Ham Radio

Saturday, October 28, 2006
DX in the Dark!


It was dark as I was waiting for Blackpool Illuminations (historical light show) to start when I heard an old friend, Steve WZ1Y from Conneticut USA. We made contact on 20m he was impressed with my mobile I normally work him from the home QTH, this was a first from my mobile station. Also you get to see the lights come on and a quick view of Blackpool by night.
posted by Simon Davison @ 12:59 pm   0 comments
More DX Action


More DX action on my day trip to Blackpool. I worked 3 Stations on 20M using 50 watts through a mono band maldol HF20 mobile antenna,the radio is Yaesu FT100.QSO's are with 3A/IZ2EID/P (Monaco),HA501CW (Hungary) and AB8AL (USA).
posted by Simon Davison @ 12:09 pm   0 comments
Mobile Contact 27/10/2006


Here is one of many contacts I had on the way to Blackpool operating mobile.As you will see i live on the top of the Moors which is good for radio,however you need a 4x4 because its a bumpy ride down the the old dirt track.You can also hear my Dog trying to get in on the action!
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:10 am   0 comments
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Jamboree on the Air


Cq Cq Cq JOTA !!!! That was what you could hear today down at the works QTH the Starcentre at Keighley College.This is where i work im a full time teaching technician in fabrication and welding,also a part time position in the Star Centre which is the college's Science Technology Aeronaughtical Regional Centre (STAR).




This Years JOTA/JOTI event went down great with a fun day for the 50 Scouts that attended the event which was being held world wide over this weekend.

AT the Star centre i was operating from the shack, helping the scouts obtain there Communications Badge.I was part of a team that did a total of 5 activities. The Scouts had to,build a crystal radio,down load a pod cast, jamboree on the internet ,Cool codes and playing radio. My YL Louise M3TLL was delivering cool codes which was Q codes,Phonetics,Call Signs and Pre-fixes etc.She made what a scout leader said was usually boring, fun and interesting.So with the use of PMR radio's and a head full of radio stuff, by the time they came to the H.F Station they had a good understanding of radio and operation.

We were operating on the H.F bands mainly 20m and 40m and worked many other Scout Jamboree Stations from
Cheq Republik,Switzerland,Hungary,Norway,Germany and Italy as well as England
.The Scouts also used a YasueVR-5000 Yaesu Scanning Receiver * Frequency Coverage: 100kHz-2599.99MHz * Modes: CW.LSB,USB,AM,AM-N,WAM,FM-N,WFM * Real-Time Spectrum Scope * DSP Bandpass, Notch & Noise Reduction Filters.



This worked well for the Scouts with the winlog Dx cluster running they managed over 150 stations logged in SWL mode.They needed 25 to go towards the Communication Scout badge, so they were hot on the VFO and keen to hunt on the H.F bands and did quite well as we were operating 9am -3pm it worked out that each group got 1 hour in each area so time was short.

I was loose on the ft1000mp working through a carolina windom 160, 0-30m and a cushcraft ma5bmini beam 20-10m.Propagation was good for Europe but i did'nt hear any DX,last year we worked Canada,Brazil and USA.The Scouts were all happy and thrilled with all the activities they'd undertaken and all gaining the radio comminication badge went safely back to there home towns and i pulled the plug and that was another JOTA . Im looking forward to next years JOTA. The next time ill be in the Star Centre should be the middle of November when im training 12 Air Cadets to gain a Foundation licence,the Huddersfield 59th ATC have recently been on a Foundation course and some have obtained a licence. 73s Good DX see you next Weekend on the bands during the World WIDE CQ Contest.

posted by Simon Davison @ 5:23 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Radio Com 5, Computers and Radios
BONITO RADCOM 5.2

This is the software that I have been running for a while from my PC to my Yaesu FT-857. It is connected from a COM Port via a dongle to the back of the rig with a CAT Interface lead. The software includes DSP filter and decoder for RTTY, CW, PSK, Fax and SSTV, full radio control, real time 3D scanner, equaliser, sat-tracking frequency management and a frequency analyzer.


WEATHER FAX FROM CANADA
click on image to enlarge
This is a weather fax received on HF from a Canadian weather station. There are many stations worldwide continuously transmitting weather information. You can receive many stations but obviously it all depends on the propogation.
This image is showing isobars.


SSTV PICTURES ON 20M BAND
click on image to enlarge
Here is an image of some SSTV - another feature of the software. There are many different filters and settings which are quite simple to use and allow good quality images. You can also transmit quite simply and drag your own images into the windows and then edit with your callsign etc.









SAT FAX USING SCOPE
click on image to enlarge
This image shows the settings for receiving satellite faxes, you can see there are various scopes. On the top left is a spectrum analyzer, the top centre shows a tuning scope and the right is the signal scope. The large middle scope shows the Level Controller. There are also fine adjustments such as bandwidth and different filter/equalizer settings all of which are fairly simple and straightforward. I have received some excellent signals and images of the Earth from space through the NOAA satellites with this software.







SATELLITE TRACKING AND SATSCAPE
click on image to enlarge
This image shows satellites being tracked and decoded at the same time. I think that anyone interested in satellite tracking may consider downloading Satscape as this is a really good program and is obtainable free via the Internet. I use both when I am in satellite mode and as you can see the screen looks good and it isn't often a satellite passes me by without being decoded. You can also set up a scan facility and program the satellites you wish to receive in advance and let the software decode the images whilst you're doing something else, maybe walking the dog H.I.





WORKING CW AND RTTY
click on image to enlarge
This image shows another function, this is working RTTY and here two stations are in QSO using their keyboards to do the talking. It decodes both RTTY, PSK and CW all in the same format, just simply click your mouse on the top left scope where the signal is present and the text will appear. again you can transmit on all the modes mentioned with this software but you will need a Rigblaster.







DSP AND RECORDING
click on image to enlarge
You can use RADCOM 5.2 solely as a radio control program and one of it's other benefits is a recording facility but more importantly a digital sound processor or the DSP filter. This is very useful whilst working on SSB especially working weak signals or working QRM/QRN conditions. The program works with your PC soundcard and you simply connect a jack-lead to the ext speaker socket in the back of the rig to the line-in on your PC, you then use your PC speakers to listen.

Another great feature of this software is the simple reprogramming/entering your favourite frequencies. I have entered quite a few such as some local repeaters, some calling frequencies on 2M and 6M and general interesting stations I've been listening to on short-wave. One click and I'm back on that frequency.

It is a bit pricey (about £180) but anyone who likes computers and radios will be quite impressed with this program, it puts Ham Radio Deluxe back in the drawer! I've yet to master it all but I've had it for about 12 months and so far I am well satisfied.

73 for now, that was a serious one, next time will be more fun!
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:54 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Ham Radio - Just one of my hobbies


This video shows something else I enjoy doing to give you an idea of what I do as well as Ham Radio.
posted by Simon Davison @ 4:02 pm   2 comments
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