27 May 2017

Storm risk has passed - now on 10m JT65

As the storm risk has passed I have turned on my FT817 and PC on to 10m JT65. No JT65 spots as yet.

Enforced QRT - storms

There is thunder and lightning about so I decided not to go on the air today. You can track the storms at https://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#y=52.2238;x=0.0464;z=6;t=3;m=sat;r=0;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;n=0;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;

Sunspots and 10m - Saturday May 27th 2017

Solar flux is 79 today and the sunspot number 22. A=3 and K=1.

Rallies this Sunday


Bowburn Community Centre, Co Durham, DH6 5AT The venture has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors open from 10.30am to 2.30pm with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy, talk in and catering on site. There will be an RSGB bookstall. More details from Michael, G7TWX on 0782 692 4192 or by email to dadars@gmx.com


Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim BT57 8QG There is car parking and disabled facilities at this venue. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. There is catering on site. Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK on 07544 923 956 or email stephen769@talktalk.net.

A list of rallies can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

26 May 2017

Are ICOM and Yaesu struggling?

I am beginning to wonder if some of the large Japanese companies are getting tired of amateur radio.

When ICOM introduced the IC7300, Yaesu looked like they reacted and quickly brought out the FT991A. Yaesu seems to have "gone off the boil" in recent years. System Fusion is being pushed, but years after DSTAR. Most of us remember Betamax, VHS and Video 8. The last thing we want is a standards war.

There were no new products launched at Dayton, at least nothing was reported. I am beginning to think the Japanese have decided to introduce fewer amateur radio products. Perhaps they see a dwindling market with less profits in the coming years?

As for an FT817 successor - I think this is never happening.

Dayton Hamvention 2017

This was last weekend. It is possible I missed announcements, but nothing new appears to have been announced by the big manufacturers.

I have never been, nor am I likely to, but this is the big one. It moved venues this year. Looking at the photos, most attendees look old.

See http://hamvention.org/ .

Trident and terrorism - NOT amateur radio

Some estimates put the bill to replace our "independent" nuclear submarine fleet at more than £100 billion. Most countries don't have nuclear weapons, let alone an "independent" nuclear deterrent.  Even the Labour party supports Trident's replacement. This is at a time when we complain there are not enough police or people able to analyse people who may be a terrorist threat to the UK.

Why not scrap Trident and spend some of the money on police and anti-terrorism?

No-one in their right mind would press the nuclear button. It would lead to widespread death and destruction. We need things to counter the threats of today

As for nuclear deterrence, how do most countries manage without such weapons perfectly well? Just a small fraction of the Trident replacement costs would go a very long way.

Mobile phones on aircraft - NOT amateur radio

So, OFCOM has changed the rules to allow mobile phones on aircraft. I objected. In my view this is stupid idea. Imagine phones ringing all the time on a long flight. People managed in the past.

See http://ofcom.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/i/B17ECEB3D452F524/59D1BD3EA2F08127C67FD2F38AC4859C

Sunspots and 10m - Friday May 26th 2017

Solar flux is 77 today and the sunspot number 19. A=4 and K=1. I expect 10m will be good for South America later from the UK. We can also expect 10m and 6m Es.

6m JT65 today

Having had success for the last few days on 10m JT65, today I have switched to 6m JT65. So far, just spots from 3 G stations with the best DX being G8TTI (185km). This is either tropo or aircraft reflection. As usual, 1W ERP in use here from my V2000 omni vertical.

UPDATE 1056z: LX1JX (469km) is the best distance spotted so far today on 6m JT65. Probably too near for Es?

UPDATE 1230z: Still no sign of Es on 6m JT65 here.

UPDATE 1648z: Ten G station spots of my QRP 6m JT65 today, but no Es spots.

UPDATE 2002z: Eleven G spots of my QRP 6m JT65 today, but still no Es. Tomorrow may be a QRT day because of the storm risk.

UPDATE 2142z: Some very late Es spots of my 6m QRP JT65 from Portugal just before going QRT and disconnecting antennas, PC and plugs.