29 Dec 2010

Disappearing CDroms under win7

I installed Win7 reluctantly back in September 2010 having been a solid Linux user for some 4 years – I mainly wanted to be able to check out and use some of the leading Amateur radio software packages – My first impressions were good and I soon got used to using it – all my scanners/printers/drives/and accessories ran fine (In the end), after some minor problems, but nothing that some googling  could’nt resolve.

Today I needed to install drivers and software for a new Laser printer so having placed the disk into the cd tray and closed it waited for the install to begin  -  NOTHING happened and  checking under My Computer discovered that the cdrom icon had gone! (So how am I to install software)? I powered down and re-booted but still nothing – I checked again in the Bios and it appeared , along with an external drive I had connected but win7 was not seeing it, nor was it displaying icons for either player.

I ran some disk utilities and a couple of disk scans to see if I could locate any problems and sure enough after some four hours found a problem with a registery entry, either it was broken - or worse, a virus!

This was certainly not the sort of problem I’d encountered with any win installation as  cdroms are normally one of the first things to load up under “Win”, I recall early Linux systems had major cdrom issues but they had long vanished.

A re-install from the win7 disk at least proved it fired up ok, but did not help my cause –  discovered that one “Fix” that appeared on more than one forum was to go into the “Registry Editor” and find an entry for the cdrom section – It’s a bit involved so have included the link here it seems that certain software adds 3rd party cdrom filters on your system and places an entry in the registery as was the case on this system, and disables access to any cdroms on your system be they built in or external USB – it’s probably nothing new but I’d not experienced this before – Having made the necessary deletion in my case (lower filter) re-booted and all the connected drives appeared like magic, imagine my relief as in the months gone have accumulated a whole bunch of files and information I really do need  right now – I had visions of re-formatting and installing Linux again !

I hope I’ve seen the last of that problem ! 

22 Dec 2010

Cumbrian Earthquake

Seems an Earthquake of magnitude 3.5 hit Cumbria at 11pm last night – the epicentre was 30 miles soutwest of Carlisle appx 75 miles west-southwest from Newcastle – the location of the tremor was given as Coniston Cumbria about 5 miles southwest of Ambleside, apparently it’s depth was given as 8.9 miles.

This is a seismically active region of the UK and therefore not uncommon for these events to occur, the largest ever recorded was 4.3 in November 2002 with a magnitude 4.3. The shock would certainly  have  been felt but would not have led to extensive damage.

I remember when I was at school back in

1962/4 we had an earthquake and the whole building shook momentarily with a deep rumble (Our geography teacher hid in the cupboard and would NEVER live it down! 

Other “Quakes” were recorded in Kent during 2002 measuring 4.3


Map picture

20 Dec 2010

Back on the Airwaves

Well, I decided to go for it today although I have loads to get on with in the build up to Christmas, but it is going to be a quiet one this year which will actually make a change, most of the activity here is going to be over the New Year period – bit of a turnaround really.So, fired up Wspr on 30m (at least I could get some chores done)…  noticed absolutely no propagation to the west at all until around 9:45+/-  when I started seeing the USA coming up, prior to that it was mostly EU, curiously no VK or ZL’s – anyway the best DX today seems to be Doug W3HH in Ocala Fl  AT 6958km distance, he reported my 5w,  as did Craig KC2LFI in Bedford NY at 5482 Km’s

Douglas W3HH (From QRZ.com)

When I fired up there were not many stations on 30m and I was just about to switch to 40m but suddenly it all kicked off so decided to stay put – I have had it running most of the day, but will close mid afternoon – band conditions do not seem that good, but we’ll be taking a further peak at the bands throughout the holiday period especially CW and Jt65,  I was getting bored with Psk as everyone uses the same macros set-up
*My name is
*My Qth is
*My Loc is
*My Rig is   etc  etc etc !    zzzzzzzzzz !
I try to spice it up a bit –  let it flow!
Anyway – looking forward to  a fresh challenge – I will also consider taking part in this years PACC  cw  contest in Feb, I took part some years back and found it a quite relaxed affair, and the ops are friendly enough – so might give it a go as this end fed tunes 80 ok.