The only relevance of this post to the weather is that I’m sitting in the garden enjoying the current pleasant weather.
After too many years I’m rekindling my amateur radio hobby. I’m having to re-learn much of what I used to know. For example, the 2m FM calling frequency I knew as S20 seems to have been renamed as V40, 2m FM channels are now 12.5kHz and repeaters seem to have worldwide links. What else will I discover?
I’m starting slowly and have yet to have my first QSO. Not through the lack of trying though. The local 2m/70cm bands seem pretty dead. I’ve been parked listening to the local 70cm repeater for the last few days and have made a few calls but not got any takers. I’ve only heard one person call through it, as luck would have it when I was unable to return their call.
Is VHF/UHF very quiet where you are too? I hope to get back on HF soon-ish, but with less that 10w available and a space limited antenna I’m not expecting miracles there either.
the bands have been quiet here as well. We will just have to wait for the solar conditions to change I guess
Solar conditions will improve HF and DX on VHF/UHF but at the moment I’d be happy with just a brief chat on the local 70cm repeater and the sun spot cycle shouldn’t really affect that!
70cm here is always much more quiet that 2m. Are you having any luck on 2m?
The nearest repeaters on 2m are about 3-4 times further away so I’m less likely to hit those at low power on a small antenna (I’m just using a handheld for now). I’ve not heard anything on the simplex calling frequency either, but I haven’t monitored there quite as much.
Both 2m and 70cm are both quite quiet up here in the north Georgia Mountains. HF has been pretty decent. There has been a good DXpedition to Central Kiribati, T31TT and i have worked them on all bands 10 through 80. 6 meters has had some domestic E-skip but no good spring time openings into Europe, at least from here. I see some peeople in the northeastern US working into Europe.
Come on down and join us on the low bands.
73 de w4uck, Jim
I got some more parts yesterday to allow me to build a power supply with powerpole connections which means I can more easily get my HF setup working. It’s only going to be low power (10w max) to avoid the complications of the new rules about RF exposure to the public and neighbours. I’ve got a magloop ready to set up too.
I’ll probably set up in the garden given the weather is getting better so I’m looking to create something that’s easily deployable. Given the low power and limited antenna I’ll probably stick to data modes but I’ll see how things go once everything is connected up.
I hear those magloops work very well. I do a fair bit of digital, perhaps we can put together a sked. I don’t have a problem with the RF exposure rules, even though i run 1.5 kw (at times) all my antennas are nearly 100 feet away and 70 feet in the air. Propogation has been great. I was working into Japan and Europe at our dawn today on 30 and 20 meters with 80 watts.
I’m making some progress with my equipment stocks. I’ve got a PSU that will drive my ‘garden’ configuration and a powerpole distribution board. I need to add a few connectors to cables next.
I’ve also done the RF exposure calculations for my setup and found that I don’t need to do anything more than carry out the calculations to run 40W so as my mag loop is rated at 30W then I can run a bit more power than I originally thought. The mag loop is 8 band so I’ll have plenty of chance to try out different bands as the propagation changes.
There are proposed changes to the UK amateur licence, including allowing us to use up to 1kW. I hate to think what the RF exposure calcs would show for that at my location…probably that everyone in the nearby houses will start to glow in the dark
For now though the weather has delayed my plans…cooler, rainy and windy don’t entice me into the garden.
I’m getting closer to being on air (HF). Got a new rig today…
Seriously impressed by DHL. 46 hours delivery door to door from Hyderabad to Blackpool!
Just got it powered up, connected to WiFi to upgrade the software and connected to an active RX antenna. Watching FT8 connections from European stations on 15m at the moment.
I need to get power to the magloop (for motor tuning) and an ATU set up before I’m ready to transmit. Oh, and a sunny day because I want to set this all up in the garden to avoid having to run coax it through the walls. Internal operation is for a later date (maybe winter).
What rig is that? Thanks
Oops - I meant to include that and forgot. It’s an sBitx v2, a hybrid SDR with a built-in Raspberry Pi to control it.
Thanks. Looks interesting!
Very impressive rig with a very modest price. 40 watts! Plenty of power to drive my Alpha to 1500w output, lol. Looking forward to working you.
On another note, the US 13 Colonies event just finshed for the year and i was one of the Georgia K2G stations. Made 1400 contacts in 64 countries and 47 states. I had a good itme.
73 de w4uck
Well like yourself I am re-kindling my interest, I sold up prior to a move that never happened, I am more active on 4m and HF contest until I can afford a new multiband shack in a box. I used to do a lot of 2m DX and moonbounce. I hope to get back into that at some point.
de MM0ZIF (Marcus)