Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Even more Ramblings

The latest addition to my radio collection is another old Standard set. This one is a C56OO, a twin band VHF and UHF rig. This one dates from the'90's and has dual receive. There is no CTCSS, although there is provision for a board. There is a CTCSS board listed for it but it is so old that it is long since discontinued, I have, however,sourced a pattern part and will be fitting it once it arrives from China.

Speaking of Chinese products, all three of my Leixen radios are now faulty. The VV-898 dual bander appears to be dead. There seems to be power getting to the rig as the DTMF microphone lights up but the main unit is lifeless. TheVV-808U UHF set appears to be misaligned as audio is very distorted and the VV-808V VHF set does not output audio on the internal speaker, an extension speaker being necessary. Sending them back to china isn't an option as shipping costs there and back are more than the units are worth. The lesson learned is "don't buy cheap stuff, as it's a waste of money" A similar thing has happened with a smart watch and a tablet, so I now have a policy of buying decent quality kit, even if it has to be second-hand.

The South Kesteven A.R.S now has a new Chairman, Andrew Garrett(M0N RD) who replaces Nigel Booth (M0CV0) who, after four years at the helm has stepped down due to increasing work commitments. Andrew has a particular interest in HAB tracking and is a keen contester and his contribution to the club will be greatly appreciated.

The wind continues to batter the country and my mast is holding up well, due to the guy ropes being so taut that I can get a tune out of them. My collinear will be attached to the side of the house with "T&K" brackets and a twelve foot pole, freeing up the mast for its intended use.

April 26th sees SKARS Members helping out with a SES at the Cold War Bunker at Buckminster, near Grantham. This is a restored bunker and is part of the UP AN ATEM Group-check their website for further details, which can also be found on the SKARS website.

73 de 2E0ENN

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ramblings update

Well, I did pass the Intermediate Exam and I now have my call sign (2E0ENN).

Plans afoot at the home QTH include raising my military fibreglass mast by a further six feet and replacing the ill - advisedly used RG58 with RG8 mini. After looking at the loss figures for a long run of RG58 I have opted for mini 8 as the loss for that is half that of 58. Of course, if I'd have looked beforehand and not been so miserly I would have done this from the beginning - lesson learned.

The recently acquired 2m beam will be added to the mast as well but, with no means to rotate it, it will be fixed in an easterly direction for now as that is the least obstructed direction for me. Who knows,  maybe a bit of Continental DX on 2m SSB might come my way during the 'E' season.

Speaking of antennas, I have built the 2E0ENN 2m portable horizontal dipole  for use /P for the UKAC 2M contest.  I'm rather pleased with my efforts and,  with a cost of about £6 plus a length of coax it should prove useful. SWR comes in at 1.1 : 1 in the centre of the band and 1.2 : 1 at the band edges - not too shabby.

I'm currently waiting for Stewart (M0SDM), who is coming over to help with extending my mast, and should be back on air this afternoon with (hopefully) much better performance.

As Club Secretary for the South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society I have been getting to grips with organising our first major event of the Summer, which is the Swaton Vintage Day on June 28th. This show also includes the International Egg Throwing Championship - and we will be running a Special Event Station (GB2EGG) and Andrew (M0NRD) will hopefully (weather and CAA clearance permitting) be launching "Eggsplorer1", a HAB which will take an egg to the edge of space and we will be demonstrating tracking the flight with SSDV. There will be a camera on board and the flights progress and images will be transmitted to the HAS website. Check out Eggsplorer1 on Twitter and Facebook, and the Eggsplorer1 website or on our club website www.skars.webs.com.

We are recruiting for members of the club, so if you have an interest in radio - of any kind - or would like to join in in our activities and our various talks and discussions check the website or email me at m6enn@mail.com.

That's all for this update - further developments will be forthcoming as we get confirmation. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Extra ramblings

My most recent acquisition in the radio department is a 2m SSB radio. I have bought an elderly Standard C5800 and it's rather nice for an old radio. The condition is very good and with a couple of test transmissions using my collinear, it seems to be working well. I listened in on the VHF/UHF contest over the weekend but I wasn't able to hear too much due to using a vertically polarised antenna. I was tempted to call but I thought my antenna situation would be too much of a handicap. To remedy this I have acquired a 2m Yagi from Nigel, M0CVO,  and it will sit atop my mast in the next couple of weeks (in time for the next 2m UKAC contest).

Tomorrow night (March 10th) I will be sitting my Intermediate Exam in Grantham. I won't be alone as Konrad will also be sitting his exam. To be brutally honest, I feel a bit ill prepared - everybody says it'll be fine, but they've already got their certificate. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only a hobby, but it hasn't stopped me being slightly fretful. So the next blog might just have good news within.

The South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society has its first confirmed event lined up - at the Swaton Village Show. This is an annual event and incorporates the International Egg Throwing Championship. We will be running a SES and our HAB expert,  Andrew, will launch an egg into the ether, using a balloon - look out for Eggsplorer 1, website details will be available soon. The event is 28th June and Swaton is located near to Sleaford in Lincolnshire.

Check out the Club website www.skars.webs.com

That's all for now, 73's until the next time