Shack at 02/05/14

Shack at 02/05/14

Monday, 31 January 2011

Bit of work on the web page today, but not a lot.

Decided, as 20 metres sstv dies after dark that i would try making use of the notebook by switching to 80 for a bit of digital. Had EasyPal working all evening but haven't managed to decode a pic yet.

Too many segments missing so far. Still it's probably murphies law, that the minute try it the conditions are going to be iffy. I'll keep at it as the notebook is doing nothing after 20 metres closes down anyway.

Night all, 73
G'Day!. Decided to have a day in today. Not doing much listening at the the moment though. Sat in paul's cab a lot so far as he drives through London. First thing i put on the 'puter when i get up.

Other than that i am, as usual, following the events in Egypt on tv. Seems the police have been ordered back to the treets, which as the people have aready found that they can overcome them, looks like a bad move by Mubarak to me. I'm guessing the army generals are refusing to fire on their own people, so it's a last ditch effort on Mabarak's part to overcome the people.

Playing with a shack cam last evening, but not convinced it's a good idea. Can't seem to find a way of integrating with a working page to make it interesting as opposed to putting it on it's own auto refreshing page, which i can't really people sitting on, basically watching paint dry Hi!.

Also concidering my own talk box on front page (Catango group) on the lines of 'Shortwave Listening Chat'.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

G'Day!. Couldn't sleep after 6 this morning so got up and added a few links to the air page. Toying with the idea of putting pdf's of my sbs1 logs on there. Can run sbs1 in the background so logs are still viable. Need another 'puter really.

Notebook is being silly ever since enabling an upgrade from 'Avast' anti virus to their prog. A restart wont complete anymore. Last couple of days i've had to start in safe mode, then restore to before the upgrade. Odd that as i thought just one restore would have deleted the upgrade. Always some little niggle with computers, right!. Oh well at he end of the day i can always do a complete restore. Only want a couple of progs on it anyway. That's a plus for 'Novatech' Portmouth. They always give a restore disc, something you dont get at the 'box shifter' stores.

Short of bread (Eating variety) so firing up the Atoz soon as the shops are open. Watching the events in Egypt on tv at the moment. I wonder if the army would, if ordered to do so, actually shoot their own people?. Can't really see it myself as i would think the generals would then turn against President Mubarak if he gave such an order. The whole problem, i guess, is the fact that his son is in the frame for taking over. Democracy???.

Friday, 28 January 2011

That's the chart for today. Wish the high pressure would push off, that Easterly wind is freezing *sigh*.

Dug out the reconditioned, or so the dealer said, lap top. Had to use an external drive to load anything from disc as the onboard one as decidedly antisocial as usual. Managed to get Ui-view aprs running on it. Couldn't configure it at first, ie baud rate, stop bits, handshaking and all that palarver. However, i then thought of loading up 'Winpack' packet software to try that. Got it to run auto baud routine with Shift * then closed and tried Ui-View gain. Turned TNC off then on again and Merlin sprang to life announcing stations. I didn't even tounch the Ui-view set-up options again. probably a coincidence that i left it on compatible setting before, but i'm not about to invetigate further. If it aint broke don't fix it, as the saying goes.

So now i've now got aprs in the shack. Well recieve anyway. Might get tx facility when my wallet recovers from anorexia. Got aprs on my site of course, but that's running on the bedroom computer.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Northwood coming in quite well this morning.

Might sort out a page devoted to wefax/navtex later today. Needs to figure out some html code if i put it on X5 Editor. The way X5 is set up it doesn't allow for inserting a sourced image as opposed to inserting a real one so to speak, as Namo Editor does. Complicated, have to explain later as going out now. 73 for now

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Northwood is coming in nicely at 16:45.

Been watching Paul's (g0hwc) truck cam for a while (Link on Analogue SSTV page). Fascinating!. He's got a chat box on his screen as well. Just been reading other posts though. Haven't joined in myself. Toying with the idea of a chat box on my site, but not sure i'm at the desk top long enough to make it viable.

Might take a trip to Winchester tomorrow to get some pics for the page. Arthur's round table would be a nice shot. Had it a while back but can't find it. Anyway, make a change from Southampton. Salisbury is lined up too, with the cathedral being priority there. Burley and Glastonbury are in the frame as well for a pagan angle.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Got some pretty good quality wefax pics with Radiocom 6 today. Reception here from Northwood is decidedly iffy most of the time, but occasionally conditions are good enough to get pics like this.

Tried sstv on with same software today, even using the same antenna as the 897 ie the 8 metre whip, but i couldn't even get it to recognise a start signal. Shame!. Of course it could be down to the ageing PCR-1000, but i wouldn't know unlessl i got some else for the R6 to drive. An unlikely prospect, as if i did get another computer driven radio it would be an sdr using the usb port instead of the serial port. Something that is disappearing fast. Lap tops do not have one, and not all desk tops either. Maybe i'll see a second hand PCR-1500 going cheap. Who knows!.

The prog recieves wefax and navtex better on the garex active ant, i do know that however. Guess i'll leavethe R6 concentrating on those modes.

Some good quality sstv images recieved today, as shown on the last 12 received page. The 897 and whip combo works very well.

Monday, 24 January 2011

As you see i've managed to get Radiocom 6 going again. Problem was that the software was not mad about the onboard sound card of my new mother board. The 'line in' insisted on being greyed out and unusable however i tried to configure. Wouldn't work with 'mic in' either. Dug out an old external usb card and we are in business. Here you se Niton Radio (Navtex). Meant to screen shot different layouts of RC6, but Niton was very brief this time.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Well i couldn't resist it. What with a TH-D7 mk2 just out on the market, i had to go dig out an old mk1 from the junk box i bought a long way back. If i remember rightly i had probs with it back then tnc wise. However, once it was in my mind i had to try it.

Basically, all i wanted to do was tx my position so that the nearest repeater would put me about until i appeared on the map which i have on my home page.

I found the power supply and manual and even found the pc lead. This surprised me as all were in seperate boxes. Wish i would keep things together *sigh*.

Anyway i got it all configured and connected it to my hb9cv and fired it up, and up, and up. It tx'd ok, but no sign of me on the map. I eventually gave up on that and put it away. Only to get it out again so as to try running my old Ui-View prog. Once again i laid my hands on an old disc that contained not only the prog, but all the files to get Merlin speaking out stations and some maps of my area i used in the past.

Anyway, got it all loaded up and running. Well Ui-View was ok but trying to get it to talk to the rig!. I tried every configuration that i could but it just wouldn't fire up when told to. If both were talking to each other, going into options and reloading the serial port config box should trigger the first beacon message. Unfortunately, although Merlin placed an icon on the map and announced my call sign, this was local to my computer. In other words the rig was not listening to Ui-View and didn't tx.

Had to admit defeat in the end, so there was another couple of hours wasted. If i had made it to Portsdown hill it would have given me incentive to eventually go for the Mk2. Would have been nice to go pedestrian mobile as the reviewer seems to have done in PW. But looking at the screen shot he provided, there is a fixed station only a few streets from his loacation so it's no wonder he was fed to the internet. Would 5 watts on a rubber duck get me from Southampton city for instance, to Portsdown hill i wonder. Being as how tight money is, is it better to play safe and to stick with my original idea of an SDR radio?.

Oh well, back to bc listening. Have to get something in the log.

22:50 and cream crackered. That's it. Night all 73

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Well at least i have pics going up again, even if it's a long winded aof going about it.

I have to use a notebook, and unfortunately there are snags with all three sstv decoders i use. HRD is too big for the screen. In other words the icons for rx and ftp enable are below the screen so can't use them. MMSSTV keps freezing on recieving a pic, which puts up an error mesage that the image is 'read only?'. And RX-SSTV, which auto saves to history but the wigdet can't find any images there. I am assuming they are saved in bmp format. There is no RX-SSTV program option to choose between jpg or bmp, so the only way i can see around it is to use the 'save to' option as the pics arive. So using this method, and pointing the widget to the file that i am saving them to, the pics are finally uploaded to the page.

I'm had to use Namo editor to make the page, which is on my alternative host. X5 allows adding linking to ready made images as it were, but not to just name one that is not actually there yet ie SSTVImage1.jpg

That's it fo now, my brain hurts Hi!.

Friday, 21 January 2011

That's it, i've move it all over to Amazing how many links have to be altered. One to the old site, another back from it. Link to the new guest book. Link to the weather page, and another back from that. Then change the link on qrz and another on the x5 forum. What a work up. Still, all done, and added few tweeks to the front page while i was at it. Time for a rest. Cup of Rosey and a look at BBC news on the box i think.

Fun and games again

Last night i tried to upload latest changes of the site, but 'couldn't connect to server'. Nice one, now what!. I'm already connected to my(Virgin) server, so can't be that. Tried various things recommended, like unticking passive mode. Re-entering all ftp data, Turning the firewall off, turning the anti virus off etc etc, but still no joy. Sounds like the host for the site is not accepting the update to me. Maybe maintenance going on or something. Left it for the night.

Today i still can't get the prog to upload to host, so tried something else to prove a point. Changed the ftp settings to my other host ie and it went up no problem. Obviously something to do with the original host, or the programs inner workings that talk to that server.

I'll give it a bit longer in case it is a maintenance issue, then move over to i guess. Of course if i do that i'll have to change some links. The guest book will have to go again as that is tied to the original url. Bloody nuisance all round. Never had any problems with Namo, my other editor. Been using that for years. Can install it on any computer too.

Could just crap x5 and stick to my old site of course using Namo, but i've grown to like the site made with x5

Oh well, lunch time.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Haven't really been in the mood for web page work today. Playing with old radio kit instead.

Used to use a program called DStar comms a few of years back. Was donation ware at the time, but soon after a small fee was charged for it. It's basically a prog for sending/recieving messages/mail etc betwen DStar users. Had a beacon facility too. I never did make contact with any station, so eventually gave up.

Now i see that Matt M0DQW has made the latest (Pro version) freeware again, so i can only assume that DStar has not proved popular enough to justify running a commercial site.

Do i set up the software with my 2820 again in the hope it will eventually take off, i ask myself.
Maybe wacking out a beacon every five minutes will catch someones attention. Might try it anyway just to see if the notebook/serial converter can handle it. When the mood takes me, i think.

As to getting the Ui-view working, it does seem a waste of time recieving aprs with a tnc and radio, when a live map is available on the web. I just fancied playing with the old kit again that's all. Bit like the sbs1, as there are various online live mode-s pages now. The internet is handy, but sometimes i think it's taken all the fun out of some hobbies.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Another biz day.

Dug the PK-232MBX TNC (Terminal Node Controller for non hams) out of the junk box to see if i could get aprs (Ui-view) going on my notebook. Naturally the notebook doesn't have the required serial port, so i also found a usb to serial converter in the junk box too.

Wired it all up, feeding audio to the tnc from a scanner tuned to 144.800. Loaded Winpack first so as to get the tnc configured for packet. Switched on and typed * to set the auto baud routine. All went well as i got instant packets on screen. The com port would only work set to 3 on Winpack for some reason, but at least it was working.

Next i loaded Ui-View which, as with Winpack from my archive software discs, entailed plugging in an external drive of course as the notebook doesn't have one. Tried to set up a com port in Ui-view, but couldn't find one to work. Using 3 as before just came up with an error message that, when cleared, shut the prog down. Oh dear!.

Left Winpack running and got back to the web page building instead.

Finally got a guest book i like embeded on a page, so ok there. Added a few more links on the link page (Very time consuming) and did some more to the 'digital' page.

Front page now has live aprs map running after after tweeking the code to center on my qth. This is set to auto track aprs equipped vehicles. I had the option of also tweeking the code to include shipping, but it tends to clutter the page up when defaulted to my area (Solent).

I used to have tx aprs facility a while back, but had to flog the kit when i was particularly skint. I see there is a new KW handy out now with built in tnc/gps which can be used as a i-gate as well. Nice one!. Have to get one of those one day. 400 quid is a bit heavy at the moment though.

Incidentally, i also tried the old PK-12 tnc but no joy on the notebook.

Still giving occasional shouts out on 144.6125 (Digital voice), but no takers.

Oh well, that's another day gone. 73 all G'night

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Gordon Bennett, those bloody stupid codes you have to sign with. I've just tried about 8 times before i got one to work. Damn letters are all over each other. How you supposed to read them. What a stupid idea!. Grrrrrr.

Well now that's of my chest. Been trying to fix up a guest book for hours. Ended up with Bravenet, though not mad about it. Tried first to embed it on a page, but even though i got it looking right before an entry to it. It got too long for the page when in write mode. I extended the page, but then when a message had been sent the page was too small again. An advert had appeared which screwed up the sizing again. Using the scroll option didn't work either because the cell would't expend enough to suit the basic book page. Complicated to explain, but a no no to embed.

Have now linked to the server instead, but it doesn't look very inviting. I think i'll look for something else tomorrow. I've had enough for today. Still no radio listening time. Oh well, can't do everything. G'night!.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Web Page

What a long job, it's going to keep me busy for years at this rate. Just adding all the links take ages, and i've only scatched the surface. Beats me how people complain that they are bored when they retire. I never have enough hours etc.

Took a break earlier, as i thought i'd better put up the hb9cv antenna, seeing as i've aleady mentioned it being in situ on the site. Have to give a shout occasionally on 144.6125 Digital Voice. Just maybe someone out there is monitoring the frequency in the hope that someone else in Hampshire has also gambled 600 quid. Basically, i though i was being future proof when i bought it. Looks like i caught a cold so far. Oh well, keep taking the tablets, as they say. Maybe someone will put a repeater on Portsdown hill or something. Can't reach the Wimborne one.

Still no radio or sbs monitoring, just glued to the old 'puter lately.

Time for a Rosey i think, spiting feathers in front of this thing. 73 for no

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Another day on the 'puter

Eyes down, here we go again.

Actually the site is not looking too bad at the moment, though not being able to change the page colour is winding me up a bit. The stock white just doesn't go. However, there is always the option of building from scratch as opposed to using a template. trouble is, i'm quite fond of the ladybirds walking about my header now.

With the scratchbuilt job, i'll have to sort out a decent logo or find a suitable flash intro. Not easy to find anything with a Ham/Radio theme though. Maybe there's hope yet for altering the stock theme colour. Airing the subject on the forum might illicit a way around the problem.

I'm running sbs1 in the background on this computer, so i'll at least have some logs to upload. However, i cant upload live screen shots obviously as the sbs1 program is naturally minimised.

Shortwave listening has gone by the board also, so no logs there. Could use another couple of computers. I do have another three lap tops, but they are pretty useless for todays applications

An old windows 98 job, bought at a radio rally. Too slow for modern progs. A recon pentium3, also too slow and the original Apple i-book, which i also bought at a rally. Cought a cold there, becausei it was in the days when i was decidedly computer challenged. I'd never had an Apple before and my eyes were bigger than my brain. This was going brand new. Couldn't resist it of course, but didn't realise that it was already obsolete. It is the pre intel chip job, which means i cant install Windows, use a windows emulator on it, or change to Linux either. All it's good for is surfing the net. Even that is a slow process, so it's in the junk box.

Oh well, snack time i think. 73 for now

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Stone me!, where does the time go when i'm messing with this computer.

Well the new site is off the ground, but i think i'll keep the old one going. Maybe that one just for all thing aircraft and the new for radio. The image directory and slide show facilities on X5 are a shame to waste, so maybe i'll rekindle my interest in my old hobby of photography and make use of them.

Gave up serious photography when plastic film went out of fashion. Used to spent hours in a tempory darkroom in the bathroom knocking out black and white prints. Loads of fun for me, but a crossed legged time for the xyl *chuckle*.

Maybe nature shots around Hampshire, for instance, would suite the theme i'm curently using. I'll give it serious thought anyway. 8 meg compact is always in my pocket when i go out, so may be an excuse to make use of it.