5 May 2016

Aurora tomorrow?

There is a chance of aurora May 6th according to Dr Tamitha Skov on Twitter. I don't use Twitter much but get a daily email.

Radio Amateur's Exam

It is different these days but I took my RAE on May 13th 1966. Thanks to a link from Steve G1KQH, I can see the paper I took. I have to say I do not recall any of the questions today. It was a long time ago, HI.

"Old RAE papers, do you really know your stuff?:

73 Steve

Sunspots and 10m - Thurs May 5th 2016

Solar flux is 90 today. Sunspot number is 67 (K=2) and the forecast for 10m propagation remains "poor". Yesterday there was a brief Es opening, but no F2 DX.  Today is likely to be similar - I am not expecting great things, but hope to be surprised.

Daytime WSPRing today

The 10m WSPR beacon has been resynced to internet time. I have decided to stay on 10m and 630m WSPR all day today. 6m was a dead loss yesterday so I am not using 6m today.

UPDATE 0854z:  Overnight there we no 10m spots. 630m (472kHz) WSPR was more productive, although there were few stations copied and my best TX DX on 472kHz (5mW ERP) was just Holland. I have already been spotted in France and Finland on 10m WSPR and by G8LCO (58km) on 472kHz WSPR.

4 May 2016

Overnight WSPRing

For a change I am WSPRing on 2 bands overnight.  Firstly on 10m, although I doubt anyone will spot me (!) and secondly on 630m (472kHz) where I am pretty sure I shall be spotted and will spot others.

Although I was on 6m WSPR all day until a few minutes ago, I spotted no-one and no-one spotted me. In all, 6m was a bit of a waste of time!

UPDATE 2115z: Just G4ALH and me G3XBM are shown as transmitting on 472kHz WSPR from the UK. There are quite a few more stations on RX and a few Norwegians on TX that I might copy.

First swifts spotted - NOT amateur radio

To me, swifts herald summer. Today, just before lunch, I spotted my first 2 swifts of the season high overhead. This is about the time I first see them here. There have been reports of swifts in Devon for a couple of weeks.

Hearing these summer visitors screaming in the evening sky brings real joy to my heart. Summer is nearly here!

Swifts have much narrower scythe like wings than swallows and house martins. They are late to arrive and leave early. They spend most of their lives on the wing. Years ago one crashed in the road and I was lucky enough to care for it overnight and handle it. The next day it just flew off!

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/s/swift/

FCC - so so S L O W .....wake me!

It is hard to believe just how slow the FCC is being over the release of the 137kHz and 472kHz bands in the USA.  Years have passed and neither band is released. The FCC is worried about interference to utilities. For goodness sake! Surely they could release both bands with a tight ERP level initially on a "non interference" basis? I moan about OFCOM but the FCC seems far far worse!

This is from the ARRL site...

"Meanwhile, the Amateur Radio community continues to await action on ET Dockets 12-338 and 15-99 that would spell out service rules for the new 2200 and 630 meter Amateur Radio bands. The FCC was expected to issue a Report and Order last fall. That subsequently got moved back to the first quarter of 2016, which also has slipped.
Regulatory provisions under consideration have included a possible notification requirement by some radio amateurs to utilities that operate PLC systems in that region of the spectrum, prior to their starting operation on either new band. Utilities use unlicensed PLC systems to control parts of the electrical power grid.
Earlier this year, the ARRL has asked the Commission not to adopt overly broad requirements to notify utilities in advance of intended Amateur Radio operation on the pending bands. The Amateur Service would gain access to 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200 meters) and 472-479 kHz (630 meters). Both bands have been used by numerous Experimental (Part 5) licensees, and the ARRL’s WD2XSH 600 Meter Experiment continues."

FCC - the world looks on and is amazed!! Wake up!! One cannot help thinking that the FCC is a pile of bureaucrats who do not understand radio. Please, release these bands in the USA.

Ossett UKAC Operators

I received a very kind letter from Robert G8BUN inviting me to become an Honorary Member at Ossett Amateur Radio Operators as I operate in the UKAC contests. This was very kind and much appreciated. My voice is not good and I am pretty limited in operating time on all speech modes.

10m and 6m WSPR

I went QRT on 630m (472kHz) WSPR about 50 minutes go and returned to 10m and 6m WSPR. Overnight on MF there were no great surprises with just DC0DX (467km) spotted. There are far fewer active TX stations on the band now.

UPDATE 0940z:  No spots yet on 10m WSPR and 6m WSPR.

UPDATE 1048z:  Still no 10m and 6m WSPR spots. 

UPDATE DF4UE (758km) spotted my 500mW 10m WSPR this afternoon. Es I assume.

Sunspots and 10m - Wed May 4th 2016

Solar flux is 91. Sunspot number is 57 today (moderate) and K=0. The propagation forecast for 10m remains "poor" again. Let's hope there is some Es to liven things up on 10m and 6m.