tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-47602394727597497642016-09-27T10:56:25.517+01:00CQHQAn informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio from Steve GW7AAV and the team.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.comBlogger524125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-48365573068788798152014-12-01T21:30:00.001+00:002014-12-01T21:36:15.279+00:00Stolen Icom IC-7400Came across this on Facebook ...<br /><br />The Wakefield and District Radio Society premises has been broken into.<br /><br />The only thing so far identified as missing is an Icom IC-7400. The matching power supply &amp; desk microphone was left behind, leaving me to suspect that the thief may not be a Ham. One antenna lead was cut, but as a duplexer was fitted, they ripped out one of the antenna sockets &amp; left it attached to the duplexer.<br /><br />I<span class="text_exposed_show">f anyone is offered a </span><span class="text_exposed_show"><span class="text_exposed_show">Icom IC-</span>7400 </span><span class="text_exposed_show"><span class="text_exposed_show">serial number 0303444</span>, or asked to repair it, could you please let me know.<br />&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show">&nbsp;Thanks Guys</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show"><br /> 73 Darryl M0LDI Chairman WDRS&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show"><a href="mailto:m0ldi@wdrs.org.uk">m0ldi@wdrs.org.uk</a></span>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-50573961520588261992014-10-02T08:03:00.000+01:002014-10-02T08:05:04.920+01:0070mhz multi-mode rig up-dateIn April 2011 I posted about a 70mhz multi-mode rig that was rumoured (<a href="http://www.cqhq.co.uk/2011/04/multi-mode-rig-for-50-and-70mhz.html">http://www.cqhq.co.uk/2011/04/multi-mode-rig-for-50-and-70mhz.html</a><a href="http://www.cqhq.co.uk/2011/04/multi-mode-rig-for-50-and-70mhz.html"></a>). I recently received an email from Rob PE9PE an up-date and a link to <a href="http://www.nobleradio.eu/">www.nobleradio.eu </a>The price in the Netherlands is € 499,00 incl. 21% Dutch VAT, but you will presumably have to contact them for export prices. Tim G4VXE has dome a quick review on his blog... <a href="http://g4vxe.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/first-impressions-of-noble-radio-nr4sc.html">http://g4vxe.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/first-impressions-of-noble-radio-nr4sc.html</a>.<img alt="" class="alignnone" src="http://www.nobleradio.eu/files/noble_01.jpg" height="313" width="465" />Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-17758222536143400982014-08-17T09:11:00.001+01:002014-08-17T09:11:14.522+01:00The Truth Must Be Supressed "Why won't my 65 watt rig work with a 10 amp power supply?"<br />"What is Ohms law?"<br />"How far can I get on a handheld?"<br />"Will my magmount work better on a my radiator or a biscuit tin?"<br />...and so they go on, stupid questions from supposedly licensed radio amateurs.<br /><br />I was until a few days ago a subscriber to a certain ham radio group on Facebook. One too many bloody stupid questions prompted me to post something like...<br /><br />"Why are there so many dumb questions from so called licensed radio amateurs posted on here and other amateur radio forums? These question are often ones where the answer would be known by anyone who has passed an amateur radio licence exam. It seems to me that either these people are just complete pirates or they at least had someone else sit the exam for them. Come on guys for the sake of not appearing dumb please learn to use Google."<br /><br /><span class="userContent" data-ft="{&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;K&quot;}">As a result I got kicked of the Ham Radio Operators Facebook Group by someone called Chip Iley presumably because he can't handle the truth. Maybe it was too close to home. Oh how I laughed. What a tosser.</span> He did send a message telling me why I was banned but I could not read it, because I was banned. Duh! Such a pity, I had ten likes in the two minutes the post was up and I was looking forward to the fun and the indignant replies.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><br />Answers to above questions:<br /><br />It will if you turn down the power.<br />There is no place like Ohm. Click your heels and turn around three times.<br />A hell of a long way on a good day from the top of a mountain.<br />Who cares? Get a real antenna, outside up a pole above the roof line at least.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><br />Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-57055284018402806542014-02-08T08:12:00.000+00:002014-02-08T08:12:23.641+00:00Basque SOTA<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-R9V_x-1gXQg/UvXmu72DNLI/AAAAAAAAA8A/6gRcjOJ2hTQ/s1600/Basque+region+SOTA_Logo+3+.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-R9V_x-1gXQg/UvXmu72DNLI/AAAAAAAAA8A/6gRcjOJ2hTQ/s1600/Basque+region+SOTA_Logo+3+.jpg" height="320" width="320" /></a></div>Although I have done nothing on the radio with SOTA for a while I get asked to design SOTA logo for the various regions. This is the latest as requested by Antonio Garcia EC2AG.<br />Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-6619970767325350362014-02-08T07:57:00.002+00:002014-02-08T07:57:43.634+00:00Life can be toughLife can be tough at times and it is during those times we need friends. I would like to thank those friends and say "thank you amateur radio" for those friends.<br /><br />I decided a while back to put my radio activities on hold while I got my retirement plan up and running. My retirement plan consisted of getting a holiday let business off the ground. Following on later by some straight lettings. Stage one took longer than expected and for the better part of two years I worked harder than I think I ever have in my life getting the first two properties finished and ready to let. Things were looking good, but my own home and my antennas had become very neglected.<br /><br />The plan was to now concentrate on getting my own place to the same standard as my lets and to replace the coaxes on all my antennas. I only managed to mow the grass once last year, but the problems started in the later part of 2012. Without going in to details, for the last 18 months I feel like I have been living in a war zone. It has been one long ordeal of hospital visits and funerals. We have said goodbye to friends, work colleagues and family alike. Maybe it is a sign I am getting older but one week there were three funerals and another two at the same time in different places.<br /><br />Amongst the fallen is my mother and that of my mother in law who both succumbed to the ravages of cancer. The endless hospital visits, the hassle of sorting out beds in homes and the fights to get them even the medication they had been prescribed is very wearing. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. <a href="http://www.macmillan.org.uk/">Macmillan</a><cite></cite> nurses and the hospice at Nightingale House in Wrexham were marvellous and were there to fight our corner against the belligerence and officialdom that prevented us getting what was entitled and prescribed.<br /><br />So it is a long while since I seriously had the time to do any radio. My only antenna still working due to wind damage, neighbours severing feeders while changing fence panels and water ingress in to coax that is past its sell by date is 70cm. One out of ten radios stacked in the shack is still monitoring GB3CR and lucky for me it is. It is the guys and gals on the repeater who have kept a little normality in my chaotic life of late, they have made me laugh, given me sympathy and kept my company on the drive to and from work. Above all they have listened when I needed to talk and said the things I needed to hear when I needed to hear them.<br /><br />One thing stands out in my memory and that is that one day when I was particularly upset. I put a call out on the radio and it was answered by someone I had never spoken to before. No one else was around but this guy must have been listening to previous conversations I had been having and realised I needed company. He asked if I was okay and I said I was pretty low and told him why. He came back with exactly the words I needed to hear and I suddenly felt 100% better. The message was from the heart and built on similar painful experiences. Where else other than on amateur radio could a fellow hear that sort of thing from a compete stranger?<br /><br />I really hope the next year is much more pain free and I can get back in to radio and Summits on the Air in particular.<br /><br />My two holiday lets are <a href="http://www.hoseasons.co.uk/cottages/HW7771?ACODE=HW7771">Llamedos Holiday Cottage</a> on the great Orme in Llandudno (a SOTA summit) and <a href="http://www.hoseasons.co.uk/cottages/tir-nani-ogg-hw7786">Tir Nani Ogg</a> in Towyn near Rhyl. The website for Llamedos is here&nbsp;<a href="http://www.llamedoscottage.co.uk/"> http://www.llamedoscottage.co.uk/</a>&nbsp; Tir Nani Ogg's website is a 'work in progress' due to the events described above. Please like our cottages on Facebook too - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Llamedos-Holiday-Cottage/287581291311001">Llamedos </a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TirNaniOgg">Tir Nani Ogg</a> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp; Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-3688714236638489842013-03-05T16:47:00.003+00:002013-03-05T16:47:34.462+00:00Disable write protection in usb pen driveThis is one of those most searched for things on the net that there did not seem to be a solution for. One of my USB pen drives locked up during a file transfer and write protect was somehow enabled. There was no physical write protect switch.This was not too bad as I was able to recover all the files from the drive but I was reluctant to throw away the thing away so it was either fix it or put it in the furnace at work and completely destroy it. I scoured the net and was given no hope what so ever. All the tips I found related to enabling write on disabled USB ports rather than drives or suggested reformatting the drive, which did not work as the drive was write protected. I even tried other operating systems and a hacked version of a very early DOS with no success. Eventually I hit upon a dirty solution...<br /><br />First I removed the drive from its plastic case and plugged it in to a short USB extension lead (so I could turn it over) and plugged it in to my laptop.<br /><br />Then I booted in to safe mode command prompt only.<br /><br />I accessed the directory with the E:&gt; Dir command and it gave me a list of the files on the disk.<br /><br />Using the Del command I got the message Unable to Delete *** Disk is write protected.<br /><br />I tried E:&gt; Format E: and got Unable to format E: Disk is write protected.<br /><br />Finally I keep reading the directory and every time the PC accessed the USB drive I ran a small screw driver over the tiny pins of the chip in the USB drive.<br /><br />Eventually I got the message that the PC could no longer read the drive. I had corrupted the data.<br /><br />I tried E:&gt; Format E and this time the drive formatted without any problem.<br /><br />I did however get a message that...There are open objects do you wish to close them? <y>&nbsp; I hit Y and enter and the format started. </y><br /><br />The drive is now back in use and I did not have to throw it away with all my sensitive data on. Okay it is a kill or cure method but it worked for me.<br /><br /><br />Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-84496931555270566372013-01-19T20:31:00.001+00:002013-01-19T20:31:29.741+00:00SOS Radio Week 2013 - GB2FLB<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><object width="320" height="266" class="BLOGGER-youtube-video" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0" data-thumbnail-src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ze-s-3Uv4w4/0.jpg"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ze-s-3Uv4w4?version=3&f=user_uploads&c=google-webdrive-0&app=youtube_gdata" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed width="320" height="266" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ze-s-3Uv4w4?version=3&f=user_uploads&c=google-webdrive-0&app=youtube_gdata" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></div><h5 class="uiStreamMessage userContentWrapper" data-ft="{&quot;type&quot;:1,&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;K&quot;}"><span class="messageBody" data-ft="{&quot;type&quot;:3}"><span class="userContent">Dave MW6NTG operating GB2FLB run by Flintshire Raynet Group for SOS radio week in the Flint Lifeboat station. Helen GW7AAU is logging. Dave is a 'white stick operator' and this is his first time operating on HF. Pretty good for his first try I think you will agree, but he is a professional radio presenter on Calon FM in Wrexham North Wales.</span><span class="userContentSecondary"><span class="fcg"></span></span></span></h5>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-17553986587806324502012-03-13T08:18:00.001+00:002012-03-13T09:15:27.276+00:00Ten Years of SOTAThe Summits on the Air amateur radio award programme was launched on 2 March 2002 with the English and Welsh Associations and later in the year was joined by the Scottish Association. The award has in the last ten years gone from strength to strength with associations being set up in the four corners of the world. Today, SOTA has thousands of participants in Associations across the World, all sharing the same award ethos and infrastructure. To celebrate the first ten years a special SOTA Logo has been created (by yours truly) based on the original design. If you are a SOTA activator feel free to use the logo on your QSL cards or flags. Note: Any commercial use will require permission from the SOTA management.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2iEsNs3Us60/T18CVGEMKuI/AAAAAAAAA3o/yX9u9oA8KHY/s1600/10th-Anniversary_SOTA_Logo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2iEsNs3Us60/T18CVGEMKuI/AAAAAAAAA3o/yX9u9oA8KHY/s320/10th-Anniversary_SOTA_Logo.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-12736213902437857932012-01-27T07:48:00.002+00:002012-01-27T08:03:22.703+00:00SOS Radio Week - GB2FLB<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A21t7tqdFIU/TyJaLmso64I/AAAAAAAAA3g/AfyvaVxuumM/s1600/SOS.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A21t7tqdFIU/TyJaLmso64I/AAAAAAAAA3g/AfyvaVxuumM/s200/SOS.jpg" width="196" /></a></div>I will be on the air with the call GB2FLB on air from Flint Lifeboat station 28th and 29th January. Mike M1DAP and I along with members of Flintshire Raynet and Mold and District Amateur Radio Club will be operating from 10am Saturday 28th Jan through to the evening of Sunday 29th January 2011. We will be operating mainly HF SSB and 2m FM. Other bands as the mood takes us and modes depending who else turns up. The purpose is to raise awareness of SOS Radio Week and the work of the RNLI (Lifeboat volunteers). We are not allowed to ask for donations on the air but please give generously at your local station, donate on line or drop in and pay us a visit. The lifeboat station in Flint is opposite Flint Castle (worth a visit its self) on the banks of the River Dee.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.sosradioweek.org.uk/">http://www.sosradioweek.org.uk/</a><br /><br />Apologies to my regular readers for the lack of contents recently, but it is a long story. The result is that changes at work and things going on at home mean I don't have much time to devote to the blog at present.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-82761426246170336562011-12-25T22:15:00.000+00:002011-12-25T22:15:03.587+00:00Raspberry Pi - A PC for the price of a round of drinksGo to http://www.raspberrypi.org/ and find out about this little marvel which is a week or two from going into production. This tiny little PC with a 700MHz processor looks just the thing for those shack projects such as a dedicated APRS server, software defined radio or dozens of other ham radio uses. At £16 for the basic model and £22 for the enhanced version maybe a string of these wonders could be used working in tandem to do heavy duty processing tasks faster than the latest machines at a fraction of the cost. The potential is enormous and I wish these guys every success.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-58804887144923181802011-12-25T21:58:00.000+00:002011-12-25T21:58:27.734+00:00Hidden Morse MessageMorse messages hidden in brickwork are nothing new, but here is the new National Guard Building in Milan Illinois. Go <a href="http://www.wqad.com/news/wqad-illinois-national-guard-milan-morse-code-secret-message-12162011,0,2308380.story">here</a> to find out more.<br /><br /><embed type='application/x-shockwave-flash' salign='l' flashvars='&amp;titleAvailable=true&amp;playerAvailable=true&amp;searchAvailable=false&amp;shareFlag=N&amp;singleURL=http://wqad.vidcms.trb.com/alfresco/service/edge/content/edebea38-c91b-4a08-a3e8-e86bc2a4578c&amp;propName=wqad.com&amp;hostURL=http://www.wqad.com&amp;swfPath=http://wqad.vid.trb.com/player/&amp;omAccount=triblocaltvglobal&amp;omnitureServer=wqad.com' allowscriptaccess='always' allowfullscreen='true' menu='true' name='PaperVideoTest' bgcolor='#ffffff' devicefont='false' wmode='transparent' scale='showall' loop='true' play='true' pluginspage='http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer' quality='high' src='http://wqad.vid.trb.com/player/PaperVideoTest.swf' align='middle' height='450' width='300'></embed>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-63835711237133215832011-11-11T11:11:00.120+00:002011-11-11T11:11:02.905+00:00Empathy and action<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-flM9Tm6tvXY/Trz4JAi7h7I/AAAAAAAAA3I/P52FI2Jsqbw/s1600/Thailand.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="158" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-flM9Tm6tvXY/Trz4JAi7h7I/AAAAAAAAA3I/P52FI2Jsqbw/s200/Thailand.jpg" width="200" /></a></div>One of the great things about amateur radio over the years has been how having friends all around the world can make you feel less insular. It is a pity I have to use the word 'can' because even in such a global hobby bigotry is still all around us. For me it has brought me a feeling of being closer to world events but these days with the Internet and the ability to travel a lot more folk are starting to realise that this is a shrinking world and we are all on it together.<br /><br />Not that many years ago when there was a disaster in some far off country it never even crossed my mind that it could be anything to do with me. Amateur radio however has put me in the position of knowing people on both sides of military conflict, who have lost there homes due to forest fires, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes and suddenly far off events become so much more personal.<br /><br />This week the issues surrounding the floods in Thailand were brought home to me as I realised I know not only several Thai amateurs that have been effected, but that two UK hams I know had to cut short their trips to the country and my own brother's holiday there had been cancelled.<br /><br />Amateur radio has saved around 1,000 lives in this disaster by coordinating rescue communications in cases of medical emergencies. Radio amateurs have been helping by providing communications support and this have been especially helpful in flooded areas where several mobile phone cell sites have failed.&nbsp; Amateur radio repeaters were kept busy and government agencies have taken advantage of the amateur radio communications infrastructure when their own networks failed or where there has been interference, such as when many different agencies are trying to communicate simultaneously on nearby frequencies from a central location. Thailand's radio amateurs have been an essential part of the relief and rescue efforts in the country's worst flooding for sixty years.<br /><br />Through communications comes understanding and through our actions we can set an example to the world. Well done to those hard working Thai radio amateurs for setting an example and showing the world a small glimpse of what being a ham is all about.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-52619904146955989642011-11-08T10:20:00.000+00:002011-11-08T10:20:11.224+00:00Amateur Radio at Shorpy<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4cQfF-0dgNg/TrkBsk5V9SI/AAAAAAAAA3A/VFAsW2194m8/s1600/Shorpy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4cQfF-0dgNg/TrkBsk5V9SI/AAAAAAAAA3A/VFAsW2194m8/s1600/Shorpy.jpg" /></a>There is always something interesting at <a href="http://www.shorpy.com/">Shorpy</a>.<br /><br />For those that have never found this fascinating way to waste time, Shorpy is a blog with literally thousands of high resolution vintage photographs, it is a great way of educating or reminding ourselves of the recent past. Occasionally something pops up there that appeals more than the rest. I am referring of course to photographs that include radio gear, although personally some of the images of old cars, aircraft and motorcycles have a similar appeal. The pictures of beauties of a bygone era however evoke in me a strange guilt though, should I really be admiring the looks of a woman who would have been older than my great grandmother had either of them still been alive. The changes in architecture over the last hundred or so years are also interesting to see and I have to ask myself if in another 100 years people will be looking at similar images taken today or to put it another way; Who is documenting everyday life today? When did you last take a photograph of your high street or your amateur radio station?<br /><br />Here are just a few links to ham radio related images, if you find more please post them in the comments.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.shorpy.com/node/8086">http://www.shorpy.com/node/8086</a><br /><a href="http://www.shorpy.com/node/8087">http://www.shorpy.com/node/8087</a><br /><a href="http://www.shorpy.com/node/10634">http://www.shorpy.com/node/10634</a><br /><a href="http://www.shorpy.com/node/1937">http://www.shorpy.com/node/1937</a>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-18505555034570802092011-10-27T18:28:00.001+01:002011-10-27T18:31:41.649+01:00SummitsBase - New web site<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xi8n3ZocXlQ/TqmUKIwa7fI/AAAAAAAAA24/GXXDgTB7sl0/s1600/Moel+Famau+18_2_2008_030.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xi8n3ZocXlQ/TqmUKIwa7fI/AAAAAAAAA24/GXXDgTB7sl0/s200/Moel+Famau+18_2_2008_030.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>For those who take an interest in SOTA, WOTA or HUMPS or simply like to combine hill walking with radio Summitsbase has moved to a new a new home. The site has a new url in <a class="wiki" href="http://www.summits.org.uk/" target="_blank">www.summits.org.uk</a> and with the move to a new host, the opportunity has also been taken to upgrade the software from version 1.zz to version 7.zz. This was no mean task as it involved upgrading in several stages.<br /><br />They have also tried to improve the look of the website with, amongst other things, a new colour scheme. The work is not yet complete and there are a few teething problems as you would expect. While most things have been transferred over successfully, anything that was added to the old site during the last 10-14 days or so may have missed the 'transfer window' but they will endeavour to 'copy and paste' any such material (where possible) in due course. <span style="color: red;">Several functions that were available in the old Wiki have not yet been enabled</span>; the new software has many extra commands and these are being looked at initially (a steep learning curve) before they implement some of them.<br /><br /><span style="color: blue;">Summitsbase registered users do not need to re-register to use the new website, your user IDs and passwords have been transferred to the new site and should work without any problem. If you have forgotten your password, perhaps because it was saved with the old URL in your web browser, then simply send an Email to <a class="" data-encode-domain="summits.org.uk" data-encode-name="admin" href="mailto:admin@summits.org.uk">admin@summits.org.uk</a> asking for your user ID to be deleted. Once it has been deleted, we will send you an Email to that effect and you can then re-register with your normal callsign.</span><br /><br /><span style="color: blue;"><span style="color: black;">Don't forget to update your bookmarks or any links you have on blogs and web pages. </span></span>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-46306142910553142152011-10-26T17:17:00.000+01:002011-10-26T17:17:28.089+01:00RSGB EGM - Make up your mind time<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-El8ifMZrTWg/TLdW_4BlerI/AAAAAAAAArs/Jx8YMKUZo8s/s1600/RSGB+button.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-El8ifMZrTWg/TLdW_4BlerI/AAAAAAAAArs/Jx8YMKUZo8s/s1600/RSGB+button.jpg" /></a></div>Most of you will have seen or heard that the Radio Society of Great Britain is to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on 19th November 2011 at the NEC in Birmingham. Without going in to too much detail it is a matter that effects all UK radio amateurs, not only the members of the RSGB but also those of us who for one reason or another choose not to be members. Some amateurs I know have even rejoined the society after many years so that their voice can be heard at this meeting.<br /><br />Can I appeal to you to read the the open letters sent out by Dave Wilson (bellow), the items in RadCom and to read what is being said on the <a href="http://rsgbdata.net/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=general" name="bgeneral">RSGB Governance Changes Discussion Group</a> and elsewhere and either get to the meeting yourself or use your proxy vote. If you've not seen RadCom, then the proposals are at: <a href="http://www.rsgb.org/EGM/">http://www.rsgb.org/EGM/</a> <br /><br />Well worth a listen is the<a href="http://www.icqpodcast.com/"> ICQ Podcast</a>. The most recent one, contains an interview with Leslie Butterfield, the board member who resigned, in which he lays out the good and the bad (mainly bad) points of what the Interim Board will mean to the RSGB and its members. <br /><br />The next episode, which should be released over the weekend, will contain a rebuttal/answers from RSGB President Dave Wilson.<br /><br />Note: In the interests of the wider picture I leave out my own opinions of Mr Wilson, the RSGB and the proposals at this time and ask you to make up your own mind. Please just do not sit, back do nothing and then moan that your national radio society is being run by a bunch of tossers who could not organise a riotous drinking session in a brewing establishment. <br /><br /><i>To all radio clubs in the UK<br />From: Dave Wilson, RSGB President<br />25th October 2011</i><br /><i><br />Dear Colleagues,</i><br /><i><br />I am writing to all clubs (and copying others) after discussions with the Regional Teams.</i><br /><i><br />The proposals being presented to the EGM are important for the Society. They will fundamentally impact the way we handle current difficulties. And yet some have sought to ridicule the proposals, based on an incomplete understanding of exactly what is being proposed and why. Hence this letter.</i><br /><i><br />Contrary to the chatter on the wires, this is not about democracy – it’s about giving the Society the best chance to fix its problems. We have a crisis, and a crisis demands exceptional actions.</i><br /><i><br />The current chatter is the result of selective disclosure (against the Board’s wishes) of some elements of the Board discussion on 10th September. The board recognised that careful communication was needed and agreed to prepare a full communication pack. In the interim, the matter was confidential. One Board member has inflicted serious damage on the Society by disregarding that decision. That is unacceptable, does not reflect well on the individual concerned and is inconsistent with his position as a Director.</i><br /><i><br />In a recent podcast, a former Director said that he did not recognise that there was a crisis. That in itself speaks volumes. The impending problems had been flagged to the Board over the last year or so, and now are with us. To be specific:</i><br /><i><br />‐ There have been some significant errors in governance over the last five years. This has led the Society into dangerous waters financially.<br />‐ Cash is running low, and next year places a huge additional cash demand on the Society from needed capital investment and the running costs of BP. Whilst not insolvent, we cannot sustain further drains on our cash<br />‐ Yet right now we do not have an acceptable budget for 2012. The current one shows, against our aspirations to run BP and GB4FUN and other factors in the 2012 budget, a loss of some £ 60k. We simply cannot afford this and have no option but to take very significant action to keep our budget balanced. This in itself will demand some hard choices.<br />‐ Nor do we have a General Manager.<br />‐ Furthermore we are regularly told that we do not have the right attitudes and behaviours towards our members and our volunteers.<br />‐ Action is needed quickly by a sure‐footed Board to pull things round, both financially and in terms of the way the Society works.</i><br /><i><br /></i><br /><i>It is understandable that those who do not recognise the crisis might say “we don’t see the need for change”. As soon as you recognise the seriousness of the position, it suddenly becomes clearer.</i><br /><i><br />That is why the Board is proposing an Interim Board (IB) for some 15 months made up of highly professional and experienced amateur radio people, professionally engaged in running companies. Their focus will be to restore health to the finances whilst at the same time maintaining or enhancing membership services, instilling the ethos into RSGB described in RadCom for November, and developing all aspects of the Advisory Group proposals to present to members for consultation and member input. Some of these proposals have not yet been considered in detail by the Board, some have been rejected and some – most notably the “Web” and “Ethos” recommendations, have been generally accepted as suitable for member consultation. In everything it does, the IB will be accountable to the membership. And, just like any other Board, it cannot make changes to the Society’s Constitution without the approval of the membership. So the claims that the Interim Board is “not accountable” are simply scare‐mongering and disinformation.</i><br /><i><br />The IB members will be expected to devote a significant amount of time to turning the Society around. It will be a working Board and will be in a position to support the Acting GM (who cannot continue to carry his current load) in the absence of a full time GM replacement. During this time the National and Regional Councils will continue, with enhanced frequency for the NC, ensuring close consultation with representatives of the membership at large.</i><br /><i><br />If, however, the EGM proposals are rejected the Society will continue as at present, with an uncertain outcome.</i><br /><i><br />The Board believes that the proposals being put to the EGM represent the best chance of addressing the Society’s difficulties with confidence and certainty.</i><br /><i><br />Rather than focus on the democracy issue (the EGM proposals are democratic – just different) members might want to consider whether the RSGB described in the AG report summary and the “future” article on page 15 is the sort of RSGB they want to see. That’s where we need feedback – quickly.</i><br /><i><br />The Board deserves your support in being frank and open about the issues and no matter how different the proposals are for resolving the current issues, please support them. The alternative is far less certain of securing the right outcome.</i><br /><i><br />Dave Wilson<br />RSGB President</i><br /><br />Follow on letter:<br /><br /><i>To all radio clubs in the UK<br />From: Dave Wilson, RSGB President<br />26th October 2011</i><br /><i><br />Dear Colleagues,</i><br /><i><br />Since writing to you yesterday about the issues relating to the forthcoming EGM, I have been made aware of an apparent concern being expressed by some about the proposed Interim Board.</i><br /><i><br />It seems that there is a concern amongst some members that the Interim Board, once in place, will seek to consolidate its position. Let me state quite categorically that this is not possible. The terms of Resolution 1 (specifically the clause immediately after (b)(iv)) clearly state that the M&amp;As will revert to the current ones no later than the 2013 AGM. This means that the IB cannot continue to exist beyond that date. The only way that this can change is if the IB calls another General Meeting of members to propose further changes to the Memorandum and Articles of the Society.</i><br /><i><br />Members can therefore be assured that the IB has a limited lifespan, in which to discharge its role, and that after that the current Board arrangements will return, unless the members agree otherwise in a further EGM.</i><br /><i><br />I hope this allays any fears in this regard.</i><br /><i><br />73<br />Dave Wilson<br />RSGB President. </i><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-29525903277041932412011-10-25T11:38:00.000+01:002011-10-25T11:38:20.795+01:00North Wales Radio Rally TradersI am off to the 24th North Wales Amateur Radio Show this weekend and a lot off people have been asking me if I know what traders will be there, so I snaffled this off the North Wales Radio Club site...<br /><br />Saturday &amp; Sunday, 29th &amp; 30st October 2011, 10am – 5pm both days. The rally will be held at Llandudno’s new high school, Ysgol John Bright, Maesdu Road, Llandudno. LL30 1LF.<br /><br />Directions: <br /><br />From the A55, take the A470 into Llandudno, after approximately 3 miles at the end of the dual carriageway, turn left at The Links Hotel Roundabout. After 300yds go across the mini-roundabout and the venue is immediately on your right. <br />From Llandudno Railway Station, turn right on exiting the station. Immediately as Augusta St bears left, turn right into Oxford Rd. Take the 1st right onto Builder St and then 2nd left into Cwm Rd. After 150 yds you will find John Bright School on your right. No more than 10 minutes walk at a leisurely pace.<br />If anyone has any difficulty finding us please call in on S22. See you there !!!!<br /><br /><b><small><a href="http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=john+bright+llandudno&amp;sll=53.315788,-3.822491&amp;sspn=0.009435,0.027788&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=john+bright&amp;hnear=Llandudno,+Conwy,+United+Kingdom&amp;cid=18085999281871152125&amp;ll=53.324517,-3.777924&amp;spn=0.098429,0.219727&amp;z=12&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Map</a></small></b><br /><br /><br /><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">This Year’s Exhibitors</span></strong><br /><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /></span></strong><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Traders</span><br /><ol><li>Radioworld</li><li>Moonraker</li><li>RSGB</li><li>Ian Kenyon Electronics</li><li>Snowdonia Radio Company</li><li>Derby Communications</li><li>Air Band Online</li><li>Rigfix</li><li>Harp</li><li>Mark Wowra</li><li>Francis Norris</li><li>AM TOOLS UK</li><li>Kanga Products</li><li>Pro-Whip Antennas</li><li>Pooley</li><li>Linear Amp UK</li><li>PR Hall Embroidery</li><li>G S Electronics</li><li>Cross Country Wireless</li><li>Rocket Radio</li><li>AGS Software</li><li>North Wales PMR</li></ol><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Club,Groups &amp; Individuals</span><br /><ol><li>UKFM</li><li>WAB</li><li>RSARS</li><li>RAFARS</li><li>V-MARS</li><li>Dragon ARC</li><li>Conwy Valley ARC</li><li>R.Roberts &amp; O.Clarke</li><li>BARLS</li><li>St. John’s Ambulance</li><li>Lifeboat ARS</li><li>Bob O’Callaghan</li><li>RNLI</li><li>IOMARS</li><li>RAIBC</li></ol>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-30074946773779647432011-10-25T11:25:00.000+01:002011-10-25T11:25:31.808+01:00Iron Fist Velvet GloveWorking shifts has its advantages sometimes. For example I get to work a lot of DX and SOTA expeditions that occur mid week. It used to be great when I played a lot of golf because I could go when ever I liked and not have to wait until the weekends and join the crowds. One disadvantage at the golf club was that all the competitions tended to be weekend affairs, which meant my handicap never truly reflected how crap I was at the game. On the radio too there are disadvantages to shift work with most of the activity being at weekends. Even when contests are like the RSGB 80m club contest are mid-week evening affairs it can be difficult and this year I managed to be available for one round.One advantage I have had has been getting a few hours quiet time when on the night shift in which to update this blog.<br /><br />A long time ago our union persuaded our then employer that there were things that shift workers needed to do from time to time that folk working 9 to 5 took for granted and that the company got away with a lot of things, such as if a day worker needed to visit the hospital, dentist or doctor they either took a day off or were given a day off. Shift workers in contrast were expected to go on their days off, which is like saying to your days staff they had to do these things at the weekend. As a result of the negotiations we were given limited Internet access so that we could deal with stuff like paying bills and arranging deliveries to coincide while we were at home. This was particularly useful to the single guys who worked lots of overtime as they could get their weekly shopping delivered when they had no time to do it themselves because they were doing 6,7 or 8 12 hour shifts in a row.<br /><br /><div rip-style-bordercolor-backup="" rip-style-borderstyle-backup="" rip-style-borderwidth-backup="">I don't smoke and don't read the papers so I used my breaks to search the net for interesting stuff to put on the blog or to write a post. I never saw any difference between doing that and sitting in the mess room reading the news paper. Not any more I am afraid as our new employer whose softly softly approach so far is showing now its true colours and has cut off almost all Internet access. One of the reasons the blog has not been updated as regularly as it might have been has been that I was half expecting it and I did not want to be the one to rock the boat.&nbsp;</div><br />The company have missed the boat however if they think removing this handy privilege is going to somehow improve productivity as most of the things we do can now be done on smart phones, Ipads, and even Kindles. All it has done is alienate the staff who are already demoralised after the take over. The velvet gloves are coming off and the iron fist is about to be shown so if my posts get more negative you know why, its just me getting depressed about the way things are going.<br /><br />On a happier note, I have deflected a call on my time which would have meant doing a three 12 hour night shifts, then going straight to a hospital appointment followed by a fourth 12 hour night shift and then travelling down to Llandudno for the <a href="http://www.nwrs.org.uk/llandudno-rally/">North Wales Rally Rally</a>. I would have been like a complete zombie, but now I am going to Llandudno on Friday and stopping all weekend. I have raided the piggy bank and hope to pick up some bargains, hopefully including an antenna analyser. &nbsp; &nbsp;Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-16290875397549280632011-10-22T12:20:00.002+01:002011-10-22T12:23:02.183+01:00Accusation that did not add up.Once again amateur radio is in the news for all the wrong reasons. <a href="http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/towns/chippenhamheadlines/9317744.Porn_slur_leads_to_dock/">Porn_slur_leads_to_dock</a><br /><br />Apparently, Gareth Evans (<span class="st">G4SDW?) </span>emailed a school to say one of its teachers was a pornographer and a danger to children. The teacher of mathamatics, Brian Reay (G8OSN?) is also a ham and the two men fell out on internet forum. Mr Evans accused Mr Reay of being racist towards the Welsh after comments on an amateur radio forum. The mutual dislike persisted for some years before Mr Evans sort his revenge by making his unsubstantiated accusations to the school, which caused massive disruption and much distress to Mr Reay. Gareth Evans has been given a three-year conditional discharge by the court.<br /><br />(Please note that the callsigns listed above are assumed correct but as yet are unconfirmed.)<br /><br />This should be a lesson to all of us. Trolling on Internet forums may be taken as harmless banter by some but others may not see it the same way. Amateur radio is just a hobby and silly little remarks either on air or on line are simply not worth getting your blood pressure up. They certainly are not worth going to jail over or causing someone to loose their job, both of these scenarios being a possible outcome of the above tiff.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-16205061319001059932011-10-20T16:51:00.000+01:002011-10-20T16:51:53.234+01:00Talks on possible 5MHz extension<a href="http://www.rsgb.org/news/newsitem.php?id=3#.TqBDGC8AZQ4.blogger"">Talks on possible 5MHz extension</a><br /> <br />Following their meeting with the Ministry of Defence earlier in the month, Ofcom has been in touch with the RSGB to discuss harmonisation improvements to the 5MHz Experiment. Whilst MoD is not in a position to release a continuous tuning band like that available to some other countries, they have agreed to consider some additional bandwidth for access by UK NoV holders. We will bring you any further news as it develops.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-17138135138690432922011-10-17T20:23:00.000+01:002011-10-17T20:23:19.664+01:00OFCOM Jobs WorthsI do not suffer fools gladly and I am constantly astounded at the incompetence of officialdom. <br /><br />Last week my wife posted off a form to OFCOM to get a special events call that we had last year reissued. The event is five months and three weeks away but OFCOM spent more time telling Helen via email that she needed to apply six months in advance, but that she could apply for the call for use the same event in 2013, if she sent yet another copy off the form in, than it would have taken them to reissue the call.<br /><br />Note: Last year they issued the call but the paperwork arrived two days after the event. The rule at that time was the call had to be applied for at least one month before and this is still what it says on the top of the form.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-41811974479498060902011-10-17T19:57:00.003+01:002011-10-17T20:07:24.482+01:00Caveat emptorCaveat emptor is Latin for "Let the buyer beware" and nowhere is that more true than when buying off the Internet.<br /><br />I have a couple of 3-15V DC 25/30A power supplies which I purchased cheap and second hand off eBay. They are identical apart from one is badged Palstar PS-30M and the other Manson EP-925. They usually retail new at between £90 and £120, although you can find some unscrupulous sellers vending them to the Tattoo market at well over £250. I only paid around £30 each and so I was not bothered that one had a noisy fan, it would be a cheap and easy repair.<br /><br />This morning in my email I received an advertisement from a computer retailer from whom I have dealt since well before the Internet and eBay. Yes, that was way back in the days of printed adverts in magazines and telephoning orders in. What caught my eye was a fan of the type I needed for my power supply for 49 pence. So I went to the retailers site and thought while I was there I would purchase a hard drive as well. The hard drive had free post and packing.<br /><br />I was about to buy a 2TB Western Digital HDD which came with free postage, but when I added the 49 pence fan to my basket it said my postage would be £6.95 plus VAT, therefore making the true cost of the 49 pence fan £9.42. Annoyed I wrote a letter asking them to explain and received this explanation...<br /><br /><i>The free delivery offer is only intended to be on the hard drive but the same parcel that the hard drive ships in can accommodate up to 5 kgs and we’re happy to ship other items in that parcel for no additional delivery charge if you order over the phone. </i><br /><br /><i>The web site needs re-programming in order to accommodate this scenario and the costs will run into thousands in programmers time so we’re stuck with the anomaly until we order a new web site.</i><br /><br /><i>Please call to order or send your number and we'll call you.</i><br /><br />Which is fine until you call and they then say these two items are web order only.<br /><br />Oh well I ordered my fan from eBay for £3.42 including P&amp;P, but wonder how many others have thought they were getting free P&amp;P only to be charged 18 times what the item cost for the postage.&nbsp; The only reason I don't mention the retailer by name is because I have had some great deals and excellent service from them in the past but I shall be keeping a close eye on them for tricks of this type in future.<br /><br />Welcome to 'Rip Off Britain'!Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-72336625109191280322011-10-05T22:13:00.000+01:002011-10-05T22:13:18.569+01:00Radio Inactive<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uRBgKIYsAbY/TozG3DAAFKI/AAAAAAAAA20/o5PEA4rnfDs/s1600/Unactive.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="188px" kca="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uRBgKIYsAbY/TozG3DAAFKI/AAAAAAAAA20/o5PEA4rnfDs/s200/Unactive.jpg" width="200px" /></a></div>Do you ever feel like your get up and go has got up and gone? I know I do and quite regularly too. Stressed out and fed up everything can go to hell when I feel like this. It is usually just for a short period after I finish my night shifts and my brain feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool. The one thing that has been my constant comfort has been my radio and the company of good pals with a sense of ironic humour&nbsp;that makes me laugh. Even when I do not feel too much like talking there are SOTA activations and DX contacts that require a minimum of conversational skills. I can usually sit at the radio and literally loose&nbsp;days at a time either ragchewing or spinning the dials on a dozen rigs. Just lately however it has been different; I have found myself either turning the radios off or forgetting to turn them on in the first place.<br /><br />Today I sat sorting screws that had accumulated in a tray in&nbsp;a draw of my computer desk. Somebody had left a microphone keyed on the 2m calling frequency and was working a station in Algeria on 10m. My initial reaction was like most folk and that was to call him all the plonkers under the sun, but unlike the idiots who tried to tell him by calling on the same 2m frequency he was transmitting on or tried to key him out I thought I would see if I could hear the DX too. My rig was tuned to 80m and as I came up through the bands everything above 40m was buzzing. When I finally got to 10m there was wall to wall activity. I tuned up and down the&nbsp;band trying to decide who to work and then unable to make up my mind I went down to 12m, had a listen and the carried on down the bands until I got to 20m when I turned off.<br /><br />I just could not be bothered and it bothered me. A little later I had a look for MS0WRC Isle Of Tiree IOTA Expedition who someone called Peter&nbsp;had told me about on the local repeater earlier and soon found them. I had my microphone in hand but someone beat me to the call and although I listened for ten minutes I did not pick up the mic again.<br /><br />My new Icom 7400 is still sat in the box, much to the annoyance of Helen who has more than once threatened to sell it or give it away. I can't even really put my finger on why I feel like this, it is not like I feel particularly depressed and I have been busy with other things. This weekend we have a RAYNET event so I have the perfect excuse as to why the new rig is not installed in the shack, but I really must motivate myself to get it done and maybe the shiny rig will rejuvenate my enthusiasm for the hobby again. After all with winter approaching what else do I want to do on cold wet days and long dark nights? Then there is the North Wales Radio Rally at the end of the month, no point in going if I don't have a big list of toys to buy and I would not want miss that.<br /><br />Here I am now kicking myself for not getting some of the great DX there was today in to the log or am I bothered? Mmm! Oh well here's hoping you guys and gals grabbed some of the action I didn't.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-39755952515538684392011-09-26T02:20:00.000+01:002011-09-26T02:20:36.273+01:00Updates and ExcusesWhen I first started this blog I was inspired by other bloggers most of whom over the intervening period between then and now seemed to have dropped by the wayside. You know what I mean; For a while they post every day or every week and then all of a sudden weeks or months go by with nothing posted. I never really understood why, but gradually it dawns on me as I look at my own blog and a lack of posts the denies the fact that I haven't really run out of things to say. It is not even as if I have had one of those "When did it become a chore?" moments either. It is all just down to being too busy. I have had to look at each day and say to myself "What should I concentrate on?" and as a result even my log book is looking like I have lost interest in the hobby, which clearly is not the case.<br /><br />I have been somewhat tied up at work with&nbsp;a change of employer (same job), training and covering colleagues holidays and then I have had two rather wet weeks holiday with the family in Scotland and a week away with Helen to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. In both cases poor or none existent Internet access did not help. My 3 mobile broadband dongle when it could get a signal was painfully slow (and it is faster than my landline at home) and although we had occasional access via BT Open Zone that too got very slow when&nbsp;my kids tried to use it too. My O2 mobile phone was even more useless with no access in three separate holiday cottages. Text messages occasionally made their way through including SOTA spots that I receive via Twitter, but often they were three or more hours old before I got them.<br /><br />While I was away I did have HF set up and another indication of how things have been going is that I still have not transcribed my logs from our Scottish trip. Even the logs from my SOTA activations are still in the&nbsp;form of scribble on a reporters pad. <br /><br />For my birthday Helen&nbsp;bought me an Icom IC-7400, which is still in the box waiting for me to make space in the shack. It is almost sacrilegious to have such a wonderful piece of kit sitting there unused, but I have just not had the time.<br /><br />My 2m/70cm/23cm collinear is lying in the garden too, having developed a fault that I have not had time to trace.&nbsp;Time for a complete overhaul of the antennas and a rearranging of the shack, but when will I get the time?<br /><br />At least one worry is over, the club sale went down a storm. There were a&nbsp;couple of mutterings from folk who expected a full blown rally, but they were fortunately in the minority. What do&nbsp;people expect? Even if we hope to turn the event in to something approaching a full blown ham fest it is unlikely to start out that way. Why had a fair number of traders who in the main sold 'not much' but the private sales did a roaring business. Most of the traders said that they enjoyed the event even if the did not cover their costs and as one of them said "It is much about meeting people as selling stuff." His logic was along the lines that "If&nbsp;folk know me then next time, when they want something I am selling,&nbsp;they will come to me (their old mate), rather than someone they don't know", it sort of makes sense.<br /><br />The Mold club stall made&nbsp;enough money for the club for it to have been worthwhile. The silent key sale sold everything bar the Elecraft K3 and then at the end we had a reasonable offer for that too, that was a big relief for one of our members who had been unable to get in to his garage due to all the equipment stored there. The bar takings meant the Rugby club would&nbsp;be kept happy to.<br /><br />When I arrived (late straight from&nbsp;work) everything was in full swing and&nbsp;after getting a pint I circulated around the stall owners to thank them for coming. I missed at least one stall owner who&nbsp;initially had a large crowd&nbsp;around him, by the time I got back he had sold everything and gone.&nbsp;From what I gather all the private sellers and club stalls made it at least worth their while. I felt particularly sorry for one trader who managed to pick up a puncture and not just a fixable little nail but a fist size hole in the sidewall. He told me he had taken £97 but a new tire would be £100. Ouch! At least we did not charge anyone to be there. Maybe the message to the traders is "Are you really selling what people want to buy and at the right price?" Time for you guys to think about that one before Saturday &amp; Sunday, 29th &amp; 30st October 2011 and the <a href="http://www.nwrs.org.uk/llandudno-rally/">24th North Wales Amateur Radio Show</a>. Meanwhile I need to get my shack sorted so that when I head to Ysgol John Bright, Maesdu Road, Llandudno LL30 1LF for the rally I have my shopping list up to date.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-10831214792235052662011-09-07T01:33:00.002+01:002011-09-07T01:50:31.793+01:00North Wales Ham Sale one week awayI make no apologies for reposting the information bellow. The event is one week today and the interest from traders alone has been impressive. Unfortunately due to the size of the venue we have had to restrict numbers. One guy alone would have had 12 tables if he could. If I had let him there would have been little room for anyone else (as I already had other people booked in) and as I have no idea if we will get 5 or 5,000 visitors he might well have been disappointed. Anyway the event looks like being a good one for our first attempt, but we need your support.<br /><br />The star of the show is in the silent key sale, we have a mint Elecraft K3, which had only been used a couple of times on CW before the owner passed away. This and the best bits from&nbsp;our friend's collection will be auctioned with reserves. There is also plenty of interesting junk in the collection.<br /><br />We will also&nbsp;have a club stand selling items donated to Mold and District Amateur Radio Club for funds. <br /><br />There will be a number of traders and individuals with tables and some club members with items to sell. Everyone is welcome to bring their own gear to sell, swap or trade and <u><strong>it is all free</strong></u>. That's right no admission charge but if you buy a drink or two at the bar it will go some way to making sure we can do this again, possibly on a larger scale.<br /><br />The Mold and District Amateur Radio Club <a href="http://www.madarc.org.uk/">http://www.madarc.org.uk/</a> would like to invite all radio amateurs and short wave listeners to a silent key, shack surplus, bring and buy, junk swap and sell evening to be held at 8pm in the Mold Rugby Club Mold in Flintshire North Wales on Wednesday 14th September 2011. <br /><br />What we hope makes this sale a little different is the quality of some of the silent key items in the sale, which includes an Elecraft K3 and the fact that there is no charge for private sellers. If required a limited number of commercial sellers would be welcomed but please contact Steve GW7AAV (email correct on QRZ.com) in advance for a table reservation. Again no charge for commercial sellers but a small donation to be split 50/50 with the Rugby and Radio clubs would be welcomed.<br /><br />There should be some very tempting high quality gear on sale as well as some real bargains.<br /><br />There is a bar too, so team up with your mates and organize a designate driver. Let’s make this a great social evening too and it will be a chance to put faces to callsigns. <br /><br />For directions see - <a href="ttp://www.madarc.org.uk/location.html">http://www.madarc.org.uk/location.html </a>Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4760239472759749764.post-3379748832860806392011-09-04T16:00:00.001+01:002011-09-04T16:06:24.326+01:00Not quite dead yet!Contrary to what my regular reader might be thinking CQHQ is not dead and neither am I. As I have said several times in the past sometimes life just gets in the way of living. It would almost be true to say that in some ways amateur radio has had to take a back seat in my life for a while, but as I am rarely away from it for more than 12 hours at a time it would be stretching the point somewhat.<br /><br />So where have I been? you may well ask, but mostly the answer would be nowhere in particular. The facts are these; My employer of thirty odd years has sold his business, I still have the same job working for the same bosses but the name on the signs have changed. This all results in some upset both in terms of things that need sorting as well as some emotional turmoil.&nbsp;It also has meant me learning another function. Something that should have been done some time ago, but the funds for the training resource were not forthcoming. Knowing they would no longer have to worry about budget issues with the old employer meant I got my training, and have been up to my neck in corporate bull ever since. The last two months have been busy too due to covering my colleagues holidays and visiting hospitals, loads of folk scaring the hell out of me. Will people please stop being&nbsp;ill it is starting to effect my health&nbsp;too, worrying about you all. I have my own issues but nothing life threatening just at the moment.<br /><br />On top of this my second eldest son moved back home, so that he can learn to drive and get a car with the goal of getting a better paid job. He is a talented graphic designer but without transport he cannot get to where the well paid jobs are and&nbsp;almost all of his pay was going on paying his rent etcetera. It seemed like a good idea but a lot of work later and we now have two houses of stuff in one house. Correct that, we had three or four houses of stuff already and it now really is&nbsp;a bit cramped.<br /><br />It was recently slightly worse than that due to an issue we had at the radio club. One day some time ago we turned up for a meeting to find our radio shack and workshop had vanished along with all its contents. The shack and workshop&nbsp;were in a forty foot steel container that the Mold Rugby Club had kindly said we could "Do with what we want.", unfortunately it was not theirs to give away. Therein lies the problem of ever changing committees and the control of assets.&nbsp;It belonged&nbsp;in fact to a senior benefactor to the rugby club who from what I gather had a disagreement with the rugby club, over some issue to which I was not privy, threw his rattle out of his pram and took all his toys with him. We had by that time being using the container for over two years. Our initial problem was getting our gear back. Thousands of pounds of radio and test equipment, which had been swung up on a crane and transported and then swung off the wagon by crane. We feared everything was broken. The Police said it was nothing to do with them and was a civil matter. Even our wrecked antennas and chopped coax (surely criminal damage at least) were nothing to do with them. Typical British Bobbies too bone idle lazy to help someone even when the perpetrator is known. Eventually I calmed down, but I still had to ask a third party to intercede with the guy. <br /><br />Anyhow, to cut a long story short the mini-bus full of Ukrainian Bratva with pick axe handles were called off and we got our gear back, mostly undamaged. This was mainly due to the power cables and coaxes that stopped the rigs and equipment from sliding off the benches. Many thanks to the guy from GB4FUN for assuring me things might not be as bad as I suspected when I told him the situation. A travelling shack with gear left on benches, he knew a thing or two about how things move about or rather don't move as much as they might.<br /><br />So we collected all the gear and it too was stowed at my house until we could find alternative storage. Thank goodness that stuff is out of my shack and the lounge floor and the passage, but what a crippling loss to the club. We used the workshop as a temporary school room for the Radio Amateurs Exam courses, away from the noisy bar in the main club and were able to do practical and on air tests and lessons .<br /><br />Finally I have been on my annual two week SOTA holiday/pilgrimage to Scotland. There is another story there but it mostly rained and we only did two summits,&nbsp;however it did have it's moments and I did return with a new rig, an Icom IC-7400 as a birthday present from my wife. What a fabulous radio and there are loads of them out there, taken&nbsp;as to trade-ins for the 7410 and 9100 Icoms and the Kenwood 590S. So now really is the time to buy one, if like me you cannot justify the price of&nbsp;the latest rigs. Mine looks absolutely new and the mic was still sealed in the packet. I&nbsp;paid a lot less&nbsp;than I would for a second hand IC-7000 and that is a mobile rig without a built in tuner. If like me you have wanted one since they came out then get one now before they all disappear. Trade in that old Yaesu FT-857D or Icom IC-706 MKIIG if you have too, you may only have a couple of hundred to pay. By the way I didn't I still have mine, it is an emotional thing, but I might part with one for an IC-910X to match the 7400. Oh well Christmas is coming and when you wish upon a star...<br /><br />By the way if you have a&nbsp;steel container you would like to donate to Mold and District Amateur Radio Club we have just the spot and don't forget our&nbsp;silent key/sale and swap meet event, it is turning in to a mini rally fast. 8pm 14th September 2011.Steve GW7AAVhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16401775686818128774noreply@blogger.com3