Saturday, 26 January 2013

APRS from home

Using APRSIS at home, usually for a receive gateway but tonight I tried transmitting to see if I could get anywhere. In the last 2 hours I was received twice by MB7UL at Keighley, over 90km away. Not all packets are getting through so with 25 watts this is about the limit.
I had been using UIview but it seems unable to work properly in Windows 8. For the TNC I use MixW through a virtual serial port.
The serial port on my PC (onboard) has got the RTS signal stuck on now, so using a USB to serial converter to key the radio.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Kirkpatrick Fleming

There must be a good path from this small area in SW Scotland back to Walney, as 2E0BTX was received twice today in both directions on the M74

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

APRS on the A595

Drove up to Whitehaven today with APRS transmitting on 144.800
I could get to MB7UQ (Cambret Hill) from the Bootle area and some places further north.
Also MM1MPB (Annan) and MD0MAN (Douglas) from above Askam.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

IC-7000 meter

I've had my Icom IC-7000 for over 4 years and ever since I bought it new, the S-meter has always gone down after the radio has warmed up. I had never been sure whether this was just the meter that was dropping or the receiver becoming less sensitive as it warmed up.
I wanted to test whether the receiver was really getting worse, so I found a signal on UHF which was on the air almost 24 hours a day and which mostly transmitted a dead carrier. This was reading about S9 but could be reduced to S1 by turning off the preamp and switching in the attenuator.
I recorded a few seconds of this signal and then a few seconds of noise from the adjacent channel (which was not in use) and compared the RMS levels of the noise, using Sound Forge. There was around 29dB difference between the unused channel and the S1 unmodulated carrier.
After leaving the Icom on receiving for a few hours, giving it time to warm up, I repeated this test. Although the signal meter had gone down to zero (with the attenuator on), the ratio of signal to noise was within 0.5dB of the first measurement.
So the receiver sensitivity doesn't seem to be changing but the meter is.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Comet GP15

After 6 months, I finally got the last of the antennas put up. Comet GP15 tribander 6/2/70 on the chimney.
A lot better than the mobile antenna I had in the loft, both for signal and less noise from my computer.
6 metres is almost perfectly centered on 51MHz with the tip of the 6m radial 52cm from the screw, that isn't how it comes in the packaging  but I checked online first.
The antenna is fed through Westflex W103 coax.
Not as good as the last QTH towards the south but better towards the north now that Hawcoat isn't in the way.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Made my first 23cm QSO from home, after 3 years of having that band. To G7RNX in Dalton, a 7km path that isn't line of sight.
I was using an Alinco handheld indoors upstairs and Alex had an Icom base station into a 2/70/23 colinear.
Signals weren't too good, with my 1 watt from the handheld's rubber duck only being received when I was by the window (the window was in about the right direction).

Sunday, 13 January 2013


First SOTA activation of 2013, Loughrigg G/LD-047.
The usual Watson W50, FT-817 and 4Ah LiPo battery, with 8ft pole. There was just enough soil to push the pole into so that it stayed up.
Even though this is one of the lower fells, it has quite a good path towards the Burnley area.
Towards Fairfield

Antenna just below the summit

Path from Red Bank

Watson W50

Langdale Pikes. I must clean my camera.

The summit from where I was sat