30 Sep 2010

Revised Band PLan

Well:  It seems there is a revised Bandplan – I appeared to have accessed the old one.

Screenshot_003 Sep. 30 23.32

Apparently it now looks like this :

But Psk activity is still based around 7035?


Screenshot_004 Sep. 30 23.37

Back to Psk

Well after a lay-off from Psk I have now got HRD running , I have some of the basics set up which at least gets me going, now all that remains is to do some fine tuning and we should be ok – I have been monitoring mostly at the moment while I play around with some of the settings and get used to it but we have had a few contacts one of which was  SQ7BCB  Trela Aleksy in Kielce ko00hu, shown here.


ja.jpg Thanks !

29 Sep 2010

UK Bandplan

Witness one altercation on 40m earlier today in which two UK stations were busily conducting a Psk contact (inside the narrow band section of 40m)  – all was going well and as the qso was about to conclude someone jumped in and started making unsavoury comments, re their frequency, plus a few other things  – well I happened to be monitoring that frequency where a previous contact had already taken place – this guy chipped in going on about bandplans and such, no callsign was given to my knowledge, then started up on cw !! correct me if I’m wrong but does it not clearly state that 7.000-7.035 is for cw,  and 7.035-7,038 is for narrow band modes with a maximum bandwidth of 500khz ?  This contact was clearly inside the “right” portion of the band  - I though we had passed all this !

28 Sep 2010

HRD and Win7

I have only just got around to installing and setting up HRD / DM780 etc…  it’s been nearly a week since I installed Win7 and It is growing on me – one interesting thing I noticed when trying to configure my usb interface was when I inserted the disc to install the usb to serial drivers up popped a message saying there were “Newer” versions already installed, I promptly cancelled the installation, well what a surprise that was, then going on to configure the Radio was  very easy and connected first time !!  Well done MS,  HRD IS now running and I have DM780 working, had a Psk qso last night on 40m, the logbook installed fine and  packet cluster connection is very handy – so far I have no problems to report under W7, one niggle – on version 4 of HRD the soundcard window offered a slider to control input – v5 does not, so it looks like we’re good to go on Digimodes.Screenshot_01 Sep. 25 00.18

23 Sep 2010

Autumn Wx

Well – pretty wet out there today with few bright spells – looks like Autumn is just around the corner – so inside doing what I should’nt (Playing w7 and jt65).. I had  a quick look at jt65 hf this morning and although it’s running and displaying signals its failing to decode – I have double checked the set up and reduced or increased the

LEAVES the input but  it still wont decode – and this is under “Win”, I did not have this with the Linux version – BTW it is the new version 1.06 – I’ve been under win7’s hood and checked out the input/output devices and “apparently” it looks ok – so now I am not sure quite where to look – wonder if it would be worth uninstalling and going for the previous version, although everything's clean installed on a fresh system and dont want to start hacking around with it.

I know Paul and Bas are using it on w7/Vista – to be honest there's not a lot in the set-up,  anyway will have to take another look later (also just downloaded latest HRD which I believe has been optimised for w7 since January ) that will have to wait.


Screenshot_04 Sep. 23 00.04


I decided to download the latest release of JT65 as Paul (PA0PSY)  runs it on his w7 machine, I also decided to keep all the Ham software under one roof c:\Ham\jt65\etc…

Its getting on and 20m is closed apart from a couple of Psk’ers and quickly installing it and rattling through the set-up got it receiving signals ok, and I’ve found the system volume controls, so maybe some time over the weekend I “might” give it a go, I’ll certainly monitor 20m at some stage !

I need to look at HRD next – I do hope that runs ok – this evening I have mainly been  looking at replacing some of the software I had on my Linux system (Equivalents anyway), Office Suite, Screen Capture, setting up the printer, and installing a Mail client which works now with two of my mail accounts – and set-up was automatic, it literally took 3 mins !

22 Sep 2010

Solar Activity

It appears we’re getting some action out there – solar flares heading our way during the next 24Hrs as Sunspot 1109 comes into play.


Solar Activity2              Solar activity

Linux out - Win7 In

Yes - It's true, my Main desktop now features Win7 - I suppose I should'nt knock it too much as it's going to run ALL my Ham Radio applications from now on.
Installation took place last night, and I was assured that the copy I was given was the correct one and that it would take care of formatting and installation of my new system  (W R O N G ) ! ! !
When I 've done previous "Linux" installs it always takes care of deleting partitions and reformatting into whatever filesystem you choose to use, be it ext3  ext4  reiserfs... Windows apparently does not recognise any other file system other than ntfs, it halted with a note saying so, end of.
So windows, even now will only install on a machine which has previously had "Win" of some description on it.
So having run my utility disk (which incidentally runs courtesy of Linux) we got an ntfs file system - so it was all systems go - and the install only took 45 mins - plus downloading some updates at the end.
My very first impressions are that it's not quite as responsive as Linux - it has'nt quite got that "Zap" about it, but it looks good - and venturing inside I see a whole new layout, glad to see the win interface  has undergone a complete facelift - I've been tinkering, getting used to where everything is and I quite like it.
So far I have installed and customised Firefox - luckily all the add-ons were available, and had fun and games trying to install Flash Player, which for some reason was leading me a merry dance in a loop, but we got there in the end.
At the moment I am still finding out about it, and have not even transferred my files yet - I need to get some of my peripheral gear running first then I'll take a look at installing some of the VAST array of software I now have available  (This was the main reason for making the decision to swap to Win, Like Julian (G4ILO), It was the lack of software on the Linux platform which prompted my final decision) having said that there ARE some very good programs available CQRLOG being one of them and Gpredict, but Wspr Wsjt  even Fldigi had issues, and I still spent more  time trying to get things running or looking for workarounds, when that time could have been spent doing something constructive  -  Linux|Ham Radio  ?  not quite there yet - Linux|For every day use ? Definitely.

Watch this space

16 Sep 2010

Geolocation - scary !

Following Julians (G4ILO)  rather "Spooky" revelation on Geolocation in Firefox, I found this
Link  it gave me the same reading as when I connected to Julians set up page,  (Apologies if it's the same page)  I have to admit I was aware of this  but I thought It was done using your IP address which usually gets you pretty "close", Usually the location of your ISP main switching network.
You can if you wish of course "Disable" it if your that bothered by using  about:config in Firefox
details of which are right here Thanks to Julian for bringing it to our attention - I still find it spooky that this is embedded within your browser - this might help explain somewhat the reasons for certain advertising banners that follow me around - also when "Googling" for example B&Q,  or  Staples Office  Equipment it always pops up the store nearest to me.

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13 Sep 2010


I have been meaning to look at this for a while and since Wsjt was not going to work on Win XP never really got the chance, but since the re-hash of the computers here having loaded xubuntu on my laptop, I have had a switch around and loaded JT65-HF on my desktop running Ubuntu - the program installs under virtual drive C:\ and runs under wine -  as these are early days I'm NOT going to go head first into it as there seems a steep learning curve.
Looking at it, the interface seems complicated and it's not quite what I've been used to so will take it slowly so we're happy with whats going on - I have "Quickly" run over the set-up parameters and have been monitoring JT activity so I can see whats happening, and it looks interesting, it's different to Wspr in that a physical "exchange" of reports is given albeit a brief one but thats all we need, I'm not keen to TX with it yet until I've made more sense of it - It has been running this morning from early on and have several stations decoded in the window one of which was  a JA !  interesting... as I said, early doors yet !

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12 Sep 2010


With "Win XP" finally giving it up last week I had first made absolutely sure my "current" HRD log had been exported to ADIF and I stored it as usual on my Memory stick  (dedicated to ALL my Amateur Radio applications/documents/PDF etc..) in fact I stored it twice under different names just in case, also - (I thought) on one my other external drives.
My laptop is now currently running xubuntu (surprisingly well) considering it's age and lack of mem/disk space but for smallish applications and surfing blogs etc.. it's fine and I have to say I've been very pleased to get it running - I had started to load some ham software on it which all seemed fine, then I turned my attentions to logging, I installed Cqrlog, which I also have running on my desktop - but I had not updated it, it only had entries until march 2010, so when I came to copy the updated log on the mem stick  found that the system would not recognise the memory stick - nada/nowt. tried in another machine, still nothing, tried in my own desktop - dead ! so the darn thing died on me, it's the one I had all my "Ham" documents and info on.
Now my updated log file was lost it meant finding the "Other" one, which of course I did'nt copy after all, which left me with the one on my desktop  on which the last entry was during March this year,  Bah!  so I was short from March - August effectively - I logged on to EQSL and downloaded my archive in adif format, picked off most of the entries I "thought" were missing and added them to the log then immediately backed it up under two names - Most of the Psk contacts are ok as luckily they ALL went via eqsl, however most of my 6m contacts are lost, but to be honest - there were'nt that many.
How to make things unnecessarily complicated!


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11 Sep 2010

Linux Revisited

Well it did'nt take too long for me to become discontent with my new "Mepis" Linux installation - over this last year I had forgotten what it was like  trying out different Linux distro's as I had been quite happy with the Ubuntu system on my desktop, and had been doing more in the way of "Radio Operating",  be it CW or Digi, but the recent demise of XP on the olde laptop opened the oportunity to experimment once more - And this is really why I got the laptop in the first place, now I'm not programmer, and certainly no "guru" but I do enjoy looking at, setting up and experimenting  with Linux.
On this occasion the quest was to "try" and get a reasonably robust/modern system running on this old laptop, but I particularly wanted to get it running with my Pcmia network card as I did not want wires everywhere, plus I could run it in the lounge, as I'd already stated earlier I first tried  the latest "Puppy" distro as it's very fast and a dream to use for normal applications (More work though setting up Ham app's), but came unstuck as although it would recognise the card the modules would not load - I also tried an older version but the result was the same - "Mepis" vers 6.5 did work, AND it runs a full KDE desktop, and considering the age of the machine I was surprised at the speed at which it ran (Much quicker that XP)...  BUT for some reason on more than one occasion whilst trying to add comments to a blog Firefox "Bombed Out", it was using ver 2.00.2 and i  could not update it, also a couple of other wierd things occurred - like some windows becoming unstable, or not responding  - ending in me having to terminate, so I decided to take another look around - here's the list I tried
Sidux - Suse - Ubuntu 9.04 (Surprisingly Loaded and detected network card)  ran v e r y  s l o w l y . . . . .! Mint Linux (encouragingly ran from the live disk - but on installation halted half way through re-partitioning,  Bah!) Fedora - and  Now the HDD was messed up with grub still installed!  Now I had to do some disk swapping with some utils to clean up and re-format the drive ( you may be thinking by now I must be completely barking),  but having done that I decided to download Xubuntu on the other M/c and burn it to disk, this time it ran live ok, and the important part for me was the network card worked fine, just by using the utils supplied - Great!
Thankfully  it installed ok, and the desktop used is xfce, I have used earlier versions  and I am surprised at the choice of configurations available for changing the look of it, it's very smooth, Firefox is stable , and I have got Gpredict running (Satellite Tracking), next up - Probably Cqrlog - quality ham software IS still rather thin for Linux but I'll certainly be looking at Fldigi, plus trying a few other things, so far it's holding up and I 've been running it for about three hours having added some key Firefox addons (blog tools, and screen grabbers)... tomorrow I'll investigate the rest of the system -  network still up excellent !

9 Sep 2010

Disaster Strikes

Win XP is no more - Having backed up all the necessary files I needed (mainly my log-file)  of which I keep back up copies in two drives I decided to re-load Win XP, so continued to delete the old partition and re-format etc... then re-install but it kept going into some sort of loop, after copying the main files it would stop, then start over, this happened four times over a one and a half hour period, and would not continue to the next stage of installation, I downloaded some disk utilities to check the system out and all seemed fine, having wasted a whole 4 hours last night I continued again this morning  and have concluded the XP disk is corrupt - which makes this the second time this has happened as my old Win98 disk went the same way some years back, and always at a crucial moment - so now I was (Frankly - well stuffed).
So with XP effectively (Knackered) it HAD to be a linux system of some sort - bearing in mind this IS an old machine it needed to be a small linux distro, due to memory and disk limitations, so Puppy was the first choice, AND I needed the Pcmia network card working.
I first ran it from the live cd and it blitzed through at some speed, I could not beleive it was the same machine that idled under xp, and tried to use the various modules included to get the network card running but it was having none of it, although I did see the card fire up, it was not connecting and after an hour of this decided it too was a none starter - at this stage I was beginning to think this machine was now too old to put a reasonably modern O/S on, as most of the bigger up-to-date O/s's are somewhat bloated now (bit like win), and this machine really struggles big time even to load the necessary files into ram (265Mb) - then I remembered having got an old version of "Mepis" running a wireless connection some years ago, and after some rummaging found "Mepis Linux ver. 6.5", although I have to say at this point I was dubious about it loading as this distribution runs a full KDE desktop (Not the quickest).
Having selected a full clean install, stopping momentarily to select things like Keyboard layout/Language, and time-zones it chugged along surprisingly fast, finally setting passwords etc...  then into re-boot from the hard disk.
First thing I needed to set up would be the network card (I had remembered the settings).. boot time - somewhere around 23 seconds into a full KDE desktop and best of all it detected the pcmia network card instantly.
This will probably be the last O/S installation on this machine - I reckon it will last for another year or so - have just done a disk check and Linux has turned up several bad sectors I suspect HDD failure at some stage - but for now, anyway it is running - and it's much snappier than XP - problem now is- getting logging software up and running, and digimodes ?!?!
I still think I need to get back to win for that as there soooo much more choice

6 Sep 2010

To win or not to Win

That is my question - I run Linux as my main desktop - it caters for my every need, office apps, synchronising my palm-handy, I use it for listening to my music collection, updating blogs, and playing with web stuff and  my Browsers are tuned as I want them, passwords are all stored etc... and I have most of the files I want backed up on an external drive. On my old laptop I have XP which has now started displaying errors, and it's decided not to run Wsjt, Jt65HF (wont even install) , plus a few others, although the old version of HRD runs slow it its useable. I have run some utils on it but it's looking like a clean re-install might be on the cards as  the registery might be corrupt,  I am thinking along the lines of going back over to "Win" on the main PC :-(  and treating the old laptop to some turbocharging in the form of "Puppy Linux", and just use it netbook style. I have used Puppy before and "It's fast", even an old PIII  feels like a new machine. There is another alternative, more costly but I'd be able to retain my beloved Linux system, (Which btw is regularly updated), and it would mean I could keep the "Ham Radio" side of it completely separate, and that is to install a new machine (Just for Radio),  one other possibility - install a second hard drive just for doze? Comments?
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