Shack at 02/05/14

Shack at 02/05/14

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Still nothing on 20, but here's a couple more from Corsica and Germany on11 metres

Here's a few sstv pics received on 11 metres today.  20 metres is abismal at the moment, but at least there is life out there somewhere Hi (Germany, Italy, France and Corsica)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

We're off the ground with 11 metre sstv today it seeems.  Here's one from Spain

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Stone me! didn't it come down this afternoon.  Thunder and lightning right above my place.  That's British summer for you.

Anyway, what's happened to hf lately?.  Only the usual suspects around Europe on ROS and Opera, and sstv on 20 is abismal.  Just gave a shout out on Hellschreiber, as you see from the screen shot.  Not a nibble of course.

Been looking at the emporiums and You Tube re the Chinese handies on offer recently.  Some really strange names out there now, like Wouxon, Quansheng etc.  Just like the Anytone, these handies seem to come with different badges.  Take the Midland CT-790 for instance.  Apparently this is also called the Wouxon KG-UVD1P.  Looks pretty good value from the write ups on the net.  Think it will be my next toy.  Probably get the complete kit so I can do a bit of programming on it.

Whilst I was purchasing my Sirio J Pole, and having a rabbit with the emporiums assistant, like you do (Still don't know is name and I've been shopping there since just after the Norman Conquest), another ham joined in and pulled from his belt one of these Chinese handies.  A Baofeng if I remember correctly.  Dual band, 2 and 70, with fm radio thrown in.  Even a led torch on the top.

Thing is, this guy had 10 delivered direct (Presumably for a club, didn't ask) and the price to the door worked out at 35 quid each.  Stone me!, if they can sell at that price and still make a profit how much does it cost to manufacture?.  He had nothing but praise for the radio, so when the word gets around, especially in the current economic climate, how are the people like Yaesu, Icom etc going to compete I ask myself. 

PS the assistant's name is Paul.  Just checked the emporium's team.  Next time I walk in I'll not greet him with G'Day Bruce! as I ususally do.  He's Welsh, not an Ausy by the way.  Just my weird sense of humour.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

There's days and days, right!.  Today was one of them *sigh*.

Decided to see if I could shorten the Sirio 11 metre dipole to enable use of my 10 metre Anytone rig.  Bit of a workup this as I had to keep climbing the ladder to swing the thing in situ vertically one way then the next so the 2 outer elements in turn were at the bottom for removal/ reinsertion after being increasingly shortened.  Each time I then had to return to the shack to check the swr.  All the while it insisted on raining of course.

After about an hour of this, which included fiddling about with the gamma match, I came to the conclusion that I was never going to get the thing lower that 3 to 1.  In the end I gave up and decided to try my tuner. Something I dont like doing, as naturally the antenna remains untuned.

Anyway, during the tuning process I noticed the computer had frozen.  No mouse curser.  Couldn't restart normally of course so reduced to hard shut down.  Having restarted successfully I fired up mmsstv and noticed there was no audio registering on the program.  Winding the radio output up increased the computer speaker output ok.   Mmmmm, odd!.

Tried other sound card programs  with similar results.  Oh flip!, I said.... Honest!

I reinstalled the usb card driver with no effect, then took the computer back a couple of restore points.  Still no good. Opening the sound card sofware showed no imput level, though sound was obviously going through the computer.  Weird!

Oh no!, surely I'm not going to have to reinstall windows, due to corruption somewhere!.  Maybe there's a repair option on the disc.  Hang on, just thought of something.  Brian, try changing the usb card (onboard card has been u/s for years).  You have a spare somewhere in the shed.  Good idea.  Rummage rummage, there you are my little beauty.  Now please do the business baby, I don't fancy all that reinstall hassle.

Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs!.  It worked.  It was the usb sound card. How 12 watts of stray rf in the shack managed to screw it up, goodness knows, but we're back in business.  I'll do without 10 fm from now on thank you very much.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Once more the IC 2820 has been put in mothball Hi!.  Still not a nibble of D-Star *sigh*.  Decided today to purchase a decent antenna to replace the 2 metre job, thus enabling my Anytone AT-5189 to squirt some rf onto the 4 metre band instead. 

Antenna in place and tuned for 70.450 (1.2:1) Nice! I was soon in qso with Andy (g0ayz), who put my mind at rest re audio/signal quallity.  Now I'm off the ground with 4, and while I'm in the antenna mood, I'll try shortening the elements of my 11 metre dipole to be compatible with 10 fm.  Rig for that will be another fiendish Chinese rig, the Anytone AT-5555.  That's tomorrow's job sorted.