21 Aug 2017

A photo a day - NOT amateur radio

For several years now I have taken a photo every day as a kind of visual diary. It is quite interesting to look back several years to the day and see what we were doing.
Usually I try to put things we were doing, unless I have gaps. It costs $19.99 a year if you want privacy and extra albums, but otherwise is totally free if you don't mind others looking. Most of my photos are not great artistic works and of little interest to others. Some use this platform as a way of creating great photographic art. I don't 😉 .

See http://365project.org/g3xbm/365

6m FT8 RX

This mode never stops amazing me. Again, after a brief transceive go before breakfast, I have been RX only ever since. Several southern EU stations spotted, presumably by Es plus several Gs.

10m WSPR TX (500mW)

Although I have been active since about 0730z, no spots as yet.

UPDATE 1048z: a  couple of spots from northern Spain, EA1KV (1304km) received.

Sunspots - Monday August 21st 2017

Solar flux is 85 today (decent) and the sunspot number 44. A=22 and K=2. There is even a chance of some long distance F2 10m openings today, maybe South America on 10m?

20 Aug 2017

Strength of Es signals

One thing that surprises many is just how strong some Es signals can be. For example, my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon was being spotted at +2dB S/N implying that even at microwatt level I could have been spotted. Also, my 10m antenna is a compromise and could be far better.

This is not always the case. Sometimes Es signals can be marginal. With WSPR everyone has a chance. It also works with much weaker signals than SSB or CW.

UK VLF earth-mode test

Jim G7NKS is testing on 8.9kHz with 300W earth-mode:

Hi All
I’m running a VLF test beacon on 8.9kc .  Ground loop electrode system.   35m long
Any spots welcome (if unlikely!) 
with best regards
Dr. Jim Cowburn G7NKS     IO92ub
Biggleswade  UK
Details on QRZ.com

Stone-curlews - NOT amateur radio

Thanks to a very kind man who pointed them out (otherwise I'd never have seen them!) I saw my first ever stone-curlews at Cavenham Heath on our walk this afternoon. The heather there was just amazing.

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/s/stonecurlew/ .

5MHz in Canada

According to Southgate News, Canada may end up with the 5MHz WRC15 allocation and the existing 5 domestic channels. At the moment they are consulting.

See http://southgatearc.org/news/2017/august/canada-to-add-5-mhz-and-keep-five-existing-domestic-channels.htm#.WZmFEbpFzIU

Trump - NOT amateur radio

BBC TV had a professor of American Studies on this morning. He thought Trump was running the Presidency like a business and was using "The Apprentice" TV show as a model. "You're fired", seems to be the catch phrase for those around him with whom he falls out. This professor thought Trump would be out by June next year.

A lot in the USA did vote him in. Personally, this is more worrying. Did so many really think he would "make America great again"? As a clear outsider, I fail to see how the good ordinary citizen of the USA could be well represented by this man. Clinton was also far from perfect in many eyes.

As I said yesterday, we reap what we sow. Elections and referenda have serious consequences and it pays to think of the future, whether with US presidencies or EU "leave"/"remain" votes.

Sadly it appears many in the UK and USA believe the clocks can just be turned back to "the good old days". They cannot: we live in a very connected, multi-cultural world and we have to adjust, not be ostriches pretending otherwise. The USA is a trading nation and depends on the rest of the world. Isolationism is history - wake up!


For several days now my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon is being spotted by Es. This morning it has been spotted in Germany already. Not as good as yesterday, but I am getting out and it is still very early for Es.

UPDATE 1247z: Up to now, 12 unique spots received of my 500mW 10m WSPR beacon with spots from as far apart as Italy and the Faroes. Another good Es day on 10m WSPR.