11 Sep 2014

Update Time

My entry back to this blog was purely by accident this evening as I was trying out a new search engine using a web browser called Midori on my Linux box - I just happened to spot my callsign on a link so followed it and I landed on the Dx Zone site,  lo and behold I find an image (clickable) of this web page, as yet unrated (no surprise there) since I have been struggling to maintain ANY activity on here for the last 18 months, maybe even 2yrs ? Time just flies - so here we are - Lots been happening,  been dipping in and out of doing digital and cw, and even some ssb (a rare mode)  for me anyway - Fort Purbrook ARC club nets occasionally happen and during the past few months we've had our "Field Event Weekends" taking place under canvas on the last weeks of the month - these take place  about 300 feet ASL on Portsdown hill overlooking the City of Portsmouth and boy does it get windy up there resulting in two cancellations this year,  we have one last effort at the end of this month (Sept) so we're all hoping for good weather.  I do a lot of listening on the cw ends of most bands daily but the last couple of months have been quite poor with high noise levels, 10 and 6m have now faded away - this year E's seemed to last for a short period (or was I imagining it) ?  I dropped Win 7 last christmas plus all that  lovely Ham software thats available in favour of a return to Linux for my "Ham" machine,  and a Mac moved in and serves my other needs.  I run Fldigi for psk etc... and Cqrlog complete with that quirky Glabels  app for printing qsl labels - it works but painful to set up, and if I need to try new software I use my netbook with Win7 (cannot say I like it but it's stable) but I also have wine running a virtual c:/ drive and run a few apps under Linux (I use Mint).
Radios in use are my trusty 817, I actually use this on both VHF AND HF as most will be aware I like to use Low Power whenever I can, I would prefer we ALL used low power - the bands would be a lot quieter and we would stand a better chance of working other like minded souls - The TS590S I find this gets used for CW and digital as I have it interfaced to the Linux system, along with my FT450D, this little rig I have grown to like very much and is great for just about everything really.
My IC7100 is over on the other bench, what I call the (VHF Bench) and is freestanding, and one of my jobs is to interface it to the Mac - it's been nearly a year now, still haven't  done it - nice rig love the touch screen and  actually had my first EVER 10m FM Qso via the NYC repeater back in March - must be the busiest repeater in the world as it's constantly in a keyed state with no Audio !?
Finally the TS830 STILL on the bench here - needs  some tubes but the receive is as good as you'll get, and one new addition  -  the You Kits version HB1-B x4 Bander Tcvr, great little radio producing 4w out, and lovely crisp audio into either a pair of headphones, or an outboard amp of some sort driving a speaker - the IF Filter works very well and is just great for cw - and you can listen to U/Lower sidebands too (Warning: very addictive) ...  I have the larger battery holders in mine too.
Got a couple of projects in the making - just assembling bits to build a CobbWeb 5 (or) 6 band HF Antenna - centre plate is done and just need to get a few other bits then we can get building, I thought I t would have been built by now but other things crop up (you know how it is) . . .  so it looks like an Autumn project now.  Also just two nights ago put the links into the Linux box to download automatically and install the Wsjt-x software - a friend of mine has been playing  jt9 so I installed it too but it is slightly behind the Windows version and after a bit of fiddling manged to get it running with my TS590  -  Funny thing was, first Qso was with K1JT..
There you have it - that pretty much brings us up to date albeit just a brief summary of events, of course there was plenty else going on this year, some unmentionable of course - now we've got that out the way maybe we can get on here more often . . .

73' for now -
Have a lot of fun with Qrp

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