Thursday, 28 February 2013

Newton Fell North

Newton Fell North - WOTA LDO-097
24th February 2013
70 MHz, 145 MHz and 433 MHz FM

Microwave and WiFi antennas, could be for caravan site down the hill

Lower dish towards Kendal

Pointing North East

Howgills from Newton Fell North

Coniston Fells from Newton Fell North
New GSM-R mast at Thwaite Flat near Barrow

Saturday, 9 February 2013

APRS news

I think the IC-2800 is transmitting better packet audio than the last radio. I was received by G7DNM at Darwen yesterday.
While on the way to Ulverston today I was received by G0OFY-1 also in the Darwen area. I was by Pennington Lane Ends at the time.
Received G1JTD who was on Loughrigg (while I was at home).

Friday, 8 February 2013

PC Upgrade

In the next week I'm going to replace the motherboard, processor and RAM in my home PC.
I've got 3 different CPUs to choose from, which one I get will be decided later.
AMD FX-8350 8 core
Intel i5-3470 4 core
AMD FX-6300 6 core
All with 8GB of RAM.
The 8350 and 3470 are around the same price, with the 6300 being quite a lot cheaper. The benchmark puts the 8350 highest but the i5 does better on some tasks.

My current PC build:
AMD Phenom X4 9550 quad core 2.2 GHz (since October 2008)
4GB DDR2 800 RAM (since October 2008)
Asus M2A74-AM motherboard
ATI Radeon HD-5400 graphics
300GB SATA HDD (I had a 1TB but put that in the NAS and used this, bought in 2006)
250GB SATA HDD (since October 2008)
2 x SATA DVD writers (one old and one new)
FireWire PCI card
USB 3.0 PCI card
Be Quiet PSU


I've sold my Icom IC-7000 now after having that since 2008, so back using the Icom IC-2800 at home for 2m and 70cm. I bought this in August 2000 for £310, which was the cheapest I think I ever saw it new, normally going for up to £500.
At the time the 2800 was one of the best dual band mobiles and it's still good today, with its large colour LCD display. It's 2 separate radios (one for 2 and one for 70) rather than a dual band transmitter with 2 wide receivers like you would get today in a dual bander. Not much use if you wanted to leave it transmitting APRS on 144.800 while you scanned other channels on 145 MHz.
Also the front panel was never meant to be joined on to the main body of the radio, but hidden away somewhere in the car, but there's one small problem - the microphone socket is on the "black box" so you would also need a very long mic cable.
I had the 2800 at home as my main VHF/UHF from 2000 to 2004, then I got the FT-8900, so it sat doing nothing till I had in the car from 2006 - 2008 (replaced by the 8900). Then it was put away until now. Outside the amateur bands, receive sensitivity is as good as the IC-7000 and better than the FT-8900.
I'd not used the IC-7000 on HF for over a year, for the data modes operating I normally do, 5 watts from the Flex-1500 was always enough.

The IC-2800 in 2003

I had an Opera beacon transmitting last night on 7.038 and was received by RW3ADB and K4RKM. 

Ordered a USB TV tuner which uses the RTL2832U chip, so it's compatible with SDR# software defined radio. Now waiting to see just how good or bad a £6.51 dongle will work as a communications receiver. I know they're meant to be about 40KHz off frequency (which wouldn't matter for a TV tuner).