Friday, 11 December 2015


Some radio related photos from our holiday to Lloret De Mar last month:

Radio mast above the town - some FM broadcast on here

VHF antennas on building across from hotel. Are they for transmitting? They look like around 150MHz. 

Never heard one of these working but they have some UHF antenna on them

Lots of buildings have long distance Wi-Fi access

More Wi-Fi 

Fire station

Band 1 TV reception

Telemetry link from electricity substation

UHF folded dipole on some museum or information centre - could be to do with the remote controlled loudspeakers seen along the beach

There is an amateur repeater on 438.950 near the town of Blaines, a few km west of Lloret De Mar. Never heard any activity on it except it giving it's ID. Further away there are some Echolink gateways around 431MHz and I heard some APRS activity on 144.800.
The area has a lot of air traffic and also business radio users seem to be mostly between 152 and 154MHz.
One thing you think about when outside the UK is how much more effort they have to put into receiving TV broadcasts. Because there are lots of tall apartment and hotel buildings, along with land rising up sharply inland, it's hard to get a line of sight to any mast, even if it close by. Going along the motorway towards Barcelona I saw some blocks of flats which must have had a large TV antenna on 20 metre guyed mast on top of a 30 metre building, to get over the hill. The same goes for satellite reception, no little 45cm dishes, even when they are not trying to get UK channels. But we're a small island which can be covered with a narrow beam.
We're lucky with our little Sky dishes and cheap 10 elements. But I think a lot of people would have gone over to internet streaming or cable - when I was in Malta 2 years ago, it seemed to have gone that way with no RF receivers at all in houses.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

GP15 connected again

After nearly 6 months of the coax from my 6m/2m/70cm antenna coiled up in another room, I finally got round to connecting it into the new shack, by running it up into the loft and joining to an extra piece of coax I'd put in for a temporary 2m dipole.
It's not perfect - it's 7 metres of RG58 I'm adding, giving up to 3dB loss on 430MHz and 1.5dB on 144MHz, RG58 being what I had handy and easy to wire into a dipole centre.
When I put the GP15 up, I'd left enough spare coax (Westflex W103) to reach out of the room and across the house, but I wouldn't be very popular if I just trailed it along the floor through open doors to reach the shack.
I'll do a direct run of coax some time and get the Comet GP15 down to check it, it's still working fine but it doesn't sit exactly straight so I hope the screw holding it into the tube hasn't snapped (they often do on that kind of antenna).

For HF I'm still using a wire along the gutter, fed with an UnUn and sticking mostly to 10 and 14MHz. The other wire is still up in the back garden but the coax is left coiled up in the old shack.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Dipole in loft

145MHz dipole in loft to use until I connect coax to new shack location. No hurry, only moved rooms about 6 months ago.
Noise from devices in the house is a bigger problem on VHF than the signal loss, a lot of it is from networking gear and the printer. Noise isn't just a HF problem any more.