Saturday, 21 February 2015

Continuation of ramblings

Two items of radio related equipment have been delivered today.

The first is a Zurich PSU,  a hefty piece of kit with 30 amp continuous rating. It has a 30 amp banana type connection, a 10 amp cigar lighter socket and two 6 amp clip type connections. It weighs the equivalent of a supertanker but will be more than capable. Not too shabby for the purchase price of £45 from eBay.

The second is a new generation Baofeng handheld. It's called the FF-12P and is also sold under the UV-5X name. It's the same as a UV-5R internally with the GT-3 inverted display. It puts out 5 watts on VHF and 4 watts on UHF with a low power setting of 1 watt on each band. In comparison with the UV-5R, receive audio is better and the feel "in the hand" is much more comfortable. Performance is on a par with all the other Baofeng radios and I have opted for the silver finish - which looks quite distinctive. For £30 delivered, it represents good value and as a stand by set is ideal and won't break the bank.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

(Yet) more ramblings

All quiet on the Western Front this month. Went away last week to North Yorkshire and got high up in the hills with my handheld. I could access two repeaters - one 16 miles and the other 28 miles from where we were based. Apart from the repeaters identing,  there was nothing to be heard - at all. Even U/VHF simplex was as quiet as the grave.

Getting more interested in 4m. I have a handheld and a magmount for the car and, even though the band is sparsely populated, I've heard a few stations here and there. I'm holding off getting a base rig and antenna - no point if there's no one to talk to.

I have my Intermediate exam next month - looking forward to being able to use a bit more power (always assuming that I pass). Once I have jumped that hurdle the search for an HF rig will begin in earnest. Torn between a full blown shack in a box or something more QRP orientated. I did settle on the Yaesu FT450 but now I'm thinking FT817 with an amp for home use - at least that would give some flexibility for /P work without having to buy two rigs. The jury is still out on that one - perhaps I will make a decision and stick to it soon.

The South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society will be holding discussion evenings relating to test equipment as well as other topics, we meet fortnightly at the Beehive, Castlegate, Grantham - check out the website for more details. It is my privilege to be Club Secretary and we'd be delighted to meet any person with any interest in radio (not restricted solely to Amateur Radio) our next meeting is Wednesday 18th February at 20:00 and fortnightly thereafter

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Random Ramblings

Had a slightly more productive weekend this week. Thanks to a friendly Radio Amateur I now have a hole in my wall, allowing me to have the antenna permanently connected without having to run the coax through the cat flap in the kitchen door. This is much more convenient and, as usual, I never cease to be amazed by just how helpful folk in the radio community are. In order to access the wall I had to remove a kitchen unit and in doing so I found a double power socket on the wall behind it, which is now in gainful employment powering the PSU.

This being Sunday I switched on to hear the RSGB news bulletin, which is usually transmitted on Sundays at 10:30 on the Lincoln VHF repeater GB3LM. Sadly no newsreader was to be heard. I do hope that the GB2RS bulletins don't disappear completely.

Our radio club (South Kesteven A.R.S.) will be holding some interesting evenings where we will discuss the use of different types of test and analytical equipment. It is hoped that we will cover one specific piece of kit at a time in order to get the hang of using items in our shacks that many of us either don't use or are not aware of their function. All welcome at our meetings - search for the club online and come and join us.

As for any other radio news, well, there isn't much to report from me - except to say a word or two about repeaters and their abuse.

I monitor VHF and UHF repeaters and I'm mightily disappointed with the behaviour of some people who insist on constantly opening the repeater without a) declaring their call sign or b) declaring what they're doing. If they're checking their settings why not say so? Or if they're checking access,  again, why not say so? One repeater keeper always makes comment (sometimes in a condescending manner) but it makes no difference - in fact it makes them do it all the more. The best way to do away with these clowns is to ignore them, they become bored and go away to bug someone else. The same repeater keeper does, however reply to most calls made on the facility, and is a very knowledgeable fellow.

That's it for now, brunch beckons.....

73 to all