Sunday, 22 July 2012


Noise levels on the Solarcon A99 at home, Sunday morning. In a 2.5KHz bandwidth with the antenna tuned up on transmit before taking the measurement.
27.990 MHz = -103dBm
24.990 MHz = -103dBm
21.440 MHz = -98dBm
18.165 MHz = -100dBm
14.350 MHz = -100dBm
Measured on the Flex 1500. (-73dBm or is usually the S9 signal reference).
On the 14 MHz band, the noise level is around 3dB higher on the wire antenna, with 3dB higher wanted signals.
At night, noise levels are a bit higher.

For some reason, my PC clock has started drifting by 9 seconds per hour. Changing the BIOS battery hasn't improved it at all and I need to update the clock at least once every 10 minutes now to keep it accurate for WSPR and JT65.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

New Antennas

The wire is working as a half wave on 10MHz and a full wave on 21MHz.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Antennas Down

Yesterday I got the antennas taken down from the old house.
The Watson W300 still looked in good condition after over 5 years on the roof (it wasn't new when I put it up either). I'd covered anything that could move in bathroom sealant and none of it had moved. When I first had the W300 up, the screw that would stop the main part of the antenna rotating in its tube had come loose, so I didn't bother putting another one in (I've heard of this happening to other people) and just used the sealant to stick it in place.
The only thing which had started to work loose was the bolt in the middle of a Jaybeam folded dipole, which must have been my fault for not tightening it enough, as aren't these things supposed to last forever in 150mph winds, 300 metres up a mast?

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Trying JT65-HF tonight, on 14.076 MHz. Not had any 2-way QSOs yet but I've been received by UT7KF, OH7AZL and AK4TP with my 5 watts from the Flex-1500.
I've put a wire antenna inside the loft just for something to use on HF until I get the outside antennas sorted. It's a bit less than 10 metres of horizontal wire fed with the red "long wire balun", with coax going into the loft. The best SWR is on 29 MHz but it works on other HF bands with the auto tuner. On 28 MHz the PC mouse stops working when transmitting, and because it's a PS/2 mouse, it's goodbye mouse until rebooting.
Tomorrow I hope to get the Comet tri-bander on the chimney.

Testing at new QTH

First transmission from new house, using wire from upstairs window down to washing line.
Wire is a half wave around 24 MHz.

Friday, 6 July 2012

New house vs Old house

Here is a prediction for 144 MHz showing how the new house should compare to the old one.
Yellow is where the new house should give better VHF signals than the old house.
Red is where the old house would be better.
No colour is where signals from the new house would be bad.


I've moved overseas (well over the bridge) to Walney Island, about 3km away from my last address and a bit lower down. It should still be quite a good radio location though, there are views of the Lake District hills and as it is further west, better for the west coast of Cumbria.
The house is about 10 metres above sea level and about 400 metres from the beach. Locator square is IO84IC and WAB is SD16 Barrow-In-Furness.
Got a new Comet GP-15 tribander waiting to go up, and new coax. Going to use Westflex 103 for the Comet and LMR200 for the HF antennas. For HF I'll use the Antron 99 and end-fed wire from the old house.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

WiFi channels

These days its almost impossible to find a clear channel to put a wireless network, with neighbours using channels 1 and 6, and the house round the back using 11.
But which are the most popular channels? (only 3 or 4 of the 13 available on 2.4GHz are usable in one place as one signal also uses the 2 channels either side, so using channel 9 when next door is on 11 is no better than just sharing the same channel).
The data is from driving around over the last few weeks, using Wigle Android app on my phone.
1 = 1223
2 = 37
3 = 23
4 = 25
5 = 22
6 = 830
7 = 243
8 = 37
9 = 43
10 = 71
11 = 768
12 = 11
13 = 38
With 802.11g or n systems its possible to have 4 channel spacing so 1,5,9 and 13 can be used. But it looks like most access points still come with the old 1,6 or 11 plan. The large number of systems using channel 7 are mostly BT HomeHubs, why many use 7 I don't know.
12 and 13 weren't in some older equipment as they weren't used in the USA.