27 Mar 2017

SDR receivers and transceivers

There is a real gap in my knowledge as I have never once tried an SDR based receiver or transceiver. SDR dongles are very low cost, so I really have no excuse.

On the Southgate site I read news of a new SDR 5W transceiver.

See https://sunsdr.eu/product/sunsdr2-qrp/

10m JT65 (2W) this morning

This morning, I am on 10m JT65 transceive.  As yet, no spots given or received.

UPDATE 0918z: Still no 10m JT65 spots given or received, but it is still very early. I was hoping to see a few Gs, but nothing.

UPDATE 1124z: 10m JT65 - still nothing at all!

Sunspots and 10m - Monday March 27th 2017

Solar flux is 78 today. Sunspot number is 20. A=4 and K=5. 10m propagation is again expected to remain "poor". Not too long to wait now to the Es season.

QRP and QRP Club

Oleg's usual report:

Dear Club 72 members and friends,

Weekly QRP Rendez-Vous Report (March, 26, 2017)
Thanks all for starting new sessions of evening 7030 kc Rendez-Vous!
Visitors  of  the week: RU3NJC, UA1CEG/p, UA1ADF, US7IB, R1OA, DK1HW,
IW2HTH became Honor Frequenter (regular visitor)
New Visitors: I1NOL, DL6YYM, G0EQC - you are welcome!
See full Frequenters and Visitors lists on the Club 72 web page.
Some comments...
See full WQR Report on the blog page -

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
9.00 UTC - 14060 kc
18.00 UTC - 7030 kc
alternative 10116 kc if contest QRMs. Keep +/- RIT for QRM, QRL, XTAL

72! Oleg RV3GM / KH6OB "Mr. 72"

This is a periodic Newsletter of the Club 72. Don't reply to Newsletter address! Send any requests or news to
mr72@club72.su please.

26 Mar 2017

eBay HB100 10GHz modules

An old work colleague, Richard G3TFX, has found these modules on eBay for £2.23 with free postage. This is an insane price.

Gardening - NOT amateur radio

In the last few weeks with some decent sunshine the garden has "come alive". There is new growth everywhere.

Here I am in the garden yesterday. Lis (my wife) has done most of the work. I am pruning a rose and clearing a bramble.

Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE website

Ashhar is well known for his BITX rigs for HF. This is his website. If you are looking for low cost HF rigs, this may be your answer! The circuits are clever, simple and low cost.

See http://www.hfsigs.com/

New world record with low cost HB100 module on 10GHz

I see that a new world record has been set in Italy using the very low cost HB100 Doppler radar module (204km). This was wideband FM, I think.

These modules are very low cost. They make the heart of a very low cost wideband FM system for 10GHz. They are the modern version of the Gunnplexer. They contain (I think) a transmitter, RX mixer and 2 antennas all on a small PCB. If you spend £5 you will have change from some eBay suppliers!

"204km. NEW WORLD RECORD, Full Duplex 10GHz with HB100 only 10mW!
Team #1: Giuseppe IK8XFR - Nino IZ8WLZ - Giacomo (Jack)
on S. Giovanni a Piro JN70RB
Team #2: Giuseppe IZ8WGU - Domenico IZ8BAD - Gianluca IZ8YWC - Antonio IK8TGH
on Solano Sup. JM78VF
Strong signals, how many Km can still make HB100 with only 10mW?"

No more 5MHz ....yet

On the GB2RS news today from the RSGB:

Somebody dragging feet?

"Amateurs in the UK have been very fortunate in having early access to 5MHz, with 5 spot frequencies 15 years ago and more than 70kHz of spectrum made available in 2013. This was a result of close cooperation with Ofcom and the MoD, who is primary user on the band. The UK currently has an arrangement that gives us more spectrum and a higher power allowance of 100W at 5MHz, however it does not cover all of the WRC-15 band of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. The Society played a very active role in the WRC-15 process and continues to work with Ofcom to gain access to all of the WRC-15 band, however this is not expected to change in the foreseeable future as there are on-going assignments within the band. The RSGB will implement the IARU Region 1 band plan for 5MHz within the segments allocated to us. In common with other Region 1 societies with allocations greater than 15kHz, we will recommend that frequencies within the WRC-15 band that are allowed under the UK Amateur Radio Licence only be used for international contacts, or for stations with no other option."

8m (40MHz band)

Re a small 40MHz allocation to help with Es research, this was on the RSGB forum earlier:

In the ITU Radio Regs, please remember there is no international amateur allocation for 50 MHz in Region-1 (ie Europe, Africa, Middle East). We are very focussed on trying to fix this under WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1. Our usage (and by other european countries) is effectively a national non-interference one. Only Region-2/3 have formal 50 MHz amateur allocations.

Getting that change for Region-1 you might think ought to straightforward given the spread of 50 MHz national level licenses - but it is most definitely not. It needs agreement from first CEPT (where Russia and France have serious objections) and indeed all 193 ITU Member States. The impact of that on an ordinary amateur is both lower activity and a direct restriction in your UK personal licence. When you are abroad or Maritime Mobile in Region-1 international waters - 50 MHz usage may be barred. If you look on the other thread in this C3 forum, there is a new draft paper on 'Spectrum Prioritisation and Development' which covers the challenge and explains that CEPT/193 issue further.

The recent 5MHz WRC result (and this weeks announcement in GB2RS re no 5MHz future changes) is proof that this is not an easy process. It is not free either - attending the Ofcom/CEPT prep meetings costs RSGB (ie members subs) quite a bit over the four years of that WRC15 cycle, and more in the run up to WRC-19. Smaller amateur radio societies in other countries often cant afford to do that and thus fail to get their governments fully on side.

Returning to 40MHz. Years ago when we and the Danes did our 40 MHz beacons, other IARU Member Socs were formally encouraged to do likewise - nothing happened (not even in South Africa). If other amateurs cant even manage that (let alone convince their governments to have a Tx allocation) - then you can assume its not going to happen very quickly...

We do recognise that some knowledge of propagation at 40MHz is a technical nice to have - but we need to be realistic re an 'allocation'


Murray G6JYB

PS. Dont forget members subs also have to go into protecting what we have first, before acquiring more.
PPS. 50 MHz and 70 MHz are in the same boat of course - as they are national and not ITU allocations (A great Question for Advance exams that!)
PPPS. Any future item for WRC-23 will need all those 193 states to approve it at WRC-19 just to even have it added to the agenda
PPPPS. IARU is funded by IARU Member Socs - basically Progress needs Pounds (or Euro or whatever) - ie healthy membership subs for Member Socs