19 Jan 2017

Memory - getting ever less expensive

It is fascinating to see the price of PC and camera memory getting lower and lower and the capacity increasing. Only a few years ago we thought a 1GB SD card was amazing. Now you can get 128GB (at least) on a mini SD card at quite respectable prices.

Ten years from now I expect we will be used to 1-2TB mini SD cards and think how did we manage in 2017? I recall the hard drive on my first PC was 0.5GB and we thought that was massive.

UPDATE 2035z: You can already buy a 512GB SD card!!

630m (472kHz)

Around 1830z I returned to 630m (472kHz ) WSPR. Initially I used the PC on batteries but it is now on mains power. On battery power the noise floor is low and best RX DX was LA8AV (1035km) in JO59 square. I am hopeful of reaching Norway again on TX tonight (5mW ERP, earth-electrodes).  It would be great to break the 1000km barrier on 630m TX this season, as I have yet to do so this year.

In past years, I reached Finland, which is much further. Another absentee this year is EA5DOM who was regularly copied last season on 630m WSPR. Maybe he is using a different mode or is on 137kHz?

See http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/spots putting in "g3xbm" to see what is being spotted.

UPDATE 2000z: So far, only G4FTC (123km) is able to be spotted in my S8 noise  "fog" when I use the SMPSU on the shack PC.

UPDATE 2028z: Yet again, my best spot on 472kHz TX so far this evening is by PA0RDT (243km).

UPDATE 2104z: Still not been spotted further than Holland so far this evening on 630m WSPR TX.

Sunspots and 10m - Thursday January 19th 2017

Solar flux is 78 today.  Sunspot number is 25.  A=17 and K=3.

UPDATE 1240z: So far today, nothing remotely "DXy" seen on 10m JT65.


They have just published a statement about space spectrum.

See https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/space-spectrum-strategy?utm_source=updates&utm_campaign=Space-spectrum-statement&utm_medium=email

10m JT65

Following my usual pattern, I went QRT on 630m WSPR around 0800z and am now on 10m JT65 (2W), but no spots yet. 10m JT65 will probably be my "thing" until tonight.

UPDATE 1235z: Just G4CJC (73km) in North London spotted on 10m JT65 so far today. Nothing outside the UK spotting me, or being spotted, so far today.

472kHz WSPR overnight

No great excitement overnight with the best TX DX being spots from Holland on 472kHz WSPR (5mW ERP from the earth-electrode "antenna" in the ground). Only 6 unique spots last night, which was rather disappointing.  At some point I must count how many unique spots I have had on the band this season, but I am sure it is fewer than a few years ago.

18 Jan 2017

Ice Clouds? - NOT amateur radio

It was cold and bright here today. The photo was taken by my XYL on our way to Cambridge this afternoon.

472kHz last evening and overnight

Best DX on 472kHz WSPR TX was LA3EQ/E (769km). As usual I was using 5mW ERP from the earth-electrodes in the ground. Best RX DX was DH5RAE (995km).

Don't judge a book by its cover - NOT amateur radio

We often hear bad things about young people, but let me tell you what happened yesterday...

As usual, I was on the bus coming back from my Polar Studies course in Cambridge. It was a crowded single decker bus with several people standing. On got an old couple and immediately a young girl with "punk" styling got up and offered the old lady her seat. It was kindness itself. She just did it. Well done.

Sunspots and 10m - Wednesday January 18th 2017

Solar flux is 78 today and sunspot number 26. A=4 and K=3. If there was more activity on 10m I am sure we'd see the band was open N-S by F layer. No winter Es evident here on 10m so far.