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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


It was a bit of a strange day today and I awoke to thick fog. "Mmm!" I thought "High pressure? Propagation on VHF?" After taking my son to work and dropping my granddaughter at school I headed for the shack The visibility on the road had been only four cars length at best and down to three or less in patches. The number of idiot with no lights on annoyed me. How come all those without lights are in white cars or vans or silver BMWs? That is all the ones most difficult to see in a whiteout.

I settled down to do some catch up on my logs from our SOTA trip on St. Valentines day weekend, but I had only just settled down when my friend Graham GW0HUS called to say "There is a lift on two metres". He pointed me to 144.310 where a German station was faintly intelligible to me but fairly strong to Graham who is nearly 1,000 feet higher than me. Our German friend did not seem to be interested in the fact there was some DX and carried on talking to his buddy telling the UK and Irish stations calling him that the frequency was in use.

Graham called CQ and picked up a Dutch station Martin PE1BIW and after a short chat I worked him too. While Graham called CQ I scanned up and down the band but heard nothing at all. Graham worked a couple of other stations who I could not hear and then everything went quite. It seemed that as the fog lifted the propagation died. Graham and I were talking on 70cms and he noticed Martin had posted us on the DX cluster. Hopefully this little bit of DX is a sign of good things this weekend.

I am stuck in work now, called in for an extra night shift, but things look quiet for now. Maybe when I get in from work in the morning I will see if there is any more early morning DX. I remember Helen calling me one night with a list of the DX she was working while I was stuck in work. Next morning the band seemed dead but I put out a call anyway and got 17 replies and by 0800hrs I was tucked up in bed having worked most of Europe on two metres SSB in an hour. I was still grinning when I was getting ready for work that night.

I just had an email from Helen (my XYL) telling me the lead for the NUE-PSK unit and Yaesu FT-817 also works on the Icom 706 so I am expecting the shack to be in bits when I get home in the morning and Helen asleep over her keyboard, but she has not been spotted on the cluster yet.


  1. Hello Steve, I hope propagation is really going up this weekend. My main interest would be 10 and 6m.
    About visibility on the roads, well it's the same here. Though most without lights are elderly people. It would be better if new cars were equipped with automatic (day)lights. 73, Bas

  2. Heard nothing on 2m this morning to indicate any E layer propagation before I went to bed, but keeping everything crossed for the weekend.

    My problem with the fog is I use the fog lights so little I can never remember where the switch is. ;0) My vehicles have automatic lights but they don't come on in daylight and when I switch them to manual I forget to turn them off. A guy in a white van with no lights on nearly had me because the visibility at a roundabout was not far enough and he just shot out of the white out. I had no such problems with cars showing lights. I could not see the cars but I sure saw the lights.

  3. ian radford M6TDK would like to announce im a cb radio addict and hate amatur radio.