Monday, 24 August 2015

Top O Selside

Top O' Selside
1st August 2015
 Walked from one of the car parks on the east side of Coniston - SD299927 Dodgson Wood. Parked by the road a bit further south because the car park was full.

Used my Yaesu FT-7900 dual band mobile radio, which hasn't been getting a lot of use recently as I've moved my stuff to a different room but don't have the VHF/UHF coax going there yet.
The 7900 works well for portable operation, even on an 11.1v battery pack it still does full power in the low and mid settings (between 11 and 15 volts there is no significant change on a power meter, turning the voltage up and down from a variable PSU). Not tested the output power on High, but a 4Ah pack wouldn't last very long with 50 watts. If I got really desparate for QSOs from somewhere I think I could still manage a few minutes with >30 watts though.

From the track below the summit I picked up 2 WiFi access points on my phone: 
Crake Valley Holiday Park (nearly 3km away)
The Caravan Club Wireless - both on 2.4GHz

Saturday, 6 June 2015


May APRS reception

Monday, 11 May 2015

April APRS

APRS I received at home in April 2015. A few more than usual, probably because of the Blackpool radio rally, and because I left it receiving for a week while I was on holiday.

5GHz WiFi - Birkrigg

Took an Ubiquiti Nanobeam M5 up Birkrigg Common on Saturday to see what I could get on the 5GHz WiFi band.
Click the pictures of the site surveys to enlarge. Anything above channel 5.65GHz (channel 130) is also in the 5.7GHz amateur band, which is shared. See this white paper for how WiFi devices use the 5.1 - 5.8 Ghz band.

Those were site surveys with the dish pointing in different directions. I guess the DE ones are Dong Energy, who run the wind farms out at sea. There are a few with what looks like a Preston postcode in the SSID - and PR1 3RP is Sandown Court, a block of flats in Preston so it makes sense.

Belkin router working as the 2.4GHz access point, so I could connect to the Nanobeam's internal web app using my phone. Powering the Belkin off car battery.

 The view over Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster and Morecambe

 Ethernet cable down to the car
 The Nanobeam uses 12 volt POE, not the standard 48V, so here I'm using a POE injector and an 11.1V LiPo battery pack, at the dish end of the cable to reduce losses. The pole is over a microphone stand.

After that I had a walk up Hampsfell (WOTA Outlying Fell LDO-108). Took the dualbandheld up there and made 3 QSOs, the furthest being GB6AC on 145MHz, a special event station operating from Abergele Castle in north Wales.

There are steps to the top of the little tower, which gives a little bit more height for the radio.

And here is some of the Wigle WiFi scan from the top of Hampsfell on my phone. As usual there are some caravan sites, but somebody's Talk Talk home WiFi is coming through, possibly from down the hill in Grange. Somebody is also Pretty Fly for a WiFi - there's one in every town!

Monday, 6 April 2015

March APRS

APRS received at home

Saturday, 28 March 2015


I tried the Puxing PX-777 VHF handheld again on Whitbarrow (SOTA G/LD-056) today and even after being fully charged this morning, the battery lasted about 2 minutes on transmit. I won't be using that battery again for transmitting. This time I had come prepared and had a PL259-SMA adaptor so I could connect up my Alinco handheld instead.
Made 6 QSOs including a summit to summit with G0EVV who was on The Calf (G/NP-013). The weather was so bad on the way there I was thinking giving it a miss but it stopped raining by the time I set off walking.

WiFi scan from the summit. The first 3 (in the 5GHz band) look like long distance links, zone2b could be from the mast at Scout Scar near Kendal, I've picked that up on Brant Fell near Windermere before.
Lamb Howe is the name of a caravan site about 5km to the north, near Winster. lambhowe1 is probably from there as caravan site WiFi usually gets a long way.

Sunday, 22 March 2015


WiFi received on Kirkby Moor with my Galaxy Note 3
Holker Old Park Wood is a caravan site about 9km away. Not sure where Endurance Wireless is from, but I've also picked it up on the Hoad at Ulverston, so probably somewhere round there.
There are so many WiFi access points on these days that you will probably pick something up on most hills, especially with places like caravan parks using high gain antennas to cover the whole site.
I was up at Kirkby Moor yesterday afternoon and made 2 summit-summit contacts before the battery in the Puxing PX777 handheld died - I had charged it a while ago but it must have discharged slowly (still showed full battery on the display). So no activator point but some chaser points.