Wednesday, 16 March 2011

2 months in - observations

Main difference I see from "the old days" is in operating practices on VHF, although only from a minority. For some callsigns seem to be obsolete, as does management of the QSO. Sudden drop of carrier in group leading to doubling where nobody knows who it has been passed to. In large groups sitting on repeaters, breakers being acknowledged, but not brought in for some 10 minutes when the reason for the break may well have passed.
Also on VHF, both simplex and on repeaters the presence of interfering stations playing music or just swearing/insulting those on frequency. The opinion of those affected is that OFCOM will do nothing, and on one occasion I heard that after the police had been advised of a known 'pirate' they said that it was not illegal and there was nothing they could do.

On HF predominately, the noise levels from more and more electrical paraphernalia. Conversations with other Foreign Amateurs seem a thing of the past, especially using data modes.

EQSLcc is brilliant. I am however surprised (disappointed) at one 'modern' station in Gibraltar who will only QSL direct, and this only if we send him money to cover postage. Perhaps a nice little earner...
Again a computer based facility I find excellent. I use DM-780 for data modes,this being part of the "Ham Radio Deluxe" suite of programs. Within that program is a PSK-REPORTER module. Stations using this optional facility automatically report back to a central server details of stations identified on the PSK waterfall, recording time and in most cases frequency. The user can then look on a world map and see a map showing stations heard, or stations who have decoded the transmission of the home station. This also appears in a logbook form. Very useful for checking the directionality of any aerial.

FT-480R boxed up and ready to go back to Castle for replacement of the relays, one of which seems to be the culprit for TX dropping out randomly. With the money spent on this OLD rig I could have bought a new one...

My local crowd seem a good bunch. There is no local Club however the nearest being some 17 miles away. Perhaps we have a niche to fill?

Just finished building the speaker enclosures for the shack, now 15m and 17m antennae to design and install.

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