (8 metre job), and an FRG 7700. Couldn't make my mind up, so bought them both in the end. Don't regret it though, as i'm pleased with both purchases after playing all afternoon with them. Brother Stair is giving it large on the FRG as i type this. Using a long wire at the moment.

The whip, which i have just telescoped and brought inside for the night, was connected to the DX-394 via a KW AT-2000 ATU. Soon as i connected it up the psk came belting in on 20, so i knew all was well. I then left the radio sat on 14.230 and bagged a few sstv pics before i decide to dismantle the antenna. It looks too' knickable' as it stands at the moment, as i only have a front garden to put it in. I'll think of something more secure before leaving it out.

Right, time to have a last play with the FRG for this evening. No ROS or JT65 happening, so i'll switch that off now, along with the SSTV cam.

21:24---Digi and sstv cams off line---.
13:30--All cams on line---G'Day!.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

17:07--All cams off line for the day---.

Not a peep out of ROS or sstv, though JT65-hf has been coming in ok, despite the de-sensing effect on my gear by the CB'er over the road.

Oh well, time for 'Her indoors' *smile*. 73 all
07:44---All cams live---G'Day!. Now going to feed the cat, then my self. Eyes down for another day on the Earth plane.

Friday, 6 August 2010

21:59--All cams off line--Another day over.

Amazing how computers always want to argue. All i want is to make a back up of my sbs1 data base, something which is normally straight forward. Tonight?. No. It freezes, ie 'not responding'. Sodit!, i'll forget it 'till the morning.

No sstv today, but had some luck with jt65-hf and ROS modes.

Bought some jeans and trousers today. 15 quid for the trousers, which cost another 9 to take them up!. Try and find 30 inch leg anywhere. Either 31 or 29, both of which, are no good to me. Mind you, i did actually find some 30 inch jeans in Debenhams. Brilliant fit!. Not a patch on the hipster flaird cords i wore in the seventies though. Would look pretty stupid wearing them now at 67 years old, even if they were still available, right?. Now where did i park the zimmer.

Night all, 73.
12:09---G'day!, SbS and Weak sigs cams on line---.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

22:12--All cams off line---Time for bed.

Pretty quiet day, but burst of activity this evening. Some ROS stations, and a few pics from a Dutch SSTV station on SSTV. Had to leave the ROS on the net book, as the sstv widget wont work on it. I could, of course, just use screen shots to send the latest image, but that means re-designing the page to take it. I'll leave it as it is for the moment.

Switched radios for sstv again. Trying out an old DX-394, and it does seem to do the business with a long wire around the ceiling of the summer house. Anyway time for a last rosey, a little read in bed of 'Combat Aircraft' magazine and kip. Thinks!, seems a million years ago i went spotting my first aircraft. USAF Thunderjets at Manston, and Bristol freighters at Llyd. Early fifties that was.

The only aircraft i have flown in are all obsolete, just like me *chuckle*. Handley Page Hastings (Singapore to Chang Mai, Thailand/Labuan,North Bornio and back), Vickers Viscounts (Lerwick, Shetland Islands), Bristol Britannia (UK to Singapore) and Dehaviland Comet (Singapore to UK).

Common in my main spotting days (Dover late fifties) were Connies, Viscounts, DC3's 6's and 7's, and Globemasters. Mil stuff of the day were Hunters, Javelins, Meteors, Canberras, Victors Valiants and Vulcans.......and i was going to bed. 'Night all 73
21:01---SBS cam back on line---.
20:47---SBS cam off line---.
07:57---All cams on line---G'Day!.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

23:11---All cams off line---.
22:40 Another fun day at the computer.

Thought i had it all sorted nicely, 3 computers all sending data to the site. No sstv pics being uploaded. Why not?. Blast!, the widget is not working. Tried reinstalling/reconfiguring etc. New install of MMSSTV, and still no joy. Only thing i can think of, is that the widget doesn't like windows 7 (net book has the starter version, which doesn't have the automatic XP compatibility option included).

What a shame. Uploading a file, as opposed to a screen grab of MMSSTV, was ideal on the small screen of the net book. Have reverted to original computer for sstv, with screen grabs of weak signal modes on the net book. Ok for the ROS screen, but less than ideal for psk reporter and JT65-HF. Can't win 'em all. Had to purge the sstv page after experimenting, so hopefully we'll get some pics tomorrow to refill it.

All gone quiet, so closing down 'till the morning. 73 all 'Night!
12:42---Both cams on line---
09:01---Both cams off line---.
08:34. Well i finally decided to buy a net book yesterday (Novatech). Wanted to free up my other lappy with the bigger screen to use for something like JT65-hf or ROS mode with the associated reporter maps.

The net book is ideal for MMSSTV which can be minimised due to using a widget, as opposed to a screen grab program, to upload pics. Therefore i can still use it for surfing, mailing, whatever.

Murphies law says, as soon as i've got all radio's/computers set up the way i like it, something will go toes up. That's one reason why i have the temporary shack on a table in the bedroom at the moment. Took the original apart when equipment failures, amongst other things, made me lose interest. However, you can't keep a good Ham down for long. It's in the blood Hi!. Anyway, that's about it for now.
07:23---Both cams on line---G'Day!.Breakfast...

Monday, 2 August 2010

22:11---SSTV cam 0ff line---Looks like it's gone flat for today.

Joined a Yahoo group that, amongst other things, sbs logs are uploaded. Still figuring how to do that. Not sure if i paste the log generated by 'Populate' to a posting to the group, or Populate sends an e-mail of my records if the option is ticked.

Couple of other things puzzle me . I'll just have to ask, i guess. I reason that i will have to watch the incoming mail like a hawk if i'm going to take advantage of anyone else's 'heads up' on interesting sightings, as i guess will other members. Pitty there is no audible alarm system to take care of that. Or is there?. I'll have to check the mail options.

Well i guess that's it for today.

---SBS cam Off line---at 22:31
13:14---Both cams online---.
08:59---Both cams offline---.
07:21---SSTV CAN online---
07:15---SBS1 online---G'Day!.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

23:13 ---Both Cams offline---Time for bed.

Been playing with sbs1 again. At least there is always something going on with that program running, as opposed to sometimes watching a screen with little or no data mode updates for long periods. Oh well i'll sleep on it now, decide whether to stick with sbs tomorrow. 73, 'Night all.
22:02---Experiment in SBS1 upload---
21:09---ROS cam off line---That's it for ROS today i think, so switching it off so i can play with sbs1 on that computer.

18:12 Really quiet day for sstv. Just switched to 14.076 to see if any jt65 is active. Straight away i received a signal from Spain. (Screen shot).

Got my first contact on ROS from across the pond today, after starting logging the mode again.

Looking at the net books in town today. Some pretty good bargains about, and i could use another computer to receive data on. Trouble was, i had the latest idea in desk tops pointed out to me in one shop, which was a touch screen job which doubled as a freeview tv. 600 gigs disc space, 4 gigs memory and an onboard 250 meg graphic card. All for 600 quid. Not bad eh?. I could play my old flight and train sims on that. Oh well, dream on. I don't have that sort of bread to spend. Back to reality. Thinking some more about a net book though, could just about stretch to that.

Still the same old films on tv i see. How many more times are going to get the likes of Shaun of the Bloody Dead and the Bourne Identity dished up again?. Nothing new in their library since the Norman bloody invasion *grrrr*. Turn the thing on, and immediately i'm assailed with blatant brainwashing attempts ie the commercials, which get right up my bugle. Quick look at the latest news on BBC, then switch it straight off again. Beats me why i keep the thing as i get all the latest news on the web anyway.

Hello!, just heard a sync pule then. Maybe sstv is opening up. Hope so, i'm bored.
14:13---Both cams online---
10:06--Both cams off line---.
07:04 G'Day!---ROS and SSTV cams online.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

17:29---SSTV and ROS cams off line---
16:59---ROS online---
16:20--- ROS CAM offline---, while i download Flight Tracker for sbs1, and sort out Google Earth.
13:44---Switched to ROS mode---
12:29 ---PSK REPORTER---online

Can't say i'm mad about the WSPR reporter page, as when it refreshes the map defaults to 'unzoomed'. In other words all my spot are condensed in one little area, so making identifying each station pretty impossible. I then have to zoom in every time the page refrehes, which i can't be bothered to do. As there is someone obviously apparently averse to ROS traffic on 20, ( nice big cw signal is wiping 14.103 out at present) i've reverting to PSK on 14.070.

I particularly like the logging facilities on psk reporter and downloading and saving my own spots is easy in adif format, which can then be imported to the HRD logbook. The only way i could see of saving my spots on WSPR, was to word pad.
12:12 Unfortunately the WSPR home refreshes the complete page, naturally. It means that i have to scroll the page every time it does so if i want just the map into my screen capture area. That is impractical, so will have to leave the capture at whole page.
11:53---WSPR live---
11:40 Ok, nice one. That didn't do what i expected, as the upload went to the wrong page.

Ok, so i'll modify the one page to accept whichever mode is being uploaded.

decided the best way to solve which mode to have live beside the sstv, is to make a page for each with links active from home page. Whichever mode/page is actually currently showing live updates, to be announced on my blog. That about covers it nicely.

Choices being ROS, WSPR or PSK REPORTER.

I'm just waiting for the WSPR page to prove itself at the moment, before announcing it live.
06:42---SSTV CAM on line---

Friday, 30 July 2010

22:38 ---SSTV CAM off line---

That's it, bye byes. Going to have a go at Propnet tomorrow. Maybe i'll settle on something eventually. That is apart from sstv of course, as that is a stayer. SSTV perked up just when it's time for bed, managed to saved a few pics for the record. Night all!. 73
22:03 --SSTV CAM online---
19:08 ---ROS CAM off line---

Looking at the screen, ROS doesn't look too good from about 19:00. Interference, perhaps from the neighbours switching on there tv's etc. Can't see me recieving anything through that lot, so that's why i've switched it off. Looks like a day time mode, and 40 metres is just as bad.

Sometimes i'm tempted to put the sbs1 cam back on, but for some reason i can't seem to keep an interest in it. Perfect mode for a live cam as there is always action, day or night. I think the main reason i can't get over excited about it, is the fact that my local airport(Southampton) is mainly used by 'Flybe', who's aircraft are not equipped to transmit their position. Ergo, i can hear them on radio but not see them on my screen, which takes the edge off my enthusiasm a bit.

Don't think the Wordpress idea is a go, as i understand my host would have to support PHP scripting and MYSQL. As i have free space, i don't expect it stretches to that. I'm not that interested to pay for another host. I'll just stick to Blogger, for now anyway.

Still pondering the weather set-up, but also keeping in mind that the Wimborne radio rally is coming up. Might be an idea to save the readies 'til then. Bound to be some goodies there i fancy.

Always fancied SRD radio, but means i would have to upgrade the present computer, or buy a new one with decent ram and graphics card to run it. More expense on top of the receiver *groan*. I'll leave that for now. Gave up carrying 'plastic' in my wallet when i retired.

Slowscan is flat today, so that's going off now 19:42.
12:37---Both CAMS online---
09:13---ROS CAM off line---
06:33---ROS CAM live---

Thursday, 29 July 2010

22:15 At last i've got a reasonable image of wefax, so that's been uploaded to the digital page.

Thought it was logical to save worthy sstv images direct to the album folder, then upload the folder complete to replace the existing one on the sstv log page. Naturally it didn't work, sod it!. I'm too tired now. Sort it tomorrow.

Been reading up on 'Word Press'. That's something i haven't tried. Have a look for mags/books on it tomorrow. 73, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
22:00---Both Cams off line---
20:20 local Just when i was quite chuffed with myself, something else goes wrong. Started to get sstv pics in and the widget kept refusing to upload them for some reason. Closed both the widget and mmsstv down, restarted and still no go. As i had the images saved to an alternative folder, ie sstvpics, i have now reverted back to the original ' history' folder. The uploading has resumed, but it's now loading up all my old history *sigh*. Oh well it will sort itself out in the end i suppose.

The alternative folder allowed a time stamp to appear on the images, whereas the history doesn't.

Been playing about with 'Cumulus'. Software with ftp for weather station hardware. Thought i would see if i could put a web page on my alternative server, as described in the software help file. This before deciding whether to buy the weather station itself.

Not only did i get the page on line, but figured how to load the page source into my own editor ready for altering to my own taste. That's why i was chuffed. However, there is a snag. It's ok for uploading live data every 15 minutes for instance, but what happens when i shut the computer down. Ah!....Means, of course, not only will no data be collected and uploaded, but all the graphs of the history will have gaps in them. Blast!, another idea up in smoke. I fancied a go at that.
16:43 local Oh dear, that was silly, wasn't it?. I'm definitely going scenic here as i just wiped all the site files from my server. What i meant to do, was clear the files from another directory ready for experimenting with a weather station upload.

Oh well i've uploaded the whole site again. Looks ok, but the sstv page is going to be bare until something is sent up.
15:36 local---ROS CAM online---
12:24 local ---SSTV CAM online---
09:03 local---Both cams off line---
08:05 local ---ROS CAM online---
07:24 local---SSTV CAM on ---

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

22:38 local---Both cams off line---73 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
12:05 local. Just tried to threaten the thorn bush that's taking over the car port's roof with a hedge cutter. What a Cynthia that was *groan*. Every time i tried to pull a bit off, the bloody stuff attacked me. Tearing me to shreds with it's claws. Oh all right, thorns.

I had to make a tactical withdrawal for the moment. Tomorrow i will buy some heavy duty
armoured gloves before the next attack.

Back in the shack, i see not much has been happening. Nothing on the ROS cluster since yesterday. I've seen more life in Baldrick's barnett.

Oh well, lunch i think.
09:31 Well that's ROS up and running, but it's no good selecting spots by me on the 'Reporter' map until i've actually sent a spot up. All pretty dead at the moment, but if the past is anything to go by when i last got involved with this mode, this afternoon should see some action.
07:45 local---SSTV CAM online---

G'day!, Cats' fed, shack is live and i'm good for another day in the Alpha Quadrant.

Breakfast, then i'm going to mess about with 'ROS'. I see the prog has really come on since i used it last, so can still use PskReporter. Whether i'm displaying that, the actual prog or even the cluster, i'll just auto upload the screen anyway.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

23:04 local---SSTV CAM off line---

Well another day bites the dust. Just downloaded and played around with the latest version of ROS . All seems to be working ok, with a strong German station coming in on 40 mtrs. Psk Reporter displayed my report no problem. Might change my reporter page to ROS tomorrow. Psk was only an experiment anyway.

Must get some beauty sleep now, 73 all zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
22:13 local---psk reporter offline
14:41---Psk Reporter is online---
13:22 local---SSTV CAM online---I see it's being silly again*sigh*. The over sized image will make it's way through the page eventually.

Waiting for server to register any psk catches from me before switching that cam on.

Going to sort some lunch out now.
08:39 G'Day!

Mmmm, strange that!, i've just pulled the sbs1 page up and found psk reporter on it *sigh*. Now why, if the images for sbs1 are sent up as sbs1.jpg and the ones for psk reporter sent as psk.jpg, with the image on the pages being respectively the same, why the hell is the wrong one going to the sbs1 page? Don't you just love computers!. Only thing for it, is to take the sbs1 page off. Until i decide which page to keep running anyway.

After all these years using Ham Radio Deluxe, i'm still coming across new things to play with on it. Playing with the log book facilities at the moment. Really amazing program!, No wonder version five is being split into seperate programs, i'ts getting so large.

Anyway, not much action this time of the day sstv wise on 20, so having another play with the site after breakfast. I can hear psk coming in already, but i'll go live when i have uploaded some data to get the map to just show my details.

Monday, 26 July 2010

22:38 ---SSTV and PSK REPORTER offline, going to call it a day.

Thought i would play around with a pskreporter cam in the place of the sbs1. Only have the one computer spare for screen grabbing, so have to choose one or the other. Didn't take a lot of notice of the sbs1 when it was running, so odds are in favour of keeping PSK at the moment.

Trying to get the screen to look right on entry and keep a decent size image . What looks right on this wide screen laptop, doesn't on the old square screen iBook. Put a digital clock on just now and it appeared central of the screen as it should on the lap top. However, it's on the left of the iBook. Just took it off again.

Guess most people these days have wide screen by now. Anyway, my minces have had it for today so 'eyes down', cup of Rosey and bed. 73 all.
13:20---SSTV CAM online---
08:38 Local----Both cam offline----
08:23 local
G'Day!. well that's breakfast over with, feel more up to another day now.

Still can't figure why the images didn't show on the 'digital' page, even after sleeping on it. Will try another editor and alternative provider i have. Start afresh with the page and see what happens when i send one image up to try it out.

The sbs1 uploader is working well, but i'm wondering if i could make better use of that computer, seeing as i'm not that interested in watching the radar. Different, i suppose, if i were really into modern aircraft spotting and logging etc. If i had more computers, fair enough. Maybe i would be taking notice of the screen more if i ran psk reporter say, or even jt65. At least they are radio related. Which, after all, is my main hobby.

I'll give it more thought over a 'Starbucks'

SSTV log is looking a bit bare, still no more pics decent enough to save to it yet. Today maybe?.

Guess that's it for now 73.
08:19 local---Both cams online---

Sunday, 25 July 2010

21:38 local Would you Adam it?. Most of the day working on my new page. Sorted out 20 screen shots on it, uploaded them and they won't appear. Tried png and jpg'd a replacement to see if it improved matters. That didn't work either.

All i've got for all that work is a headache. Have to take a couple of paranormal tablets and call it a day *sigh*.

---Both cams now off-line---73
08:13 local ---Both cams online---

Saturday, 24 July 2010

17:11 Have to shut down for today----Both cams off line---

Another quiet one for sstv. Everyone is out enjoying the sunshine or shopping i guess, things will no doubt pick up tomorrow (Sunday).

Found a very nice little recieve only sstv prog for SWL'ers, called RX-SSTV (Link on home page). Uses the MMSSTV engine so just as sensitive as the original. I'm going to use that one instead as i'm not transmitting. Fits the screen very nicely with the Icom software for the PCR-1000 and even allows space for word pad for taking notes of stuff recieved whilst trawling the hf bands. I'm going to include a screen shot when i recieve a picture. Murphies law, i've been waiting all afternoon to get one, without success.

Thinking of a new page called 'Notes For The Shortwave Listener'. Basically anything i think useful for the SWL'er.

Still not found a code for refreshing an image only. All seem to be on total page refresh, after trawling the web. Maybe i'll just put all the relevant stuff about Virtual Radar on the new page, leaving the SBS1 page as it is. Won't jump about on refresh then .

73 for now

08:33 The position at the moment as regards getting the most from the facilities in my make shift shack. As you see from the screen shot i have MMSSTV and the PCR-1000 running on the same computer, and old pent 3 lappy. The sound into the lappy is sstv from an ic.718 tuned to 14.230 The sound out of the pcr-1000 which is tuned by the lappy is going to a the desk-top's usb sound card and it's 2+1 speaker system. I can't use 'Audacity' recording on that computer as would screw the screen grabbing of the sbs1. Shame the PCR-1000 prog doesn't allow for recording, as does the newer 1500. But as i say, this is just a lash up system until if and when i rebuild a propper shack. I used to use a mixer and digital recorder, but that, like most of my gear, is in boxes now.

Very good for broadcast listening. As you see i am tuned to 15.120 mhz am at the moment, listening to Voice Of Nigeria.

The desk-top is running sbs1 with 'Flight Display' and 'Populate' running in background, which being uploaded every minute by an auto screen grab and ftp program.

I've basically centered the sbs1 on my area, ie the Isle Of Wight. This seems the most practical, as zooming out anymore tends to clutter the screen too much with overlapping contacts.

Finally, there is the old original iBook monitoring my site to check what i am sending up/being used for serfing, blogging whatever. I bought this kit a long time back at a Ham Rally when my knowledge of computers was still at the 'Dispstick' stage. Didn't realise it was obsolete enough that i couldn't even use a Windows emulator program on it, for instance. Pre intel chip apparently. Anyway, it's ok for the web.

That's about it for now. Breakfast and get the papers and lottery ticket for tonight. 'Next year Rodney, we'll be millionares' 73.
07:48----Both cams online----

Friday, 23 July 2010

22:07---Both cams off line---

Stone me! what a pain this site building is at times. Trying to make a log book, that's all. Simple?. Nope!. Anyway, in the end i found a photo album facility on my Editor. Loaded that up, then discovered that i couldn't just add photos/sstv images to the existing ones ie edit the thing daily. I had to delete the album and upload a completley new one. The idea was to add decent pics if and when they come in each day.

Once i get up to about a hundred new ones, as i have in my archives already, it would take ages to insert the files into the album one at a time from scratch again. Oh well, it will have to do until i find a better way.

Put some cool flash link buttons on the log page to all other pages, worked in the 'Preview'. Did they work when i loaded it to the web?. Of course not *grrrrr*. I've had enough, going to bed.

'Night all....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
12:51 local----Both cams online----

Going to sort out the iBook now, then figure out how to refresh the SBS1 screen only, as opposed to the whole page.
08:54 ----Both cams off line----.
06:57 local--- Both cams switched on--- 'Morning all, just taken an age to get the browser fired up on the sstv lappy. Will have to sort something out for the web only. Have an old old iBook somewhere in the junk box, that will do. Something to do when i get back from town today. Also have to figure out how to auto reset the frame only on the sbs1 page , as opposed to the whole page. That way if i put loads of other stuff on it, it wont keep jumping back to the frame every minute. Might have to pick the main man's brain (G0HWC) on that one. Still pondering whether to switch to a jt65 cam though. Quick look at G0HWC's truck cam (Link on home page) while i get washed and dressed and have some breakfast. 73 for now.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

22:08 local, Well that seems to have worked allright. Got the live sbs1 cam going ok. Thought i was going for the jt65 idea, but suddenly remembered the sbs1 sat there doing nothing. Loaded up the software on the refreshed windows machine no problem, so went for it.

Normally there is always a 'Sods Law', where something that worked before ok, now doesn't for some explicable reason. well, touch formica, everything fired up nicely again.

That's it, time to hit the sack. Switching off sbs1 and sstv now. G'Night all!.
16:26 local Well i've got Windows (XP) reloaded again, (I took it off originally due to being totally screwed by trojuns and the like, i think) but what a difference in speed compared with Linux. Scrolling web pages is like a rippling pond now *sigh*. I'd love to keep Linux but so much radio software needs Windows.

I've loaded various progs including MMSSTV, Ham Radio Deluxe, PCR-1000 drivers ie it's own prog and Radiocom versions 4, and 6 amongst other stuff. Radiocom 5, which had the best Wefax decoder, won't load as the serial number is not accepted. Probably because i've changed my machine. Flamin' annoying that, after spending 200 quid on it. It's not my fault the original machine died of old age. Version 6 won't let me update, presumably for the same reason. Another 200 quids worth!. No way am i spending big bucks on software in future, that's for sure.

Wondering what to put on the computer now, that i can possibly upload. It's a pent 4 dual core job, but only has the onboard graphics card, hence the slow graphics. The card from my old gaming machine that went toes up, is not compatible.

Tried to get wspr going, but running the online reporter map and the prog is too much for the ram. No point in wefax charts as the weather chart on the main page is always good quality anyway. 80 metre sstv is pretty dead that i can see. Could do another 20 metre frequency ie 14.227 i suppose. Not really into Digital sstv, as i can't get reasonable signals with my setup indoors to make it viable.

Navtex, is not really suitable for a screen grab, so i'm basically left with JT65. That looks quite nice, and i did use to have such a cam on an old site. Only trouble with screen grabs, is that is takes up the computer full time as opposed to sstv pics uploading, which allows the actual progs to be running in the background, thus freeing up the screen for something else. I have mmsstv running as i type this at the moment.

Still, looking on the bright side, before i reloaded windows i couldn't do anything other than serf the net with that machine anyway. Alright, i could run a jt65 on Linux i grant you. But where are all the screen grab progs that have ftp on board for it?.

I've managed to find what looks like a brilliant one for windows though. Called RoxxSoft xShots. It can be configured to automatically take shots at timed intervals, with what ever part of the screen you fancy. It can auto save to hard disc, or upload to server with it's inbuilt ftp facility. I've tested everything except the ftp, and it works. I've yet to make a page to try uploading something. Probably have a go at a JT65 cam, i think.

Also working on a sstv log page. Pick out the reasonable images each day and upload them to the log. The save criteria being that the senders call sign should be readable. Maybe there is an uploadable album type prog suitable. I'll have look into it further. Anyway snack and Rosey time.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

09:52 local. Still waiting for a picture to appear after resetting the page.

Meanwhile, i've gotton fed up with the restrictions on my linux machine radio wise, so i'm presently reformatting the drive to reinstall Windows. Shame really as the latest Ubuntu is a nice operating system, but the last straw was when the sound card would not accept imput from a radio, mic or line in this morning. I'm using an external sound card, USB. Normal computer sound plays ok, but no joy on the inputs. Tried all settings available in the software.

Not a peep out of 14.230 on Both the R-20 and Roberts R 861 that i have listening. Psk31 on 070 is about level with both, so at least i know the radios are up for it. Everyone have left for the salt mines it seems. Glad that's all over for me. Stone me!, it seems a million years ago i was rummaging about on council tips for discarded 'wireless sets' in the late fifties. Can't do that now as they try to cash in on everything by setting up a stall at the tip. Wonder who cops the proceeds?. Shared out amongst the lads i hope, rather than the council coffers. 'Times change', as they say.

Nearly done formatting, so time for a Rosey.