Wednesday, 22 June 2016

No Ramblings to Report

Since my last post, nothing much has been happening radio wise. It's been a quiet and relatively dead period.

The Allstar nodes continue to function as they should but there's little activity of late, save for a bit of drive time traffic here and there. I suppose it's the season for being out in the fresh air as opposed to being in front of a radio.

The DV4 Mini is now working well attached to the Pipo X8 Windows device and having a wired ethernet connection. There appear to be cliques emerging on DMR with a number of regular operators only working within their little gangs - so far this evening I've put out over ten CQ calls and nobody has answered, despite a list of call signs appearing on the system. Maybe I should change my deodorant.

I will be away this coming weekend and will attempt to use EchoLink at some point, although I'm not holding out for much in the way of contacts if the recent lack of activity is anything to go by.

The Broadnet system brings the occasional QSO - this is also very quiet with call signs listed as connected but no replies to calls. It would seem that by and large the Amateur Radio community is increasingly being populated with "licenced SWL's"

Local activity on 2m seems to be centred on the same group of people as well, and repeater use is virtually non-existent. There does seem to be a distinct lack of interest shown these days. I'm considering giving it all up and looking for another hobby - what's the point if there's nobody talking much?

The only contacts I've had recently have been as part of my Radio Club's special event stations and I suspect that that's mainly due to curiosity as opposed to interest.

I'm in a state of flux with the hobby at the moment - it's not stimulating me much (if at all) at the moment.

So it's a half hearted 73 de 2E0ENN

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Portable Ramblings

I now have a functioning portable set up. The antenna is a Watson Multi-Ranger-9, which sits on my triple mag mount. It covers 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2, and 70cm and also receives on airband. Tuning is via a jumper cable in the coil and adjusting the length of the resonator. A quick test in the car gave promising results. I'm fortunate in that I have an LDG AT-897 auto tuner attached to the FT-897 and tuning on 40, 20 and 6 meters is a breeze. I'm not expecting earth shattering performance from a whip on a magmount but at least it will get me on the air and out of the house. I also have an Ampro whip for 40m so I have some options.
I also have the end fed wire and an 11 metre long fishing pole so there's even more flexibility. I have bought a 12 Volt car battery boost starter (essentially a battery in a case with jump leads and a cigar lighter socket attached) to either power the radio or jump start the car once I've flattened the battery.

I have relinquished the 70cm Gateway and have applied for a 2m allocation in its place, due to myself and immediate neighbours experiencing issues with interference to car remote locking fobs. My Gateway frequency is/was 430.500 MHz, which is also channel 40 on the LPD band. As Amateurs and LPD users are secondary users of the 70cm band (the MoD being primary users) and as I live within the confines of an active RAF Base,  I thought it prudent to make the change. I have conducted limited testing on 2m with the AllStar node and it seems to be stable, without interference issues. I'm just waiting for the NoV to be issued, it has been passed by Ofcom so I just need the NoV document to make it all above board.

I'm out and about over the next couple of days - working HF from the car, and I'm looking forward to the experience. I have a number of locations earmarked but if the weather isn't too bad I might just have a ride up the East Coast to the Mablethorpe area, near the salt water, and try some 6m activity.

73 for now, de 2E0ENN