26 May 2017

Are ICOM and Yaesu struggling?

I am beginning to wonder if some of the large Japanese companies are getting tired of amateur radio.

When ICOM introduced the IC7300, Yaesu looked like they reacted and quickly brought out the FT991A. Yaesu seems to have "gone off the boil" in recent years. System Fusion is being pushed, but years after DSTAR. Most of us remember Betamax, VHS and Video 8. The last thing we want is a standards war.

There were no new products launched at Dayton, at least nothing was reported. I am beginning to think the Japanese have decided to introduce fewer amateur radio products. Perhaps they see a dwindling market with less profits in the coming years?

As for an FT817 successor - I think this is never happening.

Dayton Hamvention 2017

This was last weekend. It is possible I missed announcements, but nothing new appears to have been announced by the big manufacturers.

I have never been, nor am I likely to, but this is the big one. It moved venues this year. Looking at the photos, most attendees look old.

See http://hamvention.org/ .

Trident and terrorism - NOT amateur radio

Some estimates put the bill to replace our "independent" nuclear submarine fleet at more than £100 billion. Most countries don't have nuclear weapons, let alone an "independent" nuclear deterrent.  Even the Labour party supports Trident's replacement. This is at a time when we complain there are not enough police or people able to analyse people who may be a terrorist threat to the UK.

Why not scrap Trident and spend some of the money on police and anti-terrorism?

No-one in their right mind would press the nuclear button. It would lead to widespread death and destruction. We need things to counter the threats of today

As for nuclear deterrence, how do most countries manage without such weapons perfectly well? Just a small fraction of the Trident replacement costs would go a very long way.

Mobile phones on aircraft - NOT amateur radio

So, OFCOM has changed the rules to allow mobile phones on aircraft. I objected. In my view this is stupid idea. Imagine phones ringing all the time on a long flight. People managed in the past.

See http://ofcom.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/i/B17ECEB3D452F524/59D1BD3EA2F08127C67FD2F38AC4859C

Sunspots and 10m - Friday May 26th 2017

Solar flux is 77 today and the sunspot number 19. A=4 and K=1. I expect 10m will be good for South America later from the UK. We can also expect 10m and 6m Es.

6m JT65 today

Having had success for the last few days on 10m JT65, today I have switched to 6m JT65. So far, just spots from 3 G stations with the best DX being G8TTI (185km). This is either tropo or aircraft reflection. As usual, 1W ERP in use here from my V2000 omni vertical.

UPDATE 1056z: LX1JX (469km) is the best distance spotted so far today on 6m JT65. Probably too near for Es?

UPDATE 1230z: Still no sign of Es on 6m JT65 here.

SW interval signals from the past

Many of us started in the hobby by building simple shortwave receivers and listening to the many broadcasters on shortwaves long ago. Did any of the communist stations really expect us to listen intently to their propaganda? I certainly did not! Mind you, I got some nice goodies from some. These days there are fewer and fewer BC stations on the air on shortwave, and very few in English.

If you want a dose of nostalgia try https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/hf/interval . A Google search will find others.

I miss these and I am sure I'm not alone. They speak of an age long past. Certainly we were no safer then with the constant threat of nuclear war. And yet, they bring back such memories!

Colombia on 10m JT65

Quite late last night, HK6JCF (8601km) was spotted on 10m JT65 bringing the total to 3 South Americans spotted on 10m JT65 yesterday.

25 May 2017

Roses - NOT amateur radio

Our roses came out early this year. They look great at the moment but will be bare in a few weeks' time. Our garden looks good at the moment. The risk is muntjac deer will eat the flowers!

OFCOM reviewing 410-470MHz band

OFCOM is carrying out a strategic review of the 410-470MHz band. This is a busy part of the spectrum in the UK and others want access. The 70cm amateur band is here and under pressure. At times, it seems devoid of activity. We have secondary access only. Use it or lose it, especially as OFCOM derives no revenue from the amateur service.  It would not surprise me if we end up with fewer frequencies at 70cm or we find our band shared with more users.

See http://ofcom.createsend1.com/t/\ViewEmail/i/3E3A949980CE1596/59D1BD3EA2F08127C67FD2F38AC4859C