Shack at 02/05/14

Shack at 02/05/14

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

23:20 Nice one! Tried the bino's on a Virgin 747 (G-VXG) out of Gatwick for Orlando. Passed overhead at 19.800ft. Bit too shakey at 60x but quite acceptable at 35x. Probably stick to that power, which is 15 over my other bino's (20x80) anyway. The new ones don't need a fork lift to hold 'em up either *smile*.

Caught a cold with the flight sim (X-Plane9) i found in a second hand shop today. Discs (six dvd's) are in perfect knick, but couldn't figure at first why disc one wouldn't install when i returned home. Then it hit me....eventually. It's a Mac version damn it!. Reckon the guy in the shop must have had previous interest shown as i noticed the game in the window some days ago and toyed with getting it. In otherwords i figure he probably knew it was not suitable for windows from previous enquiries but neglected to mention the fact to me *sigh*.

I didn't know there were any flight sims dedicated to the Mac, but there you go. Live and learn eh?. Oh well, as it's a pain to get hold of anyway as i refuse to buy anything over the internet, i'll store it until such times as i treat myself to a nice shiny new Mac computer. That could be a very long time though *sigh*.

Monday, 30 May 2011

19:00 and still overcast. Looks like that's it spotting wise, for today anyway.

Made a start on experimental upload of sbs1 logs on the air page. Decided on text format as opposed to pdf which i had previously used. Saves converting before saving the text files before uploading, so not so much involved. Figured not everyone has a pdf reader installed anyway, so probably better this way.
G'Day!. Well i did it. Tried out the binos in the shop and found i could see relatively comfortably at 60x, so decided to go for it. Used my usual local landmark at home for focussing the left anfd right eyepieces individually, seeing as my eyes are not evenly matched *sigh*. Murphies law says it's overcast, so can't have to wait for my first sighting.

Had a reply from Andrew, the writer of the Virtual Radar Server prog, who has put me right about the delay re showing my sbs detected aircraft on his map. My fault entirely. I didn't realise that the initial SBS1 software had a 5 minute delay at the transmit feed port 30003. This has now been adjusted to 'no delay' in other words live, but entailed upgrading the software to achieve this.

I have now upgraded and all is now well. I am now using Andrew's software in place of the default sbs screen, which i find much more attractive and includes all the information that i could posibly want in front of me.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Had been concidering auto uploading the sbs1 at 30 second intervals again. However, as there are perfectly good on line virtual radar sites available now and uploading my own screen shots would take over this main computer, i decided to give it a miss. Could of course upload my logs to a relevant site, such as 'South East Overflights' or maybe just my own. I'll give it some more thought.

Meanwhile i'm in two minds whether to go for a pair of 12-60x70 bino's i've seen. I have some 20x80's, but they weigh a ton. Also 20-60x60 spotting scope, but this is a pain to use on high power. Maybe the bino equivalent, with it's larger object lens and wider field of view would be acceptable, depite the inevitable shaky image at 60x. I really fancy something a bit more powerfull than the 20x80's as my overhead trade has already reached 18.000 ft out of Gatwick. I'll have a little play in the shop before making up my mind i think.

Example screen shot of my sbs1, which as you see is zoomed to my area.

Example of report of previous loggings of G-FDZS

Screen shot of Virtual Radar Server. Thompson reg G-FDZS into Bournemouth from Cyprus, just before i lost it from radar. (Height on top right of display)
Found a very nice progam couple of days ago. Runs in parallel with sbs1 and displays the detected aircraft on a google map. Mousing over will give the usual details of the aircraft with the added bonus of the route, if known. The prog also allows lookups of flights of any particular registration in the sbs1's data base.

Unfortunately there is a delay of about 4 minutes before the map to displays the aircraft detected by sbs1, so a bit difficult to use the program for a heads up re leaping outside clutching the old bino's. However, this is taken care of by switching to live sbs1 so no big deal i guess. A nice touch is that after selecting a craft, the map will automatically scroll to keep it centered.

Another, is a continuous updated readout of locations the aircraft is passing over, allbeit 4 minutes ago as it were. A voice announcement can be chosen to give details of selected aircraft too. Super litle prog, which no doubt Andrew, the writer, will make even more versatile in future updates. (Link is on my site's air page. And here Virtual Radar Server )

Friday, 13 May 2011

Just shows the power of weak signal modes. Japan no problem here. No high end recieving kit either, just the Satellit 750 and an 8 metre Pro-whip antenna.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Once again i couldn't resist having a go at Linux.

Found that i could load Ubuntu 9.1 alongside windows xp and and select which system i wanted to use on start up, so although i knew 9.1 was well out of date i decided to load it and update when installed.

All went well and i had the choice of both systems on start up. I then went for the next Ubuntu upgrade. I though it would skip the next two obsolete issues and go for the 11.01, which is the latest. Not so, so i had to hang about for about 4 hours on each upgrade whilst it was first downloaded, then installed. 150 kilobytes a second is the fastest download speed i can make, invariably it would dip lower as more people came on line in my area.

All went well until the latest distro was finally installed. I did get the program running more with luck than judgement i think as the monitor, on boot up, would display the floating 'Imput not supported' box. Bugger!. Now i couldn't see the choices for booting the system, of which there was about 6 if i remember right from when it was working ok. 5 relating to Linux and xp being the last choice to scroll down to.

I tried a long shot and hit the down arow 6 times, then enter. Success!, up comes xp every time. Oh well i'll have to stick to that method unles i scrub Ubuntu altogether. Trouble is i don't know how to delete it now it's along side xp on the same disc. Only thing i can think of is wipe the whole disc and re-install windows. As i can actually fire up xp i'm loath to lose everything i have running at the moment.

From my brief play with Ubunto 11 i can say it looks very nice compared with the previous versions. Has a sort of 'Apple' look about now. I tried feeding the radio to the sound card using fldigi, but couldn't hear anything. I'm using a usb external sound card, which has to be set in a certain way with it's own software on xp. As the software is not Linux compatible i was stitched. That's Linux put back on the subs bench for the forseable future.
G'Day!. Quite chuffed this morning, well at the moment anyway, as i have just recieved my first VK on HF65-HF, as you can see from the screen shot.

Amazing really, that just when i get the mood to chuck it all in something seems to happen to make it worth while sticking with radio after all.

First thing this morning i fired up the shack, pointed the Satellit 750 at the computer and tuned to 14.070. last night the 'Super Browser' was covered in psk traces with next to no interference. This morning all i got was multiple tram lines of interference covering the waterfall *sigh*. Someone has switched something on, chucking rubbish into either the airways, down the mains or through the telephone lines?. Again i ask myself why do i bother with radio?. And let's face it, it's only going to get worse, all these new fangled gadgets spewing rubbish into my kit.

All very well meant, trying to get Ofcom to ban such offending gadgets that transfer data across the mains etc. But even if they were eventially galvanised into action, which is unlikely, are they going to knock on thousands of doors of offending owners who have already aquired such kit to confiscate them?. Of course not, that's silly. How many CB types have i heard openly discussing their equipment, which includes at least 40 watt amps used as standard?. Obviously they do not feel in the least threatened by any action, so what are the chances of all the thousands of over the mains gadget owners getting there collar felt?. No chance!. We Radio Hams are, to coin a phraze from 'Dad's Army', "All doomed Mr Mainwaring". If i had the room i would seriously consider switching to my other hobby of model railways, but i don't so i struggle on making the best of the radio.

Oh well, that's my little moan out of the way. Time to fire up the Atoz. Just passed the MOT by the way with only 4 bulbs and a wire resolderd to the break light. Amazingly this came to 112 quid. Stone me!, what would be the damage if something worse needed doing?. Still, it's good for another year. 11 years old now and still has the original exaust and spark plugs.

73 for now

Thursday, 5 May 2011

That's the date problem fixed. Found a prog called TClockEx. Fits on bottom tool bar, far right. Now you can see when the JT65-HF screen shot was uploaded.
Haven't blogged for a while as been back and forth visiting mum in a Kent hospital etc, and not particularly in the mood for writing. Unfortunately this was a terminal illness and she has since passed away. The funeral arrangements have now been finalised so am now at a loose end until then.

Might as well get up to date here, so have just elbowed the FAX page, which was not very productive, and replaced it with a JT65-HF page. Seems when all else fails i can still recieve this mode, so eyes down for some weak signal reception. Still have to figure out how to include the current date on screen though.

The Anytone AT-5555 10 metre rig works well on fm even on the mag mount quarter wave. Satisfied with that until i can get the programming lead for it. I'll give cw and ssb a go after some tweaks to the tuning steps.

Have a Wauxun handy (4 Metre rig) and have taped a wire half wave dipole to the side of a telescopic fishing pole for it. Local qso's are ok with the five watts, but my audio is reported on the quiet side. Also there seems to be a brief tone transmitted at the end of my overs. All tones are turned off to no avail. A factory reset did not cure the problem either *sigh*. have to see if any other Wauxun users are experiencing same problem.