More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Everything, nothing and fuel protests

Some days in amateur radio things can be like buses, nothing seems to be happening and then it all comes at once. You know the scenario everything is dead and then as 40 metres opens up and you find a station you want to work a 20 metre spot on the cluster alerts you of someone you need for that DXCC and at the same time you find you are being called on 2 metres by a mate. At that point my wife usually calls on the local 70cm repeater and the phone rings.

I can vividly remember one such occasion were I was hopping between radios trying to work three separate SOTA stations, one on 80m, one on 60m and the other on 2m SSB. I had heard one mate call me on 2 FM, my wife was on GB3CR 70cms repeater calling me, my house phone, mobile and Skype were all ringing at that point I thought I was going mad.

I answered the land line and then rang the mobile back by the time I got to Skype I notice a trend emerging. The landline call was from someone telling me my wife was calling me on the radio, as was the Skype call, the mobile was from someone telling me the SOTA station on 2m SSB was there as was the 2m FM call and my wife was calling to tell me she had worked the 2m SSB station on FM and that he was now on SSB. By the time I sorted that lot out I missed all three SOTA stations.

There has not been much going on here just lately and the bands have seemed unnervingly quiet, but thing seem to still be happening all at once. I have finally got Helen's Christmas present on order and the NUE-PSK unit should be here sometime soon. Then I was tipped off that the 4m (70MHz) Anytone 5189 was back in stock at Martin Lynch and Sons. I ordered one as soon as they went on sale before Christmas but got an email saying they were out of stock. A quick telephone call and it arrived next morning. I must say it is so much more pleasant to listen to than the AKD 4001 that I have been using and the complements on the audio are encouraging, but no time for a full test yet. The one thing I have noticed is whenever someone put a call out on 4m the AKD would precede it with a burst of static noise and follow it in the same way as if the squelch was too slow, no such problems on the Anytone. Although the two rigs seems to be similar in sensitivity single generally seem to have less noise on them. In other words I don't seem to be hearing any more stations but they appear slightly stronger. The telling will be when I get someone who I know is a weak signal to me on.

We have the Advanced course in full swing down at Mold Amateur Radio club and it cost me a small fortune paying fees and buying drinks for my two kids who are doing the course. A couple of our club/Raynet members are down at Flintshire Lifeboat station for SOS radio week. We hoped to have a special events call but it never arrived in time. I was down there this morning and they were having trouble getting the HF antennas to tune up. I suspect the tuner but I had no time to get them another as I had to come home to go to bed being on nights tonight. They are using the club call GW7HRG so if you hear them give them a call.

I wanted to get down to the RNLI early to help with the setting up but I had to wait in for a tradesman to measure up for a new door we are having. That gave me the chance to work three SOTA stations before I left. Two of those stations (Carolyn G6WRW) and Robert (G0PEB) were using APRS tracking so I was able to delay my leaving by 10 minutes as I could see they were on the summit before they started calling CQ. The more I follow people the more I like APRS but I am still not sure I like the idea of being watched myself.

Tonight we had fuel protests at work, but the protest convoy got delayed by an accident on the motorway so I got in before they got here and they all got too cold and went home by 23:00 hours. So if you see a Black Freelander with a big 2m/70cm antenna on the back drive behind a SKY TV interview on the news it was me. These guys have my support just so long as the don't come back in the morning and stop me going home ;0)

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