Sunday, 18 May 2014

What a good day,,..& Lids

What a good day today was.

A last minute decision to try a bit of portable work resulted me spending a nice afternoon in the baking sun on a disused aerodrome with only sheep and ponies for company.
I started off on 20m with only limited success with just a single contact into Poland. Still very happy with that though, with just 5 watts.
Then its over to 40m for a little UK working. Bonus..there seems to be a WAB contest on.
Now I don't really like contests for the simple reason that all the QSO's are lightening fast with very little interaction with the receiving station.
But today was different. I decided to just go with the flow and make as many contacts as possible. My trump card being that no matter how weak and feeble my 5w was with the receiving station they just had to persevere, not knowing what rare and unobtainable square I could be in.
As it was I think that I was maybe in quite a good square judging by the reactions that I got on completion of the overs. So no guilt there then...

Think I will have to investigate this WAB thingy..More cash to part with & something else to take up my time.. Ha Ho.....

A good day brought to a sudden halt when my sotapole decided to drop at lightening speed breaking the insulator on my linked dipole. Think the constant variations in wind direction and speed loosened the joint.

oopps...Think a trip to B&Q tomorrow for some Unibond Plastic Repair..

Now that summer is here I think more portable working is needed. Maybe a bash at activating some easy sota summits.

The morse practice is slow but sure with me joining a shiny new club @LIDS_CW "The less involved data society" All I need to do now now is make some cw contacts. LIDS

Monday, 7 April 2014

Out and about /P

The sun was out a few days ago. I know, I cant quite believe it either.

I drove over to our local disused aerodrome and tried out my new 20m/40m  linked dipole from sotabeams together with my nice shinny new sotapole.

This was to be quite a test for me as I have quite bad Rheumatoid Arthritis slowly destroying my joints, especially in my hands.

On arrival I laid out the antenna and sota pole as instructed in the youtube video by sotabeams, that I had watched several times the previous evening.

Within a few mins the antenna was up and I was on the air with very little joint pain to show for it.
I was a little concerned when I first got the pole that I would not be able to "lock" the pole sections in place with my dodgy hands. But I need not have worried, it took surprisingly little force to twist the sections into place and taking it down was just as easy.

 The linked dipole was also a breeze to use. I am a little paranoid where SWR is concerned so was interested at what results I would obtain by just "throwing" the antenna up.
Again no problems, I had an extremely good match on 20m and 40m right across the bands.
Some good cw and phone contacts on 20m and 40m followed with my little Qrp set up.

On the whole a very good result and  great products to play with.
I shall be out and about a lot more during the summer. Weather permitting.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


It's been a while since I have Blogged here. No excuse other that the weather has been rubbish so I have been mostly indoors watching Home and away.

It seems that the thing to be working towards at the moment is your DXCC award from the ARRL
Well I thought that I would investigate.
I loaded the ARRL website and took a look at the seemingly detailed list of what you have to do to open an account.
I downloaded the software as instructed and applied for a certificate
Well that was simple I thought.

About a week later nothing had appeared in my inbox so I looked again at the website and noticed that I needed to send a copy of my Amateur license and my driving license. So off I went to copy what was required.
Before I had  posted the envelope I had an e-mail saying that my application had been rejected. :-(

Then, before you could say "LID" I received another e-mail with a valid certificate attached... strange..
I still hadn't sent the docs off to the good old USA, which confused me no end.

Right I was off. Downloading the certificate was easy but there I came to a grinding halt. No one had mentioned that I needed a logging program to upload my logs.
Another hour spent trawling the internet, opening web pages that didn't exist any more and downloading huge files from smart looking sites that then failed.
Finally I found a logging program that looked like it would do the job.

I now have UCX LOG installed and have uploaded several pages from my log to LOTW.

Although they have tried very hard to make the process as simple as possible I can't help thinking that they would benefit from someone like me who doesn't have a clue, downloading the software for them and highlight where some clearer instructions are needed. (or am I just dim)

Also, when you are up and running, it isn't obvious where everything is. Some considerable exploring and downloading of PDF files is needed to find what you are looking for. My biggest problem was that I was expecting to see a nicely laid out log something like not a log that you had to search for.
I should imagine that the reason for this way of working will become apparent in the future. 

As of the time of writing I am still exploring the Logbook, finding new features all the time. I can't say that it will change the way I log completely as I still love to paper log. But it will be good for the awards. (eventually)


Friday, 27 December 2013

Thanks Santa

Thanks Santa for all my radio related prezzies.

All ready for the next /p outing.
A 20m/40m linked dipole from sotabeams

Stand for my FT817ND also from sotabeams

Usually propped up on an old cassette tape.

Nothing much radio related happening at the moment but some interesting articles in the January edition of Practical Wireless has inspired me to try some new things in 2014.

Possibly some data modes and must try harder with the satellites.

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Lots of things have changed since I have been away from the airwaves

Since I  have been back doing all things radio I have not bothered to have any QSL cards printed.
This is due mainly to the wonder that is EQSL.

With postage going up every five mins and the cost of having cards printed, this is a great way to send cards all over the world and save money too.

The cards can appear in your in box very quickly after a QSO and can be printed if you wish to have a hard copy. For me, I copy the cards to my computer and store the images in a dedicated folder in Pictures, and on a separate USB stick.

The account is free but a small donation is appriciated. This donation also gives you increased options with QSL design etc.

I have noticed that there are quite a few people who will not use eqsl cards. I can only assume that this is because at the moment many awards do not recognise them.

My QSL card. This is a picture of our local castle. Personal uploads are available after a small donation. But there are loads of designs available to try to begin with.


merry christmas from G0UFV

Chapel Part 3.

Not radio related again...  sorry.    But this is local to me.

Popped along to take a look at the chapel yesterday. And its down.
Everyone was thinking that at least the front wall would be saved, but on a visit yesterday it was all down and cleared.
The road has a closure on it until the 11/12/13 but I think it will be open a lot quicker.

Just a couple of pics as there isn't much to see really..

Pictures taken 07/12/13.

 Taken from the flats car park.

 Taken from the road looking up towards the flats.

I will be going back to radio posts now. But will post about the chapel as interesting things happen..

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Chapel part 2..

Not radio related again...

Yesterday I wandered along to the see what was happening with the old chapel that collapsed 28/11/2013 in Launceston. Lots of activity on site. They are not hanging about.

I'm not sure how far they are going with the demolition, but the roof is fully down now and the task of clearing out the rubble is well underway. 

I dont think it will be to long before the road and pathway  are open again.

I have posted a few pictures here of the progress so far.

Above and below: Taken from the car park of the flats behind the chapel. The wall has collapsed at the side of the car park so this is fenced off.

Taken from the road looking down from the
Eagle House Hotel.

Above: Looking up Chapel street towards the Eagle House Hotel.

All taken on 3/12/13.