Sunday, 20 September 2015

PC Specs

Main PC:
Lian Li PC7 case (bought in 2006, none of the original contents remain)
Be Quiet PSU
Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 motherboard
AMD FX-8350 CPU @ 4GHz
8GB RAM (2 * 4GB PC3-10700)
Onboard graphics (DVI) - Radeon 3000 series
iiyama ProLite B2409HDS 24" monitor - 1920*1080 pixels
250GB SATA HDD - pinched the old 1TB drive for use in the NAS
2 * DVD writers
Windows 10 Pro

Lenovo B50-30
Intel Celeron N2840 CPU @ 2.16GHz
15.6" display 1366*768 pixels
Windows 10 Home

WD 2TB USB HDD (usually connected to main PC for backup)
D-Link DNS-320 NAS, with 2 * 1TB HDDs in RAID1 (for music and video)
Integral Neon 32GB USB3 flash drive (almost permanently connected and backed up, for everyday files)
Toshiba 640GB USB portable HDD
Seagate 250GB USB portable HDD

BT Openreach VDSL (FTTC) modem
Technicolor TG582n ADSL modem/router/WiFi (ADSL not used)
Edimax CV-7428nS WiFi Bridge (to connect the wired office/shack network to Wi-Fi and internet)
Zyxel GS-105B 5 port gigabit switch (to keep main PC and NAS on a gigabit network)

Other networked devices in the house:
2 * Now TV streaming boxes
Sky+ HD box
Measy Android TV stick
Brother MFC-J265W wireless printer/scanner
iPhone 4
iPhone 5S
iPad Mini 2 (with Retina Display)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Kirkby Moor

Had a walk up Kirkby Moor (SOTA G/LD-049) today, and it was 6 years ago today that Alex G7RNX and myself took part in the 70MHz contest from there.
Here are some photos from September 2009:
 Even though this is nowhere near the summit, it's still in the 25m activation zone for SOTA, less of a walk with a load of batteries and has more fence posts to fix antennas to.

 Yaesu FT-847 with 70MHz conversion
 Sirio 70MHz vertical

 M1AVV also on 2m/70cm for any SOTA chasers
 G7RNX with home built yagi

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