20161021 I must up my game….

It seems so long since I have posted and my plan has been to keep a more frequent posting schedule but typically work & family life takes over, taking away the little spare time there is and when I do actually find a few minutes it seems to disappear so quickly.

So, what have I been up to radio wise…

  • I haven’t got very far with the end-fed as I didn’t (note past tense :-)) have a SWR meter which could tell me if I was tuning it correctly – that’s now been rectified and I have a 3-200 MHz SWR/power meter
  • At the same time as buying the meter I bought 3x cheap mobile HF antennas, 17m, 20m, & 40m – I have briefly tried to set up the 40m (on a mag mount) but the FT817 tells me the SWR is so high it doesn’t want play so it wont put enough power in to the antenna to be able to tune it with the SWR meter – its a job for this weekend hopefully…
  • I also bought a tri-band mobile antenna for 70cm, 2m & 6m – I’m not sure why I did that because its so quiet its hardly worth it but I live in hope – However that being said I called CQ on 2m last weekend and actually had a reply (locally) from GU0DXX – he hadn’t been active for about 10 years and had just fired up his handie to see if anyone was about and I was lucky enough to be his first QSO for some time… We chatted for 30 mins or so which was nice, I think we both have the ability to talk without too much of an issue – “I look forward to working you again soon Paul!”
  • I went to the shop and I also bought… 2 pairs of 18″ T&K brackets to hopefully get the 10m vertical up which I repaired (MU0FAL gave me the project, either that or it saved him having to take it to the recycling yard :-))! Errecting it though, well that’s a little harder as the garden and surroundings really do need attention..
  • If anyone local is reading this and fancies having a look at the mobile stuff I’m intending of trying to sell them if they work satisfactorily (approx £15 each for the HF whips) + mount)) – please get in touch through my contact page – I’ll post something when I have them all sorted and set up anyway though.
  • Satellites, tried to work Dave KG5CCI on a really really low 5 minute pass 2.3 deg for me and 1.5 deg elevation for him – unfortunately I didn’t hear a thing – it would have meant a 7200 Km QSO though… gutted it didn’t happen, but there is always another day – sorry Dave!  We were going to try again yesterday but rain stopped play – winter is coming and portable operations will be few and far between I think… brrrr!
  • erm… what else – No.2 Harmonic / QRM was 9 the other day, her party with her friends is this weekend… its going to chaos that’s for sure!
  • future plans for HF – get on HF more and get on more bands – possibly TX from the coast as a static mobile with the new whips or from home with the ATU tuning the end-fed (and of course the trusty 20m homebrew dipole) – I am quite looking forward to 40m – no idea why really but it could go back to the beginning of the year when I was studying for my Foundation & Intermediate licences as it was only 40m I would listen to so may be that’s the attraction… the bands with out the contests will be nice to have a play with too..
  • Digital – I must sort out some cables and an interface because I really (yes, really) want to try SSTV because I want to send my own weird pictures – the image that is by far the strangest i’ve seen… “swan in a sardine tinswan-in-a-sardine-tin
  • On a digital note; a post popped up on twitter from Paul M0CNL and he was mentioning that he was giving a talk at an @essexham event about “Making PCB’s at home can be quite professional and easy AND a modified “Easy Digi” for data modes” – the Easy Digi seems too good to be true, have a look at the eHam review – if it does the same sort of things a SignaLink does then its a no brainer – i’ll be investigating this (with a lot of help from Paul probably) in the not too distant future as it looks really really interesting. FYI Paul’s website is https://m0cnl.blogspot.co.uk/
  • CW – that’s coming too and will be a separate post/topic

There is so much I want to try and do and I want to do it all now, I’m a bit impatient like that 🙂