Sunday 7 April 2024


It's been a while since I posted anything here.

I've been playing with Meshtastic on my T-Beam, quite a few nodes locally.

Also, the usual FT-8 reception, WSPR using the SOTABeams WSPRLite from my car and a few 2-way contacts now and then (4 this year).


Tuesday 3 May 2022

Helium Mappers

Using a Lilygo TTGO T-Beam to run Helium Mappers software. 100mW on the 868MHz band.

The code is by Max-Plastix

What is Helium ? Seen a load of small vertical antennas going up on nearby houses? Wondering why the price of good coax cable just rocketed? All the important things you need to know are:

  1. Paradigm Shift
  2. Decentralised
  3. Blockchain

OLED display comes with the unit but needs soldering on (4 pins)

A professional car installation, perfectly balanced on my phone holder

There's a holder for a 18650 cell but it runs on a USB power bank and no cell

Mapping the A590. This area was previously uncharted territory. Some transmissions are getting across Morecambe Bay from inside the car (see top right, receiving hotspot is at Heysham)

Some good locations in Barrow, getting across The Bay


Tuesday 14 September 2021

50p Door Intercom

50p from B&Q in the bargain bin. How could I say no?

The blob on a board is to generate an alarm sound.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Equipment List

Just a quick update on what I'm using..

  • Yaesu FT-7900 2m/70cm mobile. At home, connected to a 2m dipole in the loft (was in the car, but brought indoors recently).
  • CRT Millenium CB/10m mobile. In the car, with a springer mobile antenna on a Sirio magmount.
  • Yaesu FT-4X(E) 2m/70cm handheld. This is my main handheld radio for analogue FM.
  • Retevis RT8 VHF DMR handheld. Very similar to the TYT MD380 (same firmware and programming software). 
  • Wouxun KG-699E 68-88MHz handheld, covering the 4m amateur band. 
  • SDRPlay RSP1A software defined radio (receiver). Used for all bands, but at the moment it's my only receiver for SSB and data modes, so is often being used for receiving FT-8. 
  • The HF antenna is a dipole in roughly an L shape (no particular length), with one side along the gutter and the other sloping down to the garden fence.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Retevis RT-8

Got the VHF version of the Retevis RT-8 DMR handheld for Christmas. There it is alongside my Uniden UBC3500 on a trip to Newcastle last month. 


Tuesday 17 December 2019

Last 20 QSOs

My last 20 radio contacts
95% FT8

Friday 6 December 2019

10 Years On

Ten years ago to this day, I sat in the Ashton Under Lyne Travelodge and started this blog which is mostly about my amateur radio activities (well I'd made one post in 2007 with this account but forgotten about it).
Since then, I've discovered quite a few things:
Other digital modes such as JT65/FT8
SDRs - both receive and HF transceiver
Digital voice - I've tried D-Star and DMR (then there's Fusion and even Network Radio, which I've not tried)
The 23cm band - and it was from the Travelodge I ordered a handheld with 23cm.

I'm much less active from portable locations now (it's over 2 years since I did a qualifying SOTA activation), which has also meant I've not had as much to write about.
At the moment I'm mainly doing HF FT-8 and WSPR using 5-10 watts into a dipole that's partly hidden under the gutter, have a Yaesu FT-7900 dual band mobile fitted in the car and a few handheld radios which nearly always come out on walks (even if receive only and not in the hills).

Something has broken in the Comet GP-15 tri-bander on my chimney (probably the coax plug), so here is the temporary loft dipole for 144MHz, connected up when I recently got all the decorations down.