14 Jan 2012

Ros mode–First timer

Well after much playing , monitoring, and seeing whats what I called CQ – and CO2DC came straight back – my 20w to a dipole doing it’s stuff then ! Tnx Jesus for the contact - great first qso for me with the new version.
It’s getting late, but I can retire with a broad smile and dream about more Dx tomorrow
So pleased…

Working Cuba with ROS

13 Jan 2012

Space-The final Frontier

If your anything like me – wondering what happens next now the “Space Shuttle” has retired, seems we wont have to wait long to see private enterprise launch the next generation of Space craft – could be 2012 see’s the launch of proper space travel – February see’s the Falcon  9 carrying an unmanned Dragon capsule to the ISS with food, clothing, and supplies – it will be the first time a privately owned craft will have visited the Space Station.

spacex

Others will be getting in on the act, Sierra Nevada Corporation is currently building and testing a “Space Plane” called Dream Chaser (Smaller version of the space shuttle),  apparently it too will supply the ISS, but will also offer commercial passenger services to and from orbit, this is funded by NASA.dream chaser

Also in on this new Space generation is Virgin Galactic and the Space Ship II craft, already in “Test Phase” and undergoing drop tests, they are also testing a new Hybrid rocket which they are hoping will be ready for flights in 2013 – I read also somewhere there is already a “Carbon Fibre” engine already in existence (Less than half the weight of current engines).

xcore-Lynx

Aerospaces Xcor single passenger space craft The Lynx could also be ready for flights as early as 2013, so the race will be on for the first commercial fee-paying customers for sub-orbital space flights between Virgin and Xcor – so although we may have seen the last of the Space Shuttle, there’s plenty going on – lots to look out for, and 2012 looks like seeing space travel/flights become a reality


12 Jan 2012

E-Qsl Gone Mad?

I had not visited the site for some while, mainly because I had not been doing any "Digital" comms, and any CW contacts would have been batched and sent at some time in the future, but as I'd recently had notification of an incoming card, I thought I'd better check it out - what I normally do is check each card off as they arrive check them against my log and then save them to my "DigiQsl" folder, that might sound oddball but I like to keep them (some I even print )
Of course I realize this can be automated from within HRD and have used this method in the past by syncing the logs,  but I get impatient and do three or four at a time - today we had 10, bizarrely three were dated 1986/7, some 25 years ago - and I had to reject one as it was not even in the log. I  have had this before on odd occasions but not three at a time - has the system gone mad?
Could be some folks were just checking through their logs filling in the gaps I guess, just seemed odd...   Also just had a quick look and have 39 countries ONLY confirmed using the E-Qsl system so we need to gear up quick !

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11 Jan 2012

Ros Re-Visited

I know there was MUCH debate earlier last year with the (Then) new "Ros Digital" mode and I did say  as it was "rather Broad-Spectrum", I would not use it - however I DID play with it and had a few contacts at low power (20w), I think I did use 5w too and I remember the case of the "Phantom" Qso which actually turned out to be another "G" with the same suffix.. apart from that I was impressed with the way it worked, with calling stations appearing in the top left hand side of the screen automagically announcing their presence, bit like a built in cluster, and I have to say apart from the many Spanish stations using it there seemed to be a lot of Dx too.
Pity my version expired and went into self destruct ! so I did not bother updating until yesterday, a new version 6.x.x with many fixes, updates etc... although I STILL cannot quite get to grips with what must be the weirdest user interface imaginable - that has NOT changed - still it WAS without doubt the EASIEST to set-up! My TS590S WAS listed under set-up, AND it was detected instantly, unlike some of the other Digital programs out there - Wspr JT65 Fldigi   and the other configurable s were all straight forward - all apart from the fact I was not getting ANY indication of output from the rig, or Alc - Strange I thought.
Anyway it was late so just left it running and monitored activity (Also when you just monitor it "appears" to put you in auto Swl mode).



The "No output" from the 590 was bugging me so I thought, I'll pop into HRD and check it (HRD Always works)... did it hell !  Still no output or indication of... checked all the levels in & out both on the rig, and W7, which we all know is rather quirky with regards to USB audio codecs - it was now scratch your head time.
I know, I'll re-install the USB com port driver - so off to the Kenwood site for a fresh download - re-install, still nothing...  THEN it occurred to me,  RESET! Just over a week ago I updated the Radio's Firmware  and all the associated menu items for "Digi" work were ok apart from one, and I had completely forgotten about it, item #63 USB, which had defaulted to ACC2 accessory jack.
Having re-set and altered the levels we're good to go again but it just goes to show how easy it is to upset the whole thing - if I remember next time I think there is an option to save all current settings before you do an update which might avoid this occurring again... How could I have missed something like that ?
I'll be aware next time though.


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3 Jan 2012

Storm

Typical UK Weather - yesterday I finally put up the antennas - today at 5:00am in pitch black, they came down again, not blown down I might add - just precautionary !
I awoke to hear this wild wind banging around outside and decided it just too risky to leave them up so went out and lowered the I-Pro - the dipole fixture seemed ok as I had already lowered it.
The only thing to really worry about is the remaining fence panels left standing from the earlier December storms which I have still not repaired.
Hope it passes soon





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2 Jan 2012

!st of the year

Phew - thats the New Year seen in - now back down to business, getting on air that is _ It has been quite a busy time for us this year especially as we took that December break down in EA8 - so now it is time to get re-acquainted with the "Radios",  first up, today we had a beautiful  sunny day with temperatures up around 12c (In January) !! and after our New Year visitors had left   I went out and re-assembling the newly cleaned and polished I-Pro antenna and positioned it ready for testing (No Problems there - good match  from 20m up) so will take a look at the bands tomorrow.
I noticed also that Paul PC4T has closed his blog (Much disappointment)...  I always read Pauls blog first and was a gauge as to what conditions were like, and I'm sure there will be many others that will miss Pauls "Daily Reports", however he does use Twitter, I have had a Twitter account for a while under a different name but never really got the best out of it, also it's limited to 140 characters only - I will give it a go but its too restrictive for me - the big bonus though is the abilty to connect and send via PC, Laptop, Phone, Xbox etc...  we'll see, I might get used to it.
So, Tuesday it's all systems go and back to normal  - last but not least,  the new year resolution here is "Get on Air More"

Cu on the bands  73'

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