BOBS - A place for
photographs, news, developments, events and
other 'bits 'n' pieces'
Windows 10 - What I have found works with Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system
In March 2016 I decided to take the plunge and buy a new Windows 10 laptop to replace my ancient and creaking Fujitsu XP laptop. I opted for an HP ProBook 455 G3 Notebook from ebuyer which seemed ideal for use in the radio shack with good specifications and a really neat design. I was, however, nervous that the devices and programs that I use may not run under Windows 10.
I will therefore add notes of my experiences with Windows 10 to this page My initial observation is that the new HP ProBook 455 G3 is fast and sleek with a decent screen and keyboard and that Windows 10 may be the best Operating System yet, but what of the programs and device drivers? Read more here >.
The launch of the Icom IC-7300
Saturday 12th March 2016 at Martin Lynch and Sons.
TERRY WOGAN - 3rd August 1938 to 31st January 2016 A tribute by Mike Brown on CHBN Radio Cornwall - 5th February 2016
On Friday 5th February 2016 Mike Brown's The Friday Alternative on CHBN Radio paid tribute to Terry Wogan by playing some of the songs that listeners have associated with him over the many years in which he presented the BBC Radio 2 breakfast programme. Mike invited listeners to suggest any songs and/or memories which meant 'Terry Wogan' to them.
RADIO RALLIES / HAMFESTS IN 2016 . . . 20th MARCH 2016 31st WYTHALL RC RALLY Wythall Radio Club HQ, Wythall Park, Silver St, Wythall B47 6LZ. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30/10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands as well as a licensed bar and catering facilities. Details from Mike on 07976 744 479 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. http://wythallradioclub.co.uk
4th SEPTEMBER 2016 TELFORD HAMFEST Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. Doors open at 10am. More information from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416. www.telfordhamfest.co.uk
30th SEPTEMBER & 1 OCTOBER 2016 NATIONAL HAMFEST Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. Brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club. The venue has free car parking and has disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and RSGB bookstall. There will also be representatives from the RSGB Services and committees. Morse proficiency test will be available. The venue has catering outlets and a seating area. www.nationalhamfest.org.uk
MERRY CHRISTMAS from M0MTJ and M6ORS - Have a wonderful day !!
The Genius of James Clerk Maxwell - electromagnetic waves:
Will Self embarks on a road trip from Edinburgh to Cambridge on the trail of Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell who 150 years ago pioneered the theory of the electromagnetic waves which made radio, television, satellite communication, radar, GPS, mobile phones possible and, of course, Amateur Radio!
Listen to or download all five episodes from the BBC Radio website here:
In a bid to understand Maxwell and his achievements, Will plans to drive 600 miles in an electric car, stopping off at locations relevant to the much neglected 19th century physicist.
Will's trip starts promisingly enough when he has a chance encounter with Nobel prize-winning physicist Sir Peter Higgs on an Edinburgh back street not far from Maxwell's birthplace. But things then start to go awry as Will has a rather less welcome run-in in a multi-storey car park...
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and ideas of James Clerk Maxwell whose work is not widely known, but whose genius and contribution to the age in which we live is enormous.He took the first colour photograph, defined the nature of gases and with a few mathematical equations expressed all the fundamental laws of light, electricity and magnetism - and in doing so he provided the tools to create the technological age, from radar to radio and televisions to mobile phones. He is credited with fundamentally changing our view of reality, so much so that Albert Einstein said, “One scientific epoch ended and another began with James Clerk Maxwell”. But who was James Clerk Maxwell? What were his ideas, and does this nineteenth century ‘natural philosopher’ deserve a place alongside Newton and Einstein in the pantheon of science? With Simon Schaffer, Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge; Peter Harman, Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University and editor of The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell; Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London.
Second part of a speech made by Guglielmo Marconi on the occasion of the unveiling of the 'Fisk Memorial' at Wahroonga, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 14 December 1935 (the disc is incorrectly labelled). The 'Fisk Memorial' commemorates the first direct wireless message sent from the U.K. to Australia, in 1918.
In the speech, Marconi forecasts the impact that wireless communication will have on ship navigation, but also the world economy generally. Would he be surprised by how accurate he was in his prediction that 'no country can make much headway' without such technology?
G Whip Antennas will be at The West London Radio & Electronics Fair at Kempton Park on Sunday 8th November 2015 at 10am http://www.radiofairs.co.uk/
G Whip Antennas manufacture Mobile, Base multi-band and Single band
antennas, PTFE/Teflon Baluns, Dipoles, Windoms and Resonant End Fed
antennas, all made from Kevlar and now give FREE accessories: For mini
baluns...........Free end insulators and wire locks, Free solder tags
and heatshrink, Free thimbles for the lines, Free self amalgamating tape
and free cable ties. For the larger baluns; Free end insulators and
SS wire locks, Free solder tags and heatshrink, free thimbles and SS
Ofcom has announced that it is shortly to start revoking amateur radio licenses that have not been re-validated in accordance with licence conditions.
A notice has been published on the Ofcom site stating that licenses that have not been re-validated in the 5 year window will be revoked. The first batch of licenses, which were due for re-validation between September 2012 and January 2013 will be the first to be revoked.
The current “Lifetime licence” started in 2006 with a clause stating that holders are required to validate their details are correct at least once every 5 years. Ofcom has attempted to contact amateurs whose licenses need to re-validated via their last known postal address letting that know that if they fail to comply, they’ll lose their licence
According to the report on Southgate News, around 10,000 licences are set to be revoked in this first batch, unless the owners of the licensed take swift action
Please pass this announcement along to anyone you feel may not have re-validated or may have moved in the last few years. You may also want to forward this to the secretary of your local club, so that club members can be advised.
The National Hamfest 2015 - Photographs : Held on Friday the 25th and Saturday 26 September at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire. I attended on Saturday, as usual. It was a really enjoyable event once again this year. The weather was amazing, blue skies, warm and sunny. It was great to meet up with friends Angel, Eva and Victor.
As always there was a huge amount to see - as always far too much to fit into one day! Plenty of good bargains too; thanks to the RSGB Bookshop, Will at Bowood Electronics, Richard at Martin Lynch and Sons, Mike at Mickey's Electronics, PEAK Electronics, Mastrant Ropes, Richard at SOTA-Beams and the RSGB EMC team.
Coaxial Loss Calculator and Power Compensator : A Microsoft Excel based calculator which is a valuable tool to simply and quickly calculate coax lengths and losses. You can download Coaxial Length Calculator for free but you will need Microsoft Excel to use it or another spreadsheet program capable of using Excel. By Steve Burrows M5BXB - http://www.m5bxb.com/coaxlengthcalc.htm
HILLMAP : Hillmap.com is a web based mapping app that lets backcountry travelers create and print free, customizable maps from high quality map layers. You can also use hillmap tools to calculate slope, check the weather at your destination, analyze snowpack, and more - http://www.hillmap.com/
Radio Communications Foundation : The wonder of radio – you cannot see it, touch it, or smell it but it is all around us. It provides the basis for mobile phone systems, broadcasting, local area networks, satellite navigation, alarms, environmental monitoring and so much more that we now take for granted in our everyday world. It is the vital enabling technology that provides the backbone for today’s digital Britain - http://www.commsfoundation.org/
HAMFEST September 2015 :
John Humphreys M0JZH talks to Eric Smith on
BBC Radio Shropshire. There is also a
clip of Ryan Kennedy mentioning the Hamfest on
his following programme:
We enjoyed a lovely holiday in Cyprus in August
2015. If you'd like to see some photographs,
please click one of the links below. One set of
photographs is a general set, mainly of scenic
views. The other set of photographs may be
interesting if you're a keen radio enthusiast
who likes spotting radio and television masts
and towers. I spotted a few during our visit !
Before leaving for Cyprus, I ensured that I had
made the necessary preparations to be able to
operate in another country. I have noted this
information on a new
page, in case it is of use to other Radio
Amateurs. It is, of course, specifically for
Southern Cyprus (Greek Cypriot), but the general
CEPT conditions mentioned also apply to other
Icom Inc. launched the innovative IC-7300 HF
/ 50 / 70MHz Transceiver at Tokyo Ham Fair
2015 where they had a huge amount of
interest. The launch, which caught most
people by surprise, saw the manufacturer
introduce a new base station transceiver
incorporating the latest RF direct sampling
system, a first for an Amateur radio
transceiver*. [ *
Researched by Icom Inc, among major
Amateur radio manufacturers ]
The IC-7300 transceiver, an aesthetically
attractive looking base station, features a
4.3 inch touch screen colour TFT LCD display
with a high performance real time band
A first for an Amateur radio transceiver,
the IC-7300 uses a RF Direct Sampling
System, a technology normally seen in
Software Defined Radios. RF signals are
mostly processed through the FPGA
(Field-Programmable Gate Array), rather than
by physical devices enabling high
performance real-time spectrum scope in a
The IC-7300 includes a built-in integrated
wide-frequency Automatic Antenna Matching
Unit making it ideal for field operation.
The radio provides 100 watts output power on
HF/50MHz bands and 50 watts on 70MHz
(European versions only).
Icom Inc. has produced a pre-release leaflet
for the IC-7300 which you can download from
this page. This information is preliminary
and a full document will be made available
nearer to the product's launch. So far, we
have no details about pricing and
The Icom IC-7300 is a direct
sampling Software Defined Radio that uses a
124MHz ADC, although Icom hasn't yet
confirmed the details of the ADC that
will be used in the production sets. The
radio includes an internal automatic antenna
matching unit and measures 238mm x 240mm x
95mm. Power output is 100W on HF and 6m with
50 Watts on 4m for the European IC-7300.
However, Icom will produce a 50 Watt
version, the IC-7300M, and a 10 Watt
version, the IC-7300S, for the Japanese
market. Price is unknown (26/08/2015) but
there is speculation that it could be around
150,000 Yen; $1200.00 USD; €1100.00 Euro.
Note : The 70MHz / 4 Metre Band is included
in the European version.
I am now looking forward to two
Hamfests! The Telford
Hamfest takes placeSunday 6th September
2015. The venue is at Enginuity, Coalbrookdale
Telford, Shropshire. The GPS Navigation post
code is TF8 7DU and is just a few minutes (4
miles) journey south from the M54 (J6) at
Telford. I always try to visit the Telford
Hamfest as it is packed with interesting traders
and stands, and I generally pick up something
Hamfest is the UK's main event. It is held
at Newark in Nottinghamshire and, despite being
2 hours drive from my QTH, is another rally that
I always try to attend. All the major
manufacturers and retailers are present,
together with plenty of other traders, car boot
stands,the RSGB and Ofcom. There really is so
much to see and do that visiting for just one
day is not enough. However, the event is held
over two days, Friday and Saturday, so it would
be possible to attend on both days! Gates open
at 09:30 on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th
Amateur Radio - A very valid and
useful technology From The Radio
Society Of Great Britain:
Amateur radio—and by amateur we mean ‘unpaid’
rather than ‘unprofessional’—has always been at
the cutting edge of developments in science and
technology. In 1924, Cecil Goyder, 2SZ, made
history with the first two-way radio
communication across the globe, when from London
he established contact with Frank Bell, 4AA a
sheep farmer in New Zealand. Today, Howard Long,
G6LVB a British amateur, has designed and sold
many thousands of his Funcube Dongle which is
used by radio amateurs, universities and schools
to receive, at low cost, both satellite and
Today, Radio Amateurs may use digital voice with
data and have extensive networks linked through
the internet. There is also an amateur radio
designed codec for voice. Software-defined radio
(SDR) is in the ascendancy with both
transmitting and receiving being increasingly
software-defined; in fact it is the hidden part
of many consumer electronic devices that we take
for granted these days.
Within the realm of amateur radio there is also
the amateur satellite service. In the last 40
years over 40 ‘traditional’ amateur satellites
have been launched and the numbers are
increasing as micro or CubeSats are developed.
Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) is one of the
UK companies involved in designing a number of
these satellites. It grew from the work of a
group of amateurs at the University of Surrey
into a company that now employs some 600 staff
with a turnover of £125m.
For many of our Members, an early interest in
amateur radio has led to a cutting-edge career
in science and technology. As the UK’s national
society for radio amateurs, we have a number of
initiatives underway to try to bring practical
skills to school groups. In one of those, we’re
working in partnership with ESA and ARISS
through the mission of astronaut Tim Peake, to
encourage schools to participate in a wide
variety of science-related activities. Tim has
challenged schools to suggest digital
experiments he can carry out in space using
Raspberry-Pi computers. He will also make
contact with a number of schools via amateur
radio while he’s in orbit, and answer questions
from pupils based round his science experiments.
Our newly-formed Youth Committee would take to
task anyone who dared to suggest that amateur
radio was an old person’s hobby! They are
building links with schools and other
youth-oriented groups, introducing young people
to a wide range of radio-related activities,
most of which depend on computer links in some
form or other. They have organised their first
DXpedition to Wales later this month and will be
taking part in a variety of activities including
transmitting from the tops of summits, amateur
radio direction finding (ARDF), creating videos
and using software and social media to share
So, amateur radio is alive and well. Whilst it
has an important role to play in the crises that
arise out of natural disasters like the recent
one in Nepal, the technological expertise of its
operators also continues to push forward the
boundaries of science in every form.
Martin Lynch & Sons announce the new “Ham
Radio Training Academy” located at
ML&S, Wessex House, in Staines upon Thames:
"A large dedicated area on the first floor is
currently under way for a purpose built
training school for prospective candidates to
gain the Foundation, Intermediate and
eventually Advanced Ham Radio exams. The training facility will be run by at
least three long term Radio Hams together with
assistance from two local Radio Clubs. With
combined experience in the three levels of
examination, courses are scheduled to
take place during September of 2015. In
addition, at least one member from Martins
engineering team will be on site, voluntarily
to assist. To realise the maximum utilisation of the
new training academy, it is also planned that
other lectures, demonstrations and events are
held at Wessex House. Initial proposals
include “Learning Morse Code in the 21st
Century”, underlining the efficiency of the
mode in getting messages across with simple
means over very long distances. Two FOC
members and experts will introduce Morse code
and how to get started with modern software
tools for learning. How to use a modern
Ham Radio station and maximise efficiency
throughout careful design and planning of the
entire “Shack”. Aimed at all levels of Ham
Radio operation starting at the most basic set
up through to the far more advanced,
experienced Ham radio operators will pass on
their years of experience. Most of all the new training academy will
be a centre promoting excellence in all
aspects of Ham Radio from getting through your
foundation licence, making your first QSO
through to working DX and running DX-peditions".
Course Online - Get Your
Amateur Radio Licence!
To help people get started in Amateur Radio, Essex Ham
has launched Foundation
Online, an online course to enable home
study. The course consists of nine modules
including guided lessons, video tutorials and
short tests. The course follows the RSGB's
Foundation Now! course book.
Essex Ham explains: "Our Internet-based amateur
radio course launched in 2015 and is designed to
help the following people:
- Those who prefer home study or
- Those looking to have a dry run of a course
before taking the plunge
- Those already on an amateur radio course
looking to supplement their learning
- Those struggling with a particular topic
- Those who struggle to learn from a book, and
want something a little more interactive.
Note – Those looking to get an amateur radio
licence will need to complete the Foundation
practicals with a registered assessor, and sit
the Foundation exam. Clubs and assessors around
the UK can help with training courses,
practicals and exams. This course is intended to
compliment other training in the UK, not to
We enjoyed a lovely holiday in Cyprus in
August 2015. Before leaving, I ensured that I
had made the necessary preparations to be able
to operate in another country. I have noted this
information on a new
page, in case it is of use to other Radio
Amateurs. It is, of course, specifically for
Southern Cyprus (Greek Cypriot), but the general
CEPT conditions mentioned also apply to other
BBC Radio Shropshire - "Jim Hawkins in
the Morning" - Jim Hawkins talks to
me about Amateur Radio
Jim invited a discussion on things that
listeners had built, either from scratch or from
a kit. I emailed my stories of building various
projects and antennas to Jim and he rang me
back. Here's a recording of the short
conversation about the magic of radio
communication on BBC Radio Shropshire on July
Kevin, G7BCS, the Chair of Farnborough and
District Radio Society, was interviewed on 25
July by James Cannon on BBC Radio Surrey.You can listen to the audio below:
Holly Thomas, aged 10, was interviewed by the
Welsh media after gaining her Foundation
licence.She is one of the
youngest Welsh persons to achieve the licence,
and is a great example of all the young
operators who are now enjoying amateur radio.See below.
RSGB Member Adrian, 2E0SDR made contact
with an ISS astronaut, and they chatted for 50
seconds before the station moved out of range.It was reported on BBC Radio 4 and in a
number of major national newspapers, where you
can read more about his experience".See below.
Kevin G7BCS talks to James Cannon about
Amateur Radio on BBC Radio Surrey (25th July
10-year-old girl from Swansea has become the
youngest holder of an amateur radio licence in
Wales. Holly Thomas had to pass exams on
mathematics, electronics and health and safety
to qualify for the licence. She said she now
hopes to make contact with an astronaut on board
the International Space Station. Amateur radio
operators, or radio hams, have been around since
the first half of the 20th century.
Making friends - Holly said: "I was in my
bedroom every day reading, writing, doing
mock-exams. I've probably done about 20
"I love it because you can contact people all
over the world and make friends. "Sometimes if
you're lucky you can contact astronauts and
that's pretty good."
Holly's father, Christopher said she had shown a
keen interest in amateur radio from a young age.
"Sometimes I'd go into the room and have my
radio set up then I'd realise all my settings
had been changed. It would take me an hour to
put it right because Holly had been pressing all
the buttons," he said. It is claimed the
"mayday" calls from the Titanic were heard by
amateur radio enthusiast Artie Moore from
Blackwood in 1912. [ read
the full story on BBC News Wales here ]
radio enthusiast Adrian Lane spent 50 seconds
chatting to American astronaut as he flew over
UK. Radio enthusiast Adrian Lane, 52, put
out a call from his garden shed - and found
himself speaking to the International Space
An amateur radio enthusiast has described how he
made contact with the International Space
Station from his garden shed. Adrian Lane, 52, a
former lorry driver, spent weeks trying to make
contact after being told that astronauts were
due to pass over his home. The father-of-two
plotted the space station’s route and worked out
the brief window during which it would be 200
miles overhead, travelling at 18,500mph.
As it came into his frequency he sent out
a call with his unique sign and to his
astonishment an American astronaut answered back
to "welcome him aboard". The station was in
range for just four minutes and the pair chatted
for around 50 seconds before they lost contact.
Mr Lane, from Coleford, Gloucestershire,
admitted that it was a mundane conversation in
which he asked what it was like in space and got
the response: “Very dark”. But he said it still
“blew his mind”. “The adrenaline was pumping a
little bit," he said. "I said to them how
wonderful earth must look from up there. They
said 'oh Adrian, it's amazing, you can't imagine
what it looks like from up here'. "He said it
was very dark but when you look down at Earth it
is full of colour. I basically asked who he was
and how things were in space that day. It was
such a rush.
"I was buzzing. It's not every day you get to
talk to some guy out in space.” Some ISS crew
members are known to make unscheduled radio
contacts with amateurs, known as hams, during
their breaks or at weekends. But Mr Lane spends
most of his time using permitted frequencies to
talk to fellow enthusiasts around the world.
Meanwhile, ten schools have been shortlisted to
make contact with British astronaut Tim Peake
via amateur radio when he joins the ISS for a
six month stint in December. There will be a ten
minute window when the space station is flying
over the UK and some of the schools will have
the opportunity to make direct contact with him
during that time. However, they will not know
which have been selected until much nearer the
time due to location and timings.[South
West News Service - read
the full story at the Daily Telegraph here
Modern Radio in Bolton seen in Peter Kay's
"Car Share" on BBC Television!
I had been enjoying Peter Kay's 2015 BBC
Television comedy "Car Share" very much and was
sad when the last episode (6) was shown on 22nd
May. In one of the last scenes, as characters
John and Kayleigh neared the end of their final
car share journey, I immediately noticed
Bolton's Modern Radio shop partially shown on
one of the exterior shots.
The original and very entertaining comedy also
featured, as an audio back-drop, a fantastically
realistic creation of a fictional local
independent radio station "Forever FM"
playing a music, travel news, jingles and
commercials as each journey's sound-track. I am
a bit of a Peter Kay fan, and Sian Gibson gives
a superb performance in every episode in the
series - Well worth watching!
Modern Radio in Bolton seen in Peter
Kay's "Car Share"
Series 1, Episode 6, at 22minutes 37seconds
TX FACTOR - New
Episode MAY 2015 - Episode
8 (TXF008) TX date 6th May 2015 :
In this extended episode the TX Factor team
meet the man at the helm of PW Magazine, the
family guys who run Icom UK, two amateurs
who help to keep BBC radio on the air and
the FUNcube dongle:
In episode 8 you will find out more about Practical
Wireless magazine and its editor Don Field
G3XTT. You will also see Broadcasting
House, the headquarters
of the BBC in Portland Place and Langham Place
in London where The TX Factor team talk to
Jim Lee G4AEH, Jonathan
Kempster M5AEO and Jonathan's wife Alison, who
is a sound technician at BBC News. You will see
a feature about Icom
UK and an interview with Dave Stockley
G4ELP. There is also a new TX Factor video about
D-STAR which explains this mode and how to
operate with an Android app. The video is
available to view on the Icom UK YouTube channel
or on the Icom website : http://www.icomuk.co.uk/News_Article/3508/18443/
. Finally, there is a feature about the FUNcube
dongle. More information on the TX
Factor page here
Radio Amateurs to lose 70cms - and
maybe 2 Metres too?
In the UK the spectrum regulator, Ofcom, is
reviewing the use of the 400MHz UHF spectrum.
Their report, by Aegis, concludes that due to
increasing congestion "...ongoing amateur use
of this congested band may need to be reviewed"
- this would mean the loss of the 70cm UHF
band for amateur radio use.
It seems also there there is a threat to the
longer term use of 2 metres VHF for Amateur Radio,
as other services may need to be moved from UHF to
be re-located to this spectrum.
Around the world the mobile phone cartels are
pressurizing governments to release more and more
spectrum for LTE networks so that mobile phone
users can be assured that they can make their
Twitter and Facebook postings. These huge
corporations have millions of Pounds/Dollars to
spend on twisting politicians' and spectrum
regulators' arms - big corporate money talks, so
it may be a forgone conclusion that 70cms, and
maybe even 2 Meters, will be lost.
In counties across Europe and around globe,
including the USA, UK, Finland and the
Philippines, the threat to 70cm is already very
strong and the loss is possibly imminent and
inevitable as 70cms frequencies look to be
re-allocated to mobile phone networks and
operators of broadband wireless systems.
The 70cm band is becoming increasingly important
for amateur radio; the most significant aspect is
arguably the large and growing network if
repeaters. The amateur radio repeater system
includes are large number of analogue voice and
interlinked digital repeaters using the Icom
D-Star system. There is also a growing network of
new DMR and Yaesu Fusion system repeaters being
developed. The loss of this UHF band would be a
very significant setback indeed.
Call me cynical, but it may seem that
governments and authorities are
systematically removing access to amateur
radio bands; the recent removal of most of
the access to microwave frequencies; now
the potential removal of UHF access
(70cms); next the loss of 2 Metres? All to
accommodate telcos / mobile phone
conglomerates and Wi-Fi access systems. We
may be left only with access to the H.F.
bands - but the HF bands themselves
may very well become unusable due to
interference (QRM) from broadband via
powerline telecoms (PLT) systems.
So, everyone happy?
Cornwall, June 2014
M0MTJ /A - Fowey, Cornwall, 2014
Above: While on
holiday near Fowey in Cornwall in June 2014, I was
able do some /A operating from our holiday
cottage. The weather that week was superb - hot
and sunny - so operating from the sheltered patio
area was ideal and very pleasant.
I lashed my 10 metre long lightweight fibreglass
fishing pole to a gatepost in the garden. This was
used to support a 20 metre long doublet antenna.
The antenna was made up from components bought
from Richard, G3CWI, at Stoabeams: Lightweight
high visibility, yellow antenna wire for the top
wires and a lightweight dipole centre. The doublet
antenna was installed in an Inverted V formation
and fed with 300 Ohm twin feeder for lowest loss.
The feed point, supported by the fishing pole was
about 9 metres above ground level.
The 300 Ohm feeder was connected to a 4:1 balun
near the MFJ 945 mobile ATU, connected via a short
coaxial patch lead. Naturally the 20 long doublet
worked extremely well on 40 metres, but was also
usable on most other bands upwards of 40 metres.
The radio used was the Yaesu FT-857, power being
derived from a compact, lightweight Sharmans mains
power supply, with power being distributed via one
of my home-brew Power-Pole distribution boxes.
Shack redesign October 2014 :
Work in progress
: The shack redesign in October 2014.
The photo above shows the shack in the process
of being rearranged in October 2014. I put
together a new desk and re-worked the
original shelving unit two form two sets of
shelves to sit on the desk. I made a dual
microphone holder to fit on to the
Thomann Millenium MA-2050 boom arm.
M0MTJ - Shack redesign completed October 2014
Wythall Radio Rally
I once again attended the Wythall Radio Rally
in March 2015. The Rally is organized by the
Wythall Radio Club and despite the rather
miserable weather that day, the event was very
well attended, the rooms being crowded with
visitors. I was fortunate enough to be able
meet up again with Angel M0HDF. This year the
venue had been changed to the site of the
Wythall Radio Club. A photograph of the very
impressive array of aerials can be seen below.
There were plenty of traders and an abundance
of equipment, aerials and components on offer.
Radioworld were once again in attendance with
a large stand. We also bumped into Carolyn
G6WRW and Matt G8XYJ. A very enjoyable
- Wythall 70cms wide split Voice Repeater
- Input: 438.550 MHz Output: 430.950
MHz CTCSS Tone: 67Hz (Midlands region Tone
- Wythall (Major's Green) D-STAR
Simplex Gateway - 431.0875 MHz - CCS DTMF
code: 46742. Use MB6IWL-B in RPT1 field
& MB6IWL-G in RPT2 MB6IDG
- Bromsgrove D-STAR
Simplex Gateway - 431.125 MHz (Soon to be
upgraded to full repeater GB7DG) GB3VI
- Wythall 6m Voice Repeater - Details to
Repeater Group - http://www.bigfoot.com/~mhrg GB3NW
- Input: 145.025 Output:
145.625 1750 Hz tone burst, or
CTCSS sub-tone A (67.0 Hz) GB3MS
- Input: 434.775 Output:
433.175 1750 Hz tone
burst, or CTCSS sub-tone A (67.0 Hz)
Hamfest, Newark, September 2014
National Hamfest is the UK's biggest annual
Amateur Radio Show. Organised by the Lincoln
Shortwave Club and the RSGB, it was held at
the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark &
Nottinghamshire Showground on Friday 26th
September & Saturday 27th September
The National Hamfest is an excellent time to
meet members of the RSGB and Ofcom providing
a good opportunity to ask questions of
several RSGB committees. The line up of
traders and exhibitors was, as usual, very
Friday is traditionally the busiest day with
heaving crowds and traders reporting brisk
business. I attended the show on Saturday,
which is usually a bit less busy than
Friday, nevertheless it seemed like a busy
day and traders such as Martin Lynch and
Bowood Electronics reported good trade.
I bought a number of things myself from from
various stands, including electronic
components from Bowood Electronics, some
ladder line spacers from Waters and Stanton
and a new CG-3000 remote automatic antenna
coupler from Martin Lynch. In fact, CG
Antennas representative from China was
present on Martin Lynch and Sons stand and
offered some excellent antenna advice and
advice on using the CG-3000 unit.
the Icom stand, the very impressive Icom
IC-7850 50th Anniversary Transceiver made
its UK Debut.
Hamfests are always a good time to meet
favourite traders and catch up with friends.
This year was no exception, and it was good to
meet up again with Angel, M0HDF,
and his family Eva and Victor.
the left of me, bargains to the right...
The large Martin Lynch & Sons shop on the
left and other traders to the right. National
Hamfest 2014 http://www.hamradio.co.uk/
IC-7850 50th Anniversary Transceiver made its
UK Debut at 2014 National Hamfest in Newark
years of Icom Inc., Icom UK attended the
2014 National Hamfest in Newark with some
special radios to celebrate. On display was
the IC-7850 HF/50MHz 50th Anniversary
Transceiver and the 50th Anniversary edition
of the ID-51E D-STAR Dual Band Transceiver
together. There was also a D-STAR
demonstration featuring Icom's latest D-STAR
models and android devices.
'collector’s piece' will be produced early
in 2015 in very limited numbers to celebrate
Icom’s 50th Anniversary. Also, the 50th
Anniversary edition of the ID-51E was
available to purchase at the show, having
extra features over the standard model.
Available in a choice of 5 colours; blue,
green, red, white and black.
As well as
having a full range of Amateur radios,
D-Star and receiver equipment on show, Icom
UK was also demonstrating the latest D-STAR
models and android connected devices on their stand. Used to send
pictures, messages and even forward emails.
I forgot to take a photograph of the Icom
stand and the new IC-7850, so the image above
is courtesy Icom UK
impressive range of Icom transceivers is
available from most good amateur radio
stand at The National Hamfest 2014 Although not on
display, there were some posters advertising
the forthcoming launch, in early 2015, of
FT-991 transportable HF / 6m / 4m / 2m /
70cm transceiver. http://www.yaesu.co.uk/
TX FACTOR - New Episode November 2014
- Episode 6 (TXF006) TX date 20th
November 2014, featuring the National Hamfest:
This episode features the best from the UK's
biggest rally, National Hamfest 2014. The TX
Factor team meets the exhibitors and visitors
and brings a flavour of this amazing annual
ham event to those who couldn't make it this
time. There was also a chance to win the
compact, yet function-packed dual band VX-3
transceiver in another TX Factor competition.
Telford Hamfest, Inginuity Centre,
Ironbridge, September 2014
Telford Hamfest, held at The Inginuity
Centre, Ironbridge, Shropshire in September
I was so busy
investigating what was on offer at the
Telford Hamfest that I forgot to take more
than one photograph! As usual, the show was
extremely well organized and very
interesting, especially the SOTA talk by Tom
and Jimmy Read. Congratulations to Telford
and District Amateur Radio Society (TDARS)
for putting on yet another excellent event.
Visit TDARS excellent website : http://www.tdars.org.uk/
Wythall Radio Rally, Birmingham, March 2014
Mike M0MTJ and Carl M0SER (centre) at Wythall
Radio Rally, Birmingham, March 2014
The very particular world of amateur
radio - Story from the BBC
face of the internet, mobiles and instant
messaging you might expect the hobby of
amateur radio - or ham radio as it's also
known - to be on the decline.
But in the last three
years, the number of amateur radio licenses
has risen by over 8,000 - with 80,000
currently issued in the UK.
frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts
communicate with people over the world. Many
prefer the relaxed approach of 'rag chewing'
or chatting at length with people, who often
become friends - while at the opposite end
of the spectrum 'contesters' compete to make
as many contacts as possible in a given
The hobby is also a
public service, with Raynet (in the UK)
stepping in during emergencies when regular
communication networks fail. Amateur radio
enthusiasts are currently contributing to
relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in
BBC News joined theChorley and
District Amateur Radio Societyas
they put on a special "Castles and Stately
Homes On The Air (CASHOTA)" event at Astley
Hall, a Grade I listed house in Lancashire.
The club is keen to break down traditional
stereotypes of amateur radio enthusiasts and
offers free training courses to its members
who range from 8 to 80.